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Politics

Florida Backs Article V Convention for Constitutional Amendment on Congressional Term Limits

February 11, 2016 - 9:45am
Larry Metz and Aaron Bean
Larry Metz and Aaron Bean

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. 

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

Comments

I say it's a good start! A lot of people forget that it is the House and the Senate that hold the power in our government not the President or anyone else. Yet they are the ones who decide how long they can serve, how much they get paid, what benefits they get, where and how they get and can use campaign funds. Basically they make all the decisions regarding their own jobs while we foot the bill and they ultimately stuffer no consequences. They still get their "retirement". Would your employer let you decide how much you get compensated without their input?

I think it's funny that we have to go to the efforts of a constitutional convention to get term limits added to Congress because "We the People" are too damn lazy (or stupid) to actually vote them out when they run for re-election.

You are absolutely correct. Many folks blindfold themselves and vote party lines, regardless.....why? Well, because mommy and daddy did, and so on. No intelligence whatsoever. Currently it is the "job" of the congressman/woman to appease his/her constituent by dropping crumbs of service to a community, all to ensure an applause and a vote in the next election. They do concentrate on keeping their post, and a lot of Americans fall for it. This term limits would ensure that would not happen. If they were to get into office, they would have to work for it and if they are serving the people, they would know they have a limited time to do it in. Thank you Jonathan Hant.

How do you vote them out?? I have never seen a place on any ballot allowing us to vote them out. Hence the reason for the convention.. Because with the constitutional convention we wont need to take it to congress, because if all the states that are needed join in, then WE THE PEOPLE can make the change and add it to the constitution without the permission or acceptance of the house of congress. we have the right to do whats best for US when the government is not doing it.. If the President has a limit he can serve, and a Governor has a limit he can serve etc.. The so shall any member of Congress. They should have never been allowed to be in there 30-40 years period. And they do not abide by the same rules. They make laws that dont pertain to them, They give themselves cost of living increases while our Senior Citizens do not get them, they have the best medical insurance while we are being fined for not buying into Obamacare, they are making 6 and 7 figure incomes they will get to keep if they retire(which is BS).. I say get them out by any means possible.. Lets get it done!!!

I agree it would be great if we could vote them out, but that system is "rigged". Sometimes the other candidates, picked by the parties, mind you, are so woefully wrong for the job (purposefully, as decided by the parties) that we either re-elect the "devil we know" or elect someone that we know is a total loser. See the last South Carolina senate race as an example. I'm all for term limits: that can't be rigged.

Congress will vote to give itself a raise but will fight term limits. Time for the people to rise up and tell them it's time to go home. We have too many lifers making the rules for the rest of us, time to live under those same rules as the peons do.

There is no doubt that term limits need to be in place. There is great danger in assembling a Constitutional Convention. Those who support and are in process of limiting individual liberty would have a heyday. Take an honest hard look at the liberties lost in the past 16 years. Do we want to loose more? thank you Aaron Bean for the attempt at protecting us from civil seizure.

That's actually a very foolish sentiment. Please explain exactly how any liberties would be lost? It's not an open convention. The delegates would not have the authority to change anything other than to propose an amendment to term limit congress. Then, you would need 3/4 of the states to ratify. So again, please expand on your reasoning for taking the position you voiced!

So if I understand you correctly, you want to leave things the way they are. I'm sorry but I don't think we have anything to lose, that we will not lose by leaving the politician's in charge. Do you nt understand that the wealthy are going to take over the world if they are not stopped here?

This NEEDS to be accomplished in orde for our Democracy to survive. Encumbent legislators have forgotten how to compromise to go forward. They demand their pork nd if they don't get it...everything grinds to a standstill. Term limits are a must!

I agree 100%. Our representatives in Congress spend millions on re-election campaigns so they can be career politicians with lifetime retirement benefits, even if they serve only one term! Meanwhile, they don't show up to vote because they are out campaigning. If I missed that much time from work, I'd be fired! Our system is broken, and term limits can help solve the problem.

I don't see any advantage at all to having term limits. We need to reduce the influence of the political parties and the partisan bickering. Once someone is an incumbent, they have some protection against party influence (their record). If you automatically toss them out every 3 terms, then the party's dark money will be replacing everyone. Death to the moderates!

Florida can also be proud that it is the first state in the history of our country to apply for an Article V Convention to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to require that every law enacted by Congress must address only one subject which must be clearly expressed in the bill's title. 41 state constitutions have a single subject provision which prohibits the use of riders (unrelated provisions) in state legislation but, of course, this provision is missing in the U.S. Constitution. Pork barrel spending, logrolling and earmarking need to stopped in Congress!!! For more information, visit: http://singlesubjectamendment.com.

Actually, Florida lawmakers are not the first to approve an Article V Convention application on the topic of term limits on members of Congress. Back in 1989, South Dakota lawmakers did basically the same thing.

"Florida became the first state in more than two and a half decades" (quote in first paragraph of story). 1989 is more than two and a half decades before present day.

Where have you been in this fight? It seems you might add some reason and logic to the discussion.

While I have watched Florida term limits turn our Legislature into lemmings blindly following Leadership, I am not so sure that term limits are what is needed in Washington. Seems like we need to get corporations out of the control room using campaign donations. This action is just to allow more of the Florida Legislators who are term limited more opportunity for elected positions.

Term Limits are a good "starting point" in getting "..corporations out of the control room.." (as Colleen so aptly puts it); Term Limits will also give pause to Lobbys, Lobbiests, and Politicians who go "to work for them" after they lose "suction on the government mammary"... If nothing else, they will be 'on notice' in Congress that their "seat" is not a 'lifetime perch' !

I suppose it will be good as long as we don't have to pay their retirement too!

The authors of the Constitution never perceived holding public office becoming a career. Those who served in public office in the early years of the republic saw it as a temporary service to the country. Those in legislative positions spent as little time in session as possible so they could get home to the work from which they earned a living for themselves and their families. Term limits ought to be imposed on every elected public office holder, federal, state and local.

So many comments from "Naysayers" and those who refuse to take this as a positive step. GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS can only be taken at this point in small steps. If YOU support TERM LIMITS, do and say something positive! It's so easy to doubt forward momentum. STOP your crappy DOWN-TALK and SUPPORT this... or just go back into your "Negative Cage" and SHUT UP!

Do this and the entirety of the Constitution is at issue. Koch is a proud sponsor of the dissolution of our country.

Yeah like it has worked so well in Florida!!! Plus no way it has any chance. If they want to do something make the primary open to all so independents get to vote.

Totally agree. Well said.

Gee, it must be right --> "Florida backs" . . . . . . . did the actual citizens of Florida get to vote on this, this year? . . . . . oh, No! . . . . . . . simply another truthiness (feel good) "voice vote" (i.e. they weren't even willing to go on record with their names lest it come back to haunt them) . . . . . . . . does the vote actually do anything . . . . . . oh, No! . . . . . . simply a feel-good, meaningless truthiness . . . . . . . . . . . . desiring to overturn all that "original intent" of the Founding Fathers . . . . . . . simply because they're the GOP and can't seem to win any longer without changing the rules, disenfranchising voters, blatant lying/denial about science/facts, etc. . . . etc. . . . . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . . .

just reading your comments shows the country what is now wrong with this country and the education sys.

At the very least, Term Limits are what a vast majority of voters want, so it is very good news that Florida now leads the nation with this proposal! This is a very good thing!

What makes you think the vast majority wants this? Because they say so in the article. The vast majority couldn't tell you who their congressional representation is. They don't know and most don't care. So why would they be concerned about how long they are in office? They wouldnt. This is an attempt to change the rules, again, to benefit one party. Enough already!!!!

That's a very easy question to answer, William. Just ask your neighbors, friends, and relatives without arguing for or against. Just ASK the question. I'm certain you'll be quite surprised! Have a nice day, all!

Very well put. If you don't ask you don't know.

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