The swamp of Washington still needs draining, according to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who thinks he knows just the way to get the job done.
Cruz on Monday reintroduced a Constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on Congress, according to a news release on his Senate website. This is the third time Cruz has introduced the amendment in the Senate after attempts in 2017 and 2019.
The amendment would limit senators to two six-year terms while limiting House members to three two-year terms.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 25, 2021
“[T]he rise of political careerism in modern Washington is a drastic departure from what the founders intended of our federal governing bodies. To effectively ‘drain the swamp,’ we believe it is past time to enact term limits for Congress,” Cruz noted in a 2016 Op-Ed in The Washington Post that he co-authored with then-Rep. Ron DeSantis, who is now Florida’s governor.
In his comments Monday, Cruz indicated not much has changed.
“Every year, Congress spends billions of dollars on giveaways for the well-connected: Washington insiders get taxpayer money and members of Congress get re-elected, all while the system fails the American people. It’s no wonder that the vast majority of Americans from every political stripe – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – overwhelmingly support congressional term limits,” he said.
“The rise of political careerism in today’s Congress is a sharp departure from what the Founders intended for our federal governing bodies. I have long called for this solution for the brokenness of Washington, D.C., and I will continue fighting to hold career politicians accountable. As I have done in the past, I urge my colleagues to submit this constitutional amendment to the states for speedy ratification,” Cruz said.
Cruz on Monday was supported in his quest for term limits by Republican Sens. Mike Braun and Todd Young of Indiana, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
“With term limits, we will have more frequent changes in leadership and within congressional committees, giving reformers a better chance at overcoming the Beltway inertia that resists attempts to reduce the power of Washington,” Cruz wrote in his Op-Ed.
“It is well past time to put an end to the cronyism that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions. Favors for the political elite have gone on for far too long. In Washington, where corruption and collusion abound, entrenched politicians live fat and happy cutting deals and breaking promises, while those who don’t oblige are shunned. Congressional term limits are critical to stopping the ongoing abuse by D.C. insiders,” he said.
While serving in the Senate in 1995, President Joe Biden, who represented Delaware in the Senate from 1973 through 2009 , said he was staunchly opposed to term limits.
Biden’s contention what that small states needed their elected representatives to wield outsized power as a form of protection from larger states.
“[T]he implicit check and balance created by the Founders to prevent the possible abuse of small States — the minority — by a few large States — the majority — was the ability of small States to wield power and influence through senior Members of Congress,” Biden said then.
“In other words, by allowing States — at the discretion of the electorate — to re-elect incumbents. Term limits would render that ability nugatory and would drive a stake through the heart of the Connecticut Compromise,” he said then.
“The only way small state senators have been able to fend for their states is get seniority and be able to get something done,” he said then.
But Scott disagreed with that contention, saying Monday that “Washington is more dysfunctional than ever.”
“Career politicians are never going to make the tough choices needed to get our nation on a successful path. They care more about politics and their next election than the future of this country. That has to end now. We need to reimagine government and term limits are the right place to start,” he said.
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