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Term limits plan sparks generational battle among House Dems

“I understand there is a need to share, especially with a much younger caucus than we have. But I think penalizing members for being non-ranking members when they’re in the minority at the expense of an opportunity to be president – I don’t think that’s fair either,” the rep said. Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee. Raul Grijalvawho plans to vote against the change.

In fact, Democrats on both sides of the term limits debate agree that Foster’s proposal is unlikely to pass a caucus-wide vote when it is expected to be introduced this week. An internal caucus panel did not recommend that House Democrats approve the change.

Even so, the idea has sparked a sometimes awkward discussion within the caucus over the future of its leadership and how to channel the ambitions of younger members after the three top House Democrat leaders ceded power to a trio decades younger. A spokesperson for the new Democratic leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) declined to comment on the rule change.

“The bottom line is, ‘How can we get more leadership opportunities for a very talented Congress? “said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Jayapal added that she had set limits for the occupants of her progressive caucus position “because I think it’s a good thing to keep pushing people up” through the ranks.

Illustrating the complexity of the debate over term limits, some Democrats have privately complained that Jayapal herself ignored her own two-term limit by starting a second term as sole president without counting a third when she co-presided. the progressive caucus. She pledged to make this term her last and to help with the transition to a new Liberal leader.

Despite years of complaints about the lack of opportunities for younger, ambitious members, many have publicly refrained from committing to the proposal. representing Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said she sees “pros and cons” and “don’t know where I’ll end up.” Chairman of the Hispanic Caucus Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) said, “It’s tricky and difficult.”

“I know there are people who are very interested in having the opportunity to become president, and I know their seniority really matters to a lot of people, including the [Congressional Black Caucus] and [Congressional Hispanic Caucus] and others,” he said.

Same Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), a skeptic of Democrats’ seniority-based systems, largely declined to comment and said, “I can’t wait to hear the presentation.”

Term limits haven’t exactly been a smooth ride for Republicans. In recent days, they have caused turmoil in the GOP conference after leadership was handed to the representative. Virginia Foxx (RN.C.) a waiver to continue leading the Education and Labor Committee, prompting Republicans to rethink their own rules.

Foster presented his proposal as a compromise between those who might want strict term limits like the current system of Republicans and Democrats with no term limits. Strict limits were “not good caucus policy,” he said in an interview, because “there are a number of sitting committee chairs or ranking members who deserve to serve more six years”.

Despite the lack of recommendation by an internal House Democratic panel tasked with evaluating the rule changes, Foster still planned to bring it to his colleagues for debate, calling it an “overdue” caucus-wide conversation. Democrats used to have a term limit system and scrapped it in 2009 after regaining a majority, but lawmakers “didn’t realize the implications of that,” he said.

The Illinoisian acknowledged the concerns of some existing committee leaders, who feared they might not be allowed to lead a committee because of time spent in the minority. But he stressed the proposal was “not a hard term limit” and encouraged his colleagues to make their own case to caucus to keep their hammers.

And even some current chairs support Foster’s approach. representing Adam Schiff (D-California), current chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, spoke about the need to bring young Democrats up the ranks.

“I support term limits,” said Schiff, who is considering a Senate race. “I think there are a lot of talented and mid-level new members out there who want a chance to grow.”

Others remain skeptical, arguing that the current system works very well.

“Speaking of accountability, it’s in place. You talk about membership involvement, whether they’re high-ranking [and non-senior]. It’s in place,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks (DN.Y.), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “So to me, the Foster Amendment makes no sense.”

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