Cruz, DeSantis to introduce constitutional amendment on term limits


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) say they want to help President-elect Donald Trump “drain the swamp” by imposing congressional term limits.

The two conservative lawmakers said in a Washington Post op-ed Friday they plan to introduce a constitutional amendment next month to limit members of Congress to three terms in the House and two in the Senate.

The legislative proposal from Cruz, Trump’s former rival for the presidential nomination, and DeSantis, a former Senate candidate and member of the House Freedom Caucus, reflects a call from Trump late in the campaign to impose term limits.

{mosads}“We believe that the rise of political careerism in modern Washington is a drastic departure from what the founders intended of our federal governing bodies. To effectively ‘drain the swamp,’ we believe it is past time to enact term limits for Congress,” Cruz and DeSantis wrote. 

The pair argues that imposing term limits would help prevent stagnation on Capitol Hill.

“Without term limits, the incentive for a typical member is to stay as long as possible to accumulate seniority on the way to a leadership post or committee chair. Going along to get along is a much surer path for career advancement than is challenging the way Washington does business,” Cruz and DeSantis wrote.

“With term limits, we will have more frequent changes in leadership and within congressional committees, giving reformers a better chance at overcoming the Beltway inertia that resists attempts to reduce the power of Washington.”

But the push to impose term limits is unlikely to go anywhere. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said shortly after the election that Trump’s term limit proposal won’t be on the chamber’s agenda.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he supports term limits, but wouldn’t commit to bringing up the proposal for a vote. 

Under the measure outlined by Trump, as well as Cruz and DeSantis, both Ryan and McConnell would be forced out of their posts. McConnell has served in the Senate since 1985, while Ryan has been in the House for nearly 18 years. 

Moreover, constitutional amendments are particularly difficult to move through Congress since they require a two-thirds supermajority to pass and must be ratified by the states. 

The House voted on a measure in the late 1990s to enact term limits, but it twice fell short of the two-thirds support for passage. And in 2012, the Senate handily rejected a nonbinding measure supporting congressional term limits.

Tags Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Paul Ryan Ted Cruz

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