Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cruz win in Texas another leap ahead for Congressional term limits

By the end of the campaign, it appeared Congressional term limits would be the winner regardless of whether Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst or Ted Cruz won the GOP nomination for Texas' U.S. Senate seat last night.

After all, after Ted Cruz signed the U.S. Term Limits pledge to cosponsor and vote for 3/2 term limits legislation if elected, Dewhurst did the same. They are two of the 187 Congressional candidates to do so in the 2012 election cycle.

But since then, Cruz has been broadcasting his support for term limits and even mentioning the U.S. Term Limits pledge on national television. Dewhurst, on the other hand, started distancing himself from his pledge -- and victory. Less than three weeks later Dewhurst was proposing a package of election reforms that directly contradicted the pledge he had signed.

It is easy to support term limits as a challenger and difficult as an incumbent, with both party leadership and your own personal self-interest pressuring you to chuck your promise. Under these circumstances, the enthusiasm for Congressional term limits demonstrated by Cruz suggests that Sens. Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, Tom Coburn and the other term limits stalwarts in the U.S. Senate have won another important new ally and cosponsor.

Sen. DeMint's term limits amendment bill, SJR 11, would require a two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate, and ratification by 38 states in order to become part of the Constitution. For more information on the pledge, including a list of signers, see here.