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360: Term Limits in Congress

Capitol Hill Capitol Building Capitol Dome
Posted at 7:10 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 21:10:46-05

COLORADO — Term limits have been brought up again in Washington. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently introduced a resolution to limit the number of years lawmakers can stay in congress.

It's a topic that's come up over the years, and in Colorado- term limits already exist for local and state elected offices. Of course, term limits also exist for the President. Some local governments have passed measures to remove term limits or extend limits on certain positions.

In 1990, Colorado voters approved term limits and, at the time, it included congressional members from Colorado. In 1995 the Supreme Court ruled against term limits for members of congress.

The other argument? Term limits exist in the form of elections, if constituents want someone out they don't have to reelect them.

"I think political scientists are often critical of some of these arguments for term limits because they think that the goal isn't actually going to be accomplished," Joshua Dunn, Department Chair of Political Science at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs said.

Many researchers in political science disagree with term limits for a few reasons- the idea is that if power is limited for legislators, it gives more power to executive leaders and lobbyists. There's also criticism when it comes to a lack of experience among lawmakers.

Organizations like U.S. Term Limits hope to see limits put in place for elected officials at the congressional level. Supporters of term limits argue it limits people staying in office and not working in the best interest of their constituents.

"Incumbents tend to win every election they're in because we just vote off of name recognition," Bridget Seritt, Colorado Dir. for U.S. Term Limits said, "why do we have a system that requires decades of expertise knowledge? It's not working out for us now."