And by God, I have had this Congress!… this Congress refuses to grant ANY of my proposals on independence, even so much as the courtesy of open debate! Good God, what in hell are you waiting for? -John Adams in 1776
What do Congress and a 44 year old movie have alike? The quote says enough. Our Congress has a 13% approval rating. That relates to how much work they are doing right now. We have the fabled “do nothing” Congress that they always talk about. How do we fix it? I have a few ideas that might help. These ideas really stem from the idea that our elected officials are not letting fresh ideas come in from new members.
Congress should have a mandatory retirement age of 70. I get this number from the Roman Catholics who force priests to retire at 70. This seems like a fair age. There is no reason we should have people guiding us that are older than that. We need to youthen Congress. I have nothing against people of a distinguished age, but there should be a time to retire. Younger people have more energy and might be willing to do more.
Congresspeople should be limited to 5 total terms (even if non-consecutive). Senators should be limited to 2 terms. Respectively 10 years and 12 years. This is more than enough time to carry out their work. At most you could double the terms. Again, the point of this is to keep the faces fresh in Congress. We want people who are more willing to carry on the people’s work.
I’m sure there are a number of ways to fix Congress. The easiest would be to impose term limits. It’s time. We don’t need Congresspeople who have been in office for 30+ years. We also don’t need 85 year old Senators.