Some sense coming out of DC:
Senators seek to limit congressional service
Posted: November 11th, 2009 05:03 AM ET
Washington (CNN) - A handful of Republican senators have proposed a Constitutional amendment to limit the amount of time a person may serve in Congress.
Currently, there are no term limits for federal lawmakers, but Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, and several of his colleagues are advocating that service in the Senate be limited to 12 years, while lawmakers would only be allowed to serve 6 years in the House.
"Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians," DeMint said in a statement released by his office. "As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to buyoff special interests, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fundraising, relationship building among lobbyists, and trading favors for pork Ė in short, amassing their own power."
Two-thirds of the House and Senate would need to approve the amendment - a stumbling block that short-circuited the idea 14 years ago. The new proposal echoes the Citizen Legislature Act, part of the original Contract with America proposed by Republicans before they won control of Congress in 1994. That measure, which would have allowed both senators and members of the House to serve just 12 years, won a majority in the Republican-controlled House in 1995, but failed because it did not meet the constitutionally-required two-thirds threshold.
"There is no question there are big obstacles in the way," said Philip Blumel, president of U.S. Term Limits, a non-partisan organization that advocates putting time restrictions in place. "It is difficult to pass a Constitutional amendment, however the goal is worthwhile and it is very important to the country. Also, if not now, when?"
This time around, proponents are not calling on lawmakers who believe in the idea to place a self-imposed term limit on themselves.
"If you are asking people to self limit, what might happen and what did happen, is that honorable politicians who made the pledge left office," while others did not, Blumel said. "The answer to the term limit supporter is not self limiting. It is the body as a whole."
DeMint, who is currently serving his first six-year term in the Senate, echoed Blumel's rational for dismissing self-imposed term limits.
"I want to be clear: demanding that reformers adopt self-imposed term limits is a recipe for self-defeat on this issue," DeMint said in Tuesday's statement. "We lost the battle for term limits after the 1994 Republican Contract with America because we forced our best advocates for reform to go home, while the big-spending career politicians waited them out. We must have term limits for all or term limits will never succeed. Only when we apply the same rules to all will we be able to enact vital bipartisan reforms."
One of the original co-sponsors of the amendment is Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, who is serving her third term in the Senate, but is expected to resign her seat to focus attention on a gubernatorial bid.
A spokesman for Hutchison said it is easy to square the fact that the Texas Republican is advocating for a cap of two terms even though she is currently in the middle of her third term.
"Throughout her career she has fought for term limits and continues to do so and that is why she is cosponsoring this bill," said Hutchison spokesman Jeff Sadosky. "But until it is passed, it would do a disservice to Texas and the people of Texas to do away with the seniority she has gained unless all the states and all of the senators hold themselves to the same standard."
The two other original cosponsors of the amendment are Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas. Coburn, a first-term senator, is up for re-election to his second term in 2010, while Brownback is retiring next year after pledging to only serve two full terms in the Senate. As congressmen, both voted in favor of the GOP's Contract with America term limit proposal in 1995. Coburn, a longtime term limits supporter, retired from the House in 2000 after serving three terms based on that pledge.
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Thread: Great Idea
11-11-2009, 07:02 AM #1
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Great Idea"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin
11-11-2009, 09:58 AM #2
It won't happen, but I would love to see it.
I know, I know the term limits aren't needed, because we can practice it at the polls every 2/4/6 years depending on the office.
But, our nation would likely be better off. I have the dubious "honor" of sitting through our Democratic primary here in Mass. to replace Ted Kennedy. Every one of them is saying they are not beholden to "special interests" which is a crock. The criminal deviants on Capitol Hill cannot and will not survive without the tons of money pouring in from their special interest groups. Both parties have them, and I watch the Democrats always say that the Republicans have them while ignoring their own special interest groups.
This is why I do not vote for anyone in office for more than 10 years.....regardless of office, position, or experience.
This bill will never pass. These moronic twits in D.C. would never cut themselves off from the Public trough like that. Plus, the Democrats don't have the guts to pass a bill like this while in power.
Look at how long these people have been in office:
Nancy Pelosi: 22 years
Diane Feinstein: 17 years
Harry Reid: 22 years as Senator, 4 years as a Representative
John F. Kerry: 24 years
Robert Byrd: 50 years (yes FIFTY) as a Senator, 6 years as a Representative
Charles Schumer:10 years as a Senator, 19 years as a Representative
Charles Rangell: 38 years
I only list Democrats because they are in power and have the most to lose, and with the exception of Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond - both whom are dead.
From Wikipaedia. Just look at how long some of these morons have been in office - from both parties......It just boggles my feeble little mind:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...s_by_seniority"Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers
The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.
"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker
"As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry
www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org
11-11-2009, 11:26 AM #3
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin
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11-11-2009, 12:47 PM #4
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Never happen, unfortunately. This is one of the problems.We have these career politicians who are clueless about working for a living and have no clue about the man on the street feels or wants. The majority of us want to go to work each day, make a living, and decide how we spend out own money. We don't want to support someone else's family. We don't want the government telling us how to spend our money, and we don't want the government telling us how to live our lives.
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