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17 Pros and Cons of Term Limits for Congress

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In the United States, the President is limited to serving two terms in office. This is because of the Twenty-Second Amendment, which was ratified in February Roosevelt served more than two terms and unless another Amendment is passed by Congress and ratified, he will be the only President to do so.

They can serve for as long as they wish, assuming they continue to be elected every 6 years or 2 years respectively. Robert Byrd, for example, served in the Senate for more than 51 years. John Dingell served in the House of Representatives for more than 53 years. Term limits for Congress have various pros and cons to be considered. Seniority creates the ability to facilitate change in Washington DC, but it also creates gridlock because congressional representatives also wish to continue being re-elected.

By establishing term limits, some of that gridlock could be replaced without necessarily removing the benefits of seniority. It would bring new ideas to the table. When the same people keep getting elected to Congress time and time again, the same debates happen over and over again.

Low turnover rates in Congress create a foundation of stale ideas. New perspectives can provide different types of influence and that can inspire changes which may benefit the whole of society. Senators and Representatives would be able to bring more to each discussion because they are less likely to be isolated from their districts because of the responsibilities in Washington. It may encourage people to vote. Many people vote in every election, but a majority of people in a district not voting is becoming an all-too-common occurrence.

By establishing term limits, more people could come out to vote because there would be more opportunities for change. Voters would know that even if their preferred candidate loses, term limits set a specific deadline that cannot be changed. It would stop political power maneuvering. Many of the political machines in the United States are designed to keep people in office. Before his first days in office were even completed, Donald Trump had a re-election PAC in place and was raising money for his next campaign.

Incumbents can wield a lot of power to stay in office and term limits would help to cut this leverage away. The focus can be placed on governing instead of being elected. It would limit the influence of lobbying. They do this because those people can represent their specific interests. The only problem is that special interests are often contrary to what the will of the people happen to want. By establishing term limits in Congress, more new candidates would be able to present their ideas and that could help to balance out the scales of influence in each election.

It allows for newly elected officials to have influence. The system of seniority in Congress does have some benefits for leadership, but it also comes with a large disadvantage. Newly elected officials rarely receive powerful posts on committees or can influence procedures. To get an idea, here are arguments expressed by proponents and critics regarding term limits for Congress. It deters corruption of government officials.

One of the contentions of advocates for Congress term limits point out that the longer a person in power, such as a congressman, stay in office, the bigger the possibility for him or her to be more hungry for power and wealth which might make the person corrupt.

However, if the time is limited and a politician is not eligible to run for another term, there will be lesser room for corruption since special interests will not be able to ask favors easily in exchange for donations for the supposedly next term.

It gives way to fresh and dynamic politics. If term limits for Congress will be enacted, deserving people who have not yet run for the seat will be given a chance to serve. As opposed to a political system which allows congressmen to run for several terms, a limited term in Congress can mean fresh ideas coming from younger politicians who may have new contributions to make.

It encourages politicians to do better service. Supporters of term limits for Congress see it as a way for members of Congress to pay more attention on doing their jobs and serving their constituents. Since they will not be allowed to run or extend terms, there will be no reason for them to be distracted by focusing on how they will win on the next election.

It gives room to inexperienced politicians. Critics of term limits argue that most new politicians tend to be ideological and lack the experience long-term politicians have. They also point out that young or new legislators may be too impulsive or eager to prove their skills and capabilities, making them reluctant to compromise on issues which is important to solve problems in the government.

Being new legislators, this might bring about hindrances when it comes to passing laws and approving budgets for legit government programs. Performing and honest leaders will not be able to continue good service. Opponents of term limits for Congress contend that if this is adopted by states, Congressmen who have shown excellent performance will not be able to finish their long term projects.

Also, people who are not in favor of term limits are concerned the next legislators to be elected might not be able to continue the legacy of seasoned politicians since they were not the ones who started these projects. It can affect government projects and disrupt the timetable of projects.

Another argument of opponents of term limits for Congress is its possible effect on public works and legislation projects started before the election of a new legislator.

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There are some who believe that Congress benefits from fresh blood, while there are others who see the value in government continuity. Each side of the debate has points to make, so with that in mind, let’s take a deeper dive into the pros and cons of Congressional term limits. The Pros of Congressional Term Limits. 1.

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Here are some questions and answers about term limits and the ongoing debate surrounding the idea, as well as a look at the pros and cons of term limits for Congress.

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The Pros of Term Limits for Congress. 1. Encourages Active Representation The inability of congress to take meaningful action on any number of issues is a frequent justification for the consistently low approval ratings of the institution among voters. Term limits for Congress have various pros and cons to be considered. Seniority creates the ability to facilitate change in Washington DC, but it also creates gridlock because congressional representatives also wish to continue being re-elected.

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In the United States, presidential term limits were enacted in The concept was passed by Congress in , then ratified by the states on February 27, It would become the 22nd Amendment to the constitution, limiting a president to two terms in office. In total, a president is permitted. List of Cons of Term Limits for Congress. 1. It gives room to inexperienced politicians. Critics of term limits argue that most new politicians tend to be ideological and lack the experience long-term politicians have.