DeMint Spokesman: He’s Not Trying To Intervene In Honduras

Congressional Quarterly/Newscom

Wesley Denton, a spokesman for Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), just told TPM that the Senator is not attempting to intervene in support of the military coup in Honduras, as part of his trip there today — that it is simply a fact-finding mission to find out about the events on the ground.

The New York Times had reported: “One of the de facto government’s main supporters in Washington, Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, has announced plans to visit Tegucigalpa on Friday. One Congressional staff member said Mr. DeMint hoped to meet with members of the de facto government and other Hondurans. Other staff members said he intended to encourage Mr. Micheletti and his supporters to resist.”

“Sen DeMint did not announce that to the New York Times, they did not get that from our office,” said Denton. “They did not speak to staff members from our office that I know of — they certainly did not talk to me.”

DeMint and his Congressional delegation did meet today with de facto Honduran President Roberto Micheletti.Denton added: “He’s not in support of any particular politician. He supports democracy, the rule of law and the constitution of Honduras, and he wants to see a quick resolution to the crisis, one that allows the Honduran people to resolve it through a democratic and transparent process.”

Denton also said that DeMint is not blocking the Obama administration’s nominees to deal with foreign policy in the region, which was cited by the office of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) as a reason to attempt to deny DeMint funding for the trip. Instead, DeMint only wants to have a full debate and roll call vote.

“Sen. DeMint cannot prevent Sen. Reid from bringing the nominees to the floor, he can have a vote at any time. Sen. DeMint has objected to unanimous consent,” said Denton, also adding: “In fact that’s all you can do. In the Senate when, someone says you’re holding up a bill or a nominee, what one Senator can object to is passage by unanimous consent. No one Senator can stop the Senate working the majority of its will through 60 votes.

By tradition, any Senator can place a hold on a piece of legislation or a nominee and, as a courtesy, these holds are usually honored. But occasionally, the Majority Leader will use his power and bring the matter to a vote, anyway.