The following excerpt was written by Corey Friedman and originally published in The Wilson Times.
Jim DeMint couldn’t convince his Capitol Hill colleagues to balance the budget, but he says state lawmakers wield untapped power to shrink federal spending and cut Washington down to size.
The Tea Party star and former U.S. senator from South Carolina is urging leaders in the Republican-controlled N.C. House to approve a Convention of States resolution today.
“It’s not only important to North Carolina, I think it’s the only way to save our nation from an economic tailspin,” DeMint said Tuesday. “It really is that serious.”
Senate Joint Resolution 36 seeks to call for a states’ convention in order to propose constitutional amendments as provided in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. After clearing the N.C. Senate on a 29-20 vote in late-April, the bill was shelved in the House Rules Committee.
DeMint added firepower to grassroots organizers’ eleventh-hour lobbying efforts, meeting with House members Monday and Tuesday and urging them to bring the Senate resolution to a vote on the floor.
“We had a good day and a lot of positive contacts,” DeMint said. “Everyone we’ve talked to who’s part of the chain of command seems pretty supportive of the process.”
Supporters also brought an unconventional calling card — a llama draped with a red, white and blue blanket and sporting a sash of star-spangled bows — to the grounds outside the Legislative Office Building. Curious onlookers posed for smartphone selfies with the llama.
DeMint said the woolly welcome wagon was a supportive citizen’s idea that happened to coincide with his visit to the General Assembly.
House leadership moved SJR 36 from the Rules Committee — often used as a bill graveyard — to the Judiciary IV panel on Tuesday. Several members of that committee sponsored an identical House version of the Senate resolution.
The resolution received a favorable report in committee Wednesday and is scheduled for a vote on the House floor today.