All three Western New York House Republicans said Tuesday they plan to vote for term-limits legislation, although the proposed amendment to the Constitution has little chance of being adopted.
The sole Democrat, John J. LaFalce of the Town of Tonawanda, said he opposes the idea because it would increase the power of bureaucrats and lobbyists "tremendously."
The measure needs a two-thirds majority for adoption, and the Republican leadership is at least 30 votes short of that goal, with little time to make up the difference in time for the vote, which is scheduled for tonight. Rep. Bill Paxon, R-Amherst, said he could vote for either of two Republican proposals, which are among several being considered. Paxon said he can support an amendment proposed by Rep. Bill McCollum of Florida, which calls for a prospective limit of six two-year terms for House members and two six-year terms for senators.
He prefers the plan offered by Rep. Van Hilleary of Tennessee, which sets 12-year limits but allows the states to set shorter limits.
Chet Lunner, spokesman for Rep. Amory Houghton Jr. of Corning, said the Southern Tier Republican prefers McCollum's bill.
Rep. Jack Quinn of Hamburg said he could back either McCollum or Hilleary.
LaFalce said, "Congressional turnover is already high without term limits . . . The best argument against term limits is that the people are already exercising their right to limit terms on their own by electing whom they want."