I like what Charlie Daniels has to say on the matter, except the part about the lengths of terms. His proposal is just way too darn short, for a variety of reason.
I agree with term limits, provided they’re not so short that there’s no continuity. Continuity is EXTREMELY important when you’re talking about detailed, complex jobs and procedures, and Congress isn’t simple. It takes four to six years for a member of Congress just to learn the basics. The military builds in continuity. Airlines build in continuity. Just about every important, complex job builds in continuity, and the demands of Congress are no different.
I’ve analyzed a lot of different proposals, and find the tiered approach to provide the best balance between fresh faces and maintaining continuity:
Tier I: 0-12 Years, consisting of three House terms or two Senatorial terms, IF they’re re-elected each of those terms.
One-third of all members of Congress (both House and Senate), will be capped at 12 years. That’s it. At the 12-year point, they roll a die. If you score a 1 or 2, you get to run again. But if you score a 3, 4, 5, or 6, it’s time to pack your bags.
For practical purposes, that year group should draw random numbers and be ranked accordingly. The bottom third is out.
Tier II: 12-24 Years, consisting of three more House terms or two more Senatorial terms, IF they’re re-elected each of those terms.
Two-thirds of all members of Congress (both House and Senate), will be capped at 24 years.
Tier III: 25-36 Years, consisting of three more House terms or two more Senatorial terms, IF they’re re-elected each of those terms.
100% all members of Congress (both House and Senate), will be capped at 36 years.
FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES, and because some members of Congress are not re-elected after their first, second, or third terms, it’s likely that only half will serve more than 12 years and a quarter will serve more than 24 years.
In addition, since Congress puts a mandatory retirement age on airline pilots of 65 years, I feel it’s only fair that this be the mandatory retirement age for members of Congress, as well, and for the same reasons.
This approach is simple, straightforward, and provides for roughly double the current turnover while maintaining critical continuity.