Congress’ approval rating hit all-time lows in 2014. That was the year of Obama’s reelection, and at the time there was a great deal of scrutiny on the president’s political opponents- the most active of whom were congressmen and congresswomen.
Since then, there has been a steady decline in the intensity of the coverage that stories coming out of the Congress has received. However, this governmental body has maintained work habits that are no more interested in the good of the American public since the 24-hour news cycle took its myopic eye off of them.
There have been just as many late-night secret sessions where laws were passed under cover of darkness- before any voting lawmakers could have read these bills with a flagrant disinterest, even disdain, for the will of the people.
But low job performance and semi-secret sessions are just the beginning of why Congress is the swamp that Donald Trump says it has become. Because members of Congress have no term limits, they have very little incentive to produce good laws that provide a measurable benefit for the American people.
What’s worse, when Congress men and women are shaken free of their seat- they are still able to act as politicians by relabeling themselves consultants and advisors when in fact they are working as lobbyists.
And it is well known that lobbyists not only have a massive and underreported, almost unaccountable effect on the state of the nation but that they can make huge amounts of money by shilling for corporate and international interests.
Enter: Donald Trump.
He’s ready to drain the swamp that Capitol Hill has become. He has declared that if he wins the Presidency this November, he will do everything he can to impose term limits on members of Congress.
During his recent rally in Colorado Springs, the candidate promised to “break up the corruption” by running interference on the special interests that have got a firm grip on our nation’s capital city.
“When I am president, I will apply huge, tremendous pressure to create a constitutional amendment that will impose much-needed term limits on every member of Congress,” Trump told a crowd of captivated supporters. “They have been talking about that for years. But have never done a thing about it”
The Trump campaign attempted to elaborate on this and similar proposals, which have always failed due to the lack of support in Congress, during a press release immediately after the speech.
The statement read, “After many years of failure in Washington DC, decades of special interest’s dealings, this corruption must come to an end. We need to break this cycle of corruption and give new voices a much-needed chance to perform government service. The time to impose Congressional term limits it now.”
Trump’s announcement comes after his having said in August that he would take a very serious look at the idea. In his comments, he did not specify any proposed upper limit for the length or amount of terms for Senate and House of Representatives members.
A number of Trump’s Republican rivals, such as Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, have also supported the imposition of term limits on our ‘representatives’ in Congress.
The idea of Congressional term limits has its roots in the “Contract with America,” created by the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. This was proposed by Republicans in 1994 under the Clinton administration.
The Contract with America would have created a 12-year maximum (cumulative) period of service for Senate and House members, but there was too little support, and the measure failed to become law.
Gingrich is currently a senior advisor to the Trump campaign.
Currently, just 13 percent of Americans approve of Congress’s performance, this is in line with ratings from 11 to 16 percent since August. The current rating is only four points above the all-time low of 9 percent from November 2013.
Approval of Congress has averaged 32 percent since Gallup started tracking it in 1974. Americans’ views of the legislative body reached an all-time high of 84 percent after the 9/11 rally but steadily waned during the course of the George W. Bush presidential administration. While approval rose at the onset of the Obama administration, it dropped and to a record low of 9 percent in November 2013 after the federal government shutdown.
It would seem that the American public would support taking the choosing power over Congressional term limits away from the Congressmen who cling to this hallmark of the status quo so desperately.
~American Liberty Report