President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to use his time in the White House to “drain the swamp” in Washington D.C. Only time will tell if he can. But if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) get their way, Trump’s going to have a great deal of reform help.
This week, Cruz and DeSantis officially introduced a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on Congress.
“The American people resoundingly agreed on Election Day, and President-elect Donald Trump has committed to putting government back to work for the American people,” Cruz said in a statement on Tuesday. “It is well past time to put an end to the cronyism and deceit that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions.”
The proposal would limit members of the Senate to two six-year terms and House lawmakers to three two-year terms.
The measure, which DeSantis calls a “first step” to true government reform, has the backing of Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and David Perdue (Ga.).
Unfortunately, there is currently no indication that the GOP leadership controlling Congress has any interest in advancing the effort.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made his position on the issue clear last year when he told reporters: “We have term limits — they’re called elections.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), meanwhile, hasn’t indicated whether he believes the proposal will come up for a vote.
If the proposal were able to clear both chambers of Congress, it would also need to be ratified by three-fourths of the nation’s state legislatures before becoming law.
Term limits have overwhelming support for term limits among U.S. voters. Still, when Sen Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced a term limit proposal in 2012, it was defeated by an abysmal margin of 24-75 in the Senate.