Should the bill become a law, it could allow President Barack Obama to run for reelection yet again in 2016.
The bill, H.J. Res. 15, offers “an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.”
New York Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano reintroduced the measure on January 4, after it did not make it to a floor vote in January 2011, the Daily Caller reports. Serrano has attempted to repeal the amendment for decades and proposed similar bills in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007.
Rep. Serrano’s initiatives are not dependent on any particular party, since he has tried to get the measure passed under the presidencies of both Democrats and Republicans. But if the bill makes it to the floor for a vote this year, President Obama, a Democrat, might have a chance at a third term in the White House, which would make him the first president to possibly seek a third term since Franklin Roosevelt.
Even though a repeal has not made it far in Congress, there have been several attempts at bringing it to the floor, which have garnered support from past presidents and prominent legislators. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) repeatedly proposed repealing the 22nd Amendment while both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were in office, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to repeal it in 1995. In 1989, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) introduced a similar resolution.
Former President Ronald Reagan told Barbara Walters in a 1986 interview that the 22nd Amendment “was a mistake,” while former President Bill Clinton has always believed in the option for a president to seek reelection at a later time – even if he has already served twice.
“Shouldn’t a president be able to take two terms, take time off and run again?” Clinton said in an MSNBC interview in November. “I’ve always thought that should be the rule. I think as a practical matter, you couldn’t apply this to anyone who has already served, but going forward, I personally believe that should be the rule.”
Repealing the 22nd Amendment has been supported by both Democrats and Republicans, but has never garnered enough votes to go into effect.
Congress passed the 22nd Amendment on March 21, 1947. It was ratified by 41 states and rejected by only two. It limits each president to two terms, but did not apply to the sitting president, former President Harry Truman, who withdrew as a candidate for re-election in 1952.