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104th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                     104-67
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                  TERM LIMITS FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

                                _______


   March 6, 1995.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

_______________________________________________________________________


    Mr. Canady, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                    ADDITIONAL AND DISSENTING VIEWS

                       [To accompany H.J. Res. 2]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
joint resolution (H.J. Res. 2) proposing an amendment to the 
Constitution of the United States with respect to the number of 
terms of office of Members of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives, having considered the same, report an 
amendment, but without recommendation on the joint resolution 
as amended.

                                CONTENTS
                                                                   Page
The amendment....................................................     2
Purpose and summary..............................................     2
Background and need for the amendment............................     2
Constitutional amendment procedures..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee consideration..........................................     4
Vote of the Committee............................................     4
Committee oversight findings.....................................     6
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.....................     7
Congressional Budget Office estimate.............................     7
Inflationary impact statement....................................     7
Section-by-section analysis and discussion.......................     8
Additional views.................................................     9
Dissenting views.................................................    12

    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike out all after the resolving clause and insert in 
lieu thereof the following:

That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the 
Constitution of the United States:

                              ``Article --

    ``Section 1. No person who has been elected for a full term to the 
Senate two consecutive times shall be eligible for election or 
appointment to the Senate for a third consecutive term. No person who 
has been elected for a full term to the House of Representatives six 
consecutive times shall be eligible for election to the House of 
Representatives for a seventh consecutive term.
    ``Section 2. Service as a Senator or Representative for more than 
half of a term to which someone else was originally elected shall be 
considered an election for the purposes of section 1.
    ``Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have 
been ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several 
States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States 
by the Congress.
    ``Section 4. No election or service occurring before this article 
becomes operative shall be taken into account when determining 
eligibility for election under this article.
    ``Section 5. No provision of any State statute or constitution 
shall diminish or enhance, directly or indirectly, the limits set by 
this article.''.
                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The Republican ``Contract with America'' promises a floor 
vote on proposed constitutional amendments to limit the terms 
of Members of the United States Senate and House of 
Representatives within the first one hundred days of the 104th 
Congress. Pursuant to this commitment, the Committee on the 
Judiciary met on February 28, 1995 and moved to report the 
resolution, H.J. Res. 2 without recommendation. H.J. Res. 2, if 
approved by two-thirds of the members of both the House and 
Senate, and if ratified by three-fourths of the States, will 
limit United States Senators to two full, consecutive terms (12 
years) and Members of the House of Representatives to six full, 
consecutive terms (12 years).

                 BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR THE AMENDMENT

    In recent years, proposals to limit the terms of State and 
Federal officeholders have proved increasingly popular. Since 
1990, 21 of the 24 States that have the initiative process have 
passed ballot measures limiting congressional terms. There are 
now 22 States with congressional terms. There are now 22 States 
with congressional terms limits.\1\ Some States specify a 
maximum number of terms or years that Members are allowed to 
serve, either consecutively or within a specified period. Other 
States prohibit a candidate's name from appearing on the ballot 
if he or she has served beyond a specified period or has been 
elected more than a specified number of times.
    \1\ The Utah State legislature enacted legislation to limit U.S. 
Senators and Representatives to 12 year terms in May of 1994.
    This past election congressional term limits were on the 
ballot in eight States: Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, Maine, 
Nebraska, Nevada, Colorado and Utah. Colorado was the first 
State to pass term limits in 1990 of two terms for Senators and 
six for House Members. The November 8, 1994 vote further 
restricted those terms to three years for House Members. On 
November 8, 1994, voters in Utah rejected a ballot initiative 
to further restrict the terms of House Members to 6 years.
    Some supporters of term limits argue that States currently 
have the authority to limit the number of terms that can be 
served by virtue of Article I, Section 4, Clause 1 of the 
Constitution, which allows States to prescribe the ``times, 
places, and manner of holding elections for Senators and 
Representatives.'' Others argue, however, that such actions by 
the States represent an attempt to expand upon the 
qualifications of Federal legislators which are established and 
defined in the Constitution and cannot be changed by State 
laws. See, Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486 (1969).
    The issue of the authority of the States to limit the terms 
of Members of Congress is being addressed by the United States 
Supreme Court in U.S. Term Limits v. Hill, No. 93-1456. In U.S. 
Term Limits, the Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether 
Article I of the Constitution forbids States from declining to 
print the names of multi-term incumbents in the U.S. House of 
Representatives and Senate on their election ballots. At issue 
is an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Arkansas 
which provides that a person who has served three or more terms 
in the House or two or more terms in the Senate representing 
Arkansas ``shall not be eligible to appear on the ballot for 
election'' to the House or Senate. If the Court rules in favor 
of the restriction imposed by the State of Arkansas, a 
constitutional amendment to impose term limits should not be 
necessary. If supporters wish to have uniform limits for all 
fifty States, however, such an amendment will still be 
desirable. If the court rules against the power of the States 
to impose such restrictions on ballot access, then the 
Constitution must be amended in order to impose such limits.

                  constitutional amendment procedures

    Article V of the United States Constitution provides that 
the Congress has the authority to propose amendments to the 
Constitution. Such proposed amendments must be approved by a 
two-thirds vote of both Houses. Congress must also specify 
whether the ratification process is to be done through the 
State legislatures or by State conventions. H.J. Res. 2 
proposes ratification through the State legislatures.

                                hearings

    On February 3, 1995, the Subcommittee on the Constitution 
held one day of hearings on the issue of term limits for 
Members of the United States Senate and House of 
Representatives. The Subcommittee heard testimony from the 
following witnesses: Representative Tillie Fowler, 
Representative Bill McCollum, Representative Nathan Deal, 
Representative Douglas ``Pete'' Peterson, Representative Donald 
Payne, Representative Ray Thornton, U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, 
U.S. Senator Mitchell McConnell, former U.S. Senator Dennis 
DeConcini, Charles Kesler, Director of the Henry Salvatori 
Center, Claremont McKenna College, John G. Kester, Williams and 
Connolly, Thomas E. Mann, The Brookings Institution, the 
Honorable Thomas Fetzer, Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina, 
Cleta Deatherage Mitchell, General Counsel, Term Limits Legal 
Institute, Fred Wertheimer, President, Common Cause, Becky 
Cain, League of Women Voters. Additional testimony was received 
from Representative Frank A. LoBiondo.
    During the 103rd Congress, the Subcommittee on Civil and 
Constitutional Rights held two hearings on term limits on 
November 18, 1993 and June 29, 1994. (Serial No. 66). The 
Judiciary Committee has never before considered term limits 
resolutions nor has the House ever voted on the issue of term 
limits for Members of the House and Senate.

                        committee consideration

    On February 28, 1995 the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported the resolution H.J. Res. 2, with an amendment, 
without recommendation, by a recorded vote of 21-14.

                         vote of the committee

    The Committee considered the following with recorded votes:
    1. Mr. Frank offered an amendment to take into account 
elections or service occurring prior to the amendment becoming 
operative when determining eligibility for elections. Mr. 
Frank's amendment was defeated by a rollcall vote of 15-20.
        AYES                          NAYS
Mr. Conyers                         Mr. Hyde
Mrs. Schroeder                      Mr. Moorhead
Mr. Frank                           Mr. McCollum
Mr. Schumer                         Mr. Gekas
Mr. Berman                          Mr. Coble
Mr. Boucher                         Mr. Smith (TX)
Mr. Bryant (TX)                     Mr. Gallegly
Mr. Nadler                          Mr. Canady
Mr. Scott                           Mr. Inglis
Mr. Watt                            Mr. Goodlatte
Mr. Becerra                         Mr. Buyer
Mr. Serrano                         Mr. Hoke
Ms. Lofgren                         Mr. Bono
Mr. Sensenbrenner                   Mr. Heineman
Mr. Schiff                          Mr. Bryant (TN)
                                    Mr. Chabot
                                    Mr. Flanagan
                                    Mr. Barr
                                    Mr. Reed
                                    Ms. Jackson Lee

    2. Mr. Gekas offered an amendment, as amended by Mr. 
Goodlatte, to allow Members who have served 12 consecutive 
years to again be eligible for election or appointment if they 
sit out at least one full term. The amendment offered by Mr. 
Gekas, as amended by Mr. Goodlatte, was adopted by a rollcall 
vote of 21-13.
        AYES                          NAYS
Mr. Conyers                         Mr. Hyde
Mrs. Schroeder                      Mr. McCollum
Mr. Frank                           Mr. Coble
Mr. Schumer                         Mr. Schiff
Mr. Berman                          Mr. Gallegly
Mr. Boucher                         Mr. Inglis
Mr. Bryant (TX)                     Mr. Hoke
Mr. Reed                            Mr. Bono
Mr. Nadler                          Mr. Heineman
Mr. Scott                           Mr. Bryant (TN)
Mr. Watt                            Mr. Chabot
Mr. Becerra                         Mr. Flanagan
Mr. Serrano                         Mr. Barr
Ms. Lofgren
Ms. Jackson Lee
Mr. Moorhead
Mr. Sensenbrenner
Mr. Gekas
Mr. Smith (TX)
Mr. Canady
Mr. Goodlatte

    3. Mr. McCollum offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to the Scott amendment to pre-empt any applicable, 
valid State laws limiting the terms of Members. The McCollum 
amendment was adopted by a rollcall vote of 21-11.
        AYES                          NAYS
Mr. Hyde                            Mr. Sensenbrenner
Mr. Moorhead                        Mr. Coble
Mr. McCollum                        Mr. Schiff
Mr. Gekas                           Mr. Canady
Mr. Smith (TX)                      Mr. Inglis
Mr. Gallegly                        Mr. Bono
Mr. Goodlatte                       Mr. Scott
Mr. Buyer                           Mr. Watt
Mr. Hoke                            Mr. Becerra
Mr. Heineman                        Ms. Lofgren
Mr. Bryant (TN)                     Ms. Jackson Lee
Mr. Chabot
Mr. Flanagan
Mr. Barr
Mr. Conyers
Mrs. Schroeder
Mr. Frank
Mr. Schumer
Mr. Berman
Mr. Boucher
Mr. Bryant (TX)
Mr. Reed
Mr. Nadler
Mr. Serrano

    4. Mr. McCollum offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to limit the number of terms of office of Members of 
the Senate to 12 years and the House of Representatives to 12 
years. The McCollum amendment was adopted by a rollcall vote of 
20-14; 1 voting present.
        AYES                          NAYS
Mr. Hyde                            Mr. Conyers
Mr. Moorhead                        Mrs. Schroeder
Mr. Sensenbrenner                   Mr. Schumer
Mr. McCollum                        Mr. Berman
Mr. Gekas                           Mr. Boucher
Mr. Coble                           Mr. Bryant (TX)
Mr. Smith (TX)                      Mr. Reed
Mr. Schiff                          Mr. Nadler
Mr. Gallegly                        Mr. Scott
Mr. Canady                          Mr. Watt
Mr. Inglis                          Mr. Becerra
Mrs. Goodlatte                      Mr. Serrano
Mr. Buyer                           Ms. Lofgren
Mr. Hoke                            Ms. Jackson Lee
Mr. Bono
Mr. Heineman
Mr. Bryant (TN)
Mr. Chabot
Mr. Flanagan
Mr. Barr
    Present: Mr. Frank.

    5. Motion to report H.J. Res. 2, as amended, without 
recommendation to the House. Motion was agreed to by a rollcall 
vote of 21-14.
        AYES                          NAYS
Mr. Hyde                            Mr. Conyers
Mr. Moorhead                        Mrs. Schroeder
Mr. Sensenbrenner                   Mr. Frank
Mr. McCollum                        Mr. Schumer
Mr. Gekas                           Mr. Berman
Mr. Coble                           Mr. Boucher
Mr. Smith (TX)                      Mr. Bryant (TX)
Mr. Schiff                          Mr. Reed
Mr. Gallegly                        Mr. Nadler
Mr. Canady                          Mr. Scott
Mr. Inglis                          Mr. Watt
Mr. Goodlatte                       Mr. Becerra
Mr. Buyer                           Mr. Serrano
Mr. Hoke                            Ms. Jackson Lee
Mr. Bono
Mr. Heineman
Mr. Bryant (TN)
Mr. Chabot
Mr. Flanagan
Mr. Barr
Ms. Lofgren

                      committee oversight findings

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports 
that the findings and recommendations of the Committee, based 
on oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
description portions of this report.

         committee on government reform and oversight findings

    No findings or recommendations of the Committee on 
Government Reform and Oversight were received as referred to in 
clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

               new budget authority and tax expenditures

    Clause 2(l)(3)(B) of House Rule XI is inapplicable because 
this legislation does not provide new budgetary authority or 
increased tax expenditures.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets 
forth, with respect to the resolution H.J. Res. 2, the 
following estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office under section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, March 2, 1995.
Hon. Henry J. Hyde,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
reviewed H.J. Res. 2, a joint resolution proposing a 
constitutional amendment to limit congressional terms, as 
ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on 
February 28, 1995. We expect that enactment of this resolution 
would result in no significant cost or savings to the federal 
government, and no cost to state and local governments. Because 
enactment of H.J. Res. 2 would not affect direct spending or 
receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply to the bill.
    The joint resolution would propose amending the 
constitution to limit the number of consecutive terms that 
Senators and Representatives may serve. The proposed amendment 
would limit Senators to two consecutive terms and 
Representatives to six consecutive terms. To become effective, 
two-thirds of the members of both houses would have to vote to 
approve the resolution, and three-fourths of the states would 
have to ratify the proposed amendment within seven years.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                            June O'Neill, Director.

                     inflationary impact statement

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that H.J. Res 
2 will have no significant inflationary impact on prices and 
costs in the national economy.

               section-by-section analysis and discussion

Section 1

    Section 1 sets forth the limitations on eligibility for 
service for Members of the United States Senate and House of 
Representatives. A person who has been elected to the Senate 
for two full, consecutive terms shall not be eligible for 
election or appointment to the Senate for a third consecutive 
term. In addition, a person who has been elected for six full, 
consecutive terms to the House of Representatives shall not be 
eligible for election for a seventh consecutive term.

Section 2

    For the purpose of considering elections which count toward 
the relevant limit, Section 2 provides that service as a 
Senator or Representative for more than half of a term to which 
someone else was originally elected shall be considered as an 
election. This section will ensure that no Member will be 
permitted to serve beyond the 12-year limit in the House or the 
Senate because the Member is serving the remainder of a term 
(either through election in the House or election or 
appointment in the Senate).

Section 3

    This section sets a seven=year limit on ratification of the 
amendment from the time it is submitted to the States by the 
Congress. Pursuant to Article V of the United States 
Constitution, the amendment must be ratified by three-fourths 
of the State legislatures.

Section 4

    This section makes clear that elections or service 
occurring prior to ratification by three-fourths of the States 
shall not be counted when determining eligibility for election. 
Although the amendment, if ratified by three-fourths of the 
States, will apply to sitting Members of Congress, elections 
and service of those Members prior to the date the amendment 
takes effect will not count in determining future eligibility 
for election.

Section 5

    This section, which was added in Committee, provides that 
the constitutional amendment will pre-empt State laws 
attempting to set limits on the terms of Members. This section 
also guarantees that uniform limits on terms of Members of the 
House and Senate shall apply to all the States.
                 ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF HON. HENRY J. HYDE

    Although I am opposed to artificial term limits for members 
of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, I 
voted to report H.J. Res. 2 without recommendation so that this 
important issue can be the subject of a full and fair debate on 
the House floor.
    The United States Constitution provides that the members of 
the House of Representatives shall be ``chosen every second 
Year'' \1\ and the members of the Senate shall be ``elected by 
the people thereof, for six years. . . .'' \2\ As a fundamental 
matter, every time voters go to the polls, they make the 
decision of whether to ``limit'' the term of their elected 
representatives.
    \1\ U.S. Const. art. I, sec. 2, cl. 1.
    \2\ U.S. Const. art. I, sec. 3, cl. 1. Amend. XVII, Clause 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nonetheless, proponents continue to press for government-
imposed restrictions on the terms of members of Congress. Some 
supporters of term limits believe we need to resurrect the 
principle of ``rotation in office.'' Some support term limits 
because they believe that the idea of a ``professional'' or 
``career'' politician is incompatible with the concept of the 
``citizen'' legislator. Certain supporters of term limits argue 
that they are needed to make representatives more responsive to 
the needs of the electorate. Some, like noted columnist and 
author George Will, argue the opposite: that term limits are 
needed to create a constitutional ``distance'' which will allow 
representatives to engage in deliberative decisionmaking in 
pursuit of the best interests of the nation, not their own re-
elections.
    The frustration with Washington felt by the citizens who 
have voted in favor of term limits resolutions in the States is 
real. They want less spending, lower taxes and less regulation 
and they sent a clear and unmistakable signal to Washington to 
that effect on November 8, 1994. Fundamentally, however, term 
limits are not as much a restriction on the power of the 
Federal government as they are an abridgement of the rights of 
citizens to choose who will represent them. This sentiment was 
expressed by Robert R. Livingston during the New York debates 
on adoption of the Federal Constitution with respect to the 
issue of ``rotation in office:''

          The people are the best judges who ought to represent 
        them. To dictate and control them, to tell them whom 
        they shall not elect, is to abridge their natural 
        rights. This rotation is an absurd species of 
        ostracism--a mode of proscribing eminent merit, and 
        banishing from stations of trust those who have filled 
        them with the greatest faithfulness. Besides, it takes 
        away the strongest stimulus of public virtue--the hope 
        of honors and rewards. The acquisition of abilities is 
        hardly worth the trouble, unless one is to enjoy the 
        satisfaction of employing them for the good of one's 
        country. We all know that experience is indispensably 
        necessary to good government. Shall we, then, drive 
        experience into obscurity? I repeat that this is an 
        absolute abridgment of the people's rights. 2 Debates 
        on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution 292-293 
        (J.Elliot) (1988) (speech of R. Livingston).

Although the principle of ``rotation in office'' was a part of 
the Articles of Confederation, it was subsequently rejected by 
the members of the Constitutional Convention.\3\
    \3\ Art. of Confed. art. V, cl. 2. The Committee of the Whole of 
the Constitutional Convention considered the question of term limits 
for the legislature on June 12, 1787. See, Max Farrand, ed., ``The 
Records of the Federal Convention of 1787'' (1911; New Haven, Conn.: 
Yale University Press, 1966), vol. 1, p. 210.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Some supporters argue that term limits will restrict the 
ability of the Federal Government to interfere in our daily 
lives. It seems far more likely, however, that the opposite 
will be true. If the terms of House and Senate members are 
limited, so to will be the ability of the Congress to restrain 
the unelected and virtually unaccountable civil servants who 
run the executive branch of our Federal government.
    Some support term limits as a means of resurrecting the 
concept of a ``citizen'' legislator, as opposed to the 
``professional'' or ``career'' politician. I submit, however, 
that complexity of today's modern world calls for 
``professionalism'' and expertise in the realm of government no 
less than in the other spheres of society. As Thomas Mann of 
the Brookins Institution stated recently in testimony submitted 
to the Subcommittee on the Constitution:

        [C]areful study of Congress and every other sector of 
        society suggests that greater professionalism is a 
        necessary offshoot of the growth and specialization of 
        the modern world. . . . [A]dvocates of term limits are 
        hard pressed to offer any examples of amateurism 
        operating successfully in contemporary society, in the 
        United States or abroad. George Will got it right the 
        first time when he wrote: ``The day of the `citizen 
        legislator'--the day when a legislator's primary job 
        was something other than government--is gone. A great 
        state cannot be run by `citizen legislators' and 
        amateur administrators.'' ``The Politics and Law of 
        Term Limits,'' Edward H. Crane and Roger Pilon, eds., 
        (Washington, DC: CATO Institute, 1994) p. 87. Citing 
        George F. Will, ``Statecraft as Soulcraft'' (New York: 
        Simon & Shuster, 1983) p. 16.

    This nation's future depends on the caliber of the people 
leading it. We need individuals with the self-confidence, the 
experience, the wisdom and the judgment to be able to negotiate 
issues of war and peace. We get these people from the crucible 
of politics and experience. Term limits will not only deprive 
us of the institutional memory of Members of Congress needed to 
guide us, it will deprive us of the individual memories which 
bring experience to bear on the important issues of the day. In 
short, we cannot afford to disqualify those who can bring sound 
judgment born of years of experience to the increasingly 
demanding tasks of elected office.
    Our current system provides the mix of ``institutional 
memory, experience, knowledge, and wisdom as well as regular 
infusions of new members with fresh ideas willing to challenge 
old ways of doing the people's business.'' \4\ The election of 
1994 showed that the American people already have the power to 
limit the terms of officeholders who fail to represent them 
according to their wishes. Term limits will restrict this vital 
ability which is the cornerstone of representative democracy 
and should, therefore, be rejected.
    \4\ Testimony of Thomas Mann before the Subcommittee on the 
Constitution, February 3, 1995. 104th Congress, first session.

                                                     Henry J. Hyde.
                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    Because we believe that the Judiciary Committee has 
reported to the full House of Representatives term limits 
legislation which is anti-democratic, we dissent.
    Term limits are anti-democratic. They impair without 
recourse a fundamental right of people to vote for whomever 
they choose. ``If somebody came up to me and said you have to 
vote for this person, I would be offended. I would say you 
don't understand democracy. Now, I fail to see the difference 
between someone coming up and saying you cannot vote for this 
person. I would say you don't understand democracy, either.'' 
Chairman Henry Hyde, House Judiciary Committee, Judiciary 
Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution's Term Limits 
Hearing, February 3, 1995, at pages 7-8. We agree with Chairman 
Hyde's assessment.
    Term limits are completely unnecessary. Congressional 
turnover is not low. The reelection rate for incumbents who 
seek reelection has been over time high, (between 1790 and 1988 
the incumbency return rate was less than 70% only seven times) 
but an important indicator rarely mentioned by term limits 
supporters is that many incumbents have not sought reelection. 
As a result, slightly more than half (52 percent) of the 
current Members of the House were initially elected in 1990 and 
thereafter. In the 103d Congress, 72% of the House and Senate 
Members were elected in 1980 and after.
    The bill reported out of the Judiciary Committee is 
inconsistent. The Judiciary Committee rejected an amendment 
which would have made the measure applicable to Members of the 
House and Senate currently serving. The amendment offered to 
strike that portion of Mr. McCollum's substitute which provides 
``[n]o election or service occurring before this article 
becomes operative shall be taken into account when determining 
eligibility for election under this article.''
    With seven years for ratification and twelve years of 
limit, current Members would not be affected for at least 
nineteen years. It is our view that if term limits are deemed 
an appropriate measure, a view we do not hold, then those term 
limits should apply to current lawmakers. The Committee's 
rejection of this fundamentally fair notion lays bare their 
true goals: a complete pandering to that part of the electorate 
which calls for Congressional reforms, as long as the solution 
doesn't affect any sitting Member.
    The supporters responded to an amendment for retroactive 
application by claiming that an important interest group, U.S. 
Term Limits, opposes retroactivity, arguing that none of the 
states' limits laws are retroactive. The majority is selective 
in its reliance on U.S. Term Limits. That group also expressly 
favors six year term limits and no preemption of states' rules, 
wishes the majority rejected.
    Term limits would remove critical leadership and 
institutional abilities of Members. Important substantive areas 
of legislation rely on experienced, knowledgeable leaders: 
communications, natural resources, substantive criminal law, 
intellectual property, etc., have all been positively 
influenced by Members with many years of in-depth experience in 
these areas. Every other area of professionalism in this nation 
values experience, tenure, and the wisdom which can come with 
terms of service. Term limits would destroy this opportunity 
and make Congress an institution where inexperience is more 
valued than professionalism and experience.

          Now, I want a career dentist to work on me, career. I 
        want him to have been there. Therefore, what about a 
        career politician? Isn't that--can't anybody do that 
        job, anybody? Get the first 400 names out of the 
        directory. I just made a little list of the things you 
        had better be expert in, you had better be 
        knowledgeable about if you are a politician serving in 
        this building: agriculture, environment, weapons 
        systems, international relations, banking, finance, 
        urban affairs, tax policy, budget policy, 
        administration of justice, bankruptcy law, tort, 
        medical malpractice, product liability, immigration 
        policy, criminal law, intellectual property, customs, 
        health care, trade policy, education and labor, and on 
        and on and on and on--a lifetime's work, to know about 
        one of these subjects. You better know about a lot of 
        them, because you are voting for your people.
          This is not an easy job, and it can't be done 
        overnight. It takes years. When they operate on your 
        brain, when they bring that saw next to your skull, you 
        had better ask for a career neurologist who is going to 
        do that. And you had better, in time of national 
        crisis--not a check writing scandal; I mean, when the 
        nuclear bombs are about to fly, I mean when Iran is 
        going to take over the Persian Gulf--you better have 
        some Everett Dirksens, some Henry Jacksons, some Hubert 
        Humphreys, you had better have a few people who have 
        been there before and have some institutional memory.
          You demean the importance of this job by saying 
        anybody can do it.

    Chairman Henry Hyde, House Judiciary Committee, Judiciary 
Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution's Term Limits 
Hearing, February 3, 1995, at pages 54-55.
    Term limits increase the power of appointed officials, both 
Congressional staffers and Executive Branch career employees. 
Agency employees and Congressional staffers would play a 
relatively more important role, with inexperienced Members 
susceptible to the manipulation and influence of more 
experienced staff.
    A 1989 study showed that 70 percent of career executives in 
the Executive Branch have been with their agencies for 10 
years, and 50 percent for 15 years.\1\ A 1993 study showed that 
the ``typical Federal civilian employee'' had a length of 
service of 14.9 years average, for full time permanent 
employees.\2\ For the majority who rail against the power of 
Federal Agencies and use ``bureaucrats'' as a pejorative, term 
limits for Members of Congress make no sense.
    \1\ Leadership for America, Rebuilding the Public Service, Task 
Force Reports to The National Commission on the Public Service, Paul A. 
Volcker, Chairman, 1989, at page 163.
    \2\ Federal Civilian Workforce Statistics, Employment and Trends as 
of November 1993, OPM, at page 78 (1993).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Term limits supporters claim mutually exclusive goals: 
limits will make legislators closer to the people and limits 
will make legislators more distant. Supporters of term limits 
argue that what would cure Congress' ills would be to replace 
it with Members who are ``citizen legislators'' who would 
undertake the job as a civic duty for a short time rather than 
as a career. The current professional legislator means that you 
``no longer work, shop, commute or send your children to school 
among your constituents. The attitudes and outlook inside the 
beltway among what has become a professional political class is 
indeed different from that in the rest of the nation, and 
Members of Congress spend far more time here than they did 
twenty or thirty years ago ...'' \3\
    \3\ David Mason, Heritage Foundation, Judiciary's Constitution 
Subcommittee Hearing at 41 (1993).
    Then, in complete contradiction to that premise, term limit 
supporters take a completely opposite tack, arguing that term 
limits are ``not to make Congress closer to the people, but to 
establish a constitutional distance for a more deliberative 
process, all of which would restore to Congress its proper 
stature. A deliberative Congress would cut the presidency down 
to size from its current swollen nature.'' \4\
    \4\ Will, George, Speech to Cato Institute, 12/1/93, reprinted in 
Constitution Subcommittee Hearing Transcript, at page 215 (1993).
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    Taken together, the two viewpoints underscore the 
intellectual inconsistency of the term limits movement. On the 
one hand the current Congress is criticized as too close to the 
people, too responsive to their wishes, and thus in need of 
being replaced. With what? With those who are truly citizens. 
People who understand every day people. And, the logic goes, 
these citizen legislators would be more responsive than current 
Members, because they would understand ordinary people better. 
So, the argument is, replace entrenched Members who are too 
close to the people and can't make hard decisions which are 
unpopular with ordinary citizens with Members who are close to 
the people precisely because they are ``ordinary.''

The founders explicitly disapproved of limitations on terms of service

    As an historical matter this issue was decided properly in 
the earlier days of this Republic. The Articles of 
Confederation provided that Members of Congress rotate out 
after serving three one year terms within any six year period. 
Art. of Confed. art. V, cl. 2. Since rotation was part of the 
Articles of Confederation, the Founders debated it at the 
Constitutional Convention as a corollary to term length.\5\
    \5\ At the Constitutional Conventions terms of office of one, two 
and three years were proposed, with most support centering around 
either one or three year terms. Two year terms received little support 
at first, but was settled upon as a compromise. Madison had supported 
the two years as a compromise in the ``Federalist'' Nos. 52 and 53.
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    Rotation, argued the Anti-Federalists, would provide 
members with a more intimate knowledge of their country and 
constituency, as well as prevent the abuses of corruption and 
would encourage a greater number of people to hold public 
office. The Federalists argued that reelection is an incentive 
to be responsive to the needs of the constituents.

          When a man knows he must quit his station, let his 
        merit be what it may, he will turn his attention 
        chiefly to his own emolument.

    Two, debates on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution 
288 (J. Elliot) (1888) (speech of A. Hamilton) at 320.
    The Virginia Plan, a compromise, was introduced by Edmund 
Randolph at the Convention. The plan would have rendered 
members of the House ineligible for reelection for an 
unspecified period after their term's end. The Convention 
expunged the limitation less than a month after it had been 
proposed, without ever specifying the proposed period. The 
Convention also debated a limit for the Executive, and decided 
against it.

                                   Jose E. Serrano.
                                   Rick Boucher.
                                   Robert C. Scott.
                                   Barney Frank.
                                   John Conyers.
                                   John Bryant.
                                   Sheila Jackson Lee.
                                   Howard L. Berman.
                                   Pat Schroeder.
                                   Melvin L. Watt.