State lawmakers are looking at a proposal which aims to impose term limits on members of the U.S. Congress.  In the current session, two identical bills, one each in the House and Senate are being considered.

Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg)

They’re resolutions, which don’t ordinarily effect the law, but might endorse a certain action be taken.  In this case, the measures call for a “convention of states” to propose the required constitutional amendment for term limits.

To create one, 34 states would have to jointly propose an amendment.  Then, the approval of 38 states would be required for term limits to become law.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 was recently passed by the chamber’s Rules Committee.  Sponsor Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) noted lawmakers had heard the resolution in the past, before he yielded to people testifying in support of it during it’s hearing.

Mark Harris with the group U.S. Term Limits told the committee federal term limits would improve the governing process by creating open seats.

“The more open seats we have, the more competition have, both between the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as intra-party.  So increase political competition helps to lead to better outcomes.”

Harris noted one state, Florida, had passed a similar resolution put forth by his group, but said it’s hoping to get approval from four-to-five additional states this year.

Another organization, Convention of States, has received the approval of seven states for the very same proposal.  But its platform has three components, which could make its quest to get the backing of the required 34 states more difficult.

Harris said Missourians favored his organizations simple platform, calling only for term limits, by a wide margin.  “In a survey that we commissioned, 86% of Missourians support term limits on the U.S. Congress.”  He added that Republicans and Democrats of all ages and backgrounds support the restrictions, which is a rare show of unanimity.

Bev Ehlen of Concerned Women for America was one of two people testifying against the measure, arguing that term limits are not needed because there’s already a sizable turnover in Congress.

“In the last 12 years, we’ve had a total of 381 new Representatives there, of a 435 body (House of Representatives) said Ehlen.  “So we really don’t have the problem in D.C.  We have a problem in D.C., but it’s not because we don’t have new fresh people there all the time.”

The Senate bill will next be considered on the chamber’s floor.

Chuck Basye (R-Rocheport) is sponsoring identical House proposal seeking federal term limits.