DENVER – Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first person elected to more than two terms as President of the United States, but if one Democratic Congressman gets his way, he may not be the last.
U.S. Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), currently serving his twelfth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, introduced legislation on Friday that would abolish the 22nd Amendment to the constitution, which limits any person serving as president to a maximum of two terms.
The 22nd amendment was approved by Congress in 1947 shortly after the death of Roosevelt, who ran successfully for the White House an unprecedented four times.
It was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1951 during the term of Roosevelt’s successor Harry S. Truman.
Serrano’s proposal, which would eliminate the 62-year old constitutional term limit, has yet to attract any co-sponsors in this Congress. However, a previous version of the proposal that Serrano introduced near the end of President Clinton’s second term during the 106th Congress did attract Republican co-sponsorship.
Serrano represents one of the most heavily Democratic and safest seats in the House of Representatives. The lawmaker has never garnered less than 90 percent of the vote in any of his eight elections.
It is not the first time legislators have proposed waiving the presidential term limit.
Serrano proposed similar legislation during President Obama’s first term, and during the tenure of Mr. Obama’s predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) have also voiced support for repealing the two-term limit in recent years.
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) was critical of the proposed constitutional amendment, characterizing it as a distraction from more important matters.
“Now is not the time for my Democratic colleagues in the House to try to figure out how to turn President Obama into a King,” said Gardner. “They need to keep their focus on spending cuts and getting this economy back on track.”
Serrano’s joint resolution has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.