Budget deal doesn't thrill some in the Tea Party movement
April 9th, 2011
12:10 PM ET
3 years ago

Budget deal doesn't thrill some in the Tea Party movement

Washington (CNN) – Some leading national Tea Party organizations are anything but happy with Friday night's deal on the budget that prevented a federal government shutdown.

A spokesman for the Tea Party Express tells CNN the group isn't "very impressed" with the budget deal and says the agreement proves the Tea Party has a lot more work to do to make deeper cuts in the federal budget.

"According to the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. budget deficit in the first six months of the current fiscal year totaled $830 billion. So you can imagine we're not very impressed by a deal that cuts an almost trivial $38 billion," says Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell. "It just shows that the Tea Party has a lot more work to do in ousting the spending-addicted liberal Democrats who refuse to stop acting like selfish children incapable of making the tough decisions voters have demanded."

Tea Party Express, one of the most well known and politically active national tea party organizations, is teaming up with CNN for a first of its kind Tea Party debate featuring GOP presidential candidates and scheduled for early September in Tampa, Florida, the city that's hosting the 2012 Republican National Convention.

While the Friday night agreement will avert a government shutdown by funding the federal government for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, major showdowns over raising the government's debt ceiling and hammering out a budget for the 2012 fiscal year are looming.

"The Tea Party has a lot more work to do, and we're focused on 2012 more than ever," adds Russell.

A similar message comes from FreedomWorks, a nonprofit conservative organization based in the nation's capital that helps train volunteer activists, has provided much of the organization behind the Tea Party movement, and which supports conservative candidates in Republican primary and general election contests.

Adam Brandon, a spokesman for the group, says the just-concluded budget fight is only a preview for the real battles ahead. He tells CNN, "The battle lines are clearly being drawn, and it's up to the Republicans to make the tough spending cuts."

Brandon adds that the deal to avert a shutdown illustrates the Tea Party movement's influence, saying, "The conversation's turned from whether to cut to how much to cut."

While there was talk of the battles to come, there's also more disappointment with the deal.

Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots tells CNN, "In February the government incurred a historic high $233 Billion deficit. Last night, at best, they agreed to cut $38.5 billion in spending over the next six months. Are we disappointed? We think those numbers speak for themselves. This country needs bold and visionary leadership, something that seems sorely lacking in those 'leading' today. The fight will continue in the days and months ahead, and Tea Party Patriots is in it for the long haul."

Asked if the group might urge members of Congress to vote no, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin tells CNN, "We won't make any calls for action before Monday. As always, we need to consult with our local coordinators."

And Rep. Michele Bachmann says the agreement "is a disappointment for me and for millions of Americans who expected $100 billion in cuts."

The Minnesota Republican, who is chair of the House Tea Party caucus and is seriously considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination, adds that, "Sadly, we're missing the mandate given us by voters last November, and for that reason I voted against the Continuing Resolution."

More dissent comes from Judson Phillips, head of the Tea Party Nation, the group that last year put on the first national Tea Party convention.

Phillips, who has been very critical recently of House Speaker John Boehner's actions when it comes to the budget, asks in an email to supporters, "Can someone please tell me how this is anything other than John Boehner hauling up the white flag because he is unwilling to fight? Can anyone please tell me how this is anything but a complete victory for the liberal Democrats, who want to keep spending this country into bankruptcy and poverty?"

While most recent polls indicated that a majority of Americans wanted congressional lawmakers to compromise rather than to stick to their guns on the budget, even it if meant a government shutdown, the same surveys indicate a partisan divide.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal released Wednesday indicated that 68 percent of Democrats said they want Democratic leaders in Congress to make compromises in the current budget battle, with 56 percent of Republicans, and 68 percent of self-described Tea Party supporters, wanting GOP lawmakers to stick to their positions, even if it leads to a shutdown.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The U.S. population is 300 million+ and the tea baggers only represent a very tiny tiny portion of voters. That should answer the tea baggers questions, if they can get it through their "thick" skulls. Don't let me have to explain what tiny means.

    April 9, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. John in Brooklyn

    If the Tea Party knuckleheads hate it, that's enough for me. I LOVE IT!

    April 9, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Tony

    The vast majority of Americans now view the Teaparty as the anarchist un-American racists that they are...

    The only ones still listening to their drivel are the media, Michele Bachman, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, and Glen Beck...oh I forgot, he just got fired!

    April 9, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Joe

    The Tea Party disapproves? Good. That's all I need to know. Thanks Congress, Thanks, Mr. President. You did a great job.

    April 9, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. hannah

    This is good. If the tea baggers don't like it, that means that it was good for the country. TP people want to get rid of all government so that business runs rampant and we have more boom and bust economies and the little guy, you an me always lose. That's what they are all about.

    April 9, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. B

    The Tealiban speak for their version of Sharia.

    April 9, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Ronald Hussein reagan

    CNN – showing their far left bias once again shows a picture alleged to represent the Tea Party as nothing but a bunch of over weight white women!

    April 9, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Charlie in Maine

    Hey Tea Party,

    This is America ! Love it or leave it. (preferably before the next election) Man that was fun. Now I see why you conservatives loved to say it to folks like me during the Bush Error. But here is the thing this argument has been going on a long time. The Tea Party is not leaving and neither am I so lets roll up our sleeves and get something done shall we?

    April 9, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Jim

    The tea party was the moral credibility of the lemon party.

    April 9, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. CurtisJasper

    The Tea Party just got killed, politically speaking.

    Despite the tea party's rhetoric on "holding fast" against any compromise consisting of less than $60 billion in cuts, even their OWN favorite congressmen like Michele Bachmann buckled. Boehner threw them under the bus, and now they're forced to choose whether to grovel before him or go it alone, so to speak.

    April 9, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Joe

    The tea party is not "very impressed". Well, I'm not very impressed with the tea party. Go find somewhere else to play with your tricorner hats.

    April 9, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. The Beer Party

    Theres Gonna Be A Showdown.
    For better or worse, the Dems & Repubs came to a compromise.
    The Tea Party doesnt like that.
    Boo Hoo.

    April 9, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Liberals are the Real Patriots

    All one has to do is get on Youtube , type in "tea party", and you will see what despicable hate mongers these people are.
    You think they care about America as a whole? They are nothing but a bunch of ill-informed, hateful, highly racist
    zealots who will stop at nothing to spread their poisoned, lead by the snake goddess herself, Michele Bachmann. (You'd
    think the woman had enough balls to stand up for women's rights.) Americans would do well to take what they saw this
    past week as a lesson to kick these people out of office in 2012, before they ruin the progress of this great nation, and
    our troops. Just to think they were going to shut down the government and put the troops families in harms way to carry out their hate.

    April 9, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Daniel

    Tea Party Unite to Cut Defense Spending by 50%. The only real way to solve the Debt Crisis is cut defense spending by 50%. We don't need to be launching military attacks around the World, when we can't afford it!!!

    April 9, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Fightin' Democrat

    "The Tea Party Is America" – How telling... The Tea Party is a small minority in America despised by a much larger minority, and politically outnumbered by a much, much larger majority.

    April 9, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. SA in OO

    When you sell cigarettes, it is required by law to put a disclaimer on the package.

    The Tea Party should be required to put a disclaimer on what they are selling. How do you think all these great grass roots americans bankroll all the events they stage around the country. Some, sad to say, drank the cool aid and are paying for these trips themselves. God bless em.

    But the dirty secret that everyone in the media knows, but few report is that Rupert Murdoch, David and Charles Koch are sponsoring this movement wholesale and paying for much of the media reporting they receive. If you don't believe me just Google "Tea Party" and "Ruper Murdock" and see what pops up.

    April 9, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. Kim c

    The tea party is addicted to drama. They wanted a gov. shut-down. They show a real lack of maturity and fore-sight. Comprimise is not in their volcabulary. The silver lining in all of this is that the tea party proved themselves to be too exteme for most Americans. There is a lot of anger directed at them right now by average Americans, including military personnel.

    April 9, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. squealy

    Would these be the same Tea Partiers that were oh, so upset when they felt that the democratic majority was riding roughshod over them after the '08 election? The ones who whined that being in the majority didn't mean they could do whatever they wanted? The ones who whined about not having any say in government policy under Obama, even tho Obama and the dems bent over backwards to concede important parts of the stimulus and healthcare bills, yet ended up slapping the concessions in the face by vowing to vote no until they got everything they wanted, virtually guaranteeing the bills weren't strong enough to work, but voted no anyway? That Tea Party? Welcome to shared government, where you don't get everything you want.

    April 9, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. John

    The Kock brothers party is a joke and a disgrace to this nation. I liken this party to the Nazi Party of the 1930s'. A little tip for you Republicans would be to take your party back! What happended to good Moderate Republicans?

    April 9, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. Monzell

    I think they get to much attention. all we need change Tax loop holes close that and given tax cuts to those who suppose to make Job we lost job for year they save the money. most of all other groups have more numbers then tea party

    April 9, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Larry from Texas

    I believe I have a solution for the Tea Party. They want to live in a country with a weak central government, low taxes, pure capitalism, no environmental regulations, no separation of church and state, plenty of home schooling, no labor unions, no gun control, and a racially homogenous population I've got just the place. Somalia! I hear immigration is easy, and property is inexpensive. Given the described characteristics, one would assume it is a paradise for business and free enterprise. I recommend you go now before the liberals discover the place and start introducing governmental controls...

    April 9, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. big mowma

    Can anyone tell me why the Tea Party Express and Tea Party Nation aren't up in arms over Donald Rumsfeld's announcement on 9/10/2001 (the day BEFORE 9/11) that the Pentagon "lost" or "couldn't account for" $2.3 TRILLION dollars! For that matter, how come nobody will call him out on that???

    April 9, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Ken, AZ

    All of this crap being spewed by the Tea Party, Freedom Works, and all the other conservative groups is hilarious considering they didn't object to the multiple tax cuts and spending that occured under republican control. It also proves that they're only capable of thinking of one thing at a time; either tax cuts or spending cuts. They're incapable of understanding the impact of unfunded tax cuts on the deficit or spending cuts on the economy.

    April 9, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. wimsy

    They saved money by slashing funds for homeless veterans, but protected the government's NASCAR advertising to lure young men into the military. Shameful, simply shameful.

    April 9, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Outsider

    What is 50 billion worth when deficit are 1.5 trillion? Nothing of course. There is need for deep cutting in mediaid, Obamacare, security, present war games etc. It is not much to do.

    April 9, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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