West Virginia legislature considers Constitutional Convention for congressional term limits

West Virginia

Raymond Smock of Martinsburg is a former historian for the U.S. House of Representatives. He is skeptical of the West Virginia legislature’s consideration of a term limits amendment to the US Constitution for Members of Congress.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — At the West Virginia state capitol in Charleston on Friday, the House of Delegates held a public hearing to change the U.S. Constitution.

There are no term limits for members of Congress, but should there be? West Virginia is out front on the issue.

Under the U.S. Constitution, our representatives to Congress can serve for as long as voters in their districts send them to Washington, but if a Constitutional convention is called — which can take two-thirds of the states – term limits for those in Congress can be imposed.

Raymond Smock lives in Martinsburg. He is a former historian for the U.S. House of Representatives. Term limits for Congress? We have them already, Smock said. They’re called “elections.”

“We already have term limits,” Smock stated. “They’re in the Constitution and it’s called every two years we vote in and out our Member of Congress.”

Shannon Chamblee with the advocacy group US Term Limits told the hearing in Charleston that there is a provision in the U.S. Constitution to impose term limits if enough states demand it.

“On the applications of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states,” Chamblee said, “[we] shall call a convention for proposing an amendment.”

“I don’t see it going anywhere very fast,” Smock said. “And if the West Virginia legislature thinks this is going to make some people happy, well they can go ahead and do it.”

Smock said if it is successful, it will take years for it to be adopted nationally. Friday’s hearing under the capitol dome in Charleston was held by the House Government organization committee.

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