President Donald Trump met with and backed a bipartisan group of freshmen lawmakers who plan to introduce congressional term limits.
“I recently had a terrific meeting with a bipartisan group of freshman lawmakers who feel very strongly in favor of Congressional term limits,” President Trump tweeted. “I gave them my full support and endorsement for their efforts.”
I recently had a terrific meeting with a bipartisan group of freshman lawmakers who feel very strongly in favor of Congressional term limits. I gave them my full support and endorsement for their efforts. #DrainTheSwamp
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2018
The issue is a prime example of how the election of President Trump did not result in complete symmetry between the more conservative wing of the party, the populist wing of the party and the GOP Establishment. The latter has stubbornly refused to receive the “change” message from voters.
“I would say we have term limits now. They’re called elections,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said during a press conference shortly after the historic 2016 election. “And it will not be on the agenda in the Senate.”
Freshman Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., attended the meeting at the White House and said last week the bipartisan freshman group intends to combine a number of legislative proposals to push for real change.
“I think that would be a complete paradigm shift – so a lot of work ahead, but this was a really interesting moment. I mean, 85% of the American people support term limits,” he said in a Twitter video. “I think we’ve got to get at that source of the problem, which is people only care about their reelection and getting reelected than doing the work of the people.”
Yesterday I met with President Trump to discuss a term limits bill that I introduced early last year. If we’re going to end the careerism that’s infecting Washington, DC then implementing term limits and getting back to the citizen legislator model is a no-brainer. pic.twitter.com/mDYymzKzPQ
— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@RepGallagher) April 26, 2018
Rep. Gallagher introduced a joint resolution that would add a constitutional amendment that would limit members of the U.S. House from serving more than six terms and senators to two terms. It would be phased with the current class of freshman members.
President Trump himself on the campaign trail in 2016 proposed a constitutional amendment to impose term limits. He unveiled the amendment as part of his “Contract with the America Voter,” a plan vowing to “Drain the Swamp” in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
It’s unclear whether moderate Republicans or Democrats outside the freshman group will support the amendment, but the more conservative House Freedom Caucus (HFC) has also-long advocated for term limits. Rep. Mark Meadows, the Chairman of the HFC, retweeted President Trump’s announcement of support and issued one himself.
“Our founders never intended Congress to be a career–part of why Washington has become so dysfunctional is the shift away from this principle,” Chairman Meadows wrote. “Congressional term limits would do wonders toward addressing the problem.”
“I’m 100% on board Mr. President. Let’s make it happen.”