Congressional Term-Limits Bill Introduced By House Lawmakers

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) is the latest federal legislator to propose a constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on federal lawmakers.

Salmon and five House cosponsors introduced Joint Resolution 41 on Tuesday. The proposed constitutional amendment would limit House members to three terms and senators to two terms. The legislation, which was referred to the Judiciary Committee, is largely a symbolic move by the lawmakers since it has little chance of getting past committee or being ratified. A constitutional amendment requires support from two-thirds of both chambers of Congress, and three-fourths of the states.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who cosponsored similar legislation in 2011, introduced a constitutional amendment to limit lawmakers' terms again in January as a part of a "good government" package that included an end to automatic pay increases for Congress.

“Not allowing individuals to remain in office for an eternity is an important step we need to take to restore confidence in Congress,” Vitter said on the Senate floor when he proposed his term-limit amendment. “It won’t be the be-all and end-all for good government reform, but it would help us reconnect with the people.”

While certain politicians have embraced the term-limit campaign to buttress public perception of their limited government ideology, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) has been on an opposite track. In every Congress since 1997, Serrano has introduced legislation to repeal the 22nd Amendment, which would abolish term limits for presidents. None of his attempts has ever made it to the House floor for a vote.

Joining Salmon as cosponsors of the most recent term-limit bill are Reps. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.), Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.).

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