Bill Introduced To Repeal 22nd AmendmentLEE GOULD , Associated Press
Jul. 29, 1986 6:38 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rep. Guy Vander Jagt said Tuesday he introduced legislation to repeal the 22nd Amendment because he wants to clear the way for President Reagan to seek a third term.
Changing the two-term restriction now in the Constitution would require approval of three-fourths of the states.
Vander Jagt, R-Mich., chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said he wants to ''allow Americans to decide how long their president should serve.''
''The 22nd Amendment is an insult to American voters who are wise and well- informed,'' Vander Jagt said at a news conference Tuesday following introduction of his bill Monday. The amendment, which limits the president from serving more than two full terms, was ratified in 1951 after the four- term presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.
Reagan, who is 75, has said he would support repeal of the amendment, but also added that ''any president who will try to get the Constitution changed should not be doing it for himself - he should be doing it for those who will follow him.''
Vander Jagt said earlier this month that he would introduce the amendment if he received enough support from a fund-raising mailing to 300,000 Republicans. On Tuesday, he said, ''The interest shown since this initiative began just two weeks ago has been phenomenal, from the hundreds of phone calls to the cheers of 'four more years' for the president in Dallas, Miami and South Carolina.''
The Republican congressional committee said more than 5,000 responses, including donations, had been received in the first week after the mailing.
Vander Jagt said he has asked House Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino, D-N.J., to ''promptly initiate action on the bill.''
''While there are several qualified Republican candidates out there testing the 1988 waters, there's nothing like the original,'' he said.
Terry Michael, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said Vander Jagt's proposed amendment was ''nothing but a gimmick to bolster the faltering fund-raising of the Republican Congressional Committee.'' He said DNC Chairman Paul Kirk will hold a news conference Thursday and ''welcomes the opportunity to answer the question, 'could America survive four more years?'''