Donald Trump and Ted Cruz may not be the best of friends, especially after their bitter rivalry in the Republican primaries. However, now that Trump is the president-elect, it seems that the senator from Texas is ready, willing and able to help the incoming administration “drain the swamp.”
In an op-ed piece for The Washington Post co-authored with Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., Sen. Cruz announced their intention to push for a constitutional amendment that would introduce congressional term limits.
Trump had pushed for such an amendment during his campaign.
“On Election Day, the American people made a resounding call to ‘drain the swamp‘ that is modern Washington,” the op-ed piece read. “Yet on Capitol Hill, we seem mired in the same cycle of complacency: The game hasn’t changed, and the players remain the same.
“Thankfully, there’s a solution available that, while stymied by the permanent political class, enjoys broad public support: congressional term limits.”
“As soon as the 115th Congress convenes, both of us will move to restore accountability among the entrenched Washington establishment by introducing a constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms that a member of Congress can serve to three in the House and two in the Senate,” the piece promised, noting that House Speaker Paul Ryan had already endorsed the idea.
Sen. Cruz and Rep. DeSantis pointed out that such an amendment would be a way to bring the supporters of both parties together.
“In an age in which partisan divisions seem intractable, it is remarkable that public support for congressional term limits is strong regardless of political affiliation — huge majorities of rank-and-file Republicans, Democrats and independents favor enacting this reform,” the op-ed read.
“Indeed, according to a Rasmussen survey conducted in October, 74 percent of likely voters support establishing term limits for all members of Congress. This is because the concept of a citizen legislature is integral to the model of our democratic republic.”
He also pointed out that the conditions in Congress had given rise to the voter disgust that had created Trump.
“The American people have lost confidence in Washington,” the op-ed read. “Enmeshed in backroom deals and broken promises, our capital has become a political playground for the powerful and well-connected, for members of the permanent political class looking to accumulate more and more power at the expense of taxpayers. The Washington Cartel is hard at work picking winners and losers, with hard-working Americans typically winding up as the losers.
“Term limits will change the calculus of those who serve in Congress,” it continued. “Without term limits, the incentive for a typical member is to stay as long as possible to accumulate seniority on the way to a leadership post or committee chair. Going along to get along is a much surer path for career advancement than is challenging the way Washington does business.
“With term limits, we will have more frequent changes in leadership and within congressional committees, giving reformers a better chance at overcoming the Beltway inertia that resists attempts to reduce the power of Washington,” they concluded.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 9, 2016
Cruz and DeSantis said that they planned to introduce the amendment next month.
According to The Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said shortly after Trump’s election that he had no intention of entertaining such an amendment during the next Congress. In addition, amendments require two-thirds of both houses to pass as well as ratification by the states, which would make it a difficult push.
That doesn’t mean a man can’t dream, though. I don’t think my wife is going to buy me an Apple Watch this Christmas due to her inveterate cheapness. However, the executive branch and both houses of Congress were two nice gifts to stuff under the tree.
Think you could swing term limits for my stocking, Sen. McConnell? After all, you needn’t worry — you have your wife to support you, after all.
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