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How Long Do Representatives and Senators Usually Serve Once They Are Elected?
Staying in the Senate with tenure?
And what can Americans do when they have a "do nothing Congress"?
Here is some valuable information to consider this year: the average tenure of a United States Representative in Congress is said to be 6 years, and the average tenure for a senator is said to be 8 years. That doesn't seem excessive, right? So far, so good. The average for those who become committee chairmen (due to seniority) is considerably longer. Sadly, by the time that happens many are well connected in Washington, DC and no longer so well "in touch" with anyone except possibly their state's politicians back home, while their focus seems to have become staying in DC for the power and benefits.
Worse still, they have the power and expectation that they can keep "the newcomers" in line with what the old timers see as their own vested interests. Lobbyists know them well, contributors know what they get (or don't) for what they give, and gerrymandering back home generally accommodates their getting to stay in DC.
If you take the average tenure of a Representative who goes on to become one of the two Senators from their state, the statistics tell us that they likely are "part of the Washington Establishment" for 14 years, and some like Utah's Senator Orin Hatch stay for many more years than that and still run for reelection! The patient is unquestionably ill and the Founding Fathers knew even then how it could be fixed...by the voters!
Senator Hatch has served six terms in the Senate and is campaigning for a seventh on the basis that (if the Republicans gain control of the Senate---which is not so likely) he would become Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. If he wins his 7th term, he will be ensconced no matter what happens with control of the Senate, and would probably only leave his 7th term in the Senate, if some president got him a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court!
Hatch’s argument that America needs him as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee because of his conservative Republican values, such as drastic spending cuts and a balanced budget, are not a valid argument for giving him a 7th term! Why? If the Republicans should manage to win control of the Senate, some Republican (presumably with Republican values) will head the Senate Finance Committee even if the voters finally retire their soon-to-be 77 year old senator short of his 7th term!
Term limits on how long members of Congress can serve in Washington, DC have been a regular topic of discussion with wide popular appeal. To have term limits, however, Congress would have to pass the legislation, and that is highly unlikely.
That leaves only one way for the public to limit how long members of Congress serve: every now and then vote for someone new to give America their two cents worth!
if voters think that by electing the same members of Congress year after year they can raise the approval rating of what is often termed "a do nothing Congress," they need their own heads examined!
What can you as an individual do? How about this approach: http://perspycacious.hubpages.com/hub/A-Letter-To-The-Editor ?
If you are concerned about America, take the poll on this site: http://perspycacious.hubpages.com/hub/America-Where-Are-You
Copyright 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
3/10/2014 NOTE: Senator Hatch won his 7th term and is representing Utah in the Senate for some time to come. "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away." Is it possible for old senators to never die, but just fade away still seated in the Senate? He has provided valuable service, but in his seven runs for office, has there been no other candidate with even better ideas? If the Republican Party takes control of the Senate in November 2014, "7 Terms Hatch" is likely to become the Senate Finance Committee chairman after all.
11/5/2014 NOTE: Senator Hatch in January 2015 will, as a result of the midterm election gains of the Republicans, not only become Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, but he will also become the president pro tempore of the Senate, and 3rd in the line of succession to the presidency after the Vice President and the Speaker of The House.!
Representative Rob Bishop, another Republican from Utah, just won his 7th term. Representative Mia Love, another Republican just elected to her first term representing her district in Utah, is the first Republican woman elected to the House of Representatives, so there is a significant newcomer from Utah after all.
The real answer to this question?
I am afraid the real answer to this question is: too long!
What are we setting in motion?
- A Look At The Senate Races
With a few days left until Election Day 2014, what is happening, and what can we make of the possible outcome as relates to control of the U. S. Senate in President Obama's last two years as leader?
- Up The Down Spout
When you are looking for changes, don't elect candidates who can't address the changes you want made. Politics is about making voters happy until they cast their votes. Later? All bets are off!