Term limits needed for Congress

Posted6/20/2019 1:00 AM

The president of the United States is limited to 10 years in the White House. Pat Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, the longest-serving current U.S. senator has served under eight presidents, 44-plus years. Five other senators have served over 25 years. The U.S. House has 36 members with over 25 years of experience, the longest serving being Don Young (Alaska) who began in 1973.

It's time for term limits for the legislative branch. Eighteen years would seem to be a fair limit to impose on a senator, a representative or a House member elected later to the Senate. That would allow them to serve with at least three different Presidents.


The Senate has 20 members, or one in five, who will have served for over 18 years come the 2020 election. The House has 72 members, or one in six, who will have more than 18 years of service. They could be grandfathered so they would not need to resign.

Would we get a better Congress with term limits? Possibly. People would not be able to make it a lifelong career. New people have new ideas. And, as we saw with Sen. Jeff Flake, retirement, and Sen. John McCain, death, people faced with coming to the end of their service tend to place partisanship to the side and work for the good of the country.

Dave Volkman


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