My views on mandated term limits for members of Congress are firmly established.
I don’t like the idea. Heck, I am wavering on whether term limits for presidents is such a great idea.
But the House of Representatives Democratic caucus is leaning more and more toward an idea that Republicans have adopted, which is term limits for committee chairs and ranking members.
I am warming up to that idea.
A growing number of House Democrats believe their Republican friends have outflanked them on the notion of injecting new leadership into the congressional ranks.
It’s critical to point out that Republicans run the House with a strong majority that was made even stronger after the 2014 midterm elections. The Democratic reform would involve the placement of top-ranking Democrats on these panels.
Politico reports: “Former Caucus Chairman John Larson, who was term-limited from that slot in 2013, agreed. He praised House Republicans’ six-year limit for people to serve atop committees, although Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has allowed some exceptions.
“’A number of people would say Republicans have struck a better formula for advancement,’ the Connecticut Democrat said. “And I don’t think it’s a bad thing for leadership at all. I mean, it’s verboten to say it, but it’s true and I think even our current leaders would recognize it, all of whom I support.’”
Each party makes its own rules that govern how they do business internally. Republicans have for several years instituted this term-limit rule for its own leadership. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, would in theory surrender his chairmanship after three more terms in the House, unless the speaker grants an exemption.
It’s a way to freshen each committee’s agenda, its leadership style and its focus — while preserving voters’ intentions back home of continuing to be represented by individuals they have re-elected to Congress.
Despite my dislike for term limits, these internal changes make sense to me.
Go for it, House Democrats.