Term limits and one-issue voting are long overdue

U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, a Cogan Station Republican, who represents much of our region, reiterated his support for congressional term limits during a visit with the Sun-Gazette editorial board last week.

Marino also continues to favor legislation that would limit congressional votes to bills that address a single issue rather than multiple issues.

We hope he does not back down on either issue.

As it stands now, far too many votes in the House and Senate are tied to re-election, not service to constituents. And bundling of multiple issues into single votes gives elected officials an out to make their votes political rather than a judgment on one issue and how it impacts their constituents.

In our view, if there were term limits and elected officials were voting on one issue at a time, there would be a much greater chance of draining that swamp everyone complains about.

Marino was elected in 2010 to serve the 10th District. Under state Supreme Court-instituted redistricting, he will be seeking re-election in the 12th District. He has no idea what part of the Pennsylvania Constitution allows the court to undertake redistricting.

In any case, he’s getting close to his self-imposed 12-year limit on serving whoever his constituents are. He believes 12 years is more than enough time to make an impact in Congress and too many elected officials become out-of-touch and intoxicated from power beyond that time.

We call on the representative and others of his like to take definitive action this year to move the term limits ball forward.

As issue after issue becomes bogged down by political power-broking in Congress, there is a lot of evidence to back Marino’s one-issue, one-vote initiative. And the problem is only multiplied when a relevant issue that is overdue for debate and action drowns amid legislation that addresses it among a myriad of other items.

We believe our country’s founders envisioned a country represented by citizen legislators representing the full diversity of our nation and voting systematically to change what needs changed based on the clarity of debate on a single topic.

There are few people, regardless of political stripe, who would argue that we are getting that today in Washington – or Harrisburg, for that matter.