Fact Check

Bill to Repeal the 22nd Amendment

Would a proposal before Congress repeal the 22nd amendment to allow Barack Obama to serve more than two terms as president?

Published June 23, 2009


Claim:   A proposal before Congress would repeal the 22nd amendment to allow Barack Obama to serve as "President for life."



[Collected via e-mail, January 2013]

Is THIS really what America wants or needs? If the just introduced H.J. Res 15 passes, Barack Obama will LEGALLY be able to be our dictator for the remainder of his life. I surely hope that all liberty loving patriots speak up to their Congressmen and women that 4 years of Barack Obama has been bad enough, we surely don't need him around running America into the ground for another 40 years.

[Collected via e-mail, June 2009]

America wanted change! Boy is it coming!

A Democrat has now introduced legislation that would repeal the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution - the prohibition against any President serving more than two terms in office.

Just like the Nazis, the Communists, and the Fascists, Obama and the Democratic Party are moving to posture the U.S. Presidency for succession by one President. That's how Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini became "Leaders for Life." Once the 22nd Amendment is repealed, the next step is to pass an Amendment to the (already emasculated) Constitution which permits a majority in the House of Representatives to designate a President as "President for Life."

Wake up America ! Contact your congressional representative and make it VERY clear that you oppose this proposed legislation.

H. J. Res. 5 - Repealing 22nd Amendment bill was referred to the House Committee on Judiciary on 1/6/09 and then referred to the Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on 2/9/09.

Earlier this year, Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y. introduced H. J. Res. 5, a bill that would repeal the Constitution's 22nd Amendment which prohibits a president from being elected to more than two terms in office, thus potentially paving the way to make Barack Obama president for life. Not surprisingly, the corporate media currently caught up in Obama-mania has not covered this story.

"Will George W. Bush end up being the last true U.S. President?" asked Sher Zieve, writing for the Canadian Free Press on January 14. " As I warned you on multiple times prior to the 2008 General Election, 'Once
Obama is elected, we won't be able to get rid of him.' Tragically, this warning is now being realized. Not only has Obama established his election-fraud organization ACORN nationwide, his adherents have now begun the process to repeal the U.S. Constitution's 22nd Amendment."

Or go to Google and do your own search by typing in H. J. Res. 5 ... not that I believe WE ACTUALLY elect our presidents anymore anyway!


Origins:   The framers of the Constitution of the United States of America created the executive office of President of the United States and designated that the holders of this office should be officials elected to serve four-year terms. They did not, however, prescribe any limits on how many terms any one person could serve in the office of president.

Nonetheless, when the first U.S. president, George Washington, voluntarily stepped down after having served two terms, he established a pattern that held for the next 140 years: not until Franklin D. Roosevelt won four consecutive elections between 1932 and 1944 did any

U.S. president serve more than two terms.

Roosevelt died shortly after beginning his fourth term in 1945, and two years later Congress passed a bill to amend the Constitution to establish a two-term limit on the presidency. Four years later, this amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states and was enacted as the 22nd Amendment in 1951.

In the several decades since the passage of the 22nd Amendment, various members of Congress have offered proposals for repealing it (all, obviously, without success), twenty-three of them in the last two decades alone. The most recent such proposal is H.J. 15, introduced by Rep. Jose E. Serrano of New York:

Proposing 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.

If passed by both houses of Congress and ratified by three-fourths of state legislatures (an exceedingly unlikely possibility), such an amendment would allow any president to serve an unlimited number of terms in office. It would not, however, establish anyone as "President for life," because it would not remove the requirement that the president be elected to office every four years.

Although Rep. Serrano may be a Democrat, the rhetoric quoted above stating that the purpose of his proposal for repealing the 22nd amendment is specifically to "pave the way to make Barack Obama president for life" is not supported by the facts. Rep. Serrano has introduced the very same proposal to Congress every two years since 1997 (a total of nine times), regardless of which party was currently occupying the White House and starting well before Barack Obama became involved in national politics. On the first two occasions (in 1997 and 1999) the incumbent president was a Democrat (Bill Clinton); the next four occasions (2001, 2003, 2005, and again in 2007), were after the election of a Republican (George W. Bush). Rep. Serrano's 2013 bill is the third time he has proposed that same legislation to Congress since the election of Barack Obama, following similar efforts in 2009 and 2011.

Likewise, another Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, introduced a similar proposal six times in recent years, also regardless of which party was currently occupying the White House. Hoyer introduced such proposals in 1995, 1997, and 1999 (all during the presidency of Bill Clinton), and again in 2001, 2003, and 2005 (all during the presidency of George W. Bush).

Other members of Congress who have offered similar proposals in the last twenty years include the following:

  • Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts (Democrat): 1995, 1997, and 1999 (all during the presidency of Bill Clinton).
  • Rep. David Dreier of California (Republican): 1997 (during the presidency of Bill Clinton).
  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York (Democrat): 1995 (during the presidency of Bill Clinton).
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (Republican): 1995 (during the presidency of Bill Clinton).
  • Rep. Guy Vander Jagt of Michigan (Republican): 1991 (during the presidency of George H.W. Bush).
  • Rep. Martin Sabo of Minnesota (Democratic-Farmer-Labor): 1991 (during the presidency of George H.W. Bush).

According to our survey, not a single one of these proposals was ever so much as brought to a vote before Congress (they were all referred to committee and languished there), much less passed and sent to the states for ratification.

Last updated:   19 May 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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