Arguing term limits would impel an end to corruption and economic stagnation in Washington, President-elect Donald Trump’s call for a constitutional amendment to limit the tenure of elected officials on Capitol Hill recently gained a significant ally in House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Reelected to a 10th House term on Election Day, Nov. 8, the 18-year Wisconsin Republican told reporters Thursday he sides with Mr. Trump on the issue.
“I’ve always supported term limits,” he said. “I’ve long been a fan of term limits. I don’t know where all the other members stand, but it’s something I’ve always been [in favor of].”
Although the Speaker embraced Trump’s plan in spirit, Ryan made no mention of his intent to enter term limit legislation as part of the Republican agenda for the 115th Congress, preferring to leave the matter to the House Judiciary Committee.
Following the Republican Revolution in 1994, which saw the GOP take control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in decades, former Speaker Newt Gingrich advanced the Contract with America, of which term limits was an integral component.
The last time a measure to limit congressional terms was introduced in the House was 1995. The motion gained 227 votes, mostly among Republicans, but failed to earn a two-thirds majority to advance.
Trump has called for Congress to enact a law limiting congressional terms as part of his call the “drain the swamp” in Washington. Under Trump’s plan, members of the House would be limited to three terms or six year; in the Senate, members would only be allowed to serve two terms or 12 years.
[The Hill] [Photo courtesy Paul Morse/Dow Jones via Wall Street Journal]