Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) are continuing their battle for smaller government, this time with a joint op-ed, calling for a radical change to Congress.
In a piece submitted to the Washington Post, Cruz and DeSantis explained one way to really “drain the swamp” in Washington: a constitutional amendment limiting congressional terms.
Their proposal would limit members of Congress to 3 terms in the House of Representatives and two terms in the Senate (6 and 12 years total, respectively).
The op-ed mentioned that the Founding Fathers also feared the creation of what is vaguely referred to as “the establishment” today: a permanent political class, entrenched and essentially unaccountable.
The concept of term limits has broad support. As Cruz and DeSantis noted, President-Elect Donald Trump called for term limits, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) supports terms limits, and a Rasmussen survey showed that 74% of voters support the idea as well. The idea also gained some popularity with George Will’s book “Restoration: Congress, Term Limits and the Recovery of Deliberative Democracy” in 1993.
“The American people have lost confidence in Washington. Enmeshed in backroom deals and broken promises, our capital has become a political playground for the powerful and well-connected, for members of the permanent political class looking to accumulate more and more power at the expense of taxpayers. The Washington Cartel is hard at work picking winners and losers, with hard-working Americans typically winding up as the losers.” — Senator Ted Cruz & Rep. Ron DeSantis
WATCH: Donald Trump endorses congressional term limits
The imposition of term limits will certainly increase the turnover in Congress, for better or for worse. As Patterico from RedState, a fellow Californian, noted:
“Career politicians are still career politicians; they just bounce from job to job. A feeling of civic duty does not pervade the halls of our state senate or assembly. If anything, they seem more beholden to our governor and his quirky schemes for overregulating business and freeing as many criminals as possible. I can’t say California’s silly policies these days are a result of term limits, but term limits seem to have done little to prevent them.” — Paterrico, RedState
Whether the 115th Congress, Trump, or the states, who have to approve such a constitutional amendment, will act on Cruz and DeSantis’ proposal remains to be seen. If enacted, though, it is sure to have widespread effects.