DeMint Begins GOP Cleanup

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has another task this week besides challenging spending proposals in Congress’ lame duck session: cleaning up his party’s governing rules in the Senate.

DeMint has nine reforms on his agenda. Several challenge a seniority system DeMint feels has handicapped Republicans in the Senate.

“As Republicans fight for a merit-based society where hard work is rewarded, we should operate by the same philosophy in the United States Senate,” DeMint said in a statement released last week.

DeMint will propose term limits be extended to the positions of Republican Floor Leader and President Pro-Tempore (fourth in line to succeed the President of the United States) and that the President Pro-Tempore and Committee Chair/Ranking Members be elected on merit, not just seniority. He also wants term limits for Republicans on the Appropriations Committee, the largest committee in the Senate and responsible for authoring legislation that allocates funds from the Federal treasury.

Another reform takes on what HUMAN EVENTS contributor William Smith calls Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) “monarchy” in the Senate. According to Smith, Reid, by means of a ‘procedural stunt,’ stopped the minority party eighteen times in two years from proposing amendments. Item nine on DeMint’s list reads, “Require steps are taken to protect all Senator’ rights to offer amendments, as the Democrat Leader has continually insisted on blocking, changing and picking Republican amendments.”

DeMint will ask his reforms be voted on at the Senate Republican Conference’s organizational meeting Tuesday.

Read DeMint’s complete list of reforms here.