Monday, October 2, 2023
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Congressional Term Limits Reintroduced by Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz, along with Republican Senators Mike Braum (R-Ind.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) are reintroducing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would impose term limits on members of Congress.

“Every year, Congress spends billions of dollars on giveaways for the well-connected: Washington insiders get taxpayer money and members of Congress get re-elected, all while the system fails the American people. It’s no wonder that the vast majority of Americans from every political stripe – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – overwhelmingly support congressional term limits,” said Sen. Cruz.

The amendment would limit U.S. Senators to two six-year terms, and members of the House of Representatives to three two-year terms.

“The rise of political careerism in today’s Congress is a sharp departure from what the Founders intended for our federal governing bodies. I have long called for this solution for the brokenness of Washington, D.C., and I will continue fighting to hold career politicians accountable. As I have done in the past, I urge my colleagues to submit this constitutional amendment to the states for speedy ratification,” Sen. Cruz said.

In 1995 23 states passed laws putting term limits on their members of Congress. That meant just under half of all congressmen were term-limited, and Congress would soon be forced to propose term limits for all. But the Supreme Court stepped in and decided, in a 5-4 split decision, that citizens are not allowed to term limit their own members of Congress using state laws. They threw out 23 states’ term limits laws in one day. Justice Scalia disagreed, ruling for term limits as part of the dissenting minority.

The decision meant the only way to limit congressional terms is by a Constitutional Amendment.

Amendments require 2 steps: Proposal and Ratification

      • 2/3 of both houses of Congress or
      • 2/3 of the State Legislatures (34 states). The state legislatures must apply for a convention of states to finalize the language in preparation for the next step.
    • RATIFICATION PROCESS: Once approved, 3/4 of the states (38 states) must ratify the change. This can be done either through
      • 3/4 state legislatures or
      • 3/4 state ratifying conventions