“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington would have been an incredibly crappy movie if Jimmy Stewart had stayed around for 100 years.”

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Video of Senator Sasse’s remarks is available here or by clicking on the image above.  


Today, at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse argued for the implementation of Congressional term limits. Sasse is a strong supporter of term limits. The first action Sasse took after being sworn in was to cosponsor term limit legislation.

“I think Mr. Smith Goes to Washington would have been an incredibly crappy movie if Jimmy Stewart had stayed around for 100 years, cozied up to K Street, and done absolutely everything conceivably possible to keep his job here… We need a lot more long-term thinking around here, not short-term, finger-in-the-wind-ism. And if we're going to do that, if you're going to drain the swamp, you have to drive a whole bunch of people who are the swamp protectors, out of the swamp to go back home. What we have right now is a whole bunch of people who get elected and decide it's a one-way ticket. People are from where they're from, they run for office, and then once they get to Washington they buy a permanent home. They eventually stop visiting the home they came from, and they start to have a calculus that staying in Washington forever is a key part of defining their identity and their service. I think it's pretty obvious that one of the reasons we never tackle entitlement reform around here is because it's obviously the right long-term thing to do, and in the short term it's going to be really messy to admit the truth that politicians haven't told the truth about the long-term budget and we've regularly overpromised.

Senator Sasse’s full exchange can be found here.