Sen. James DeMint was getting applause Thursday both from
the Hill he is leaving and the think tank community he will be joining in
January when he exits to head the Heritage Foundation.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D- W.Va.) sent along his best wishes, but was also looking ahead to whomever the Republicans choose to be ranking member of the committee. DeMint, ranking member of the Communications subcommittee, was in line to take over from ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is retiring at the end of this session.
"I wish Jim DeMint well in his new position at the Heritage Foundation," said Rockefeller. "I look forward to working with whomever the Republicans select as the Ranking Member in the 113th Congress. I know the Commerce Committee will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to create economic growth, invest in our future, and protect consumers."
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), who teamed with DeMint to try
to defund public broadcasting, was full of praise for the Senator.
"Senator DeMint is not only a friend and colleague, he
is one of my heroes in Washington," he said in a statement. "I have
looked to his leadership many times and always found him to be a man of wisdom
and courage. I believe Senator DeMint will continue to be a dynamic voice in
the conservative movement helping to bring that message to a new generation and
a broader audience."
"Tea Party Patriots have been honored to work alongside Sen.
DeMint for fiscal responsibility, free markets and constitutionally limited
government," said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the Tea
Party. "While we are sad to lose a strong, conservative voice in the
Senate, he will continue to be a courageous advocate for our principles in his
new role. As Washington flounders in the midst of the so-called 'fiscal cliff'
crisis, it's clear we need more leaders like Sen. DeMint to stand firm for
Americans in the face of stiff opposition."
But praise was not confined to conservative Republicans.
"Although it's a surprise, we welcome and extend our
congratulations to Sen. DeMint on his new post at the Heritage
Foundation," said Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn. "As a member
of the think tank community, we look forward to working together on common
ground issues. The future holds many opportunities for Public Knowledge and the
Internet and Technology arm of the Heritage Foundation to work together."