Aiming to reform Capitol Hill, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) officially filed an amendment on Tuesday to impose term limits on Congress. Cruz made the annoucement on Facebook, saying: "With control of a decisive majority of the states, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, we have a responsibility to answer the voters’ call-to-action. We must deliver." The two had previously promised to introduce the measure this year in a Washington Post op-ed.
"The American people resoundingly agreed on Election Day, and President-elect Donald Trump has committed to putting government back to work for the American people," he added in a statement. "It is well past time to put an end to the cronyism and deceit that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions.”
The proposed constitutional amendment specifies that senators could only serve two six-year terms, while House representatives would be allowed two three-year terms. It also states that the term limits would not begin until the bill becomes law, so the clock for current lawmakers wouldn't start until reelection.
The proposal already has support from Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and David Perdue (Ga.).
Democratic leadership has been reluctant in the past to support term limits, but in recent years there has been a growing number of Democrats showing public support for the idea. Democratic Sens. Mike Thompson (California) and Ron Kind (Wis.) both spoke out in favor of the idea in 2015. "
Although President-elect Donald Trump said throughout the campaign season that he supports Congressional term limits, Republican leadership has not been quick to jump on board. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has not indicated that the proposal would come up for a vote, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) told reporters after Trump's election, "We have term limits — they're called elections."
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) last introduced term limits as a measure in 2012, when it was overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate with a vote of 24-75.
A Gallup poll from 2013 found that 75 percent of Americans support term limits on Congress.
Constitutional amendments require any proposal to pass in both houses of Congress before being ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures before becoming law.