Freshman U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke introduced a bill that would give Congress the power to set term limits for representatives and senators.
The proposed legislation introduced this week by O'Rourke, D-El Paso, and U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., would give Congress the constitutional authority to set term limits.
By Daniel Borunda
The proposal does not have a set number of terms members of Congress could serve.
While introducing the bill on the House floor, O'Rourke said the measure "will foster a productive conversation about how to make Congress more responsive to the needs of the American public."
"Many in our country feel that Congress is focused on re-election to the exclusion of solving our country's problems," O'Rourke said. "They are rightly concerned about the enormous powers of incumbency, the corrupting influence of money as well as the uncompetitive gerrymandered districts where the representative chooses his constituency and not the other way around."
O'Rourke said the proposal for term limits is part of a larger effort to reform Congress, including campaign finance reform and improvements to the congressional redistricting process. O'Rourke is a member of the task force on election reform.
"Congress members and senators need to be focused on doing the right thing, not on preserving their careers by getting re-elected," Bridenstine said in a news release.
Bridenstine and O'Rourke are both in their first year in Congress.
Bridenstine, of Tulsa, upset John Sullivan, a Republican who had been in Congress for five terms.
O'Rourke, in the primary, unseated Silvestre Reyes, a Demo crat who had represented El Paso in Congress for 16 years.