By Nick Tomboulides
September 10, 2019
Contact: Stacey Selleck, U.S. Term Limits
Phone: (202) 261-3532
In a development that will shock absolutely no one, Joe Biden just said something stupid. Biden, a career politician who spent nearly 40 years in the Senate, told USTL Northeast Director Ken Quinn today at a town hall in New Hampshire that he opposes term limits for Congress. Biden’s position doesn’t just put him at odds with 82 percent of Americans who want term limits, but also with his former boss, former President Barack Obama, who has endorsed term limits and railed against careerism in Congress. This could be the biggest policy difference revealed to date between Biden and Obama.
In his rambling answer, Biden managed to contradict himself twice: first by saying voters in small states need to keep career politicians around to have any clout in Congress, but also that they should vote their members out. Biden then fell into the hole of hypocrisy once more by saying he supports term limits for the president but not for Congress.
Here’s the transcript:
Wow. Where to even start? Consider what Biden is really saying here: careerism is so bad in Washington< that small states don’t even have the ability to vote out their congressmen! Senior members are effectively holding their own states hostage, and saying “You MUST vote for me, or it’s back of the line for New Hampshire!” Or Maine or Vermont or Delaware, or wherever.
And Biden is perfectly fine with that. Democracy be damned.
Even so, he still manages to contradict himself in the next breath:
But if we vote them out, wouldn’t we lose all that prized seniority? You just told us New Hampshire would “get nothing” if it lost its senior members. The crazy train rolls on:
Apart from promoting a blatant double standard that the president needs term limits but Congress doesn’t, Biden’s comments here are pretty scary. Congress cannot abuse its power? Tell that to taxpayers who just paid out $17 million in sexual harassment claims for members of Congress. Where was the “countervailing force” on that one? Members of Congress covered for one another. We still don’t know how that hush money was spent and on whose behalf.
Studies estimate that Congress spends over $90 billion a year in “corporate welfare,” which are direct or indirect paybacks to the funders of their campaigns. That’s abuse of power at its very worst, but according to Joe Biden, abuses cannot even happen. The American people disagree. An overwhelming majority of voters say reducing corruption in D.C. should be a top priority of our government. And an overwhelming majority (82%) want term limits on Congress.
It is sad but not surprising to see Joe Biden is so out of touch with the American people on the topic of term limits. Five decades in Washington will do that to a person. But what’s inexcusable is the fact-free reason he gives for opposing it. Small states should never be forced to keep politicians past their sell-by dates just to keep pace with a kooky seniority scheme. They should be able to vote in free and fair elections for whomever they want.
Fortunately, Democratic primary voters still have options if they want a pro-term limits candidate to be the nominee of their party. Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, Beto O’Rourke, John Delaney and Cory Booker have all expressed support for a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on members of Congress.
U.S. Term Limits is the largest grassroots term limits advocacy group in the country. We connect term limits supporters with their legislators and work to pass term limits on all elected officials, particularly on the U.S. Congress. Find out more at termlimits.org.