FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
It's an idea that's long past due and it will probably never happen...
A group of Republican senators is proposing a Constitutional amendment to set congressional term limits - 12 years for the Senate and six years for the House.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/11/art.demint.jpg caption="Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)"]
Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina says real change will never happen in Washington until there's an end to the era of permanent politicians. DeMint says lawmakers have been re-elected about 90 percent of the time over the last 20 years - because the system favors incumbents.
We all know the drill: Some spend decades in Washington, get into bed with the special interest groups that feed their campaign coffers and forget all about the people they're supposed to represent.
And we've heard this before... Republicans who gained control of the House in 1994 promised to pass congressional term limits, but once they were in power, they failed to deliver. The Supreme Court later ruled term limits were unconstitutional - which is why this group of senators is trying to change the Constitution.
In order to pass, two-thirds of the House and Senate would have to approve the amendment - along with three-fourths of the 50 states.
As for the power hungry politicians, they say they don't like to mess with the Constitution; and that Americans should be able to vote for whoever they want.
But I would be willing to bet if this idea was put to a vote of the people it would win going away.
Here’s my question to you: What are the chances Congress would ever pass a Constitutional amendment imposing term limits?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Chris from Philadelphia writes:
No. But they should. Politicians like to say that they are servants of the people. The only people they serve are the ones who donate money. They think they are above the law and only work to get re-elected. We the voters have to take it upon ourselves to get rid of these bums.
Chris from Maryland writes:
Hi Jack, As we say in my family, the chances of passing term limits are slim and none, and Slim just left town. And that is as it should be. Citizens today have the chance to impose term limits on their representatives by voting them out of office, but they don't. Why? Because everybody likes "their" senator or congressman, it's those other goofballs who are screwing up the country. It's not an influence thing, it's a familiarity thing. The devil you know, and all that.
Tim from New York writes:
Do you think it matters whether they ever would or not? In New York, the people imposed term limits, and the mayor simply repealed the law when it suited his interests… I'd be surprised if they didn't try to make the positions hereditary.
Chances are nil, and that would be right. If I'm happy with my Congress-critter, why can't I keep him/her? Having been a successful representative should not disqualify you from running again. If we want a better Congress, it hinges on campaign contribution reform, not term limits.
Ronald from Florida writes:
I am a 71-year-old guy who still plays tennis and bowls, but I've got as much chance to play running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as we Americans have to see Congress impose term limits on themselves.
Of course they will, Jack, right after they vote against giving themselves a pay raise!