Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, filed a bill last week that would prohibit U.S. senators from serving more than two six-year terms.
The bill would be constructed as a constitutional amendment that would not only limit U.S. senators to two terms but also limit House representatives to three two-year terms.
Cruz laid out his plans in a statement that said in part, "Term limits are critical to fixing what's wrong with Washington, D.C.
"The Founding Fathers envisioned a government of citizen legislators who would serve for a few years and return home, not a government run by a small group of special interests and lifelong, permanently entrenched politicians who prey upon the brokenness of Washington to govern in a manner that is totally unaccountable to the American people."
Cruz's initiative mirrors former President Donald Trump's aversion to establishment politicians appealing to modern populism.
Trump sought to set a three-term cap for House members and a two-term cap for senators.
"We're going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren't happy about, but we're putting on term limits," Trump said in a 2016 interview with "60 Minutes." "We're doing a lot of things to clean up the system."
According to the Congressional Research Service, the average time served by the 118th Congress was 8.5 years for House reps and 11.2 years for U.S. senators.
The bill is believed not to be able to garner much support in Congress, as it has been Cruz's fourth attempt to introduce it, receiving not one vote from the House or the Senate.
In 2017, Cruz introduced the bill with the support of then-Representative and now Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In 2019 it was supported by former Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla. It was then denied in 2021.
Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., is currently pressing the bill in the House, while in the Senate, the co-sponsors are Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah; J.D. Vance, R-Ohio; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; Roger Marshall, R-Kan.; Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Mike Braun, R-Ind., Todd Young, R-Ind.; Rick Scott, R-Fla., Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.; and Josh Hawley, R-Mo.
"The Founders intended serving as a Member of Congress to be just that — service, not a career," said Lummis. "Setting term limits for senators and representatives is a step toward ensuring that Washington works for the American people, not for itself."
Nick Tomboulides, execute director of U.S. Term Limits (USTL), said, "Supermajorities of Republicans and Democrats favor term limits because they know Congress will never be fixed without it. We applaud Sen. Cruz for continuing to lead on this issue."
USTL, based in Washington, D.C., advocates for term limits at all levels of government.
For the bill to pass, it must receive two-thirds of the votes in both chambers before ratification, which then requires three-fourths of state legislatures.
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