Reports: Jim DeMint On His Way Out As President Of Heritage Foundation

Heritage Foundation President, former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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April 28, 2017 1:55 pm
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Jim DeMint is on his way out as the president of the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, Politico and the New York Times reported Friday.

Politico first reported, according to three unnamed people with knowledge of the situation, that the former South Carolina senator’s ouster would follow a difference of opinion on a variety of issues with a portion of the foundation’s board.

The far-right foundation, funded in part by billionaire Republican kingmakers Charles and David Koch and their network, became more politically active during DeMint’s tenure. He took up the office in 2013, and has used its political advocacy arm, Heritage Action, to target Republicans in Washington, D.C. deemed insufficiently conservative.

The foundation did not immediately respond to TPM’s questions about DeMint’s status.

One unnamed operative who has worked with Heritage told Politico, “If Heritage pushes Jim DeMint out it was because a few board members, who are close to the Republican establishment, never wanted him to be president and have been working to push him out ever since.”

The publication noted that DeMint had worked to ingratiate the foundation with the Trump administration, even allowing foundation employees to work on Trump’s transition team.

The Times, which confirmed the impending ouster with two unnamed people with knowledge of Heritage’s internal dynamics, reported that part of the turmoil came as a result of what it described as Heritage’s position on the “sideline” of the health care debate.

In March, Heritage Action opposed Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, saying it did not go far enough to get rid of the underlying infrastructure of the current law.

On April 26, the group announced it was no longer opposed to the effort if it included an amendment proposed by Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Tom MacArthur (R-NJ). That amendment, among other things, would allow states to opt out of some federal Obamacare requirements, like its ban on price discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.

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