Freshman lawmakers introduce congressional term limits proposal

Freshman lawmakers introduce congressional term limits proposal
© Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers, all from the freshman class, have released a plan to impose term limits on members of Congress.

The proposal would limit senators to serving two terms and representatives to serving six terms, for a total of 12 years each. The new system, however, would be grandfathered in so that it only applies to the 115th Congress and beyond.

Shortly after the plan was introduced, Reps. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherOvernight Defense: Details on defense spending bill | NATO chief dismisses talk of renaming HQ for McCain | North Korea warns US over cyber allegations NATO head shoots down idea of naming new headquarters after McCain Overnight Defense: Officials rush to deny writing anonymous op-ed | Lawmakers offer measure on naming NATO headquarters after McCain | US, India sign deal on sharing intel MORE (R-Wis.) and Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems The realities of workplace violence for emergency nurses Shrapnel in Yemen strikes links US-made bombs to 63 civilian deaths: report MORE (D-Calif.) shot a video together standing outside the House, which they posted to Twitter and Facebook.

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“I’m here with my friend Ro Khanna. … He’s a Democrat. A very progressive Democrat. But we agree on congressional reform and term limits,” said Gallagher, 34.

The calls for congressional term limits are hardly new. But the push has been reignited by a set of younger lawmakers in the freshman class, including Gallagher, Khanna and Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Vicente González (D-Texas.) and Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteMontana lawmakers cheer recommendation to ban mining north of Yellowstone Trump Jr. campaign event looks for new venue after Montana restaurant declines to host Sanders tests his brand in Florida MORE (R-Mont.).

“I remember in orientation you came up to us and you said, ‘We’ve got to have congressional reform.’ And I know you really took the lead on term limits. It’s something I really believe in,” Khanna, 41, said in the video with Gallagher.

The same group met with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE at the White House last month to pitch some of their ideas. The president, who supported term limits as part of his “drain the swamp” pledge, gave the group his full-throated endorsement and directed the lawmakers to come up with a single proposal.

“I recently had a terrific meeting with a bipartisan group of freshman lawmakers who feel very strongly in favor of Congressional term limits,” Trump tweeted after the meeting. “I gave them my full support and endorsement for their efforts. #DrainTheSwamp”

But the plan faces an uphill battle on Capitol Hill, where there is entrenched opposition to term limits.

And imposing congressional term limits requires a constitutional amendment — a rare and immensely difficult task that requires two-thirds support from both the House and Senate, as well as ratification by three-fourths of the states.