Every chance that they win” said former State

Every American seems to have an
opinion the politics in Washington D.C. as of late, but most people seem to
stop short and just take aim at the Executive Branch. When people have
grievances, complains, or praises about the current politics and lawmaking in
D.C., most have them with this branch of government. While it can be an easy
target to attack, they are not the branch that effects our lives as Americans,
that would be the Legislative branch and while we only have a President for
only a few years, some Congressmen and women seem to stick around for decades.

While a President only has four to eight years to work on their agenda,
Congresspersons do not have this constraint which allows some of them to grow
comfortable in their seats and not focus on why they are in Washington, to
speak and act on the behalf of their constitutes. This is why I believe that
Congresspersons in both the House of Representatives and the Senate need term
limits.

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            Becoming
an incumbent in Congress seems to be a pretty decent paying job. They receive
money from their political party, special interest groups, lobbyists, as well
as from many other outlets that has led up to a Congress with an average
congressman having a net worth over one million dollars (Yonk). This wealth
discrepancy makes it difficult for the average citizen to run for national
office if a multimillion-dollar portfolio is needed to run. “Money is needed to
run for reelection and the more money a campaign has the better chance that
they win” said former State Representative Bob Heleringer, but this doesn’t
explain the vast amount of personal wealth that congresspersons accumulate
while in office. Term limits on Congress would take away the safety of a seat
in Congress and help make it less like a job and more like the elected post it
is supposed to be.

            With
every passing year it seems that Congress becomes more and more partisan with
it seeming like every law or vote falling along party lines, regardless of if
the politicians even informed themselves on it. This year we only saw a few
Senators vote their conscious and not just on party lines, with two of these
Senators retiring this year (Napper). Congressional term limits bring about an
air of urgency that you only have a limited number of years to pass and vote on
what you believe in. With no term limits congresspersons seem to just vote on
whatever keeps them in their office and not on what would be best. Congresspersons
with on their last term scare the establishment as they vote as they want to
vote and become unpredictable as they have nothing to lose.

            In
almost all jobs, seniority is seen as a great advantage. Seniority in Congress,
however, has become the ultimate advantage. “Congress isn’t being run by
congressmen, it is being run by the committees” Bob Heleringer explained. Committees
are created to focus on a particular interest of Congress and are usually the
ones that drawl up legislation and policy. This makes the heads of these
committees very powerful individuals (Hatch). This creates a Congress controlled
by a few career politicians instead of by the whole Congress. Term limits would
make it hard if not impossible to create these committees and even if they were
created then they would be helmed by an individual that is knowledgeable about
the topic.

            At
the end of my two interviews I asked both men if there should be congressional
term limits and if so what would they make them. Both gave very different
answers, but I would have to agree more with Mr. Napper’s “I believe that just
like the President, Congressmen in both the House and Senate need a 2-term
limit.” I believe that two six year term limits for Senators and six 2-year
term limits would be optimal for efficiency in Congress and help steer Congress
towards its goal of policy, not politics.