Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2010
Term Limits and the Need for a Citizen Legislature

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The Cato Institute suggests that Congress should
  • pass and send to the states for their approval a constitutional amendment limiting senators to two terms in office and representatives to three terms, in order to return the legislature to citizen legislators.

In addition, Each member of Congress should

  • commit to be a citizen legislator by limiting his or her time in office to no more than three additional terms in the House of Representatives and no more than two additional terms in the Senate and
  • keep that commitment.
Term Limits and the Need for a Citizen Legislature
Term Limits |
Term Limits |
Real Term Limits: Now More Than Ever

The motivation behind the move for term limits is repeated Congresses who violate the Constitution.

But why is it that voters simply don't vote long-term constitution-denying legislators out of office? Should we amend the Constitution in order to prevent short-term voter irresponsibility?

Now that decades of Congressmen have created entrenched systems of unconstitutional bureaucracy, why should we limit the length of time that Constitution-respecting Congressmen might have to reverse this departure from Constitutional standards? What would happen to progress if experienced legislators like Ron Paul were term-limited out and replaced by a novice who did not know how to work the system, and faced an army of career bureacrats?

We need vigilant informed voters, not a change in our structure of government.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of proponents of term limits, and their idea of "citizen legislators." The idea is for Congress to meet in session for a couple of weeks, get the business of a very limited government taken care of, and then legislators return home to their farms and businesses for the rest of the year. "Citizen legislators" are not those who meet 365 days a year for a small number of years, to be replaced by inexperienced career legislators who meet 365 days a year but don't know how to reduce entrenched bureaucracies because of their lack of experience.

If Thomas Jefferson were running today on a platform of opposing the growing socialism in Washington, I would vote for him term after term after term, knowing that he will be outnumbered in Congress, and that it will take a couple of generations to undue what has been done over the last 100 or more years.

If voters send me to Congress to root out unconstitutional bureaucracies, I would not be able to accomplish this task in six years. I would hope voters would continually re-elect me, term after term, until so much of the federal government as been abolished that Congress only need meet for a few weeks a year.

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