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CNN: Senators Seek Constitutional Amendment to Impose Term Limits

Washington (CNN) - A handful of Republican senators have proposed a Constitutional amendment to limit the amount of time a person may serve in Congress.

Currently, there are no term limits for federal lawmakers, but Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, and several of his colleagues are advocating that service in the Senate be limited to 12 years, while lawmakers would only be allowed to serve 6 years in the House.


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Why term limits?

Senators and Representatives are supposedly elected by the citizens of the state they are from. If the citizens of a state like their representative and want to elect him or her term after term then it's the right of the citizens to do so.

The people of Ron Paul's district have had a good man represent them for 11 terms. Popular vote, the will of the majority, have kept him in office. In his case they must be satisfied with his work. If there had been term limits this nation would've suffered more than it has for the lack of a Constitutionalist.

At it's core, term limits assumes that no elected official should hold office more than a certain number of times....be he good or bad.

Term limits for a president is good.

Frankly, the term limit issue is only brought up by tea baggers and Beckers who are the children of that stooge Gingrich.

The term limit notion is a poor idea as it assumes that some or ALL elected officials are not preferred by their electors over other candidates.

Just smoke and mirrors to

Just smoke and mirrors to distract us from the ObamaCare debate and Fraud and Tax (Copenhagen)

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."- Thomas Jefferson

There is no Left or Right -- there is only freedom or tyranny. Everything else is an illusion, an obfuscation to keep you confused and silent as the world burns around you." - Philip Brennan

"Invest only in things that you can stand in front of and pr

Every citizen should shake

Every citizen should shake in their boots when the current crop of Congress critters floats changing the Constitution.

Once a Con-Con is called, the NWO forces can REWRITE ALL OF IT in one weekend, and the UN will run this entire nation with the stoke of a pen.


The Constitution is FINE. It's the PEOPLE that are asleep. AND THAT is where the problem lies.

Trying to create shortcuts to compensate for an un-educated or un-engaged population is the path to hell. Do NOT fall for it!

DeMint amendment is not via Con-Con

I understand your concern about a Constitutional Convention, to be sure!

However, the Constitution provides two ways to amend it. One is the Con-Con and the other is by passing a specific amendment by the Congress and then ratification by the state legislatures. The Con-Con has only been tried once and it was a runaway convention, just as you fear. The specific amendment method can fail but it can't run away.

Thanks for your concern about the Constitution. That's what this battle is all about. Term limits would revive the rotation in office intended by our Founders.


Do you think they are

Do you think they are specifically going after Ron Paul? There is an agenda going on here? Good? or Bad?

There'd be the unintended consequence

that Ron Paul wouldn't have to seek reelection anymore, and could concentrate all his forces on the presidency. :-)

"Doing nothing is almost always an option and is very often the best option." Daniel Hannan

Napolitano: "We need Ron Paul now!"

Ron Paul supports Congressional term limits

They are not targeting Ron Paul with the term limits amendment. For one thing, the amendment would wipe out the entire leadership of both Houses over time. You can bet the leadership of both parties are dead set against this amendment!

Anyway, Ron supports term limits (as does Rand), see:




The real problem is the

The real problem is the seniority/committee/party system. The longer they stay, the more power they wield. Or if they are in the majority party, that is a big deal too. And the speaker? Oh my. How about a constitutional amendment saying all representatives and senators must have equal procedural authority and privilege?

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"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

Term limits shatter the seniority system

You are correct about the seniority and committee system. Members earn committee seats primarily based on seniority, which means that the members that are most out of touch (and, statistically, the least capable of losing an election) hold the most power. Incumbents win about 95% of the time in the Congress including in 2006 and 2008, so even when there is big turnover in the Congress as in 1994 and 2006-9, all the 'change' occurs in open seats, not in the seat of senior incumbents who actually run the show! Hence, the great 'change' is generally just show.

Term limits address this directly. In fact, that is their primary merit. Term limits shatter the seniority regime, as seniority differences are leveled by the term limit. Further, the term limits create open, competitive elections in EVERY district at least once every eight years (or however many years the term limit is set as). So change, real change, is actually possible. Not guaranteed, to be sure, but *possible.* Without rotation in office, real change is simply not achievable.

ONE TERM PERIOD... I dont care what anyone says

The Liberty a society retains is inversely proportional to the number of Lawyers in the Government.

The Liberty a society retains is inversely proportional to the number of Lawyers in the Government.

SteveMT's picture

This is a big distraction so that they can say that it is....

NOT their fault.
It is their fault! Why do this Now? Stop the current crap going on in Washington first before embarking on this time waster.

The country is crumbling! Where were they when we needed them?

They first must stop this mess from getting worse, then undo what has been done before they have any credibility.

They should start with repealing the 26th Amendment. No more pay raises ever! To serve in the government is just that....serving! Not taking.

Hardly a distraction -- yet!

This new term limits amendment is the work of four senators with credibility on the issue and their work is being greeted with silence and cursory dismissal by the Democrat AND Republican leaders in the Senate. I would love to 'distract' the Senate with this issue, but first we have to create a clamor to do so. The politicians will never do so without being pushed by us.

The country is indeed crumbling and the unlimited power of government is at the center of the problem. Please don't join the Senate leadership in trying to squash this important issue.

Thanks, pb

To sign the petition for Congressional term limits, see:


You mean once they are out of power they finally want to enforce the "Contract with America".
These clowns think we are fools. They are corrupt to the core. A house member has no need for term limits. House members should be allowed to run as long as they want. Now if these turd heads would just let the genius of the founders shine and allow senators to be appointed and not elected you would never have this problem.

Yes, let the genius of the Founders shine

Term limits are required to let the genius of our Founders shine. The rotation in office that they saw as so essential is basically dead. Term limits would necessarily revive it.

Term limits were an issue at the time of our nation's founding, with term limits supporters including Tom Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Luther Martin, George Mason and others. The Articles of Confederation included term limits, as well as most early state legislatures. But there was indeed controversy about including them in the Constitution.

There was no controversy, however, about how essential rotation in office was for our system to work. It was, in fact, an uncontroversial tenet of the revolutionary creed. For the most part (there were a small number of exceptions, such as Alexander Hamilton) then anti-term limits crowd did not want to include term limits in the U.S. Constitution as they saw them as *unnecessary* in furthering rotation, not because they didn't see rotation as important. They did not foresee a world of gigantic government where permanent incumbency would be the rule.

And, in fact, the anti-term limits faction was *right* for our first 100 years, in which the average tenure in the U.S. House was only 2.14 terms! The permanent incumbency we know today -- where incumbents win about 95% of the time -- wasn't fully formed until the 1950s! Today, however, the more farsighted wisdom of the term-limit-supporting Founders is clear.

A recent book I read about the life of anti-federalist ringleader Luther Martin shed some interesting light on this issue, see:


Not so laughable when you look back at the history

Whoa, hold on there, Nellie! This amendment isn't "the Republicans" pushing term limits, it is four Senate Republicans pushing term limits and being greeted with a cavernous silence by the rest of their brood. Three of the sponsors -- DeMint, Coburn and Brownback -- have all made self-limitation pledges that they have stuck by even as many of their colleagues pledged, got elected and then ignored their pledges. (I am not a fan of self-limitation, but you have to admit sticking by such a pledge shows character.) So, these folks have credibility and are not "clowns" on this issue.

Your wider point is correct. The GOP used term limits as a lever with the Contract with America in the early 1990s and then didn't deliver. But once again, remember that in 1995 the chief term limits amendment the GOP promised with the Contract of America DID receive a majority of the votes (227-204) in the House but didn't receive the supermajority (290 votes) needed to pass a Constitutional Amendment. Most of the Republican Contract with America signers (as well as many Democrats) DID live up their end of the bargain.

The betrayal came at the top, as usual, with leaders like Henry Hyde and Orrin Hatch leading the counter-revolution.

So, this new term limits amendment is not a matter of "we won't get fooled again," it is a matter of "if first you don't succeed, try, try again." If we don't succeed auditing the Fed in 2009, are we going to give up and dismiss the issue and anyone who supports it in the future? I hope not!

To sign the petition for Congressional term limits, see:

Good news!

"When I despair, I remember that all through history, the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and, for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it... always."
~ Mahatma Ghandi

"Stand up for what you believe in. Even if you stand alone."
~ Sophie Magdalena Scholl
"Let it not be said that we did nothing."
~ Ron Paul
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Let's cross that bridge when we get to it

Fair enough. That was what the Contract With America amendment called for. The new DeMint amendment calls for 6 and 12, which I prefer, but these are just details.

If we successfully create a clamor for the DeMint amendment, if might by relaxed in committee as a compromise if it is to proceed. Let's cross that bridge when we get to it.

In the meantime, let's work to advance this bill! Please sign the petititon at www.termlimits.org and then send the link to your friends and associates. Be sure to ask anyone running for Congress (particularly Senate) for their position on the DeMint term limits amendment.



meekandmild's picture

In a way, there are term limits, they are called elections

but I agree, most people vote by name recognition and not position on issues.

Elections are not enough

>>>In a way, there are term limits, they are called elections<<<

Well, that sounds good in theory but the reality is different. Incumbents in legislatures win about 95% of the time at every level of government of any size -- even in 2008, a year of 'change.'

It turns out that the change in the U.S. Congress occured only at the margins -- in open seats, where both parties put up serious candidates, threw their weight behind them and then sweated while the voters exercised their power to choose.

In the bulk of the races, on the other hand, incumbents nearly always won as they nearly always do. In 2006, 94% of House incumbents won; in 2008, 94.8% of House incumbents won.

You might ask, how can this be? But a better question is, how could this not be? An incumbent benefits from numerous advantages, the largest of which is probably the automatic support of special interests. This overwhelming lead discourages serious candidates from running and encourages parties to commit their limited resources elsewhere. In most cases, incumbents face underfunded challengers without serious party support, many of whom are simply gadflys.

Or, incumbents go unchallenged and the election is canceled altogether. Elections were canceled in 56 House districts this year. Canceled!

Change, then, is made possible only by open and competitive elections -- something that term limits mandate in every district at least once every eight years. Elections no longer guarantee rotation in office as they did for our nation's first 150-odd years.

Please sign the petition for Congressional term limits at www.termlimits.org.

Rand Paul has endorsed the DeMint term limits amendment

Rand is leading with term limits and balanced budgets in his quest for the Senate and when the news of the DeMint amendment appeared Rand quickly endorsed it. We need Rand in the U.S. Senate!

Rand on Demint amendment:

Rand on term limits:

Please sign the national petition for Congressional term limits at
www.termlimits.org and send the link to everyone you know!

Thanks, pb

He wants to fire his dad?

He wants to fire his dad?

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"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

Ha, I guess so!

That's funny. And Ron wants to fire himself too!

More seriously, they understand the importance of rotation in office and open competitive elections. They know term limits are about improving the body, not firing any one member.