H.J.Res.16 - Proposal to amend the Constitution of the U.S. limiting the terms of Congress.

Photo of Congress member Senator Jon Tester

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to limit the number of years an individual may serve as a Member of Congress.

You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe that Congressional membership should be viewed as a civil duty not a lifelong career, having a rotation of elected representatives is vital for the long-term health of the country. There has been a long history of Representatives looking out for their party and donors rather than their constituency's interests.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that, not only does having term limits can make our congress less effective, it takes power away from voters. Voter choices should never be restricted; barring a candidate from being on the ballot because they keep getting elected will kick out effective lawmakers and do little to minimize corruption.
Introduced House Senate President Law

H.J.Res.16 is a resolution which proposes an amendment to the Constitution which would limit the terms of Congress members. Representatives in the House would be limited to six terms and Senators would be limited to two terms, both adding up to a total of 12 years. In the case a congress members serves in both chambers, the combined period of the individual’s service as a Senator and House member cannot exceed 12 years. Term limits wouldn’t apply retroactively, so sitting Congress members would start with a fresh slate after the amendment is enacted.

Since this is a resolution, it has no effect on the law whether it passes or not, it is a proposal of a constitutional amendment. The president’s signature is not needed for the resolution to pass, rather at least three-fourths of the states, currently 38 states, would need to ratify the amendment for it to take effect. At a state level, 15 states have instituted term limits.

Supporters of term limits believe the constant rotation of Representatives in Congress would stimulate fresh ideas, lower cronyism, and end the reigns of incumbent politicians. Long term politicians develop a loyalty to their parties, agencies, or committees, which can lead to corruption. Multiple and different choices for voters can lead to more competitive elections.

Those who oppose them argue that, ultimately, exercising term limits would take power away from voters. Any candidate who is prevented from being elected is a choice that voters will not have. Effective Representatives would be ultimately kicked out after serving their terms and not allowed to run again, consequently suppressing voter rights. When crafting policy, lawmakers benefit from the experience of sitting in a committee for multiple terms. Having no long-term lawmakers means Congress members would need assistance when crafting laws since they could lack the policy expertise, allowing special interests to influence lawmakers more than they already do.

Tom Marino, the main sponsor and author of this resolution, resigned from Congress on Jan 23, 2019.


Sponsored by: Rep. Marino, Tom [R-RETIRED]

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 9 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.

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