Term Limits for Members of Congress


Efforts to establish term limits on Members of Congress have been undertaken for nearly a century, with the first Congressional vote taking place in 1945. States have also tried to put term limits on their own federal legislators, and currently over half of states have such laws on their books, but they were struck down by the Supreme Court. The Court ruled that a constitutional amendment is needed to establish term limits on federal legislators, and thus requires support from two thirds of Congress or two thirds of states. Congress almost achieved this in 1995, after the Supreme Court decision, but fell a few dozen votes short. That was the last time there was a vote on term limits in Congress.

An overwhelming majority (83%) favored passing a constitutional amendment to establish term limits in Congress, with little difference between partisans: 86% of Republicans, 80% of Democrats and 84% of independents. Bipartisan support for this proposal has remained steady since PPC’s first public consultation survey on term limits in 2017, which found 80% in support (Republicans 88%, Democrats 73%).


Voice Of the People (VOP) is a nonpartisan organization working to re-anchor our democracy in its founding principles by giving ‘We the People’ a greater and more effective voice in government. VOP champions innovative methods and technology – notably online public consultations – that enable the American people to play a role in the policymaking process and provide policymakers with a more accurate understanding of the views of their constituents.

The Program for Public Conultation conducts policymaking simulations, which are an online process that puts citizens in the shoes of elected officials by simulating the process they go through in making policy decisions. Each simulation introduces a broader policy topic and then presents a series of modules that address a specific policy option that is currently under consideration in the current discourse.

For each module, respondents:

  1. receive a short briefing on a policy issue and the option or options for addressing it;
  2. evaluate arguments for and against the policy options; and
  3. finally, make their recommendation for what their elected officials should do.