Scott to Replace Demint in the Senate as Hawaii Seeks to Replace Inouye

Senator-elect Tim Scott

After two weeks of speculation about who will replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley made it official and appointed second term Congressman Tim Scott to fill out the remainder of Senator DeMint’s term. (See video below)

In an overwhelming show of unity and support for her decision, the appointment was made by Governor Haley during a late Monday morning press conference where she, Tim Scott, and Jim DeMint were joined by several Republican members of the South Carolina Republican congressional delegation, and senior South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham.

With praise from all, the decision to have Tim Scott fill out the remaining two years of DeMint’s term was celebrated as one which help ensure that South Carolinians continue to be represented by the same type of conservative values championed by Jim DeMint, who has been considered the most conservative member of both houses of Congress. But filling DeMint’s shoes will not be much of a challenge for Tim Scott who in less than two, already established himself a strong conservative voice. In his first term, Scott turned heads as one of the staunchest supporters of South Carolina’s free-rider-anti-union laws and as South Carolina’s Club for Growth’s scorecard gave Scott a B and a score of 80 out of 100, he is praised by the South Carolina Association of Taxpayers, for his “diligent, principled and courageous stands against higher taxes. It well earned praise for his tireless advocacy for smaller government, lower taxes, and restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington.

After winning the general election in 2010, Tim acted upon his desires to regain fiscal sanity in the federal government and to limit its size and scope by acting on such issues with immediately and with urgency. The first bill he authored would defund and deauthorize the President’s health care reform package. e was also named to the influential House Rules Committee, asked to serve as a Deputy Whip and sits as one of two freshmen on the Elected Leadership Committee. Then he confronted our nation’s outdated and cumbersome tax code by sponsoring the Rising Tides Act. That initiative would lower burdensome corporate tax rates that discourage job growth and allow for the permanent repatriation of overseas profits. The latter would encourage American companies to bring home more than $1 trillion dollars that can be used for investment and job creation.

In general, Tim Scott is a consistent voice for significant cuts in federal spending, and staunch opponent of measures he believes do not go far enough. Tim was an original cosponsor of the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, which would do just as it says – cut spending, cap our spending moving forward based on how much we bring in, and add a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He also cosponsored two stand-alone bills that would create a Balanced Budget Amendment, and voted against raising our nation’s debt limit.

While Rick Scott is not the only member of Congress who holds such positions, he, like his soon to be predecessor in the Senate, he is one of the few who has been so consistent in those positions. However, while Tim may not be the only member of either house to hold those positions, he is the only African-American in the United States Senate and that distinction will make him a leading voice in the Party, within the conservative movement, and in the nation.

Hiram Revels

Being African-American, Scott will have an incomparable ability to respond to and discount the left’s persistent attempts to paint those who hold his beliefs and political ideology as anti-black. And for a Party that needs desperately to attract Hispanic and African-American voters, the ability to convincingly contradict such mischaracterizations is invaluable. Meanwhile, Scott takes his place in history as only the seventh African-American to serve in the Senate.

Coming before him were Hiram Revels and Blanche K. Bruce, who briefly represented Mississippi during Reconstruction.

Blanche K. Bruce

The The first African American elected to the Senate by popular vote was Edward Brooke of Massachusetts. Brooke served two full terms during which he championed the causes of low-income housing, an increase in minimum wages, and promoted commuter rail and mass transit systems. He also worked tirelessly to promote racial equality in the South.

Following Brooke in the Senate were Carol Mosley Braun and Barack Obama who were both elected from Illinois. Braun was elected in 1992, a year that saw more women than ever before elected to political office. For Braun the distinction was and is that she became the first and only African-American woman ever to serve as U.S. Senator.

Edward Brooke

In 2006, Illinois elected Barack Obama to the Senate and in 2009, after becoming President of the United States, another African-American, Roland Burris was appointed to fill out the remainder of his term.

Scott is expected to be officially sworn in to the Senate on January 3rd, 2013 and he has already committed himself to run for election to a full term in the Senate. That race will take place in 2014.

Another Seat Opens as Daniel Inouye Passes Away

Senator Daniel Inouye

On the same day that one replacement is named to the Senate, another seat became vacant as Democrat Daniel Inouye, the U.S. Senate’s most senior member and a Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery during World War II, died at age 88.

First elected to the Senate in 1962, Inouye’s tenure is second only to Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who died in 2010.

Under Hawaii law, it is required that the appointee be of the same Party as the person they are replacing. As such the state’s Governor, Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, will appoint a Democrats successor to Inouye until a special election can be held. State law also requires that the Governor base his decision on a field of three candidates provided by the state Party. The appointee will then serve until 2014, at which point a special election will determine who serves the final two years of Inouye’s term.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa

Some of the names being considered for submission to Abercrombie by the Hawaii State Democrat Party include U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, 61, who was just re-elected to her second term the House in, and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz. Other names include Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbar, the first Hindu-American elected to Congress and who is set to take office in Januar. Also on the list are former Hawaii governors, Ben Cayetano, 73, and John D. Waihee, 66. Odds are though that Hanabusa will get the nod. She is said to have been Inouye’s preferred candidate to take his place one day, and news reports following Inouye’s death have indicated that the Senator informed Abercrombie that Hanabusa should get his job.

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