Senate Republican conservatives say the departure of their South Carolina colleague Jim DeMint won’t hurt their cause partly because of the help he gave building it.
DeMint, who is leaving the Senate after this year to take over as president of The Heritage Foundation, played a major role in pushing the Senate Republican caucus in a more conservative direction, the senators tell The Hill
. He helped school younger senators about how to gum up legislation opposed by conservatives, for example.
“When I first got here there were very few of us that were pretty conservative, and now that group is quite a bit bigger,” said Idaho Sen. Jim Risch. “I would say the infant that was here when I got here has become a toddler and maybe more. I feel much better of the size of the group that promotes the conservative message and agenda.”
Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, vice chairman of the Senate Republican conference, agrees: “I think there will be plenty of members left who will vigorously advance the positions that Jim has been advancing. In fact most of our conference is a pretty conservative conference,” he told The Hill.
As for DeMint’s successor, nearly every member of the state’s Republican House delegation is a possibility, according to The New York Times.
Attention is focusing on Rep. Tim Scott, who would be the only black member of the Senate.
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