However, unlike many other institutions, the make up of congress does not change very much with each election. In fact, the great majority of representatives are elected time after time despite consistently low approval ratings for congress as a whole. With so many of the same actors repeatedly returning to the same offices, it should be no surprise that things do not change.
Term limits are a simple solution to the problem by mandating in law that new entrants will join congress periodically and ensuring that the membership is completely renewed over a defined period of time. Reduces Opportunities for Corruption Although serving in the same office, representatives who are not encumbered by term limits have far more time to develop connections with interest groups as well as learn how to navigate the system for personal gain.
This can lead to corruption and raise questions about the integrity of the system. Term limits reduce the time in office that representative have to pursue illicit gains as a result of their position or be corrupted by outside influences. Furthermore, it eliminates the immunity that many elected officials currently enjoy by ensuring they will soon be deprived of it.
Reduces Short Term Political Pressure Office holders are required to respond to the interests of their constituency but this can at times be at odds with the representatives personal view of what would be best.
Congressman and Senators are elected to use their discretion, not vote along the lines of popular opinion on any given issue. Term limits reduce the immediate pressure on elected officials who will soon face voters by limiting the amount of time defining the amount of time they will serve in the position ahead of time.
This should allow them to focus on the long term needs of the country as opposed to the current political climate. Empowers New Arrivals One of the primary results of unlimited terms is the inevitable development of systems of seniority.
This favors the politicians who are able to hold their jobs the longest while stifling the opportunities for more recent arrivals to bring up and debate new ideas. Term limits dismantle any defacto or defined systems of seniority by capping the number of years any representative will be able to serve. Representatives who have recently been elected should also find it easier to promote an agenda or make themselves heard by removing the control of more senior members.
Teaching the basics of good citizenship in school would be a good start to combat this. How to vote, the importance of voting, how the government is supposed to work, etc.
However, it does not behoove a leadership that prefers spin over truth to encourage a knowledgeable citizenry. Do yourself and your children a great favor by learning and teaching them the basic responsibilities of good citizenship.
FDR is a good case to discuss when it comes to this issue. The justification for putting a term limit on the presidency was to eliminate the possibility of a charismatic leader taking over the process.
Since they are alone as the leader of the executive branch, they wield a particularly large proportion of power as opposed to the legislators, who are tempered by their numbers. It is debatable whether FDR did great things. Although I personally agree with you, there are scores of Republicans and Libertarians who disagree.
I agree with others in the comments that term limits would be good at a reasonable length, maybe at the 10 year mark that has been suggested or 12 for Senate. This is a discussion that has been going on for quite a while, and I suspect it will continue for a while more. The people of this country have shown that they don't have the capacity to know when a congress person has had enough.
The resent history has provided all of us the proof we need to provide better any argument that anyone here could come up with for or against term limits.
We have corrupt legislators in Congress. The constitution doesn't provide for term limits of the president, yet legislators decided we needed a 22nd Amendment to prevent more than two terms in that office.
FDR though, did great things during some very tough times. Had he not died in office, he would have continued to run for office. These very same legislators now don't think term limits should apply to them, because it would be unconstitutional. I would rather trust one man or woman to be president for more than two terms than a group of legislators that have entrenched themselves for life within our governing body to ensure their luxurious lifestyles at our expense.
Set defined term limits, once the limit has been reached do not allow outgoing congress members to stay in Washington as consultants or lobbyists for at least two years. Make them all go home and live under the same laws they passed while in term. LoriCharlie Post 6 strawCake - I disagree with you. There are term limits for the president, so why shouldn't there be term limits for other elected officials? If the person who holds our highest office doesn't spent years in office before really learning the job, why should it be different for people who are in Congress?
I would rather have people in Congress who are actually experienced making the laws, rather than having new people join every couple of years. If everyone in Congress were inexperienced, they would never get anything done. Also, who knows what people would do if they didn't have to worry about being re-elected? They could just do whatever they wanted, instead of what the people they represent want them to do. I could see that going very, very wrong.
SZapper Post 4 betterment - Interesting idea. Ten years sounds about right to me. It's enough time to learn the job and do some things, but it's not long enough to spend your whole adult life in Congress. I'm sure some people still wouldn't be happy with a year limit, though. The justices are chosen by the president and confirmed by Congress. It breaks up alliances and partnerships. If one politician must leave because of term limits, but another one does not, then the partnership dissolves and that causes both represented regions to start over in the political process.
That could cost them programs, grants, and other forms of funding that may be badly needed. The pros and cons of Congressional term limits show that having fresh perspectives can be beneficial, but there are costs which must be absorbed as well.
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Learn about the pros and cons of term limits for Congress, plus find out about legislation creating term limits in Congress.
List of the Pros for Congressional Term Limits. 1. It would bring new ideas to the table. When the same people keep getting elected to Congress time and time again, the same debates happen over and over again. Low turnover rates .
The Pros of Term Limits for Congress. 1. Encourages Active Representation The inability of congress to take meaningful action on any number of issues is a frequent justification for the consistently low approval ratings of the institution among voters. The Pros of Congressional Term Limits. 1. There are many who believe that Congressional term limits help to root out corruption. Being a member of Congress is an awesome amount of power and those who are exposed to vast amounts of power over longer periods of time are more likely to start making decisions based in their own self .
Term limits kick out the good leaders who may deserve to stay in office for excellent work. Every job has a learning curve, and Congress is no exception. Any new politicians would have to go through that when they come into office. In the United States, presidential term limits were enacted in The concept was passed by Congress in , then ratified by the states on February 27, It would become the 22nd Amendment to the constitution, limiting a president to two terms in office. In total, a president is permitted.