Former South Carolina senator and ousted president of the Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint has found new purpose in rallying Americans to use an Article V Convention of States to take back power from Washington D.C. and amend the Constitution to restore power to state governments and the people.
USA Today exclusively reports that DeMint will serve as senior adviser to the Convention of States Project in its mission to “marshal grassroots support for a state-led movement to amend the U.S. Constitution.”
“The Tea Party needs a new mission,” DeMint told USA Today. “They realize that all the work they did in 2010 has not resulted in all the things they hoped for. Many of them are turning to Article V.”
Republicans in Congress have failed to deliver on the promises they made to Tea Party conservatives who put them in power. Obamacare remains the law of the land. A GOP-controlled Congress recently passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill funding the Democrats’ priorities. Even calls for tax cuts by Republicans are peppered with stipulations for “revenue neutral” proposals to create new taxes or eliminate tax deductions (an effective tax increase). Congress seems incapable of passing truly conservative legislation, and now it’s time for the states to take power themselves, says DeMint.
“This is a perfect time for us,” DeMint said. “People are disgusted with Washington. They are ready to move power back closer to home.”
Republicans have full control of the legislatures of 32 states, and there are Republican governors in 33 states. Article V of the U.S. Constitution requires “the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states” to go around Congress and call for a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. If 33 states call for a convention of states, Article V is triggered, and the process of amending the Constitution begins.
Three-fourths of the several states — 38 states — must ratify any amendment proposed by convention delegates. This constitutional requirement will serve as a proper check against the threat of a “runaway convention,” proponents of Article V argue.
So far, 12 states have adopted resolutions calling for a convention of states. A separate effort calling specifically for a balanced budget amendment currently has the support of 27 states.
DeMint will travel to North Carolina later this month on behalf of the Convention of States Project to encourage the state House to follow the state Senate’s lead in passing a resolution calling for a convention of states. Should the House do so, North Carolina will become the 13th state to call for a convention to amend the Constitution.
Sen. DeMint said in an official statement that his experience in Washington D.C. has taught him that real change will never come from the nation’s capital.
“I tried to rein in Washington from inside the House and Senate, then by starting the Senate Conservatives Fund to elect good conservatives, and finally as President of the Heritage Foundation, creating and promoting good, conservative policy. But once I realized that Washington will never willingly return decision-making power back to the American people and the states, I began to search for another way to restrain the federal government,” said DeMint. “I am excited to get outside the beltway and work with the grassroots of the Convention of States Project to continue the fight I started almost two decades ago.”
“The time is now for bold action to save America, and Jim DeMint knows how to fight the opposition to do what is best for Nation and the People,” said Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Convention of States Project. “He is a principled legislative leader and a friend of the grassroots, which makes his addition to the Convention of States Project a natural fit.”
“I’m telling you this is going to be an earthquake,” Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin said of Article V earlier this year. “This is the greatest threat against the statist, utopian progressives in 125 years.”
Editor's note: This article has been updated to include official comments from Jim DeMint and Mark Meckler.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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