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 GallagherThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Graham to push for US to recognize Golan Heights as part of Israel Koch-backed group pushes for new limits on Trump's tariff authority MORE (R-Wis.) and Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaDem lawmaker confident majority of Mueller report will be released to public House Oversight Dem wants Trump to release taxes and 'get it over with' Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements 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 GianforteJournalists seek federal, state support for right to inform the public Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo criticize Trump’s response to Coast Guard lieutenant's arrest Sarah Sanders: Trump hasn't ‘at any point’ done anything but ‘condemn violence against journalists' 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 TrumpPapadopoulos claims he was pressured to sign plea deal Tlaib asking colleagues to support impeachment investigation resolution Trump rips 'Mainstream Media': 'They truly are the Enemy of the People' 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.