Fitzpatrick Again Renews Calls For Congressional Term Limits

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi swears in Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick for his second term in Jan. 2019.

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick is again pushing for Congressional Term Limits to put a cap on the number of times politicians in Congress can run for re-election.

In an appearance on WBCB, Fitzpatrick explained other supporters of term limits in the House cover a range of the political spectrum. He cited Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), a member of the Progressive Caucus, as a fellow member of the Term Limits Caucus.

“We all are bound by our belief that this is not intended to be a career,” said Fitzpatrick.

The Republican from Bucks County made the statement on Speak Your Piece with Pat Wandling. Like his late brother Mike Fitzpatrick, has advocated for Congressional term limits since first entering office in 2017.

Mike Fitzpatrick had pledged to serve four terms in the House, a factor in his decision to not run again in 2016. Like him, other advocates of term limits in the House have set term limits on themselves to “walk the talk.”

But this strategy has not yet produced legislative results.

“The term limit supporters cannot be the only people who are setting term limits for themselves,” explained Fitzpatrick, “because then all the advocates disappear and the opponents just wait out their opponents.”

Contemporary proponents of term limits, including the sitting PA-01 congressman, are taking a different approach. Brian Fitzpatrick and his peers are not setting a definite end date for their time in office.

“I’ve given the same answer on the record to everybody that’s asked me that I take every single election cycle individually,” said Fitzpatrick (PA-01) on WBCB. “I may run one more time. I may run five more times. I just don’t know. It’s all going to be dependent on the situation we’re in.”

The former FBI agent again introduced a reform package in January which includes a constitutional amendment for term limits.

It would limit members of Congress to “twelve years combined in both chambers, six two-year terms in the House, or two six-year terms in the Senate.” Several senators including Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey introduced a similar proposal in the other chamber earlier this year.

“I have long been a supporter of congressional term limits, which would infuse Congress with real-world experience, perspectives, and sensibilities,” said Toomey (R-PA). “Term limits also have the added benefit of being supported by supermajorities of Republicans and Democrats.”

Recent polls back Toomey’s claim of public support. A survey from Pulse Opinion Research in January 2020 found nearly 80 percent of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in PA support term limits with little variation between party affiliation.

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell also voiced support for term limits in an opinion piece published in The Hill back in February. Rendell, a Democrat, laid out the same limits as Fitzpatrick’s proposed constitutional amendment.

“Nothing seems to work with members of Congress; their fear of losing an election has become paralyzing and their ability to do anything that has the slightest opposition is almost nonexistent. Sensible term limits — six terms for House members and two terms for senators — would solve the problem.”