Donald Trump is not the first person to go to Washington to drain the swamp. However, I hope he will be more successful than those who have gone before him with that idea. Part of the problem is that there are many people in Washington (politicians and non-politicians) who are doing quite well because the swamp exists. One of the things to consider in getting rid of the class of political elites we have created is whether or not this is what the Founding Fathers intended. Obviously it is not. The intention of the Founding Fathers was to send a President and Congressmen to Washington who were ordinary people who would serve the country for a few years and then leave Washington and live under the laws they had passed. However, it hasn’t worked out that way. People come to Washington with various qualifications, set up fiefdoms, grow their personal wealth, and leave office when they die. That’s not the way it is supposed to work. Well, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ron De Santis (R-Florida) have an idea.
Breitbart.com reported yesterday that the two Congressmen are suggesting term limits for the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congressmen intend to introduce a Constitutional Amendment that would limit Representatives to three terms and Senators to two terms.
The article reports:
Both Cruz and DeSantis also point to the “broad support” for congressional term limits, citing a Ramussen survey conducted in October that showed 74% of likely voters supported the idea.
Proposals to impose congressional term limits have been voted on before, with a 1998 proposal failing to receive the necessary two thirds support for passage. Similarly in 2012, the Senate overwhelmingly rejected a non-binding measure endorsing the amendment.
“The time is now for Congress, with the overwhelming support of the American people, to pass a constitutional amendment establishing congressional term limits and send it to the states for speedy ratification,” the pair said.
“With control of a decisive majority of the states, the executive branch, the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Republican Party has the responsibility to respond to the voters’ call to action. We must, and we can, deliver,” they concluded.
Passing a Constitutional Amendment is not a simple process. First the Amendment must be passed by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress. Then the Amendment is sent to the states. The Amendment must be approved by three-quarters of the states. There is often a time limit (typically seven years) on that approval. The President does not have the power to either veto or ratify an amendment.
I believe that this is a really good idea, but I am not sure that two-thirds of either the House of Representatives or the Senate will vote for it. The upcoming session of Congress is going to be very interesting because there are some legislators that want to clean the swamp but have never had the White House support the idea before. There are other legislators that like things the way they are. It is quite possible that the first six months of Donald Trump’s Presidency may be one long get-out-the-popcorn moment. I suspect the idea of term limits will be very quietly undermined and misrepresented by some very powerful people.