Madison County representative drafts resolution suggesting Tennessee should encourage term limits in Congress

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — HJR0005 would call on the U.S. Congress to consider imposing term limits.

Most of the time, a resolution isn’t binding. This is roughly the same but could end up holding some weight.

“In this situation, a resolution is binding from the standpoint of our U.S. Constitution,” Rep. Chris Todd (R-Madison County) said. “Article V says if states request an Article V Convention for a specific purpose, then Congress shall name a place and time for that convention.”

Todd sponsored the legislation. An Article V Convention happens when at least 34 states apply for it to propose a specific amendment – in this situation, congressional term limits.

“It’s created bad policy,” Todd said of the lack of a limit. “It’s created bad direction in the country.”

You might be wondering why he wouldn’t also apply the resolution to state lawmakers. Todd said it has nothing to do with his position as one himself. In his opinion, it has more to do with the difficulty of unseating a congressional official as opposed to a state official.

“I think it’s very possible for any sitting (state) representative or senator to get beat at any given time,” Todd said.

Of course, not everyone agrees with him. Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) said he’s not necessarily against term limits.

“I’d love to term limit Marsha Blackburn,” he said. “I think that would be a fantastic idea.”

But Clemmons said he feels like there are bigger problems at stake rather than the issue.

“We have real problems in the state of Tennessee that require a resolution,” he said.

Though it is, at some level, a national bipartisan issue, Clemmons said it isn’t something he was expecting.

“It’s pretty shocking when you consider the sponsor of this legislation, the current U.S. Senators are not conservative enough for this individual,” he said “That should tell you a lot.”

News 2 asked Todd how he thinks our congressional representatives will respond to the resolution.

“I actually feel like there will be a neutral to positive reaction from our U.S. delegation right now,” he said.

Regardless of if he’s correct, Todd said he feels pretty confident not only that Tennessee will pass the resolution, but 33 other states will, too.

“I am probably somewhere in the nine-to-ten range on confidence now,” he said on a scale of 1-10.