Congressional Term Limits Amendment Introduced

February 7, 2012 8:20 PM
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Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI) has introduced a Constitutional Amendment (HJ Res 101) that would limit the number of years a member of Congress can serve.

If adopted, the amendment would limit a member of either chamber to a total of twelve years. Terms of House members would expand from two to four years but limit members to serving a maximum of three terms. Senators would be limited to two terms of six years. Current members of Congress would be grandfathered as the amendment would only apply to individuals first elected to office after its adoption.

Recent approval ratings for Congress have been at all time lows as Americans are obviously frustrated with their legislators. Some have suggested that term limits might be a step towards fixing what many consider to be a broken system in Washington.

Ribble feels this way. Speaking on the amendment, he said, “After serving for a year in Congress, I can report that Washington is systemically broken. Complacency has become a problem in our nation’s capital and there appears to be no sense of urgency to work toward solutions for the critical issues facing our country. Instead of addressing important issues head-on, such as the reforming the 10,000 page tax code or tackling our nation’s $15 trillion debt, it seems that there is a procrastinator mindset to delay important decisions until after the next election. Instituting term limits would end careerism in Congress by making members prioritize what is most important to their constituents and work toward those objectives within a definitive time frame.

Term limits would change the culture of Congress by reminding members who they work for and why they were elected.”

Do you support the idea of term limits for members of Congress? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.