issues2000

Topics in the News: Term Limits


Tim Kaine on Government Reform : Nov 1, 2016
Term limits for members of Congress

Q: Should there be term limits set for members of Congress?

Tim Kaine's answer: Yes, term limits will increase performance and prevent corruption

Mike Pence has not answered this question yet.

Evan McMullin's answer: Yes

Q: Should political candidates be required to release their recent tax returns to the public?

Tim Kaine has not answered this question yet.

Mike Pence has not answered this question yet.

Evan McMullin's answer: Yes

Q: Should the presidential debates include candidates with less than 15% of support in national polls?

Tim Kaine has not answered this question yet.

Mike Pence has not answered this question yet.

Evan McMullin's answer: Yes

Click for Tim Kaine on other issues.   Source: iSideWith.com analysis of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Evan McMullin on Government Reform : Nov 1, 2016
Term limits for members of Congress prevents corruption

Q: Should there be term limits set for members of Congress?

Evan McMullin's answer: Yes

Mike Pence has not answered this question yet.

Tim Kaine's answer: Yes, term limits will increase performance and prevent corruption

Q: Should political candidates be required to release their recent tax returns to the public?

Evan McMullin's answer: Yes

Tim Kaine has not answered this question yet.

Mike Pence has not answered this question yet.

Q: Should the presidential debates include candidates with less than 15% of support in national polls?

Evan McMullin's answer: YesMike Pence has not answered this question yet.

Tim Kaine has not answered this question yet.

Click for Evan McMullin on other issues.   Source: iSideWith.com analysis of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Gary Johnson on Government Reform : Jan 11, 2016
Strong advocate of term limits for governors & Congress

Americans are increasingly frustrated, even angry, that--regardless of which political party is in control--nothing really changes in Washington, DC. The spending continues unchecked. The wars continue. Government keeps taking away more freedom. This disastrous allegiance to the status quo by career politicians is a direct result of the reality that those politicians are more concerned about keeping their jobs than about doing what needs to be done. That's why Gary Johnson is a strong advocate of term limits. Run for office, spend a few years doing the job at hand, and then return to private life. That's what Gary Johnson did as Governor, and that's what Senators and Representatives should do.
Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential campaign website GaryJohnson2016.com

Bobby Jindal on Government Reform : Sep 16, 2015
It's time for term limits; fire them all

Q: Can anyone from inside of Washington win this election cycle?

JINDAL: No. And it's not only whether they can win. They shouldn't win this election cycle. One of the things Donald Trump was right about was to say nonsense to the D.C. establishment. It is time to fire all of them. You've got a choice between honest Socialists on the Left, like Bernie Sanders, and lying conservatives on the Right. We have got the majority; what good has it done us? See, they said they were going to stop amnesty. They said they were going to repeal ObamaCare. They didn't do either. Now they're not even willing to fight to defund Planned Parenthood. [Senate GOP leader] McConnell has already waved the white flag of defeat. They are not willing to stand up to fight for the issues that count. I think it is time to have term limits. I think it's time to have part-time citizen legislators. Let's pay them a per diem instead of a six-figure salary, stop them from being seven-figure lobbyists.

Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN

Jill Stein on Government Reform : Jul 6, 2015
Term limits end guaranteed re-election & lifetime incumbency

OnTheIssues:What about term Limits for Congress?

Stein: The issue here is that Congress barely has a 10% approval rating yet it is re-elected with a 95% probability. Something is wrong with this picture. One of the problems is that incumbency provides enormous advantages--we need to overturn this system of automatic re-election. Insuring that there will be turnover is one way to help the American people achieve a more democratic result.

OnTheIssues:And what about the number of years? One popular proposal is 12 years in either legislative chamber, which would mean 2 Senate terms or 6 House terms.

Stein: Well, the limit should be somewhere above 1 or 2 terms, but not lifetime incumbency--decades of incumbency is a problem.

Click for Jill Stein on other issues.   Source: Phone interview on 2016 presidential race by OnTheIssues.org

Rand Paul on Government Reform : Apr 7, 2015
End the profession of "career politician" with term limits

We have all seen the consequence of long-term incumbencies. Career politicians seem to care more about their career than what is best for their country. We have seen politicians grow more and more out-of-touch with each successive term.

We have all seen the consequence of long-term incumbencies. Career politicians seem to care more about their career than what is best for their country. We have seen politicians grow more and more out-of-touch with each successive term.

It is time to put an end to the profession of "career politician," and impose limits on how many times a member is allowed to seek re-election. As a Senator, I introduced legislation that would limit the amount of time a member of the US House of Representatives or Senate may serve in office to a maximum of 12-years per chamber.

As President, I will continue to support term limits in the hopes of ensuring that your elected officials act in direct representation of you and your needs

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, RandPaul.com, "Issues"

Rand Paul on Government Reform : Jan 20, 2015
Term limits would infuse Congress with new ideas

All is not well in America. America is adrift. Something is clearly wrong. America needs many things, but what America desperately needs is new leadership.

There is no monopoly on knowledge in Washington. The best thing that could happen is for us--to once and for all--limit the terms of all politicians. We already limit the President to two terms. I think we should put limits on the terms of Congress and infuse our government with fresh ideas.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Tea Party response to the 2015 State of the Union address

Rahm Emanuel on Government Reform : Apr 6, 2014
My position on term limits is called elections

Q: Your predecessor Mayor Richard Daley was in office for 22 years. What was it like taking over a city when one man had so much control for so long?

EMANUEL: He was a great mayor. There are things he did that I would do differently. He acknowledged the public was ready for a change.

Q: Do you think someone should be able to be mayor for that long?

EMANUEL: I don't know. My position on term limits is called elections.

Q: Bill Clinton would still be president.

EMANUEL: Well, that is true.

Click for Rahm Emanuel on other issues.   Source: The New Republic 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Ted Cruz on Government Reform : Mar 7, 2014
End Washington cronyism via Congressional term limits

We need to end the corruption. We need to end corporate welfare and crony capitalism. If you come to Washington and serve in Congress, there should be a lifetime ban on lobbying.

We need to pass a strong constitutional amendment that puts into law term limits.

There are lots of voices in Washington that say 'no, no, no, this is too bold.' 'You can't stand against the IRS, that's too extreme.' 'You can't say repeal ObamaCare, that's really a bit much. Let's just modify it.' 'You' can't not bankrupt the country, let's just slow it down a little bit.' A friend of mine suggested a bumper sticker slogan, "Republicans, we waste less." You win elections by standing for principle, inspiring people that there is a better tomorrow.

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2014 CPAC convention

Rand Paul on Government Reform : Feb 12, 2013
Term limits if budget can't get balanced

Washington could use a good dose of transparency, which is why we should fight back against middle of the night deals that end with massive bills no one has read. We must continue to fight for legislation that forces Congress to read the bills! We must continue to object when Congress sticks special interest riders on bills in the dead of night!

And if Congress refuses to obey its own rules, if Congress refuses to pass a budget, if Congress refuses to read the bills, then I say: Sweep the place clean. Limit their terms and send them home!

I have seen the inner sanctum of Congress and believe me there is no monopoly on knowledge there. If they will not listen, if they will not balance the budget, then we should limit their terms.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Tea Party Response to 2013 State of the Union Address

Nikki Haley on Government Reform : Apr 3, 2012
Term limits force real change in leadership

I learned in the legislature was that I am for term limits. I didn't think I was when I came in, but by the time I left, I knew there needed to be a limit on the time politicians can spend in government.

I believe that public officials go to Columbia or Washington with the best of intentions. But along the way people with energy & good ideas got broken. They were told not to step out of line. From business I was used to the idea that you put your most qualified, best people in positions of authority. Government didn't work that way. The people who got the plum assignments in the legislature were the people who had gone along with what the leadership told them to do. I didn't think that was right, and term limits would fix that. With only a certain amount of time to spend in government, legislators wouldn't have time to play the leadership's games. They would work harder at leaving a legacy of accomplishment and real change for the people rather than at satisfying the leadership.

Click for Nikki Haley on other issues.   Source: Can't Is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, p.112-113

Marco Rubio on Government Reform : Feb 2, 2012
Constitutional term limit amendment for Members of Congress

In a vote this afternoon, Rubio supported a measure proposed by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) expressing the Sense of the Senate that a constitutional term limits amendment for Members of Congress should be approved.

"No elected official is so good that they're irreplaceable, and having term limits will ensure that our legislative branch is continuously infused with new people and ideas," Rubio said. "We have term limits in Florida, and I saw the benefit of having our legislators serve for a limited time and then return home to live under the laws they crafted.

"Term limits are long overdue in Washington, and I am proud to have upheld my campaign promise to Floridians by voting for Senator DeMint's term limits measure today."

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Rubio Senate office Press release, "Term limits"

Gary Johnson on Government Reform : Nov 1, 2011
OpEd: managed to improve the state while slashing the budget

Voters will tell you that the reason Johnson got reelected (and might still be in office if there hadn't been term limits) was that he managed to improve the state while slashing the budget. He vetoed 750 spending bills, knew how to strong-arm the Democratic-controlled state house and senate, and reinvented the state agencies.
Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Lisa DePaulo in GQ Magazine

Bobby Jindal on Government Reform : Nov 15, 2010
Line-item veto & single-item legislation

The Republican Party needs to commit itself to something I call the Grandchildren Debt Relief Package, but what you could just as well call A Promise to the American People. That promise would be that every Republican elected to Congress would work to restore America's future with a 7-step recovery program. Here it is:
  1. INSTITUTE TERM LIMITS, to force members of Congress to think of our nation's future rather than their own reelection.
  2. MAKE CONGRESS A PART-TIME LEGISLATURE. Congress does less harm when it's not in session, so it should be out of session more often.
  3. PASS A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION.
  4. GIVE THE PRESIDENT A LINE-ITEM VETO, to prevent sneaking in pork barrel projects. Most governors have it, so should the president.
  5. FORCE CONGRESS TO HAVE SIMPLE UP OR DOWN VOTES ON SINGLE-ITEM LEGISLATION, to prevent Congress from hiding bad policy in "must pass" legislation.
  6. LEGISLATE PAY-AS-YOU-GO BUDGETING.
  7. REQUIRE A SUPER MAJORITY TO RAISE TAXES.
Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: Leadership and Crisis, by Bobby Jindal, p.278-279

Nikki Haley on Government Reform : Nov 2, 2010
Strongly in favor of term limits at all levels of government

Term Limits: I am strongly in favor of term limits at all levels of government. I have introduced legislation to place limits on legislators: 8 years in the House of Representatives or the Senate, no more than 12 years total.
Click for Nikki Haley on other issues.   Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website, nikkihaley.com "Issues"

Donald Trump on Government Reform : Sep 28, 2010
Two-term limit on NYC mayor is a terrible idea

Donald Trump pronounced the 2-term mayoral limit "a terrible idea, an artificial barrier." Terrible perhaps, but not artificial. Mike Bloomberg actually owed his job to that law, which had forced an obviously reluctant Rudy Giuliani to depart from City Hall. In 2005, when the city council toyed with a plan to extend the limit on everyone's service from 2 terms to 3, the people twice voted to ratify the limit.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p.179-186

Mike Bloomberg on Government Reform : Sep 28, 2010
2005: 8-year term limits; 2009: ran for 3rd term

Influential friends, sensing a lack of impressive mayoral prospects, urged him to run for a 3rd term. As everyone knew, the 2-term mayoral limit law stood in the way. So what? His friends thought he could have it changed.

Bloomberg actually owed his job to that law, which had forced an obviously reluctant Rudy Giuliani to depart from City Hall. Moreover, Bloomberg had consistently and vehemently supported the limits. "This is an outrage!" he exclaimed in 2005, when the city council toyed with a plan to extend the limit on everyone's service from 2 terms to 3. "There's no organization that I know," Bloomberg had said, "that would put somebody in charge for a long period of time. You always want turnover and change. 8 years is great. You learn for 4 years. You can do for 4 years."

On October 2, Bloomberg made it official, announcing his 3rd-term plan, citing a "crisis of confidence" in the economy,

Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J. Purnick, p.179-186

Jeb Bush on Government Reform : Dec 11, 2009
Legislative term limits strengthened Bush's executive power

Term limits were enacted in Florida in 1992 and, by a stroke of good fortune for the governor, became effective just as Bush took office, forcing out of the 2000 legislature more than half of the experienced members. This change had an effect similar to that in other states, emptying the legislature of experience and forcing green legislators to struggle with issues so complex that by the time they began to understand them, it was time for them to leave.

Throughout history, the state legislature has been viewed as the dominant political institution in Florida and in the 1980s was described as one of the strongest legislatures in the nation. Within a few years of Bush taking office, this dominance was reversed. The transformation was aided by term limits. Lobbyists and the executive office were the real winners in this environment and term limits gave Bush additional influence over the legislature.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by R. Crew, p.19 & 64-65

Sarah Palin on Government Reform : Sep 2, 2008
1996 mayoral election focus: ideology, term limits, religion

In 1996, Sarah Palin ran for mayor and Wasilla got its first local lesson in wedge politics. The traditional turning points that had decided municipal elections in this town of less than 7,000 people--Should we pave the dirt roads? Put in sewers? Which candidate is your hunting buddy?--seemed all but obsolete the year Ms. Palin, then 32, challenged the three-term incumbent, John C. Stein.

Anti-abortion fliers circulated. Ms. Palin played up her church work and her membership in the National Rifle Association. The state Republican Party, never involved before because city elections are nonpartisan, ran advertisements on Ms. Palin's behalf.

"Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, 'Whoa,' " said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. "But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I'm not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: 'We will have our first Christian mayor.' "

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: William Yardley in NY Times, "Not Politics as Usual"

Jesse Ventura on Government Reform : Apr 1, 2008
Term limits in Congress would limit lobbyist power

Term limits, in my view, would be a damned good idea. Maybe politicians wouldn't then be quite so beholden to the power of corporate lobbyists. The only lobbyists I ever knowingly met with as governor was one I used--to try to get a floor vote on a unicameral legislature. Otherwise, I told my staff from the beginning: lobbyists and special interests did not elect me, so why do I need to talk to them now?
Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.173

Jesse Ventura on Government Reform : Apr 1, 2008
Term limits for politicians AND for political press

NY Times, Feb. 25, 2001: "The governor decreed that reporters covering him would have to wear a jackal press badge. On the front is the governor, in a finger-pointing, Jesse-Wants-You pose, and beneath that is the reporter's name and organization, and the words "Official Jackal." On the back is a warning that the governor can revoke the credential 'for any reason.' The governor's office says the new badges are meant to enhance security and accountability. Many new organizations object. They say what started out as good-natured fun has become demeaning and unprofessional."

Even more important than placing term limits on politicians, I believe they should have term limits on Capitol reporters. It would be a good policy, on the part of newspapers, to do a rotation. In the end, they, they don't take an objective point of view. They start feeding into their own stories what they want to see happen. They get overrun, I think, with the feeling of power--just like career politicians do.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.220-222

Mike Bloomberg on Government Reform : Jan 16, 2007
2001: opposed Giuliani extending NYC term limit

On the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for people of the Jewish faith--a day of fasting, prayer, introspection, and atonement--Bloomberg floated a trial balloon in a clumsy attempt to override the city's term limits legislation and extend his final term in office for at least three months.

Everybody was terrified and nobody knew what was going to happen. And the thought of changing mayors at that time made a lot of people very, very, very scared. When he came up with that idea, Giuliani's advisors wanted to do what was right for the city. Interestingly, Bloomberg didn't think so. The only thing I can think of is that Bloomberg was being very closely advised by Koch, who probably understood the dynamics of politics better than anyone, and might have said to him, "It's a mistake; you can't change constitutional terms."

Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Giuliani: Flawed or Flawless, by D. & G. Strober, p.285-286

Newt Gingrich on Government Reform : Nov 1, 2005
First 100 days: votes on 10 items of Contract with America

In the first 100 days of the new Congress, Speaker Newt Gingrich and the new Republican majority in the House kept their promise to bring all 10 items in the Contract With America to a vote. Every item passed the House except term limits. Gingrich was going to celebrate with a nationally televised speech Friday night, April 7. Unprecedented for a Speaker of the House, he was claiming a role for himself equivalent to the president, delivering his own prime-time State of the Union address of sorts.

Clinton noted that only 2 of the 10 items in the Republican Contract also had passed the Senate, and had been signed into law by him: One held Congress to the same laws that are imposed on everyone else, & the 2nd limited "unfunded mandates."

Gingrich gave his nationally televised speech, laying out a simple core theme. The federal budget had to be balanced in 7 years. This was Gingrich's great moment, the completion of the first 100 days though he had had to share top billing with the president.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: The Choice, by Bob Woodward, p.136-140

Mike Huckabee on Government Reform : Nov 1, 2002
Supports term limits for state legislators

Q Do you support the current two-term eight-year limit for Arkansas governors?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support two-term eight-year limit for Arkansas state senators?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the three-term six-year limit for Arkansas house representatives?

A: Yes.

Q:

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2002 AR Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test

Gary Johnson on Government Reform : Jan 1, 2001
Term limits let politicians focus on issues, not re-election

Q: Would you have brought up the issue of drug legalization if you planned to run again for office?

A: I don't plan to run again for office.

Q: Does your experience influence your opinion of term limits? In other words, do term limits allow politicians to push for issues they care about rather than worrying about the implications for reelection?

A: That's absolutely a case for term limits. Politicians shouldn't spend most of their time in office trying to get reelected.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Interview with David Sheff in Playboy Magazine

Bill Weld on Government Reform : Oct 19, 1996
Supports term limits; they bring in fresh blood

A resident pressed the candidates on term limits, an issue mostly untouched in the campaign so far. Weld, a supporter, said he is as an example of fresh blood that came into politics and made a difference.

Kerry, who opposes term limits, said the real issue involves reforming campaign finance laws. "The problem is money--the average person can't run," Kerry said.

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: Harvard Crimson on Kerry/Weld debates

Newt Gingrich on Government Reform : Jul 2, 1996
12-year term limits ok; 6-year limits empower bureaucrats

The next step for the US is to pass 12-year term limits for both the House and the Senate. I am very comfortable with 12-year limits because I believe it would allow for a wider range of experienced people in the Congress. If you knew that you would no longer have to wait in line for years until you moved up the ladder by seniority, I believe a number of people who have already had successful careers in other areas would be attracted to Washington to spend a few years legislating.

Six-year term limits for the House of Representatives is popular, but frankly I do not believe that gives members enough time to learn the legislative leadership process. After all, a 6-year term limit would require leaders to emerge with only one or at most terms 2 terms (and they would then serve for only one more.) I believe the 6-year term limit would guarantee an ignorant legislative branch and an enormous transfer of power to professional staffs, bureaucracies, and lobbyists.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Renew America, by Newt Gingrich, p.239-240

Mike Huckabee on Government Reform : Nov 1, 1992
Term limits counter election skewed laws toward incumbents

I strongly advocate a constitutional amendment that would limit the terms of members of Congress. Election laws are skewed in favor of the incumbents. The power of incumbency is reflected in the franking privilege, the use of staff paid for by the taxpayers to do research, the advantage of media attention that is given to incumbents over challengers, and the ability of incumbents to come home at strategic times to announce various projects in order to continue the “aura” of the office. I would personally favor that no one be elected to the US Senate for more than two six-year terms, and that no one be elected to the Congress for more than three four-year terms.

As one who is attempting to challenge a long-term incumbent, it has become increasingly apparent that the current process is not adequate to remove members of Congress. Since we already limit the President to eight years, it seems ridiculous to give Congressmen and Senators long-term careers at taxpayer expense.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: Responses to Associated Press Questionnaire for AR Senate

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2016 Presidential primary contenders:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Tim Kaine(D-VA,VP)
Donald Trump(R-NY)
Gov.Mike Pence(R-IN,VP)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Bill Weld(L-MA,VP)
Dr.Jill Stein(G-MA)
Ajamu Baraka(G-VP)
Evan McMullin(I-UT)

Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
2015-16 Presidential primary contenders:
Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
CEO Carly Fiorina(R-CA)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(I-VT)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Jill Stein(G-MA)
Gov.Scott Walker(R-WI)
Sen.James Webb(D-VA)
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Page last updated: Nov 22, 2016