Two weeks into his tenure on Capitol Hill, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is backing a proposed constitutional amendment to enact congressional term limits championed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and two other Florida Republicans.
Scott announced his support for the proposed amendment introduced by Cruz and U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla. Under the amendment, senators would be able to serve two six-year terms while members of the House would be able to serve three two-year term.
“Requiring term limits on members of Congress is the first step in Senator Scott’s plan to Make Washington Work for Florida families,” Scott’s office noted.
Scott weighed in on the proposed amendment on Wednesday.
“I spent a career in business and one thing is clear: career politicians are never going to change Washington; that’s evident now more than ever,” Scott said. “I’m proud to be working to implement term limits for all members of Congress to make sure elected officials work for Americans, not for themselves. The only people who don’t understand why we need term limits are in Washington, D.C. but I wasn’t elected to represent them. I was elected to represent Florida families.
“Washington is much more than broken,” Scott added. The current shutdown is just the latest example, but certainly not the only one. We need to dramatically reinvent and reimagine government and term limits is the first step. Over the next few months, I will be fighting for legislation to reform government and Make Washington Work for the American people, not the politicians.”
Cruz and Rooney brought out the proposed amendment earlier this month.
While they were rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is backing Cruz’s resolution as a cosponsor.
“For too long, members of Congress have abused their power and ignored the will of the American people,” Cruz said when he brought out the amendment. “Term limits on members of Congress offer a solution to the brokenness we see in Washington, D.C. It is long past time for Congress to hold itself accountable. I urge my colleagues to submit this constitutional amendment to the states for speedy ratification.”
“The American people support term limits by an overwhelming margin. I believe that as lawmakers, we should follow the example of our founding fathers, Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who refused to consider public service as a career. Our history is replete with examples of leaders who served their country for a time and returned to private life, or who went on to serve in a different way,” Rooney said,
Besides Rubio, Cruz was able to round up Republican U.S. Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and David Perdue of Georgia to sponsor the amendment.
While he is starting his second term in Congress, this is not a new issue for Rooney. Last year, he brought out the “Thomas Jefferson Public Service Act” which would cut congressional salaries after six terms in the U.S. House and two terms in the U.S. Senate. That bill would have “set the annual rate of compensation for a member of Congress who has served six consecutive terms as a member of the House of Representatives or two consecutive terms as a senator at $1, to amend title 5, United States Code, to exclude any service of a member of Congress occurring during any pay period for which the member’s annual rate of compensation is $1 as creditable service for purposes of an annuity under that title, and for other purposes.”
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.