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Recall Members of Congress? Time for a Political Sea-change?

Updated on August 24, 2014

Should We be Able to Recall Members of Congress?

Is it time for a sea-change in Washington politics?
Is it time for a sea-change in Washington politics? | Source

With the most recent crisis regarding raising the United States Debt Ceiling, it's obvious right now that the U.S. political system is dysfunctional and broken. Our elected representatives in Congress are acting more like football players trying to win the Superbowl than taking care of our country's business. If it were possible, would you want to recall them all and restructure this system?

Whether we lean left or lean right, it's frustrating to watch the incompetence of our current Senators and Representatives as they fall into party lines and take a rigid stance not to compromise with one another. Whether the topic is health care, financial reform, extending the FAA's operatinjg authority, or raising the debt limit, both sides complain about the other and plant their heels into their partisian soil.

Since we, as citizens of the United States, have the right to elect the politicians that represent us, shouldn't there be a mechanism whereby we can recall them before the next election as well? Or maybe it's time to do away with career politicians and limit their stint to one to two terms? Maybe our two party system should be abolished so that each candidate is elected based on his own merits and allowed to vote without party pressure.

While we might nod yes to one or all of these ideas, how feasible would it be to make any change, when the very people who could usher in reform, are the people who might be affected? Quite a dilemma, isn't it?

What Do Americans Want?

Whether we are a Democrat, Republican, or Independant voter, I think we all long for the same thing in regard to our elected officials. Don't we all:

  • Wish that politicians at every level considered our welfare more and the special interest groups less?
  • Wish that party lines would become blurred enough that each politician with a vote, would cast that vote in a manner that helped the American people on the whole, instead of just supporting their party's platform?
  • Feel starved for more honesty, intelligence and logic working in our government and less theatrics, BS and political posturing?

We, the little guys, go to the polls and elect our officials. The taxes withheld out of our small paychecks help to pay their big salaries (Annual salary for a rank and file member of Congress in 2010 was $174,000) and all we expect is for them to get things done and keep the government wheels turning.

But in today's political environment, what seems to happen after we elect them? Many of the politicians celebrate their political victories after taking office by waving political banners and planting their cleats on their party's fifty-yard line. They slip on a red or blue jersey and then devote their term in office to fighting for their party's cause, instead of what is best for the people who elected them. To make a bad situation worse, lobbyists are then allowed to waltz in with fists full of cash to sway their judgement on the job and muddy the waters of the Potomac.

Establish Federal Recall Elections?

None of us would be hired for a job, be uncooperative and unproductive, and stay employed! This same principle should apply to our politicians; they need to work to get things done from day one. They should not be given a full term to wile away the time. If they play political games instead of working to accomplish things, they should be recalled. Why should we pay precious tax money for a full term to politicians who fight amongst themselves, give into pressure from lobbyists and basically get nothing done? If any corporation was run in this manner, their doors would be closed in record time.

Right now, recall elections are not allowed at the Federal level. A majority of states allow recall elections for local jurisdictions, and eighteen states permit removing state officials via recall, with one state (Illinois) limiting that recall to the Gubernatorial position only.

The Rockford Register Star voiced their dissatifcation with the political status quo back in 2007 on their post, "Frustrated voters deserve the option to recall politicians." In this post they write, "A recent poll by the Glengariff Group of Chicago showed 65 percent of Illinois voters support a constitutional amendment to recall elected officials." They supported an amendment to the state's constitution that would give citizens the power to recall any official who acts in an illegal, offensive or careless manner in representing their constituents.

At a Minimum: Congressional Term Limits

What Do YOU Think?

Should Members of Congress be Limited to Two Terms?

See results

Unofficial Petition: Eliminate the Parties? No More Career Politicians? Allow Federal Recall?

I think it's time to consider some amendments to our constitution and political system. How about we:

  • Demand that Congress pass an amendment to allow recall at the federal level. If any elected official is not governing in a manner that is beneficial for his community, doesn't it make sense to recall him before things are run into the ditch? If a Congressman supports his party or lobbyist more than the interests of his constituents, shouldn't he be removed from congress before his term is up?
  • If the two party system isn't working, why not do away with it? No more red or blue jerseys, just red, white, and blue ones
  • Why don't we limit a congressman to no more than two terms like we do our President?
  • If lobbyists have gained more control over our politicians than we have as voters, why don't we make their influence illegal and render their bribe-money worthless?

If you agree that we need a sea-change in our political system, and that every American should have more control over their Congressman, please add your comments. Do you think we should be able to petition for a recall election of our Congressman? What do you think about limiting a Senator or Member of the House to two terms? (To join the grassroots movement visit It's time to get involved!


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The Declaration of Independence states: "We hold these truths to be self evident . . . that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it," Clearly, the founding fathers did not intend to create such an insulary institution as exists in our present legislative branch of government. Given the revolting performance of the current congress the people at large should also revolt. Since there is no modus operandi within our current Constitution an amendment should be composed and shepherded toward adoption that would provide some avenue for recalling members of Congress.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Any change would be good at this point. The time for major change is way over do. Actually, I have no idea what has not been done to the citizens of this country and we just keep taking their crap. They should install catheters on all politicians and insert the tubes into our mouths, that's how much crap we have taken. Still we do nothing but swallow as they put us deeper in debt, allow corporations to make us slaves and tax us more to run the money machine that goes into the endless piles of money that runs this country and there agendas.

    • profile image

      D Sawhney 

      8 years ago

      I think the super committee members that could not deliver, should be recalled. In private enterprise, if senior managers are unable to reach a decision and are unable to close a deal, they get fired. We as citizens need to fire our representatives that cannot complete a deal.

      If any one of us in private enterprise had an approval score of 9%, we would have been terminated a long time ago. So why are members of congress allowed to retain their jobs?

      Spring rising in the Arab world, Fall rising in NY and cities across the country are sign, we the people are not happy. The 1% of the people in this country are the rich and it should include the rich politicians.(All of them of both house and both parties). We need to start all over with our politicians 2 terms just like the president 8 years later you sing the song Bye bye politicians, here comes the new one

    • WaywardBill profile image


      8 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Yes, it's time to alter the good ole boy system where only Congressional members can expell other Congressional members. It's been with us since the beginning and upheld by the courts for too long. Recall, recall, recall!

      Peace, Pot, Politics,

      Wayward Bill Chengelis

      President, US Marijuana Party

    • tsadjatko profile image

      The Logician 

      9 years ago from now on

      The English language has some wonderfully anthropomorphic collective nouns for the various groups of animals.

      We are all familiar with a Herd of cows, a Flock of chickens, a School of fish and a Gaggle of geese.

      However, less widely known is a Pride of lions, a Murder of crows (as well as their cousins the rooks and ravens), an Exaltation of doves and, presumably because they look so wise, a Parliament of owls.

      Now consider a group of Baboons. They are the loudest, most dangerous, most obnoxious, most viciously aggressive and least intelligent of all primates. And what is the proper collective noun for a group of baboons?

      Believe it or not ....... a Congress!

      I guess that pretty much explains the things that come out of Washington!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I agree fully with your views. I think 2 terms is adequate and would solve some problems or maybe we do need a whole different type of system.

      I think receiving lobbyist money should be illegal also. The 12 on the "special team" have received huge amounts of lobbyist money with John Kerry receiving the highest amount. It is difficult to believe that the group will not base some of their decisions on those donations.

      Great hub!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I believe that all members of congress should be recalled. They're terms should be 1 oe 2 terms at the most. They are corrupt and not believable at all. They have taken money from Social Security and never paid it back. SS would be fine if they would keep they're damn hands off of money that is not their's to spend. They lie time and time again to the American people. The realer pisser for me is bailing big banks and corporations out with the tax payers money and the big CEO's manage to get millions of dollars for bonuses. Somehow this was not looked into very far. What about the gas prices? Congress says no to taking away tax brakes because they will loose a lot of money "to hell with the American people" they say WE COME FIRST. Why wasn't a freeze put on by the government. Everything goes up i n prices, no jobs and people are expect to pay for these increases. Absolutely INSANE. My grandson has more brains then all of congress and HE IS OBLY 9.

    • FitnezzJim profile image


      9 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Thanks JLPeterson. I had to go back and clean up one of my own articles because of that.

    • Joy Schantz profile image

      Joy Schantz 

      9 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      I agree that the status quo in Washington DC is absurd! If Congress really wanted to save money why don't they pay into our social security system to strengthen it, and Congress should be insured with the same options we Americans have for health care. Term limits are a good idea, and recalls are, too! I'm beginning to love tea....

    • JLPeterson profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      FitnezzJim - I added a few resources for readers..thanks for the comments everyone!

    • purplepoodles profile image


      9 years ago from Florida

      I really believe that in 2012, many of the politicians will be voted out. What they are doing to our great country is a disgrace!

      I'm very happy that we have the Tea Party to speak up for what most Americans really want. We basically want them to do the jobs that we are paying them to do, we want them to not bankrupt our country and we want them to vote honestly in the best interest of our country, not for the special interest groups they are getting lots of money from.

      I can feel my blood pressure rise just talking about the political corruption!

    • FitnezzJim profile image


      9 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Well now, this is an extremely informative Hub. I've assumed for the longest time that the reason we do not see recalls is that they just are not worth the effort.

      Does this apply to Senators also? And can you provide the source that indicates recalls are not allowed at the Federal level? If true, then elected representatives have no accountability to their constituency, except once every two, four or six years when elections roll around.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Love your views and suggestions. The politics of our country are so counterproductive it makes me sick. JL Peterson for President!


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