A couple of days ago, I interviewed Nick Tomboulides, the Executive Director of U.S. Term Limits about the work being done on getting a constitutional amendment to establish term limits for members of Congress–something that is supported by 82% of the country (watch interview here).
In what turned out to be a funny moment in the interview, when I asked Nick about the fact that both the Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate, Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, respectively, haven’t signed the pledge to support term limits, Tomboulides told a story about McConnell which culminated in pointing out that McConnell actually initiated a bill to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to eliminate term limits on the president.
I didn’t remember such a move by McConnell years ago.
The 22nd amendment, which was ratified in 1951, limits the president to two, four year terms.
Here was the exchange:
In fact, the Washington Post reported in November 1994 the following:
While many victorious Republican candidates ran on platforms that included support for a term-limits amendment, post-election comments from prominent GOP leaders indicate the party is far from united in support of limiting congressional terms.
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.), incoming chairmen of the two chambers’ Judiciary committees, have expressed opposition to term limits. Yesterday Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has played a key role in other institutional reform battles, came out swinging against the amendment and, for good measure, added that he was launching an effort to repeal the 22nd Amendment, which imposes a two-term limit on presidents.
FLASHBACK! There is a video of McConnell in a press conference discussing this radical proposal:
Mitch McConnell, Republican from Kentucky, is Senate Minority Leader. He assumed office on January 3, 1985. His current term ends on January 3, 2027.