Bob Barr on Government Reform
Libertarian nominee for President; Former Republican Representative (GA-7)
“We hear about Joe the Plumber or hear about how much money Senator Obama is going to spend or how much money Senator McCain is going to spend,” Barr said, “but we don’t hear about the Constitution. That’s what we need to put back front and center.”
Furthermore, Reno herself hardly kept her distance from the fund-raising scheme. In just one example, she received a personal memo updating her on the Democratic National Committee’s plans to raise $100 million prior to the 1996 elections. The memo included a hand-scrawled note to “Janet” from a top party fund-raiser. Needless to say, this put Reno in an awkward position.
Reno kept documents [from this investigation] hidden from public view. If the Freeh and LaBella memos had become public in 1997, they would have galvanized our [impeachment] efforts.
Organizational Self-Description: U.S. Term Limits, the nation's oldest and largest term limits advocacy group, announced that 14 new signers of its congressional term limits amendment pledge have been elected to the 114th Congress. The group includes five new senators, eight new House members and one House incumbent who signed the pledge for the first time this cycle. The pledge calls for members to co-sponsor and vote for a constitutional amendment limiting House members to three terms (six years) and Senators to two terms (12 years). The USTL President said, "The American people are fed up with career politicians in Washington and strongly embracing term limits as a remedy. Gallup polling shows that 75% of Americans support term limits."
Opposing legal argument: [ACLU, Nov. 7, 2014]: In U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (May 22, 1995), the Court ended the movement to enact term limits for Congress on a state-by-state basis. The Court held that the qualifications for Congress established in the Constitution itself could not be amended by the states without a constitutional amendment, and that the notion of congressional term limits violates the "fundamental principle of our representative democracy 'that the people should chose whom they please to govern them.'"
Opposing political argument: [Cato Institute Briefing Paper No. 14, Feb. 18, 1992]: Several considerations may explain political scientists' open hostility to term limitation:
To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to increase the penalties imposed for making or accepting contributions in the name of another and to prohibit foreign nationals from making any campaign-related disbursements.
[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bills]:
The Common Sense Legal Reforms Act:
“Loser pays” laws, reasonable limits on punitive damages, and reform of product liability laws to stem the endless tide of litigation.
The Citizen Legislature Act:A first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators.
This year’s election offers the chance, after four decades of one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that will transform the way Congress works. That historic change would be the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public’s money. It can be the beginning of a Congress that respects the values and shares the faith of the American family.
Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we intend to act “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.” To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves.
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Newly-elected Democrats as of Jan.2017:
Newly-elected Republicans as of Jan.2017: