Skip Nav

Should Senators and Representatives in Congress Be Limited to a Certain Number of Terms in Office?

TEDx Teens

❶If they are not successful in 6 years with getting their agenda passed then it is either a bad agenda or they are a bad politician.

Primary Mobile Navigation

Secondary Navigation
Related Links
Leadership

Senators and Representatives would be able to bring more to each discussion because they are less likely to be isolated from their districts because of the responsibilities in Washington. It may encourage people to vote. Many people vote in every election, but a majority of people in a district not voting is becoming an all-too-common occurrence.

By establishing term limits, more people could come out to vote because there would be more opportunities for change. Voters would know that even if their preferred candidate loses, term limits set a specific deadline that cannot be changed. It would stop political power maneuvering. Many of the political machines in the United States are designed to keep people in office.

Before his first days in office were even completed, Donald Trump had a re-election PAC in place and was raising money for his next campaign. Incumbents can wield a lot of power to stay in office and term limits would help to cut this leverage away. The focus can be placed on governing instead of being elected. It would limit the influence of lobbying. They do this because those people can represent their specific interests.

The only problem is that special interests are often contrary to what the will of the people happen to want. By establishing term limits in Congress, more new candidates would be able to present their ideas and that could help to balance out the scales of influence in each election.

It allows for newly elected officials to have influence. The system of seniority in Congress does have some benefits for leadership, but it also comes with a large disadvantage. Newly elected officials rarely receive powerful posts on committees or can influence procedures. That responsibility goes to those who have more seniority and power. As a result, new Senators and Representatives may spend more of their time trying to get a foot in the door than the time they spend actually crafting helpful legislation.

Term limits would make it possible for more elected officials to influence the direction of the country. Term limits would greatly inhibit the control political parties have over the system by eliminating opportunities for patronage over time as well as reducing partisanship by empowering new entrants outside of the formal party system. Reduces Fundraising Pressure One of the frequent complaints among both legislators as well as voters is the role that money plays in the system.

Representatives feel constrained by the amount of time and resources they must devote to election campaigns cycle after cycle. Voters are speculative of the undemocratic influence of outside money. Term limits would reduce this pressure by simply limiting the number of times an elected official will face voters. It is possible that term limits would not have much of an effect on the overall amount of money in the absence of other meaningful reforms but it should limit the amount of time elected officials will have to donate to fundraising.

Undemocratic Democracy requires voters have the opportunity to select their elected representatives but term limits control the choice. Many Americans like their representative and are willing to elect the same person time after time, as demonstrated by the number of incumbents returned each cycle.

Why should these voters be deprived of their first choice simply because the person has already served? Because they control who can run for office, term limits are considered by many an undemocratic encroachment on the free will of citizens to select their own representatives. Punishes Experience Experience is something every employer looks for in a job applicants. The same logic that would lead an employer to hire the most qualified candidate also leads voters to keep electing the same politicians.

In todays heated political climate, experience is often used as a derogatory insult by opponents. Term limits would respond to this by eliminating the opportunity for elected officials to gain the experience to be good at their job. Refreshing congress with a large proportion of new members after every election may sound appealing to those voters who are frustrated with the current state of affairs but it could lead to even more paralysis by preventing representative from learning how to navigate a complicated system.

Eliminates Constraints on Conduct Elections are important opportunities for voters to police their representative by either returning them to office or not. Imagine telling doctors that they had to stop working after 12 years. It would change how the industry performs in mostly negative ways. The same would likely be true in Congress. There is a reason why some elected officials serve years in Congress. They are good at what they do. Although term limits would eliminate the possibility of an ineffective incumbent from being constantly re-elected, it would also remove the possibility of an extremely effective politician from being able to keep their job.

Term limits might be useful in specific situations, but there must be some responsibility placed at the feet of the individual voters as well. Term limits would help to remove some of the corruption threats that seem to constantly exist in Washington. At the same time, term limits would also change how people form relationships with other representatives.

It involves building relationships, forming a network of contacts, and being directly involved with their district. All of those benefits would go away when an elected official is forced from office. Term limits put a specific deadline on the time that an individual can serve in Congress. When an elected official knows they are on their last term, there is less overall accountability for their actions.

They realize that there is no way for them to be re-elected, so that gives them more freedom to pursue legislation that may be considered extreme or self-serving. Politicians on a final term, without the hope of a re-election, literally have nothing to lose. Politicians that are facing a term limit may be more swayed by lobbying efforts instead of being able to ignore them. That is because the elected official would need to seek an alternative form of employment after their term of service ended.

Lobbying groups or special interests could offer term-limited politicians an employment opportunity, which means job security, in exchange for specific actions that could be taken while still in office.

Term limits are a conversation on a national level that is often started by individuals who are dissatisfied with the performance of politicians that they do not elect. A person may not agree with Mitch McConnell, but his district elects him each year. Term limits shifts the focus of American politics away from local, grassroots components to a national conversation about who should or should not serve. Term limits would help to restrain the powers wielded by individuals elected to Congress.

It would not, however, restrain the overall powers of the government itself. It would require each district to take on the challenge of making changes, which is time consuming, expensive, and slow. Federally elected officials control almost two-thirds of the power that is granted in the U. Reforms through the actual elections would put more restraints on the government, which is the reason why term limits are often proposed in the first place.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The Pros of Congressional Term Limits. 1. There are many who believe that Congressional term limits help to root out corruption. Being a member of Congress is an awesome amount of power and those who are exposed to vast amounts of power over longer periods of time are more likely to start making decisions based in their own self-interest, as opposed to listening to their constituents. 2. Serving as a .

Privacy FAQs

Lack of term limits leads to a system of seniority, meaning those who have spent the most time in office gain more power (in committees, procedures, etc.); consequently, politicians focus on staying in office, districts & states don't receive equal power in Congress, and fresh new elected officials have limited ability to make changes.

About Our Ads

Congressional term limits have become an increasingly contentious issue in American politics. This is amplified by the fact that many other countries, states, and organizations define the number of terms an elected official is allowed to serve for. Learn about the pros and cons of term limits for Congress, plus find out about legislation creating term limits in Congress.

Cookie Info

Term limits for Congress have various pros and cons to be considered. Seniority creates the ability to facilitate change in Washington DC, but it also creates gridlock because congressional representatives also wish to continue being re-elected. The pros and cons for congressional term limits would solve some of the problems that we see in Washington. Like any other change to a governing system, however, there would likely be unexpected negative consequences which would develop as well.