One of the many principles that make our country great is that we get to elect our own representatives in government. The idea behind this is that folks across the country have someone to speak on their behalf, and they have a voice in how our country is run.
But something tends to happen to a lot of representatives once they get to Washington, D.C.
Some of these members of Congress uproot their perspectives from their home states in order to put down roots in Washington. And the longer they stay, the more they act like Washington elite and less like the constituents who elect them.
Some may call it “clout,” others think of it as an epidemic called Potomac Fever. But whatever it is, the longer some folks are in Washington the more taxpayer money they want to spend, the more special privileges they want to protect for themselves and the more isolated they become from the rest of America.
It’s our responsibility to end this bad habit. And one way we can do it is through term limits.
I’ve been pushing for this sort of reform since my early days in the Louisiana state Legislature. And it’s so important to me that on the very first day of this Congress – the first day I could introduce new legislation – I introduced legislation that would limit U.S. representatives to three terms in office and U.S. senators to two terms in office.
Applying term limits to all members of Congress would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As a constitutional amendment, it would require a two-thirds majority vote approval in the House and Senate and must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.
This bill is obviously unpopular among members of Congress, and it might sound like a lot of work.
Term limits weren’t popular in the Louisiana state Legislature either, but I successfully fought for them and won – so I know it can be done.
We’ve seen real reforms here in Louisiana, and I’ll continue fighting for them in Congress. In fact, in the past couple of weeks I’ve started meeting with various senators, explaining to them why we need to do this – to regain the trust of those that sent us here. And I’m planning to fight for a vote on this before the end of the year.
Members of Congress shouldn’t be able to just stay in office for an eternity.
Instituting term limits is one important step we need to take to make Congress more like the world back home. I believe that this is common-sense reform that can help bridge the gap between Congress and the American people.