Over the past several years, we have watched Congress buckle under the leadership of career politicians who have spent 20-, 30-, 40-plus years in the Beltway. Our national debt is spiraling out of control. In the midst of the pandemic, Congress is playing political games while Americans are struggling. There is more interest in political theater than serving We the People.
Is it any wonder? The power of the incumbency has grown so strong that special interest super PACs now give $9 out of every $10 to incumbents over challengers. “Just vote them out,” one might say? It now costs a bona fide fortune to begin to mount a credible challenge against an incumbent. A recent study showed it now takes $2.5 million just to establish equal name recognition.
The Founders knew that unchecked power ends in tyranny. The Constitution they wrote has offered us so much stability for 200 years. And to allow the nation to address problems that would arise from time to time, they provided a means of amending.
Article V provides two ways of proposing amendments and a process for ratification. A two-thirds supermajority of both houses of Congress can propose an amendment, and 38 states are needed to ratify it. Now, we know Congress won’t propose term limits on itself. If two-thirds of both houses of Congress were willing to propose term limits on themselves, we probably wouldn’t need term limits. Of course they won’t cut off their own gravy train. That’s why the Framers were wise to provide a way to go around Congress. We have filed a resolution calling for the Term Limits Convention. When 34 states pass this resolution, all 50 states are invited to a “convention for proposing amendments” for the sole purpose of proposing an amendment limiting the terms of members of Congress.
This is decades overdue. Congress is not serious about term limits. The only way to get it done is through the Term Limits Convention. A poll among West Virginia voters showed that 84% of West Virginians want term limits on Congress. We hear you and are standing with you to make this happen. There is enormous support in the legislature for this measure. We say it’s about time we give America the win it needs. Let’s put term limits on Congress.
West Virginia State Senator Randy Smith (Tucker) & Delegate Jeff Pack (Raleigh)