Former South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint will serve as a senior adviser to the Convention of the States Project, the organization announced Monday.
DeMint was ousted as president and CEO of the conservative Heritage Foundation last month.
The conservative Convention of the States Project seeks to encourage state legislatures to call a convention of states under Article V of the Constitution in order to add amendments to the Constitution that reduce the power of the federal government.
Mark Meckler, the co-founder of the Convention of States Project, said in a statement that “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.”
“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,” Meckler said.
In a statement, DeMint said:
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. 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.
In an interview with USA Today, which first reported DeMint’s new job, the former senator said that the Tea Party “needs a new mission.”
“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,” DeMint said.
Article V of the U.S. Constitution states:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
The Convention of the States Project says on its website that it wants to ratify new constitutional amendments to rein in the national debt and the federal bureaucracy, as well as protect states’ rights. The organization's lobbying arm lists a balanced budget amendment, limits on federal taxation, and congressional term limits among topics they want considered should such a convention take place.
DeMint argued that populist anger toward Washington in the country helped elect President Donald Trump, and the time is right for achieving the group’s goals.
“This is a perfect time for us,” DeMint said. “People are disgusted with Washington. They are ready to move power back closer to home.”