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New GOP Sen. Rick Scott wants term limits, end to taxpayer-funded pensions for Congress

Courtesy Sinclair Broadcast Group

A new U.S. senator is already talking about term limits. Freshman Sen. Rick Scott has only been on the job for a couple months and he's already frustrated by complications of getting things done in Congress.

“It’s just partisan, it’s politics,” said Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida.

The Florida Republican thinks term limits and getting rid of taxpayer-funded congressional pensions would bring the right incentives for lawmakers to get the job done.

“You have to have a sense of urgency, I think that's what you have to have in life to have a sense of urgency to get things done,” he said.

However, some lawmakers defend the more than 200-year-old system.

“There are term limits, they’re called elections. And they're every two years,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois.

Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnier says term limits do not work. He says he was a beneficiary of term limits when he served in the California State legislature.

“The problem with term limits is you get rid of people who may have stayed too long, but you get rid of people who haven’t stayed long enough who are the top of their game,” said Rep. Mark DeSauliner, D-Calif.

Scott, along with his Republican colleague, Sen. Mike Braun, of Indiana, introduced the “End Pensions in Congress Act” this month.

“Why should we still have pensions up here? We should do what the private sector does. This was never set up to be a permanent job,” Sen. Scott said.

Some say that’s not the top reason people run for office.

“I don’t see too many people who stay here because they want to see a pension. I think most people stay, because they want to represent the people in their district,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas.

As one of the new kids in Congress, Scott has to face long-time lawmakers who may not like this idea, which means he has to think about what he hopes to get accomplished.

“You get things done by building relationships,” he said. “When I run for reelection they can judge whether I did it or not.”

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