A constitutional amendment slapping term limits on lawmakers cleared its first congressional hurdle Wednesday in a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.
Approved on a 5-3 party-line vote, the Republican-backed proposal generally would limit senators to a maximum of two six-year terms and House members to six two-year terms.
The proposal is intensely controversial, with some lawmakers preferring no limits on the length of service, while others disagree over precisely where the limits should be set.
The measure cleared by the subcommittee doesn’t count a current lawmakers’ service against the 12-year rule that would apply in the future to members of the House and Senate.
The proposal goes to the full Senate Judiciary Committee.
In the House, the amendment is an element of the GOP’s “Contract With America,” although Republican officials concede it will be difficult to gain the two-thirds majority needed to send the measure to the states for ratification.