POLITICS: PennAve

Conservatives don't feel 'well represented in Washington,' Jim DeMint says

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Politics,White House,Congress,Brian Hughes,Tea Party,Heritage Foundation,Debt Ceiling,PennAve,Jim DeMint

Weighing in on the current split in the Republican Party, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint said Sunday that conservatives increasingly feel as though their views aren't being represented in Washington.

“A lot of us as conservatives don't feel like we are well represented in Washington right now,” DeMint said on CBS' “Face the Nation,” when asked to give his assessment of Republican Party leadership.

“And I think a lot of Americans, regardless of political labels, feel the same way. I hear it all over the country and I think that's why you see a stirring in the country,” he added.

The feud between the establishment and Tea Party wings of the Republican Party was on full display in recent days when Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, angered party leaders by demanding a 60-vote threshold to raise the debt ceiling in the upper chamber. GOP leadership had wanted a simple majority vote, which would have allowed all its members to vote against a provision unpopular with conservatives.

Some Republican leaders have accused Cruz of pandering to conservative voters with no concrete plan for how to move his agenda forward.

DeMint refused to say whether he thought Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who pushed through a so-called clean increase of the debt ceiling, should be replaced.

But the former South Carolina senator did take issue with public portrayals of the Tea Party.

“I’m amused when folks talk about the Tea Party,” he told CBS. “This is just millions of Americans who are concerned about spending and debt … I think a lot of folks who believe in limited government, less spending and debt are concerned that under this president, we've had more debt than any president in history.”

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