A House Joint resolution to limit members of the United States Senate to two terms and United States Representatives to six terms was introduced last week.
Texas Republican Jodey Arrington and California Democrat Ro Khanna brought the resolution to the floor. Khanna stated that “96% of the folks here get reelected and that’s not what our founder’s intended,” and then reinforced his idea from Alexander Hamilton’s statement on the security of the nation being based on a rotation of leaders.
A resolution like this had been previously introduced by Senator Ted Cruz in January, but it died on the Senate floor. “The American people resoundingly agreed on Election Day, and President-elect Donald Trump has committed to putting government back to work for the American people. It is well past time to put an end to the cronyism and deceit that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions,” said Cruz.
Unfortunately, the newly introduced resolution may not go anywhere, as it has been attempted now seven times since February 2005 when it was first introduced by Louisiana Senator David Vitter.
A majority of libertarians support term limits, according to ISideWith, and Einer Elhauge of the Cato Institute states “Term limits solve a collective action problem and lessen the seniority penalty that makes it difficult for districts to oust ideologically unsatisfactory incumbents. And term limits reduce barriers to entry that discourage challengers and thus limit ballot options. Any furthering of those values furthers core democratic objectives.”
Being Libertarian author Derek Wills, claims that term limits were not an intention of the founding father and that the citizens have a tendency to remove those that they do not want in office. “In fact, since 2008, 61 Senators and 291 Representatives have been elected as freshmen in their respective bodies. Simple math will tell you that this translates to 61% of the Senate and 67% of the House of Representatives have been newly elected within the past 8 years. It will likely increase after the November 8th General Election as well,” states Wills for evidence.
Truly, it is up to each libertarian to find out which argument they feel best supports liberty and decide. This is one issue where principle and our core values do not necessarily account for and a researched decision is essential.