WASHINGTON – Freshmen Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), today introduced a Constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms an individual may serve as a Member of Congress. The legislation limits congressional terms to twelve years in both chambers, six two-year terms in the House and two six-year terms in the Senate.
The legislation’s introduction follows a meeting the freshmen lawmakers had with President Trump in April. Shortly after their meeting, the President tweeted, “I recently had a terrific meeting with a bipartisan group of freshman lawmakers who feel very strongly in favor of Congressional term limits. I gave them my full support and endorsement for their efforts. #DrainTheSwamp”
“As a former FBI Special Agent who oversaw the FBI’s Political Corruption Unit for the entire nation, I witnessed firsthand an undeniable correlation between the length of time in office and the instances of corruption. The lines that were very bright for elected officials on day one in office were not so bright in year seven or eight, and even less so in years 15 or 20,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “It is my firm belief that, with the support of the President and our bipartisan group of freshman members, we can address this “root issue” of systemic corruption once and for all, and we can make a real, lasting change to business as usual in Washington. We owe this to the American people. The time is now to get this done.”
"Following our bipartisan meeting with President Trump, and with his full support, we introduced term limits legislation that reflects both the intent of our Founders and the will of our citizens,” Rep. Arrington said. “Setting limits on the time politicians can serve in a particular office will not solve all the problems with Washington’s broken culture. However, I believe it will help achieve a much-needed change in the current structure, one that’s necessary to evoke more courage in policy makers to solve the big problems and focus on the interests of the people who sent us here to serve. In an era when faith in the system is waning, it is important the 115th Congress take steps to restore the confidence of our fellow citizens by fundamentally changing the status-quo of politics in Washington.”
“I thank my fellow first-term colleagues on both sides of the aisle for fighting with me for reform in Congress,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “Enacting term limits would give new, energetic voices more opportunities to pursue public service. It’s time to end the status quo of career politicians. Being a member of Congress should not be a lifetime career.”
Congressman Gallagher said, “During my time in the Marine Corps, I saw men and women from across this country work together, despite their differences, to get a difficult job done. Yet I see the opposite happen in Congress, where members worry more about their re-elections than doing the People’s work.” He continued, “Our bipartisan term limits proposal is common-sense legislation that would force members to treat their time in office like a deployment, not a career, thereby restoring Congress back to the citizen legislator model that the Framers intended.”
“As Americans, we treasure our representative democracy,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “We value our right to cast votes for candidates who we believe best reflect our values and priorities. Over time, our priorities, perspectives, and demographics can change. Term limits will create an opening for the next generation to participate in the process and an atmosphere that is conducive to allowing change in process and procedure.”
The term limits would apply to members of the 115th Congress and every session of Congress going forward. To read full text of the Constitutional amendment, click HERE.
Last year, several of the legislation’s cosponsors took to the House floor in support of term limits and reforming Congress. Links to videos of those speeches are below.