What are the arguments for term limits?


Quick Answer

The arguments for term limits in Congress include: putting a limit on time in office means less time to develop financial ties to lobbyists and special interest groups, and congressmen are more likely to fight for constituents if they must live under laws they enacted. Incumbents also have great advantages during elections.

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Full Answer

Opponents to term limits argue that they are not necessary because Congress must be re-elected regularly. As of 2015, there is a 94 percent re-election rate in the U.S. House of Representatives, and an 83 percent re-election rate in the Senate. This is due to the name recognition and financial advantages the incumbent receives while in office. Term limits encourage regular citizens to run for office.

Term limit opposition also argues that career politicians have valuable experience that would be lost if they were forced out of office. The notion that only the incumbent can do the job well is inaccurate. It is realistic to believe that there are others just as qualified. There are also other offices to which the career politician may be elected, such as moving from the House to the Senate, or moving from state to federal offices.

Ted Kaufman from Delaware Online argues that the federal government is too complicated, and one or two terms is not enough time to learn the intricacies of government. He also argues that a representative or senator must reflect the culture and beliefs of the voters to be elected in the first place.

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