A government
of the people



Americans for Congressional Term Limits

America is witnessing an unprecedented

amount of dysfunction in congress

With numerous government shutdowns, trillions of dollars in debt, billions of dollars wasted on pork barrel projects, and a stark lack of fresh ideas, it is not difficult to explain Congress’s contemptibly low approval ratings.  In a democracy, where the people have control, it should be a simple matter of voting these failing leaders out of office. We, the people, should be able to fluidly exercise our power over our representatives to bring about change.

There is something, however, that is preventing us.  Since our nation’s founding, the power of the incumbency has grown to reprehensible levels.  Incumbent politicians enjoy a stranglehold on party support, consistent special interest backing, and the favorable redrawing of district lines, all of which make it virtually impossible to replace them. Though our representatives may have become a ruling class, the people still hold the power, but only if we speak together.

What does a Congress without term limits look like?

Negative approval rating
House reelection rate
Senate reelection rate
Americans favoring term limits

The American people are not at all satisfied with Congress, yet politicians continue to enjoy a sky-high reelection rate.  This trend is deeply concerning, and the vast majority of Americans favor fixing it.  See the data.

“The security intended to the general liberty consists in the frequent election and in the rotation of the members of Congress.”

-James Madison

How term limits will change everything

Democracy does not simply mean majority rule.  As we well know, there are numerous checks and balances which must be in place to ensure a truly free and self-governing society.  Limiting the amount of time a representative can hold office is one of these.  The consistency of new leadership and representation will ensure that our government is truly of the people.

“There is a danger from all men.  The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with the power to endanger the public liberty”

-John Adams

The constitutional amendment process

The representative positions in the House and Senate of the United States Congress are prescribed by the Constitution of the United States. In order to regulate those positions to such an extent as to impose term limits, the Constitution would have to be amended.

Article 5
The Convention
Article 5

Article 5 Defines the Process

Article 5 of the Constitution of the United States governs the process for creating amendments and changing the Constitution.  The section provides for two distinct options for proposing an amendment and one option for ratifying the amendment.

View Article 5


Two ways of proposing an amendment

There are two ways in which an amendment may be proposed:  either by Congress or at a Constitutional Convention.  The first is the only way it has ever been done in our history.  For Congress to propose an amendment, it requires the vote of at least a two-thirds majority in both chambers.

An amendment may also be proposed, however, at a Constitutional Convention.  This convention must be called by Congress once it receives a request from at least two-thirds of the states.  State legislatures make this request through their normal legislative processes, just as if they were passing a bill.


One way of ratifying an amendment

The proposed amendment must then be ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the states before becoming the supreme law of the land.  State legislatures vote to ratify an amendment through their normal legislative processes.

The Convention

The Constitutional Convention

Never before in history has a convention been called pursuant to Article 5 of the Constitution. Every other amendment in history has been proposed by a vote in Congress. Our founders wisely included a separate option, arguably for a situation exactly like the one we find ourselves in now.

The United States government is a federation of states, whereby these states, through their people, hold the ultimate power over the federal government. The provision in Article 5 for a convention called by the states ensures that power is ultimately held by the states, rather than the federal government. The proposing and ratification of an amendment by this means does not require the approval of any member or branch of the federal government.

Because of the extreme unlikelihood that enough career politicians would willingly propose an amendment which would remove them from office, a convention is the only option for change.

“Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct”

-Thomas Jefferson

How will it work?

Change in three simple steps

Find your chapter

How we get there

We are not trying to pass one bill, we are trying to pass the same bill in 50 different states.  This takes an enormousness amount of coordination and organization.  Because of this, Americans for Congressional Term Limits operates as a network of state chapters with a national head.  Our state chapters operate in an independent yet coordinated effort to engage, educate, and mobilize the people in their sates who believe in and hope for a better democracy.

Select your state chapter




Have you made a contribution for term limits yet? Add your name and make your contribution to help underwrite a movement and reshape our democracy.

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525 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202 

(866) 957-5023 

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