North Carolina’s state representative Ray Pickett (district 93) was honored with a plaque for his support of term limits on Congress. U.S. Term Limits (USTL), the nation’s oldest and largest pro-term limits group, presented the distinction to Pickett at the North Carolina capitol earlier this week.
Shanna Chamblee of USTL gave the representative the “Champion of Term Limits” wood plaque which reads, “In recognition of a steadfast commitment to restore citizen government through term limits.” Pickett has pledged to support house joint resolution 172 (HJR172) which successfully passed through the lower chamber earlier this month. The convention bill does not set the specific length of term limits, rather, it simply starts a discussion among the states on what the ideal term limits of Congressmembers should be.
Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, the states have more power to amend the Constitution than the Congress does. In this situation, Congress would have a conflict of interest to propose term limits on itself. Recognizing this, the founders assured the states could both propose and ratify amendments without the approval of Congress. HJR12 leverages this power so the states may act in the best interest of the people.
Sponsored by North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, the measure’s summary reads, “House Joint Resolution 172 applies to the United States Congress for a Convention of the States to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to impose term limits on members of Congress.”
HJR172 must be approved by the state senate in order for North Carolina to be counted in the states calling for a term limits convention.
Pickett is in good company in his commitment. More than 25 state representatives have pledged to support HJR12 with many more indicating they will vote to approve it. These representatives know that their constituents want term limits on Congress. According to a 2020 poll of voters in the state conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, term limits enjoy wide bipartisan support. In North Carolina 79% of Republicans, 68% of Democrats, and 71% of independents strongly approve of placing term limits on members of Congress.
In addition, there are six members of Congress from the North Carolina delegation, including Senator Tillis, who have signed USTL’s term limits pledge.
Once the amendment is proposed by either Congress or the states at a national convention, it must be ratified by 38 states in order to become part of the U.S. Constitution.