Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana, the new Speaker of the House, is a US Term Limits pledge signer. That’s right. Johnson is a co-sponsor of House Joint Resolution 11, the US Term Limits Amendment. Hi, I’m Holly Robichaud and this is Breaking News on Term Limits.[music]
The battle for the Speaker of the House is finally over after three weeks. As mentioned at the top of the show, Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana was elected Speaker of the House. Speaker Johnson signed the US Term Limits pledge and has co-sponsored the US Term Limits Amendment. During the hearing on the House Joint Resolution 11 sponsored by South Carolina’s Representative Ralph Norman, Speaker Johnson mentioned that Term Limits was one of the first bills he sponsored when first elected.
We hope that Speaker Johnson will continue to be a strong supporter of Congressional Term Limits. We have some new polling data in, a poll conducted by RMG Research for US Term Limits in Rhode Island shows that 81%, 81% of those poll favor congressional term limits. Support was widespread among members of both political parties and independents. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has signed the US Term Limits presidential pledge that he will advocate for term limits on Congress if elected president. He’s been a long time supporter of Congressional Term Limits, so we’re pleased he signed the presidential pledge. He now joins Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy in signing our pledge. We’re urging the candidates of both parties to sign the pledge and we’ll keep you updated as they roll in.
And will we see it in your first four years?
So the question’s on term limits. I’m a big supporter of term limits. We have ’em in the Florida legislature. It works. It’s much better than what we have in DC. We’ve got people in DC that have been there 40 years, people in their… It’s like, it’s not uncommon to have people in their 80s, with all this there. And look, I’m governor of Florida. I got a lot of regard for people in their 80s. We got a lot. They’re my supporters. But I’m not sure we want to incentivize serving in Congress until you basically pass away, is what we’re now seeing with a lot of these folks. So I think it’s neat. So here’s the thing. Congress is never gonna do this. So that’s a dead end. And I support Congress doing it.
I wish they would, but they’re not. So the only other way you do it is through the states. So Florida has already certified term limits. Other states have certified. So what I’ll do as president, I’ll use the bully pulpit, We’ll start with every Republican legislature and we’re going to advocate that they do a term limits amendment. And I think you can even get some Democrat legislatures to do it because term limits is not a partisan issue. Democrats like it, Republicans, independents, male, female, black, white, you name it, it transcends all this stuff. So that’s why you gotta do it. You gotta do it through the states. It’ll be something we start in our first year. It’s gonna take… It’ll take some time ’cause you’ve got a lot of moving pieces.
But I think if a president uses the bully pulpit on it, this is not like you’re trying to sell ice to an Eskimo or anything, I mean, you literally have a product with term limits that 80%-90% of the public supports. So I think we’re gonna be able to make progress on it. I know we’ll get a lot of states to certify. We gotta get a certain number of states. I think we need 35. A number of ’em have done it yet already. And we’re also gonna do that with a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution ’cause we need to do that as well. Yes, ma’am.
More congressional candidates of both parties are seeing the widespread support that Congressional Term Limits has with voters. This past week, an additional five, that’s right, five congressional candidates signed the US Term Limits pledge. The pledge states that if elected, they will co-sponsor the US Term Limits Amendment. Polling has shown that voters are more likely to support a candidate who supports Congressional Term Limits. Go to termlimits.com and see who signed our pledge. State legislative candidates are also getting the message about Congressional Term Limits. This past week, we saw six state legislative candidates sign the US Term Limits pledge. That’s right, six. And it may seem early, but they are getting onboard. Weekly, we’re seeing more and more legislative candidates sign our pledge and we welcome them onboard. A month before being elected Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson asked our Executive Director Nick Tomboulides, to respond to the question of unelected bureaucrats having too much power should term limits take effect. Here’s what Nick had to say.
We gotta answer some of this, Mr. Tomboulides. So…
Let’s do it.
You noted that Gallup says 83% of Americans believe in term limits now. There’s good reasons for that.
One of the difficult questions that’s been brought up today and that we get often is about the unintended consequences. So how do you answer the objection that if we impose term limits in Congress, the professional staff who have long careers here will be the ones with all the institutional knowledge and they’ll effectively become the unaccountable ruling class? What’s the answer to that?
Well, first of all, I do find it very ironic that the point has been made here that representatives will be choosing the people over term limits when it’s actually 83% of the people who want term limits. So I think the people don’t just have a limited right to elect their representatives, they absolutely have a right to decide the parameters around elected office. Senator Mark Warner had a good quote. He called the US federal bureaucracy the largest in the world. Over the last hundred years, the bureaucracy in this nation has gone from 2.5% of GDP to 25% of GDP. According to the Federal Register, we have over 400 different departments, agencies and sub-agencies, over 100,000 different federal rules and regulations.
This is the biggest bureaucracy and yet, puzzlingly, Congress has never had term limits. So therefore, we are left to conclude that this entire bureaucracy that everyone has a problem with that has become so unaccountable and undemocratic, that was created by career politicians. It wasn’t created by term limits. Career politicians created the enabling laws. They sustained it, they perpetuated it and they supplied it with a limitless stream of funding. So if the charge is creating bureaucracy, I must say we are putting the wrong defendant on trial. It is career politicians over and over again who blow up bureaucracy, not term limits. But I will tell you Representative, there is a relationship between term limits and bureaucracy. Term limits reduce bureaucracy. We know this because it happens at the state level. There was a paper by Randy Holcombe, a Florida State University professor. He found that states with term limits reduce the size of their bureaucracy.
There was an analysis done by the National Taxpayers Union which found that the longest-serving members of Congress vote to spend the most money on bureaucracy. And then there was another paper that just came out last year by an NYU professor, Mona Vakilifathi, who found that in states with term limits, the legislators actually give bureaucrats a more confined mandate and less discretion with respect to what they can do. So the laws are written to bureaucrats, “You must implement our law this way other than you may implement our law this way.” And that is a tremendous difference because it means that those legislators, those democratically elected legislators will have their policy wishes carried out into the next generation as opposed to letting unelected bureaucrats decide the rules of the game.
Most candidates, once elected to Congress, keep their pledge to the constituents to support term limits, but not everyone does. One who broke his pledge is Representative Tony Gonzales of Texas. US Term limits is now running a series of billboards in English and Spanish to educate residents in his district of his broken pledge. I think they should know, don’t you? Now it’s time for the Corrupt Politician of the Week. And this week our corrupt politician is one of the 19 Nasty who voted to kill House Joint Resolution 11 in the House Judiciary Committee. Representative Mary Scanlon of Pennsylvania makes our list. In 2022, Representative Scanlon violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, the STOCK Act of 2012. This law is supposed to prevent representatives and senators from enriching themselves via insider information they gain from serving in Congress. In the case of Representative Scanlon, she failed to report $95,000, worth of stock sales her husband made.
That’s right, $95,000. Just a small miss. Just a little tiny miss. This is a common problem we’re seeing in Congress with rules being broken and no consequences. This is why, once again, we need term limits. I got an update today for you on Gold Bar Bob Menendez. The New Yorker reported this past week that after visiting Egypt, Gold Bar Bob Googled, “How much is one kilo of gold worth?” Despite the federal indictment, this career politician and opponent of term limits insists that he will seek re-election in 2024. He has held the seats in New Jersey since 2006 and has been chair or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 2013.
I think it’s time for him to go. Congressional Term Limits can become a reality. We’ve got the momentum and we have the support of the people, but we need more help to get it passed. We’re working in the states very hard. Will you please go to termlimits.org and get involved today? We could really use your help. And be sure to share this program with your family and friends every week. This is Holly Robichaud for US Term Limits Breaking News. I’ll see you next week.