Term Limits Keep Coming Up. Are They Needed?
There's been a lot of talk lately about term limits in congress. Last year, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) reintroduced legislation that would give term limits to members of congress in the United States. Why should we stop at the national level if term limits are a good thing? Shouldn’t we look to have them at the local and state level as well?
Term limits are an interesting concept that have been around in the United States for a long time. The highest elected office in the US, the president, has term limits. After Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to four terms as president, Congress passed the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1947 and sent it to the states to ratify. It was ratified in 1951. After it was ratified, a president could not be elected to office more than twice, and they could not be president more than two years of a prior term. This set the maximum number of years a person could serve as POTUS to 10.
The legislation put forth by Senator Cruz would mean a senator could not spend more than 12 years in office, and a member of the House of Representatives could only spend six. Patrick Leahy is the longest serving senator in office right now with 46 years. Don Young from Alaska is the longest serving House member in office with almost 48 years in office. The new restrictions set up by Senator Cruz’s bill would be a dramatic difference.
But why not go down to the state and local level? Wouldn't it be nice to see a bad governor or mayor forced to leave because they can't run again?
Recently, New York Governor Kathy Hochul proposed term limits for state office holders, including the governor. The biggest hurdle to getting term limits passed is that the current office holders must be willing to limit themselves. Most of those in office would like to hold onto their power and position if possible.
My thoughts on term limits may surprise some of my audience: we don't not need term limits if people would make good decisions.
If someone is representing me well, why would I want that person to change? I understand that republicans get tired of Nancy Pelosi, but she represents her constituency exactly how they want to be represented.
A lot of problems could be solved with term limits, but I believe they would take away freedom from voters to choose who they want to represent them. I know this is not a popular view on KFYO, but it's where I stand. I do not think term limits are needed.