President Donald Trump on Monday called for House Republicans to abolish term limits for their congressional committee chairs, acknowledging potential “problems” with his proposal but insisting it could help curb a recent spate of retirements by GOP lawmakers.
“House Republicans should allow Chairs of Committees to remain for longer than 6 years. It forces great people, and real leaders, to leave after serving,” Trump tweeted. “The Dems have unlimited terms. While that has its own problems, it is a better way to go. Fewer people, in the end, will leave!”
Trump has advocated for term limits for members of Congress, but had not previously weighed in on caucus rules governing the amount of time Republican members can maintain plum assignments managing powerful committees.
GOP lawmakers are allowed to serve as the top lawmakers on congressional panels for only three terms — regardless of whether they are committee leaders or ranking members.
It is possible Trump’s latest suggestion is in reaction to some House Republicans’ fears that term limits are contributing to a wave of announced resignations by some senior GOP members.
But while the caps have prompted complaints from some within the Republican Party, others have argued the turnover in chairmanships has brought fresh blood into the top ranks of the GOP — unlike the Democratic Party, which imposes no limits on its committee chairmanships.
Former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and former House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) — currently the ranking members on their respective committees — said in July they would not seek reelection in 2020.
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