Should There Be Term Limits for Members of Congress?

Should term limits be imposed on Members of Congress? The idea has recently come up again during this election year.

From time to time, the idea of putting term limits on Congressmen comes up. Sometimes a bill is introduced in Congress to impose term limits, but they generally do not advance.

Last year, for example, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation to enact term limits. It is unlikely to advance.

Candidates running for office will propose the idea on occasion as well. That also, has yet to gain any traction.

The idea has recently come up again as Donald Trump announced that, if elected, he will push for a Constitutional amendment to impose term limits on Members of Congress.

Saying he would “drain the swamp,” Trump said in a press release he would do these five things:

  1. Institute a 5-year ban on all executive branch officials lobbying the government after they leave government service
  2. Ask Congress to institute its own 5-year ban on lobbying by former members of Congress and their staffs
  3. Expand the definition of lobbyist to close all the loopholes that former government officials use by labeling themselves consultants and advisors
  4. Issue a lifetime ban against senior executive branch officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government
  5. Ask Congress to pass a campaign finance reform that prevents registered foreign lobbyists from raising money in American elections

A Constitutional amendment is a tall order. One must be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None have ever been proposed by a Constitutional convention.

Do you think a law imposing term limits should be enacted? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.