Rick Scott’s term limits idea:
By STEVE BOUSQUET AND ALEX LEARY
Gov. Rick Scott’s first policy idea as a U.S. Senate candidate won’t happen and most of his fellow Republicans don’t support it.
But it’s a surefire applause line at political rallies.
Scott wants term limits for members of Congress: 12 years and no more in an entrenched system where power is determined almost entirely by longevity.
“In Washington, they say this can’t be done. That’s nonsense,” a relaxed-looking Scott says in his first campaign TV ad, standing before an outline of the U.S. with a red felt tip pen in his hand. “We don’t work for them. They work for us.”
It sounds good, but it’s almost impossible.
Scott, 65, has seized on a popular issue in a race in which his opponent, Democrat Bill Nelson, 75, is a veteran of three terms in the Senate who was first elected to the Florida Legislature in 1972, the year that President Richard Nixon won re-election.
There’s a reason why term limits don’t exist for Congress. It requires an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, an enormous political undertaking that would require the support of two-thirds of members of Congress followed by threefourths of the states.
“Scott is running on something that’s popular, but is almost impossible to make happen,” said Aubrey Jewett, a political scientist at the University of Central Florida. “It’s a symbolic thing, and he’s about 20 years late.”
Term limit proposals swept the country more than two decades ago. Florida voters in 1992 voted to impose eight-year term limits on all state legislators and Cabinet members.
The change created a