Two members of Congress from North Carolina have added their voices to the call for term limits for federal lawmakers.
And if history is any indication, the two pieces of legislation to which Rep. George Holding and Sen. Thom Tillis have attached their names are doomed to die in their respective chambers.
One reason is a loss of appetite by lawmakers since 1995 when then House Speaker Newt Gingrich got four term-limit proposals to the House floor, said Mitch Kokai, senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. The proposals were products of Gingrich’s Contract With America, a central promise of which was congressional term limits.
All four proposals were voted down in March 1995.
Another reason there is little chance term limits will be adopted by members of Congress is many people argue there already is a mechanism for enforcing term limits: the ballot box, Kokai said. Term limits opponents say if voters don’t like what their elected members of Congress members are doing they can vote them out.
“The main thing is you just can’t get enough support whether Republicans are in power or Democrat,” Kokai said.
Still, term-limits legislation seems to get introduced at least once in every two-year congressional session.
Tillis, a Republican, co-sponsored legislation that calls for amending the U.S. Constitution. The amendment would limit senators to two six-year terms and members of the House of Representatives to three two-year terms.
“It is past time for members of Congress to amend the Constitution and impose long-needed term limits on its members,” Tillis said. “I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation and bring long-needed accountability to members of Congress, and I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to build support for ratification of this amendment.”
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