McConnell Breaks Silence on Term Limits for Lawmakers

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky has criticized the suggestion by Senator John Cornyn of Texas and some other Republicans to implement term limits for his successor as “totally inappropriate.” McConnell, who has held the position of Senate GOP leader for over 17 years, highlighted that the Senate already has a process for leadership selection every two years before the start of a new Congress. He argued that imposing term limits could disadvantage the Senate compared to the House, where the Speaker faces no such restrictions.

McConnell referenced his own experience, noting that Senator Rick Scott from Florida attempted to challenge him for the leadership position after the 2022 midterm elections but was defeated in a vote of 37-10. McConnell emphasized the importance of elections as the existing method of determining term limits and voiced his belief in the freedom of the conference to choose its leader without restrictions. He mentioned his surpassing of Senator Mike Mansfield as the longest-serving Senate party leader in history in January 2023.

The discussion comes as Cornyn, who is vying to become the next Senate GOP leader, publicly supported the idea of term limits for leadership positions. Cornyn, 72, expressed his view that the Senate would benefit from increased engagement from its members, including the chance for any member to hold a leadership role, and committed to backing a vote to introduce term limits for the Republican Leader role.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune of South Dakota, another candidate to succeed McConnell, has not yet taken a stance on term limits. It’s noted that other leadership roles within the Senate Republican conference are subject to six-year term limits, and both Cornyn and Thune have been affected by these rules in their respective leadership positions. The same six-year restriction applies to Senate Republican chairmen and ranking committee members for their roles.

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