They're Coming, But Not Staying! House Republicans Promise Self-Imposed Term Limits

They campaigned hard to unseat the Democrats, but some soon-to-be House Republicans say they don't plan on staying in Washington for long.

Mike Fitzpatrick, fresh from winning Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, is one Republican who plans to follow a self-imposed term limit. Fitzpatrick has vowed to stay in office for no more than three terms.

Fitzpatrick tells Fox News that the self-imposed term limit "will give me the capacity and the ability to really focus entirely on what's best for the people of my district rather than what's best for re-election."

Fitzpatrick already served one term in Congress before losing the seat to Democrat Patrick Murphy in 2006. The two faced off again this year, with Fitzpatrick winning 54% of the vote. The returning congressman says after the upcoming 112th Congress, he plans to serve only two more terms.

Fitzpatrick isn't alone. Congressmen-elect Allen West, R-Fla., and former NFL player Jon Runyan, R-N.J., have both vowed to stay in office only four terms. Republican Congressman-elect Tim Griffin of Arkansas is limiting himself to six terms.

David Schweikert, who won Arizona's 5th District, has also pledged to serve no more than six terms. During a Sunday interview with Fox News, Schweikert discussed the problem of so-called "career politicians."

"You have certain seats that are so safe that the members who are in those start to accumulate power, more power, more power, said Schweikert. "You end up with an imbalance."

For now, term limits for members of Congress are a personal choice. In 1995, the Supreme Court ruled that states could not limit the amount of time federal lawmakers spent in office.

That same year, the House brought up a term limit amendment, but it didn't pass.

Fitzgerald said the Supreme Court ruling "threw some cold water" on the issue of term limits, but added that he would vote for a constitutional amendment if he had the opportunity.

Fitzpatrick blames the culture of Washington for career politicians, telling Fox News, "This town is a town that's based on seniority, and committee chairmanships are sometimes selected based upon seniority."