Saturday, November 19, 2016

TIME FOR ACTION: Americans must rally behind Trump's term limits call

Seemingly overnight, Congressional term limits are back on the front-burner, with President-elect Donald Trump calling a Constitutional Amendment a priority for his first 100 days.

Trump has done his homework. In his call for Congressional term limits, he has cited the specific terms called for in the existing U.S. Term Limits amendment bills of three terms (six years) in the U.S. House and two (12 years) in the U.S. Senate. He knows there is a block of Congress members who have signed the U.S. Term Limits Congressional Pledge to "cosponsor and vote for" such a bill.

In fact, that pool of committed support just grew larger on Election Day, when 13 new signers were elected to Congress. Right now, there are 48 signers elected to the House and Senate. The table has been set for a Trump to ring the dinner bell.

"We want to see new voices."
This pool of signers does not count those now coming out of the woodwork to support the new president's call. Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke in favor of Congressional term limits over the past week as well as newly minted Silicon Valley Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA). In Khanna's words, "We need term limits and I’ll work across the aisle to impose these term limits."

Even President Obama weighed in in favor of the idea in the wake of Trump's announcement. Obama told reporters at the first post-election press conference that “I think we want to see new voices and new ideas emerge. That's part of the reason why I think term limits are a really useful thing.”

"We need term limits" -- Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) 
Polling on the issue continues to show super majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents support Congressional limits.

So, with two presidents calling for it, 48 Congress members pledged to push it, the House Speaker open to a vote and broad bipartisan support, what could go wrong? 

A lot actually. You can bet the permanent incumbency will fight back. Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already declared that he is ready to fight to keep power.
Old guard is prepping for a fight.

"It will not be on the agenda in the Senate," Sen McConnell declared.

Nonetheless, the incoming president is not backing down.

“We’re going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren’t happy about, but we’re putting on term limits,” Trump told 60 Minutes last Sunday. “We’re doing a lot of things to clean up the system.”

But he cannot do it alone. Citizens need to act right now to show support for Congressional term limits and ask their representatives to call for a vote.