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Melissa Seideman

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Should term limits be imposed on Congress?

This debate has made for many impassioned, provocative, yet fruitful discussions between myself and others. On the one hand, some call for the imposition of term limits (much like the 2-term limit on presidencies) on Congress in order to ensure the interests of "The People" are valued. These same persons believe that should term limits be imposed, Congress will be more openminded, able to understand the youth of the nation, be more attentive to the problems of today versus those of yesterday, and more technologically advanced, educated, and modernized.

On the other hand, some argue term limits would destroy all sense of stability in the Congress. These same persons claim that Congressmen and women who have served for terms on end are much more aligned with the political system, experienced in writing, debating, and passing legislation, and ultimately hold a better understanding of America and its governmental institutions than their newer and/or younger colleagues. As such, they argue term limit imposition would damage the Congress, "The People's" representation, and ultimately the United States.

Still, others compromise and call for term limits on the House of Representatives, which is meant to be more volatile and more keen to the immediate concerns of the "The People" while leaving the Senate immune to term limit imposition, as it is meant to be more stable and more keen to the longterm concerns of the Union.

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  • Dec 10 2012: I can see both sides of this argument. I do believe that members of Congress are getting too comfortable in their positions, for it is very difficult for new candidates to win against incumbents. It would be beneficial to get fresh perspectives on the issues. However, I understand the argument against term limits. More time spent in Congress means more time to analyze important legislation. More time in Congress also means the Congressmember gains more experience, and will be better prepared for new issues that may occur. I hope to get more information and pick a side after tomorrow's debate.
    • Dec 11 2012: I agree with you in that both sides of the argument have valid reasoning. I think that term limits would also change the focus of a Congress person's career as a whole by forcing their efforts into their Congressional duties rather than their own reelection. But at the same time, a Congress made up of brand new faces every few years might not only upset stability but also create the same issue that citizens complain about today: the inability of Congress to "get anything done."

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