I am old enough, and believe me that is OLD, to remember back in the mid 90’s when the Congress was fighting Clinton tooth and nail……there was a call for our elected representatives to be put on term limits….but after things starting working well, as well as could be expected, then the calls grew more quiet……that is until this Congress starting acting like the bunch of spoiled kids with few adults.
Okay, what do I mean by term limits?
“Homesteading” in Congress, made possible by reelection rates that approached 100% by the end of the 20th century, brought about a popular insurgency known as the “term-limits movement”. The elections of 1990-94 saw the adoption of term limits for state legislatures in almost every state where citizens had the power of the initiative. In addition 23 states limited service in their delegation to Congress, with the general formula being three terms [six years] in the U.S. House and two terms [twelve years] in the U.S. Senate.
As they pertain to Congress, these laws are no longer enforceable, however, as a result of lawsuits filed by term limits foes including ousted Speaker of the House, Tom Foley. In 1995 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned congressional term limits.
Where rotation in the legislative branch has withstood court challenges, term limits continue to garner popular support. As of 2002 “U.S. Term Limits” found that in the 17 states where state legislators served in rotation, public support for term limits ranged from 60 to 78 percent.
As you read, it has been defeated and bad mouthed by anyone who is elected…..the reason should be obvious…..but with the shenanigans going on in Washington there is a renewed interest in the issue……polls show, not just one but as many as 19, say that the American people are sick of the political games being played…..Congress’ approval rating is running about 18%….now is the time for the American people to demand and get term limits from their elected officials….the Tea Party as well as the GOP and the Dems should support this issue….it will will make the slugs we elect more willing to work on something good and while we are at it….why not demand that no retired official be allowed to work as a lobbyist or even in a lobbying firm for 10 years after they leave Congress……
These people are getting rich on your dime….and how has that benefited you? It is time for change in our system of exploitation and term limits would be a great place to start….But how?
The only way to get term limits for our elected people is through a Constitutional amendment….that is NO easy feat to accomplish…..and here is why…..
The authority to amend the Constitution of the United States is derived from Article V of the Constitution. After Congress proposes an amendment, the Archivist of the United States, who heads the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), is charged with responsibility for administering the ratification process under the provisions of 1 U.S.C. 106b. The Archivist has delegated many of the ministerial duties associated with this function to the Director of the Federal Register. Neither Article V of the Constitution nor section 106b describe the ratification process in detail. The Archivist and the Director of the Federal Register follow procedures and customs established by the Secretary of State, who performed these duties until 1950, and the Administrator of General Services, who served in this capacity until NARA assumed responsibility as an independent agency in 1985.
The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. The Congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution. Since the President does not have a constitutional role in the amendment process, the joint resolution does not go to the White House for signature or approval. The original document is forwarded directly to NARA’s Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for processing and publication. The OFR adds legislative history notes to the joint resolution and publishes it in slip law format. The OFR also assembles an information package for the States which includes formal “red-line” copies of the joint resolution, copies of the joint resolution in slip law format, and the statutory procedure for ratification under 1 U.S.C. 106b.
The Archivist submits the proposed amendment to the States for their consideration by sending a letter of notification to each Governor along with the informational material prepared by the OFR. The Governors then formally submit the amendment to their State legislatures. In the past, some State legislatures have not waited to receive official notice before taking action on a proposed amendment. When a State ratifies a proposed amendment, it sends the Archivist an original or certified copy of the State action, which is immediately conveyed to the Director of the Federal Register. The OFR examines ratification documents for facial legal sufficiency and an authenticating signature. If the documents are found to be in good order, the Director acknowledges receipt and maintains custody of them. The OFR retains these documents until an amendment is adopted or fails, and then transfers the records to the National Archives for preservation.
Yes, a lengthy process and we know how well the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) did, huh? Another big problem is that it will be up to politicians to cut their own throats and we know what a cowardly bunch they really are, right?
The only thing that could possibly work in the favor of such a move could be the ineffectiveness of the elected officials to get anything accomplished, other than some minor legislation like the naming of Post Offices….ineffectiveness, partisanship, corruption, bribery and blackmail run rampant in the US Congress….if we cannot give them term limits….then I say arrest them all and employ temps to do the country’s business until we get a new batch of lawmakers (and that is the key word)…..but all that is a post for another day……