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Should there be Term Limit in Congress?

Updated on July 24, 2020
Dechawat Arsanam profile image

A student whom took too many AP courses relating to Social Studies such as: Economic, US History, Human Geography, Psychology.

From our founding fathers standpoint, the central idea between having a 2 years term as a U.S. Representative and a 6 year term as a U.S. Senator was that the swinging ideologies or opinions would have a higher influence on the House of Representative than that of the Senate.

It was for the sake of stability... after all, the legislative branch; congress, make passes bills that could change the nation in any shape or forms. However, the question that we the people should ask is...

  • Is our legislative branch; our congress, effective or not?

The answer to the question may influence your answer to the discussion, that whether there should be a term limits on our Congressman or Congresswoman and our Senators.

Taking a look at those in favors of term limits; their reasoning are:

1). Powers

Lawmakers amass power overtime as they remain in office, therefore more likely to alienate from what their constituents interests.

  • Lawmakers see their position as more of a career-oriented overtime that therefore means that they need to increase their chances of reelection. This results in the elected lawmakers to focus their attention on reelection rather than important issues that are important to their constituents.

------- This can be seen as:

  • President Donald John Trump directly commencing his REELECTION CAMPAIGN on the day he was inaugurated. (First day of his Presidency)
  • Most U.S. Representatives usually begin their REELECTION campaign after one year in office as they used the other year to campaign for reelection.

2). Connections

Those who are elected consistently have formed many connections within the government and therefore can consolidate to block changes.

  • This is seen as newly elected U.S. Representatives or Senators often have a harder time in getting their bill proposal passed through the countless obstacles such as even getting their bills on the calendar.

------- Why?

  • This is due to the fact that those older senators or representatives may attempt to slow down the process or even halt the proposal completely so that any attempts to influence policies are slim.
  • A analogy is that of a student in a classroom who want to change how the TEACHER teaches his or her materials, but that is unlikely to be done as is it the TEACHER decision himself or herself to change it or not as they are the ONE IN CHARGE of how they instruct.

3). “Careers Politician”

These are those people whom are more in line with their political party than what their constituents truly wanted or need, resulting in voting against the best interests of their constituents that they should represent.

  • This is seen as politicians needing the support of their political party for a better chance of winning reelection, therefore the politician may cast their votes in whatever their political party aligns with in certain issues.

------- In regards to "Careers Politicians", this topic can go back to consolidation.

Political Party support are significant in passing bills to law, but is it not only useful in the lawmaking process, but also for reelection.

  • Getting an endorsement from another politician can boost a politician's chance of reelection, therefore keeping one another in office may instead turn from serving their constituents' interests.

4). Making Changes

  • The issue with politicians whom are often reelected is that they sit comfortably on their position, therefore are less motivated to make changes that are often needed or wanted by their constituents as the politicians are more likely to stay in office due to tactics such as gerrymandering or voter suppression of their opponent.
  • Meanwhile, a freshly elected politician are under pressure to make changes to appease their constituents and they therefore are more motivated to fight for certain changes in policies or laws that they promised to their constituents.

------- Is it therefore important that this point is noted and understood to the constituents:

  • New elected congresspersons or senators bring in new and fresh ideas that are more aligned with their constituents, therefore more likely to make changes to the current policies or system for their constituents' interests.
  • However, as older senators or congresspersons can consolidate their powers and connections, this leads to barely or no changes happening unless there is more focus on said ideas or issues or that there are more newly elected representatives or senators whom can beat the consolidation of the older politicians.

5). Etc… (Look more in part 2 of this Article)

On the other hand, those whom oppose terms limits in congress reasonings are:

1). Stability

Frequent changes to the government structures in its policies or laws cause instability to the nations.

  • Imagine that one day, a law is approved by the president and is enforced stating that EVERYONE gets FREE HEALTHCARE for those WHOM DO NOT have healthcare.

Meanwhile, in the next year, reelection came up and this law was revoked as certain amendments were made to newer bills that became laws that made this “Free Healthcare” law invalid.

  • This would cause destructive changes to the people's lives for those that depended on this healthcare, therefore a bad idea.

2). Reelections are already a term limits

For those opposing term limits, it is in their belief that reelection for their representatives or senators are already seen as a term limits as is it the people's choice to vote the politician into or out of the office.

3). Which Candidate?

Terms Limits would force people to accept or vote for candidates that they don’t know of…

  • People tend to vote for candidates that they are familiar with, this therefore meant that if that certain candidate was unable to run, then the people would have to vote for another person that they don’t know much about.

4). Inexperienced lawmakers vs experienced lawmakers

Countless times where a bill becomes law and that the law is filled with loopholes. Is it therefore better to get experienced lawmakers to stay in office so that bills that eventually become laws would not have many loopholes.

------- Although countering this is that:

  • Experienced lawmakers make amendments to bills with loopholes because they don’t support the bill, therefore making the bill ineffective for their opponent political party.
  • This is seen as different political parties may make amendments to said bills so that the intent or purpose of the bill is not as airtight and leave rooms for leeways or gaps.

------- Cons of Term Limits

Effective and good lawmakers may actually find themselves being unable to continue their services for the constituent because they can no longer serve.

5). Where is it?

The U.S. Constitution DID not NOR mention term limits for the U.S. Representatives or Senators.

  • This is one of the top arguments in countering term limits because the Constitution set up the government, and the government is limited by the constitution. It is therefore a valid point that since the constitution never stated a term limit, then there should be no term limits.

6). Etc... (Look more in part 2 of this article)

Thank you very much!

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© 2020 Dechawat Arsanam

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    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 

      12 months ago from Corona, California.

      Just a quick question. Why is it OK for term limits for president , but NOT for the rest of congress?????

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