Of all the promises made on the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump’s vow to pass a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress might be the most daunting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dismissed the idea out of hand the day after Trump’s stunning victory. A few days later, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) gave the proposal a tepid endorsement as he indicated it would be up to a House committee to consider Trump’s proposal. The reticence of both Republican leaders on the issue is not surprising, given their long tenures in Congress.
McConnell has served in the Senate since 1985, and he is one of five sitting senators to have served more than three decades. With almost 18 years under his belt on Capitol Hill, Ryan would essentially be booted out of office under almost every term-limit proposal that has been floated in the past 25 years.
Democrats generally oppose term limits, making it difficult to see a path toward the two-thirds supermajority required to pass a constitutional amendment that would get sent to the states for ratification.