Senator Jim DeMint, the conservative Republican from South Carolina who helped ignite the Tea Party movement, will leave the Senate to become president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group.
Mr. DeMint — who has fashioned himself into a bit of a kingmaker for conservative Republicans, often at the expense of his own Republican colleagues — now finds himself with a comfortable and well-paying perch that will provide a platform to continue his efforts to push the Republican Party to the right.
His imminent departure will allow him to oppose even more loudly a big budget deal that includes higher tax revenues sought by President Obama. He has been among the biggest critics of a deal proffered by House Speaker John A. Boehner to address the impending fiscal crisis by generating at least $800 billion in new tax revenue.
“I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight,” Mr. DeMint said in a prepared statement. “I’ve decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. No organization is better equipped to lead this fight, and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.”
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