Congressional Term Limits Are Unrealistic

It Is the Harsh Reality of the Situation

Despite being one of the few bipartisan issues in politics today (Over 82% of Americans support term limits), congressional term limits have a very limited chance of being considered given current circumstances. Americans would be better off debating issues that have the possibility of reformed. Calls for term limits have been re-ignited recently due to the upcoming midterm elections. These include multiple older senators, such as Diane Feinstein and Bill Nelson up for re-election. Many politicians have been in Washington too long, but it may be unproductive to argue for term limits, given the requirements to implement such measures.

Ever since the U.S. Term Limits vs. Thornton, term limits have been unrealistic at best. The 1995 Supreme Court case ruled that states could not implement term limits as it goes against the constitution, and as such, term limits can now only be implemented with a constitutional amendment, a measure needing support from two-thirds of the Senate.

Would Elected Officials Go Along With Being Ousted?

Unfortunately for term limit supporters, as of right now, there is very little, to no support, of these measures throughout Congress. While this may disappoint many, it should not be surprising at all. Voting for term limits would be essentially self-sabotage for current and future Congress members. These Congress members would be putting their job status at stake by supporting such a measure. They would essentially be preemptively firing themselves. Why would they support that?

This is why the future does not look too bright for term limit supporters who hope Congress pass such measures. In addition, Congressional incumbents face little pressure to fight for term limits. In today’s political climate, there are many other issues that citizens deem more important. This fact makes term limits a secondary issue. Therefore, constituents are disregarding it and not factoring it into their vote. This fact allows congressional members to ignore the issue.

An even more discouraging factor is that, even when elected representatives make term limits a key issue, they often fail to practice what they preach when it comes to such restrictions. Since the Supreme Court ruling of U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, numerous representatives have run, and won, fighting for term limits. They have insisted that, even without term limits, they would curb the amount of time they spent in office. However, this has not been the case. Often times, representatives, such as George Nethercutt or Scott McInnis, who fought for term limits in order to get elected, end up staying in office longer than their own term limit proposals. This is disheartening for any term limit supporter, who expects such representatives to fight for term limits and make the issue more popular in Congress.

Although the argument for term limits may make some good points, the biggest being that term limits would prevent politicians from amassing too much power, the current requirements for the implementation of term limits make it nearly impossible for measures to be applied to law. In its current state, any debate or argument over term limits is garnered unproductive. Term limits have become a secondary issue, which many voters are not considering when voting. For them to be enacted there has to be a strong push from inside, and outside, the chambers. The people must be willing to work with their representatives to bring about this type of change. Power has a strange way of curbing one’s mindset. Complacency must not be allowed to sneak into the debate. Everyone wins when issues, like term limits, are dealt with and fought hard for.

Rohan Kapur / Guest Contributor
Rohan Kapur is a high-school student based in New Jersey. He is the editor of redinaseaofblue.com and an opinion writer for conservativedailynews.com.
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  1. This could not be decided by our elected representatives, and the floor of the Congress would be the improper, and impotent, venue.

    You bypass Congress's non-cooperation by calling an Article V Convention of States and decide the issue there. The Congress has no authority to impact the proceedings.




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