A Democratic congressman on Friday yet again introduced a resolution seeking to repeal the 22nd Amendment, thereby removing the limit on how many terms a president may serve in office.
The 22nd Amendment bars any president from serving more than two full terms in office. It was passed by Congress in 1947 and ratified in 1951 as a reaction to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four-term presidency.
Amending the Constitution would require the approval of both the House and Senate and three-fourths of the states.
Serrano’s latest effort, like previous attempts, has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee where it will most certainly languish and die. The resolution has no cosponsors.
Efforts to repeal the 22nd Amendment are nothing new. A 2005 attempt by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) had bipartisan co-sponsorship that included Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) but went nowhere, as did a resolution introduced by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 1989.
The late Rep. Guy Vander Jagt, then the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, introduced legislation to repeal presidential term limits in 1986 so as to pave the way for Ronald Reagan to seek a third term.
”The 22nd Amendment is an insult to American voters who are wise and well-informed,” Vander Jagt said at the time.
Reagan himself expressed support for the amendment’s repeal, saying it interfered with the right of the people to “vote for someone as often as they want to do.”
Former President Bill Clinton has frequently spoken out in favor of allowing presidents to serve more than two terms, provided they take some time off before running for a third time.
“I’ve always thought that should be the rule,” Clinton said in November. “I think as a practical matter, you couldn’t apply this to anyone who has already served, but going forward, I personally believe that should be the rule.”