Jim DeMint, former U.S. senator and erstwhile head of the Heritage Foundation, has joined a group trying to schedule a new constitutional convention.
DeMint has joined the Convention of the States Project as senior adviser, USA Today reports, to help organize grassroots movements in each state to call for an update of the Constitution.
“I’ve finally realized the most important truth of our time: Washington, D.C. will never fix itself,” DeMint said in a statement. “Article V is the only solution.”
DeMint believes that with all the disappointment in politicians of Washington, D.C., Americans are ready for a convention to update parts of the Constitution. The first and only constitutional convention ended in 1787.
“The Tea Party needs a new mission,” DeMint said in an interview with 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,” the section of the Constitution which allows states to call for a convention, DeMint said.
“This is a perfect time for us,” DeMint said. “People are disgusted with Washington. They are ready to move power back closer to home.”
Among the issues DeMint and others want to address at the convention would include “fiscal restraint,” reorganizing how Washington spends money, further limiting the federal government’s authority over the states, and mandating term limits for federal officials.
“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,” Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Convention of States Project, said in a statement announcing the move. “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.”
DeMint was elected to the Senate in 2005, then led the Heritage Foundation from 2013 to 2017, contributing to the Tea Party movement that called for a return to constitutional principles.
DeMint left Heritage in March after the board of directors voted unanimously to remove him from his leadership position, citing “significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation.” (RELATED: Heritage Foundation Formally Parts Ways With Ex-CEO And President Jim DeMint)
Article V of the Constitution states that a two thirds of the country, or 34 states, can convene a body to change the Constitution, but that has never happened. The simplest way to change America’s governing document is through amendments, passed by Congress.
(Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with statement from the Convention of States Project.)
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