Senator DeMint: Term limits for Congress sounds like a great idea

Via the Washington Times:

Sen. Jim DeMint says Washington politicians are like fruit on the vine: the longer they hang around, the more rotten they get.

The South Carolina Republican – hearkening back to the days of the party’s “Contract with America” – on Tuesday offered a fix to the corrupting influence of “permanent politicians,” introducing an amendment to the Constitution that would limit Senate members to three six-year terms and House members to three two-year terms.

“As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to buy off special interests, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fundraising, relationship building among lobbyists, and trading favors for pork – in short, amassing their own power,” said Mr. DeMint, who is running for a second term next year.

Senate leaders and longtime Washington watchdogs said Mr. DeMint’s bill had a zero chance of becoming law, mostly because of a general lack of interest and the high hurdles to amending the Constitution.

There are pros and cons to amending the Constitution to put Congressional term limits in place. The big pro, as DeMint pointed out, is that there are many in Congress who pretty much have guaranteed lifetime seats if they want them – and in some cases those politicos become so entrenched that they become servants to power rather than the people via special interests, “buying votes,” and corruption (Rep. Murtha is a prime example). The two cons, some would suggest, would be that there are those “lifetimers” in DC who do good work term after term – like Rep. Sue Myrick here in NC – who would be termed out, disappointing supporters who might want to keep then in Congress for one more term, possibly more. Not only that, but the argument has been made in the past that term limits are “unconstitutional” because if people are happy with their representatives they should have the option to re-elect them.

What do you think?

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