WASHINGTON – One of the most conservative GOP members of the US Senate, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, said he will not try to block the bipartisan agreement unveiled yesterday to break an impasse over a federal debit limit.
“I will insist that I read it and that Americans have a chance to know what’s in it. That’s going to take a business day, or whatever. I’m not going to hold it up, but there’s one thing that American expect us to do, is read these bills,’’ he said.
DeMint, who has strong support from Tea Party activists, threatened in April to filibuster any deal that raised the debt limit. His comments this morning indicate that at least one potential opponent will not stand in the way of the deal.
That doesn’t mean that he’s happy about the deal. Though he called it a “historic sea-change’’ in congressional debate over borrowing, he criticized the deal as “a political solution, not a real solution.’’
And he was particularly critical of the provision creating a 12-member committee that will recommend a second round of budget cuts late this year, saying that it takes power away from the rank and file of both houses.
“The committee is probably one of the worst ideas I’ve heard,’’ he said. “It basically turns Congress over to the four leaders to make the biggest decision of our time.’’
Theo Emery can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @temery.