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Tom Murse

Should U.S. Presidents Be Allowed to Serve More Than Two Terms?

By January 14, 2013

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Democratic U.S. Rep. Jose E. SerranoU.S. Presidents have been limited to serving two four-year terms in the White House since the 22nd Amendment was ratified in 1951, never mind those conspiracy theories that suggest President Barack Obama is planning to seek a third term.

But a lawmaker from New York wants to repeal the presidential term limit in the 113th Congress.

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Democratic U.S. Rep. Jose E. Serrano has introduced a measure that would repeal the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate and ratification by each of the nation's 50 states.

Comedy Central has come up with a humorous title for the legislation: the Bill Clinton Would Be Just Finishing His Last Term Were It Not for the 22nd Amendment Act.

Several emails have made the claim that the goal of Serrano's legislation is to allow Obama to serve an unlimited number of terms. "Is THIS really what America wants or needs? If the just introduced H.J. Res 15 passes, Barack Obama will LEGALLY be able to be our dictator for the remainder of his life," one version of the email reads.

That's clearly not the case - even if the 22nd Amendment were to be repealed, presidents would still need to seek re-election every four years - nor is it true that Serrano's measure has anything to do with Obama. He has introduced similar legislation, with no success, in previous sessions of Congress dating back to the 1990s, before Obama was president. The Democratic lawmaker also introduced the bill during Republican President George W. Bush's administration.

See also: The Debate Over Term Limits

None of his proposals came up for a vote, and his latest piece of legislation appears certain to meet a similar fate. The legislative information service GovTrack gives Serrano's proposal a 0 percent chance of being enacted, and a 0 percent chance of even being moved from committee.

Obama in 2016? Not a chance.

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[Picture of Democratic U.S. Rep. Jose E. Serrano courtesy of the U.S. Congress.]


January 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm
(1) HANK HILL says:

two terms only!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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