‘Dozens of Tea Party supporters’ attend Thursday’s rally in support of cutting government spending
Tea Party-backed Republican lawmakers promised at a Washington rally to stand firm on pledges to slash federal spending and resist compromises with Democrats, even if the result is a government shutdown.
“If liberals in the Senate would rather play political games and shut down the government instead of making a small down payment on fiscal discipline and reform, I say: shut it down,” Representative Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican, told dozens of Tea Party supporters gathered outside the Capitol today.
The event marked the first official Tea Party rally since the fiscally conservative activists propelled Republicans to gains in last year’s elections. Tea Party support helped elect 87 new Republicans to the House, ending Democratic control of the Chamber.
Now, the activists are demanding the new House majority make good on their campaign promises by refusing to support a compromise budget package currently being negotiated by leaders of both parties.
“There is no other way to put this,” wrote Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, in a blog post. “The Tea Party movement should find a candidate to run against John Boehner in 2012 and should set as a goal to defeat in a primary the sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
At today’s rally, a series of Republican lawmakers pledged allegiance to Tea Party principals as they stood on a small stage decorated with a banner reading “Remember your promises - - we do.”
“If we can’t keep our pledge, we deserve to be thrown out of office,” said Representative Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican.
The spending fight, said Pence, was a “defining moment” for the new Republican House majority.
“It will be a first win for taxpayers that could set the stage for larger victories,” Pence said.
Gohmert, Pence, and Judson Phillips, now that indeed is a mad tea party.