What happens in the halls of national government – for better or for worse – can dictate the future course of America. Along with your fellow Prayer Team members, you are to be constantly and fervently interceding for all the men and women who serve in Congress, for your military leaders in the Pentagon, and for the President of the United States, his cabinet and administration.
“Inside Washington” will equip you to do just that … with reports on the nation’s leaders and the decisions they’re considering … or have already made. We’ll examine the implications for the nation, and call you to specific prayer for those needs.
Term Limits Gaining Momentum
But what about congressional knowledge and experience?
By Diane Markins
With his catchy "Drain the Swamp" mantra, President Donald Trump made congressional term limits a top campaign priority in his "Contract with the American Voter." He has some powerful backing in this movement, but what will really come of it? The decision ultimately is yours.
Calls and proposals for term limits pop up regularly, but seldom get any traction or action. Candidates seem to love campaigning on term limits, but when they get elected their passion dies down and they move on to other concerns.
Assume for a moment that you are a congressional candidate. When you are elected to Congress, you’re set. With 93 percent of House incumbents and 79 percent of Senate incumbents being re-elected in the past 50 years, the trend is pretty obvious. Work hard to get in, then relax. You can make a career of the office rather than serving and moving back into the life and career that got you elected. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just a fact.
Of course, not all seasoned politicians are swamp monsters. There are many long-time members of Congress who are dedicated servants and have gained tremendous wisdom and insight with their years in office. Kicking everyone out isn’t necessarily in the best interest of good government… you know, baby- bathwater, and all that.
Consider education, for example. Would it be a good plan to fire all the teachers after 12 years and make them look for a new job, or at least apply at different schools? They have lived through so much that new teachers haven’t begun to experience. Fresh ideas and more energy are terrific, but without the guidance of those who’ve walked through the fire, the whole system could be at risk.
The same question could be asked about Congress.
Currently members of Congress aren’t subject to any term limits. What are the advantages and disadvantages to term limits? With at least 10 different term limit proposals and a growing number of congressional supporters, states may finally move in that direction.
Among those advocating for change are Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Representative Raul Labrador of Idaho.
Labrador, elected in 2010, did not run on promises of fighting for term limits because he believed the system was working. Until he got an inside view.
"I realized there was no way to change the way Washington works unless we change the people who are there," he said. "Serving in Congress has become almost a career for people, and they don’t want to let it go."
In furtherance of his view, Labrador has introduced a constitutional amendment calling for term limits, restricting members of both houses to 12 years.
Senator Cruz is equally fired up and committed to term limit reform: "This election was the American people saying, ‘Enough already with the corruption in both parties, Democrats and Republicans who have been here too long,"’ Cruz said. Cruz, along with Representative Ron DeSantis of Florida (and at least 10 other Republican senators) introduced an amendment that would limit members of the House to three two-year terms and members of the U.S. Senate to two six-year terms.
There are valid arguments for and against term limits. The hope—yes, the duty—of all members of Congress is be committed servants first, seeking to represent the best interests of their constituents.
Philippians 2:3 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves."
Whether members of Congress enact legislation to limit their term limits remains to be seen. The good news is they aren’t alone as they research, discuss and eventually determine if a Constitutional amendment will be pursued. And it is good to be reminded that you, the American voter, decides who will represent you there…the one with knowledge and experience of the inner workings of those chambers, or someone new with fresh, but untested, ideas. Remember too, that the God of the Universe is still in control.
Labrador, age 49, said, "One thing I can promise you is I won’t be celebrating my 75th birthday there [in Congress]." Pray that all members of Congress would follow God’s prompting of when to seek office and when to walk away, whether they are bound by legal limits or not.
Also, as you pray about this, you might ask the Lord to:
- Bring relevant facts to light.
- Give supernatural insight to all who seek wisdom in this matter.
- Remind veteran Congressmen and women to be humble mentors.
- Remind younger leaders to respect the value of experience.
Diane Markins is a conference speaker and book author. She hosted a Christian radio show and writes a popular blog, helping people learn the value and accessibility of contentment. Diane lives near her children and grandbabies in Phoenix with her husband of 37 years
The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily represent or reflect the biblical, world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team
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