North Carolina Republican House Speaker Tim Moore has once again called for a national constitutional convention to pass an amendment setting term limits for politicians – but not for himself, Spectrum News reported.
Moore wants to establish term limits for members of Congress, but not for members of the North Carolina legislature, of which he is one.
Unfortunately for Moore, states don’t have the power to mandate term limits for members of Congress in Washington. They can, however, call for a constitutional convention to add amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Thirty-four states would need to pass a resolution in order for a convention to happen and 38 would have to ratify the proposal to amend the Constitution. So far, 19 states have passed resolutions that include calling for congressional term limits.
“There are a number of other states that would have to do it, but it’s moving the ball in the right direction,” Moore told Spectrum News in February.
“I have long been an advocate for term limits for Congress,” Moore said in a statement. “In fact, the majority of Americans support the additional measure of accountability for their elected leaders in Washington.”
Moore’s original call for congressional term limits came two years ago, ahead of the 2022 midterm elections – the same election for which he considered running in a primary against Republican U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, who was running for – and later won – his 10th term in Congress.
Calling for limits on a job you don’t have is sort of an odd thing to do, especially since Moore could easily call for, and possibly even pass, term limits in the North Carolina General Assembly.
Moore, who is now in his 11th term in the state legislature and was named the speaker of the House for an unprecedented fifth term, is seemingly only OK with limiting others’ powers and not his own.
The speaker cited money as why state legislators shouldn’t have term limits.
“The difference between us as state legislators and folks in Congress is this is not our full-time vocation,” Moore said. ” … You’ll find we get $13,000 a year.”
Moore has not specified what the limits would be on U.S. House and Senate members, but six Republican members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation have signed a term limits amendment pledge in support of a three-term limit in the House and a two-term limit in the Senate.
Another member of the state’s congressional delegation, Republican Rep. David Rouzer, is in his fifth term and told Spectrum News last year that he opposes term limits, calling them “a really bad idea.”
“They’re very popular, but in effect, they would give the lobbyists and the career bureaucrats and the career staff much more influence,” he added. Such an effect is in direct opposition to Moore’s reasoning for having congressional term limits.
“Term limits would benefit both Congress and the rest of the country by paving the way for more competitive elections,” Moore said in his statement. “We need to shift power from special interests back to the people, where it belongs, and term limits would do just that.”
While that may or may not be the case, North Carolina could surely use a shift away from special interests and back to the people, couldn’t it?
Instead of talking about it, Moore should put his career where his mouth is and vote to term-limit himself. Being one of the most powerful politicians in the entire state, voting to term-limit himself would truly show how serious he is about the issue. Strangely, he doesn’t seem to be in favor of such legislation.
State Rep. Terence Everitt (D-Wake Forest) introduced House Bill 204 in February. The legislation would put term limits on General Assembly members, with a limit of eight cumulative terms. The bill passed its first reading and was then referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.
Moore did not sponsor Everitt’s bill.