NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A resolution from the Tennessee House of Representatives will now head to the Senate after passing easily in the House this week.
HJR 0005 by Madison County Republican Rep. Chris Todd calls for a constitutional convention for the purposes of instituting term limits on U.S. Congressmembers.
“[T]he General Assembly hereby makes an application to Congress, as provided by Article V of the Constitution of the United States, to call a convention limited to proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America to set a limit on the number of terms to which a person may be elected as a member of the United States House of Representatives and to set a limit on the number of terms to which a person may be elected as a member of the United States Senate,” the resolution reads in part.
Todd told News 2 back when he filed the legislation that he felt the lack of a term limit “created bad policy” for the country. “It’s created bad direction in the country.”
The resolution saw bipartisan support but also saw members of both parties vote against the measure on the House floor during debate on March 23.
Bolivar Democrat Johnny Shaw asked of Todd on the floor, “Don’t we really have term limits now? In other words, every two years, voters have an opportunity to vote us in or out, and of course at the same limit on the federal level.”
Shaw asked why the resolution was necessary, given that it “takes two or three terms” to know how the legislative process works.
“Congressional term limits is probably the most popular issue in America right now, with about 82% support in the public right now,” Todd said in response. “And this is bipartisan support.”
Todd argued that Congressional term limits would be “effective public policy that will solve much of the dysfunction in Washington.”
“Unlike states, there’s no pathway for an individual with private sector success to serve meaningfully in Congress without fully abandoning their private career for 15 or 20 years; therefore, Congress has become a haven for those who only have political experience,” Todd said.
Term limits, he further stated, could allow successful business leaders to run for office “for a short time” and then return to their private sector work, which would provide “diversity of experience” to a Congress that “severely” lacks it.
The resolution ultimately passed the House 66-27-3, with nearly all Democrats and Speaker Cameron Sexton (R—Crossville) opposed. House Leader William Lamberth (R—Portland) was a “present not voting” along with Reps. Paul Sherrell (R—Sparta) and Kevin Vaughn (R—Collierville).
The bill now moves to the Senate chamber, where it will have to go through committee.
Hundreds of bills will be up for debate during the 113th General Assembly. Tennessee lawmakers shared their thoughts on some of the major issues up for discussion at this year’s legislative session.
What lawmakers had to say about: Abortion Ban Clarification | Marijuana Reform | Transgender Therapy and LGBTQ+ Rights | Dept. of Children’s Services | Education | Crime/Public Safety | More
You can also find daily coverage from the session here.