November 26th, 2009
12:10 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Radio: Term limits supporters aim for a comeback

Britney Spears isn't the only headline-grabber who hit it big in the 90s to angle for a comeback this fall: Nearly a decade-and-a-half after the last big term limits push fell short, there's a new congressional proposal to cap the amount of time lawmakers can serve - giving US Term Limits President Philip Blumel new hope the idea's proponents may be able to put an end to the age of the career politician.

But once again, the plan's gotten an underwhelming reception - just three senators have signed on to South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint's new bill, S.J.RES 21. And the odds are even steeper than they appear at first glance: To pass, the bill can't just get a simple majority - it's got to earn support from two-thirds of the House and Senate, and defeat critics who argue that the position is short-sighted, leading to inexperienced politicians who can't handle complex domestic and foreign policy challenges.

That criticism is off-base, argues Blumel. The USTL president makes the case for term limits in a CNN Radio interview with Political Editor Mark Preston.

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soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Robert Lehrer

    Theoretically, strict term limits represents one of the powerful positive effects of a democratic form of government. Until recently, I was a strong supporter of low term limits.

    Unfortunately, the term limits in California has backfired. Their intended purpose has been undermined by new legislators' inability to get much accomplished in California for several reasons. First, they don't know how to "work the system." It takes some legislators a couple of years to get going and to learn how to become an effective representative of their constituents.

    Second, the pressure from lobbyists is now even more intense because of their desire to have an impact on new legislators and their votes. New legislators want to "get theirs" before they leave the state legislature or state assembly when they reach their term limits.

    I love the idea of term limits, but it simply hasn't worked in California.

    November 26, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Brian in California

    I'm a democrat and I wholeheartedly believe in the need for term limits. There are so many representatives that have been there for so freakin' long that they have lost touch with what is going on in the country and they think they know what is better for the nation than the people of the nation do. This would get fresh faces and minds in Congress that understand the changes this country is going through AND the change that is needed to let the nation evolve within a 21st century world.


    November 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Zion

    Good. We also need to change funding for candidates. They should be forced to get their money from supporters only.

    November 26, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Fitz in Texas

    Should have had term limits years ago in this county. We'll lose some good ones, but most are greedy crooked career politicians that never should have been elected in the first place.

    November 26, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Pat

    I agree with the idea of term limits AND also outlawing for-profit lobbying groups. That way politicians would actually represent their constituents instead of Corporate special interest.

    November 26, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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