Last week, Nevada Senator John Ensign resigned his seat, creating a vacancy on several Senate committees. While Congressman Dean Heller will fill Ensign's Senate seat, a member with more seniority will be appointed to his coveted slot on the Senate Finance Committee. The Finance Committee is considered a prized "Super-A committee" due to the extent and relevance of its jurisdiction, which includes trade, taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Unlike its House counterpart, the Senate Finance Committee also encompasses the jurisdiction of the House Ways and Means Committee. This panel is clearly the most important Senate committee in the realm of domestic policy. Who better to sit on that committee than Jim DeMint?
Senator DeMint has been implored to run for all sorts of leadership roles, ranging from President to Senate Leader, but has firmly declined. Fortunately, this is a position that he is openly embracing. A DeMint spokesman told Roll Call that he is throwing his hat into the ring for the seat on the Finance Committee:
"Senator DeMint is very interested in serving on the Finance Committee and has requested it every time since he was elected," said his spokesman, Wesley Denton. "This is where entitlement reform will be written to balance the budget, it's where Obamacare will be repealed, and it's where our tax laws will be reformed to ensure that America remains the best place in the world to do business. ... He understands the seat will be filled by the Republican Leader and Senator DeMint will respect his decision."
DeMint has attempted to obtain a seat on the committee in the past, only to be passed over for those with more seniority. Now, DeMint is the one with the seniority. The other announced candidate for the position is Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns, a more junior member. In addition, Mike Johanns has not been at the forefront of the battle for liberty and constitutional government in the same way as DeMint. Just last year, Johanns voted for START and the FDA food takeover, while opposing efforts to reign in the Federal Reserve, Freddie and Fannie, and the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona.
McConnell has already denied DeMint a seat on the Finance Committee due to a lack of seniority in 2008. Now is the time for McConnell to show that he is consistent and serious about cutting spending by appointing Jim DeMint to the Senate Finance Committee. Surely, seniority applies to conservatives too, doesn't it?
Please call Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and request that he put Senator DeMint on the Finance Committee. (202) 224-2541