An effort to establish congressional term limits gained steam this week as Florida became the first state in more than two and a half decades to back a constitutional convention under Article V to solely tackle the subject of federal term limits.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate backed a memorial from State Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville, and Florida Rep. Larry Metz, R-Groveland, supporting an Article V convention on term limits. The memorial passed by voice vote. The House passed its version of the memorial at the end of last month.
The legislation proposes a “convention under Article V of the Constitution of the United States with the sole agenda of proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to set a limit on the number of terms that a person may be elected as a member of the United States House of Representatives and to set a limit on the number of terms that a person may be elected as a member of the United States Senate.”
For the convention to be convened, 34 states must agree to it. If the convention proposes an amendment, 38 states must ratify it for it to be added to the U.S. Constitution.
U.S. Term Limits President Philip Blumel, who is based in Palm Beach, pointed to polls showing most Americans support congressional term limits.
“Seventy-five percent of Americans support term limits on Congress, including huge majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents,” Blumel said. “This is a rare, truly bipartisan issue with national support.”
“Rep. Larry Metz and State Sen. Aaron Bean have been an integral part of the process in Florida and in making Florida the first state in the nation to call for term limits,” Blumel added before showcasing his group’s work across the nation. “There are now 11 states hot on Florida’s heels, and the progress here has laid the groundwork for their success.”
Back in 1992, almost 77 percent of Floridians backed Amendment 9 which enacted eight year term limits on federal and state officials but, in 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not enact congressional term limits. The same year, despite Republicans taking over the House in 1994 by calling for congressional term limits, U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., attempted to push a proposed amendment though Congress limiting members of the U.S. House and Senate to serving 12 years but it fell far short of the two-thirds needed to pass the chamber.
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