Citizen legislators, not career politicians
The framers of our great Constitution envisioned a national legislature composed of ordinary citizens who would serve their country for a brief term, later to return to their lives in the private sector.
This model has been hijacked by greed, special interests and political careerism. The average congressperson’s tenure has rapidly increased over our country’s lifespan as politicians seek to hoard power and influence, serving only the desires of the biggest donors.
It’s time to put the power back in the hands of the people and impose term limits on Congress.
We believe that the elected officials of both Houses must craft a plan to deliver our country from this power struggle and finally return political power to the real voices of America. As the new generation of citizen-legislators assumes their duty to serve or nation, we insist on bringing them into this conversation. That means you, too!
The American Committee on Congressional Term Limits has a suggested blueprint, but your feedback is crucial. Let us know what you think!
- House Members would serve three four-year terms
- Senators would serve two six-year terms
- Serving one Body does not preempt twelve additional years in the other
- Pension and benefits would be appropriate to their significant sacrifice and responsibility
- The twelve-year Term Limit would be calculated beginning from the individual’s next election following a constitutional amendment to that effect
- Receipt of retirement compensation and benefits are conditioned on the retiree’s abstaining from lobbying either body in any form whatsoever after leaving office.
The Framers of the Constitution foresaw the need for an Amendment process to prevent such an encroachment on the integrity of our legislative body. Enacting a constitutional amendment is a very difficult process, but institutional change is worth a struggle.
If you are wondering to yourself, “Why should Congress be trusted to limit its own power?” then great minds must think alike, because the Framers also considered this when constructing Article V of the Constitution, the amendment process. Not only can an amendment be proposed by a 2/3rds majority of Congress, but if Congress is reluctant to enact restraints on itself, that centralized federal power can be circumvented with a call for convention on an amendment by a 2/3rds majority of state legislatures. Many of these local legislatures have already enacted term limits and enjoy the benefits.
This is the grassroots power of our movement in action. Any one individual has the power to inspire a change in their backyard. If you feel as though your members of Congress no longer represent your needs, you’re right. Remember that their power is contingent on your consent, and if corruption and greed must be purged, the Founding Fathers have endowed this power to amend the constitution to the states, from which a much more direct representation can be attained. Gain the attention of one local representative and tell them how term limits would improve the legislative process and the quality of your representation. If enough people do their part to demand change, our voice will be impossible to ignore, and we will watch as our influence trickles upward.