In a surprise move, former presidential candidate and governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, is calling for a constitutional convention to limit Congress’ terms. Now that the GOP owns the White House, the Senate, and the House, Bush thinks this is the perfect time to make this important change. But he has a big problem.
In his Wall Street Journal op-ed, Donald Trump’s opponent said:
‘Americans, by wide majorities, agree that Washington is broken, so let’s send power back to the people and back to the states.
‘Republicans should support convening a constitutional convention to pass term limits, a balanced-budget amendment and restraints on the Commerce Clause, which has given the federal government far more regulatory power than the Founders intended.’
Bush’s argument was that the people are unhappy with how the government works or doesn’t work, depending upon where a person stands. After all, the country ended up with a radically different person for president, and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by millions.
So this is the ideal opportunity to wipe out the deadwood in government leadership with term limits. The president already has a two-term limit. But senators run for re-election every six years, and representatives run for re-election every two years. Both groups can win their office until they die, and Bush wants to change all that. He wrote:
‘The GOP has no excuse for failure. We are in charge of both the executive and legislative branches in Washington, and we dominate in the states like never before.
‘We have the power to set the agenda, and we have the responsibility to govern, not merely on behalf of the voters who supported President-elect Trump, but for all Americans.’
There were fireworks between the former Florida governor and Trump during the presidential debates and the campaign. Even after Trump won the election, the former governor would not throw his support behind the billionaire. Jeb Bush and former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush all refused to attend the Republican National Convention (RNC) to celebrate Trump’s win.
But things are different now. Trump’s former foe, the man who ruled Florida and was supposed to be destined for the White House, wrote that he is praying for the president-elect:
‘I will continue to pray for President-elect Trump and his family. I pray he governs inclusively, with humility and with purpose. I pray that he will be led by a deep love of this nation and each of its citizens, regardless of background or ZIP Code.
‘And I want him to know that I hope for his success. I hope that he broadens the GOP, works across the aisle and governs with pragmatism and compassion. There are many who did not vote for him who agree that what matters most now is that this nation unites and moves forward together. I will work to support those goals.’
Trump won on the back of people’s frustration and disgust with the most do-nothing Congress in history. Given that, Bush hopes the GOP will pay attention to what the people said with their votes. Otherwise, a change to a Democratic Senate and House may be coming:
‘Mr. Trump proved that he was right — as I well know, since I was often in his target sights! He successfully tapped into the anger and deep distrust that voters feel toward Washington. These voters believe the American dream is increasingly out of reach. They believe our system is skewed in favor of the powerful and the connected. They believe that the politicians elected to right these wrongs.’
The biggest problem is that senators and representatives like their jobs and all the power that comes with them. They almost never just quit.