Congress will soon deliberate whether to impose term limits on themselves, after Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida introduced a bill on Jan. 3 to keep career politicians away from Washington, D.C.
"D.C. is broken," Cruz wrote in a statement on his official Senate website. "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."
The bill would add an amendment to the Constitution to restrict U.S. senators to serving two six-year terms and U.S. representatives to three two-year terms.
"Term limits are the first step towards reforming Capitol Hill," DeSantis said. "Eliminating the political elite and infusing Washington with new blood will restore the citizen legislature that our Founding Fathers envisioned. The American people have called for increased accountability and we must deliver. Senator Cruz has been instrumental in efforts to hold Congress accountable, and I look forward to working with him to implement term limits."
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Congressional term limits are popular with citizens. According to an October Rasmussen Reports poll, 74 percent of voters support the idea of limiting how long legislators can serve, while 13 percent opposed the idea.
Cruz and DeSantis announced their intentions to bring term limits to Congress in a Dec. 9 opinion article for The Washington Post, in which they urged Republicans to follow through on their promises to "drain the swamp."
"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," the pair wrote. "The time is now for Congress, with the overwhelming support of the American people, to pass a constitutional amendment establishing congressional term limits and send it to the states for speedy ratification. With control of a decisive majority of the states, the executive branch, the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Republican Party has the responsibility to respond to the voters' call to action."
Republican Sens. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah and David Perdue of Georgia co-sponsored the bill.