HARRISBURG – Acting in his capacity as majority chairman of the House State Government Subcommittee on Campaign Finance and Elections, Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh) last week led a hearing at the state Capitol on the topic of congressional term limits.
Mackenzie is the prime sponsor of House Resolution 57
, legislation that calls for a constitutional convention regarding congressional term limits.
Under the Article V convention process of the U.S. Constitution, if two-thirds of the states call for an amendment proposal convention for the sole purpose of proposing term limits, a term limits convention is called. Any resulting proposed constitutional amendment would then require three-fourths of the states to ratify it before it can become part of the U.S. Constitution.
“Term limits for members of Congress is something I hear about often from residents in my district,” said Mackenzie. “Because Congress remains unlikely to impose term limits on itself, I have introduced a resolution to address this important issue. Under Article V, states have the option to take that necessary step to enact a term limit amendment, which has significant support among voters both statewide and nationally.”
Subcommittee members heard testimony from two representatives of U.S. Term Limits (USTL), an organization based in Washington, D.C., that advocates for term limits at all levels of government.
USTL Northern Regional Director Kenn Quinn testified that a recent poll shows an overwhelming 79% of Pennsylvania voters support a constitutional amendment that would place term limits on U.S. senators and representatives.
“The reason for this incredible amount of support is simple. Congress has become dysfunctional and unresponsive to the American people,” said Quinn. “Only by limiting the terms of office for members of Congress can we begin to see real reform in our federal government.”
USTL maintains that congressional term limits would help to restore the founding principle of a citizen legislature by providing for fair and competitive elections that allow more people to participate in government.
“The Article V convention is the mechanism that the framers gave to the state legislatures to propose needed amendments, especially when Congress refuses to propose them, which obviously is the case with a congressional term limits amendment,” USTL PA Legislative Advocate Mike Riley noted. “The only realistic chance we have of imposing term limits on Congress is if our state legislators stand with over 80% of the American people and pass an Article V application for this single-subject, nonpartisan amendment.”
House Resolution 57 is currently under consideration by the House State Government Committee.
To view or download a broadcast-quality video of the hearing, visit here
Representative Ryan Mackenzie
134th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs