New Constitutional Amendment #29

Term limits for US Congress


It has become obvious that many in Congress believe they should be able to serve as legislators for life. Instead of the original intent of the founding fathers, that citizens serve for a brief period in Congress and then return home, present day legislators continue to run for reelection time after time. They use their seniority as a tool to gain financial gain for themselves. Incumbency gives them the advantage when running for reelection and hinders the opportunity for others with potentially better ideas from sharing them with the citizens.

The president is limited to 2 1/2 terms and therefore there is no reason not to limit the length of time members of Congress may serve.

The following is a proposed draft of Amendment 29 to the U.S. Constitution.

Amendment 29

Section 1. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives shall be limited to a maximum of 14 consectutive years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Section 2. Members of the U.S. Sentate shall be limited to a maximum of 14 consectutive years of service in the U.S. Senate.

Section 3. No former member of either house of Congress shall lobby any present member of Congress or their staff for a period of 3 years after there service in Congress has ended.

Section 4.

Members of the U.S. Congress shall have in their employ, that are reimbursed at taxpayer expense, no more than 5 staff members at one time.

Section 5.

Congressional pay shall be reduced by 25% of present levels and may not be increased except by majority vote of the voting citizens of the United States. The pay question shall be placed on the ballot every 4 years, at the time of a presidential election, following the ratification of this amendment.

Congressional term limits

Should members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have term limits?

See results without voting

9 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Yes, we need term limits. The longer these people serve the more detached they become from the promises they make.


Jeff Berndt profile image

Jeff Berndt 4 years ago from Southeast Michigan

Interesting ideas. I like that this amendment limits representatives and senators to only so many /consecutive/ years in office, and requires a certain time spent out of office before they are eligible for reelection, rather than a lifetime limit. That lets the voters say, "Gosh, we really do like our senator. As soon as he's allowed, we're voting him back in." It doesn't throw out the good ones with the bad (at least, not automatically).

Here's a couple bits of constructive criticism:

1) Senators serve for 6-year terms, so limiting them to 14 consecutive years cuts their last term in half, and will mess up the election schedule. Perhaps they should be limited to 18 consecutive years, so the term won't be cut in half.

2) This has the potential to have a big unintended consequence in the federal budget. As of now, congressmen and senators get a really hefty retirement package when they leave office (full health benefits and a generous pension) even if they were a one-termer. If you're going to mandate that someone leave office after a certain time, you really need to also do something about the retirement package. Perhaps a senator or rep can't get the full retirement package unless they manage to get reelected after their mandatory 3-year hiatus?

3) Congressional pay is a bit of a sticky wicket. Yes, we want to limit it, and yes, congress does kinda deserve a pay cut. But we don't want to limit it so much that someone who isn't already a millionaire can't afford to serve in congress. It's already set up so that if congress votes itself a raise, it can't take effect until after the next election. Perhaps we should tie congressional raises to the economy: GDP, the unemployment rate, inflation, deficit/debt, etc. Perhaps Congress can only get a raise after two consecutive years of no deficit spending? Perhaps said raise should be tied to the rate of inflation?

I don't know the answer, really, but we oughtn't cut congressional pay so drastically that it becomes financially impossible for the common citizen to serve in congress. (It's already hard enough to get into congress without a personal fortune.)


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

I really like this, the bottom line is SOMETHING needs to be done...

I have introduced s similar point of view

http://hubpages.com/politics/Modifying-the-22nd-Am...

I vote up and awesome with this hub

Chris


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

I would love to see term limits! I think 14 years may be a bit long but that's a most minor detail. Sadly, I don't think they will want or allow such an ammendment.


logic,commonsense 4 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by pop!

It doesn't take them very long to forget their promises and who elected them!

Jeff, great comments!

The reason I put in 14 years, is so that if they were apppointed to fill part of another senators term, they could have 2 full terms, like the presidential term limits are set up.

Congressional pay and benefits are a whole different mess. It needs to be addressed, but it would take several pages I'm guessing.

Just read an article today about how Congress members income has skyrocketed compared to the average citizen over the past few years.

Chris, thanks for the comments and the vote! I truly believe we have a small window to get these things done, so we must keep after our legislators to address the issues.

poetvix, I agree that 14 years is probably too long, but it may have the best chance of passing. We must hound them until they get the backbone to do something or we will be saddled with the same crap ad infinitum.

Thanks for stopping by!


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

This is an excellent hub. This political system need a complete overhaul. Good presentation!


logic,commonsense 4 years ago Author

Thanks gm! We are at a crossroads with a small window of opportunity. Hopefully the electorate will make good choices.


grinnin1 profile image

grinnin1 4 years ago from st louis,mo

Great hub, good writing. Glad my path crossed yours. Will be reading more!


logic,commonsense 4 years ago Author

Thanks grinnin! Glad you could stop by!

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