There have been some grumblings recently from the Tea Party and they have not been directed toward their typical targets – their discontent has been aimed at Republicans in the House. There seems to be a feeling that they have not done enough to slash the federal deficit and debt.
Could it be that the GOPs strategy of loudly proclaiming a budget war on an insignificant sliver of discretionary spending and ideological spending programs like PBS (all of which will make relatively no real impact on our budget crises) is not working? Are they smarter than that?
While their complete silence on the extension of the Bush era tax breaks to the upper 1% (which would have made a dramatic difference in the deficit) would lead one to think that their collective reasoning skills fall short of the ability to add and subtract – maybe their is a spark of intelligence in their collective ranks.
The true test of their resolve will actually be their demands to address entitlement programs. As of yet, their has not been loud calls for this, but there is a chance that this may develop. The Republicans left to their own devices would never have the stomach for this, but they had better seriously consider it unless they want Obama to sweep in and steal the deficit reduction crown. Obama has shown the resolve to touch the third rails of politics, but this was 3 years out from the upcoming presidential election.
Below are clips from some recent articles (from the NY Times and from Reuters) that talk about their recent discontent.
(NY Times) While heaping scorn on President Obama and the Democrats for overspending, more than 2,000 members of the Tea Party Patriots gathered here for a national conference also had strong words on Saturday for Congressional Republicans and vowed to vote them out of office next year if they did not move aggressively to cut the budget.
They offered up Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, locked in a standoff with his state’s public-sector unions, as a model of budget-cutting fervor.
Mr. Walker remained in Wisconsin, but the mere mention of his name led to a standing ovation.
It was Washington, not Wisconsin, though, that seemed the source of the most ire.
“The mood here is that we’re a little disappointed in the Republicans in the House in not living up to their pledge,” said Sally Oljar of Seattle, a member of the national coordinating team for the Tea PartyPatriots, a coalition of several thousand Tea Party groups. “We realize we have to keep the pressure on these guys all the time. If you leave them alone they revert back to their own ways.”
The Tea Party Patriots chose Arizona as the site of its first policy conference — a meeting that was part strategy session, part pep rally — to show support for a state that has been boycotted by many groups because of its crackdown on illegal immigration. And although border issues came up, the federal budget dominated discussions.
Republicans lawmakers face a delicate balancing act as negotiations to avert a government shutdown reach a critical phase this week. Senate Democrats have said the $61 billion in spending cuts proposed by House Republicans are too severe, although Tea Party members consider them not severe enough.
If the parties cannot reconcile their differences, the federal government could be shut down for the first time in 16 years.
“If these politicians don’t get the message, they had better step aside,” said Carter Brough, a retiree from Whitney, Tex. “Right now, I can’t tell the difference between the parties. I’ve chopped my credit cards. I’m watching my spending. This country needs to do the same.”
For more – Click HERE.
(Reuters) – Tea Party conservatives — those budget-cutting, anti-establishment activists who shook up the Republican Party last year — have a message for congressional leaders: We weren’t kidding.
The Tea Party won its first big victory in Congress on Thursday, forcing House of Representatives Republican leaders to make deeper spending cuts than they planned and setting up a showdown with the White House and Democratic-led Senate.
Earlier in the week, Republican leaders suffered a series of setbacks in House floor votes after a rebellion by the Tea Party members who helped carry them to a majority in November’s elections.
The events highlighted the potency of the anti-authoritarian Tea Party movement, and underlined the difficulties House Republican leaders face in controlling their new ideologically driven members.
“The real fight here is between Republicans and Republicans, not Republicans and Democrats,” said budget expert Stan Collender, a former congressional staffer.
“The question is at what point will the Tea Party folks be satisfied? I don’t think anybody can tell that yet.”
On Thursday, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, a Republican, agreed to rip up his spending plan and deepen the proposed cuts in a victory for fiscal conservatives aligned with the Tea Party.
Rogers had warned the deeper cuts, which meet a Republican campaign promise to trim $100 billion from the budget that President Barack Obama proposed last year, could force airport closures, layoffs at the FBI and other harsh disruptions.
The cuts demanded by conservatives were a rebuke to House leaders and rising Republican star Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, who endorsed a more gradual approach.
But the Tea Party elected dozens of new members to Congress on promises of limiting government and cutting spending, and fiscal conservatives in the House said the deeper cuts were a necessary “culture change.”
“In just six weeks, we have already dramatically changed the conversation in Washington. Instead of more spending and more interference, Congress is actually thinking about how to rein in spending and encourage private enterprise,” said Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan.
For more – Click HERE.