Budget deal doesn't thrill some in the Tea Party movement
April 9th, 2011
12:10 PM ET
4 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. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Cutting government spending is only half the Tea Party mission–it's imperative that the tax rate on the America's top earners be lowered to Paul Ryan's 25% target. Uncertainty about this is holding back hiring of additional household help by our wealthiest citizens.

    April 9, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. OneMoreTime

    I'm glad they are upset. It tells me that cooler and more reasonable people brought this to a conclusion for the good of
    the Country. Their words give a greater insight into how the teas would behave if, God forbid, they had a majority in anything, much less one of them be President. They have no control over their anger, continue to threaten,
    especially Judson Phillps, who instead of saying "it is a good start" rants and raves about Boehner. These people
    continue to be dangerous and dense, because they refuse to accept that this is a slow process, one that can
    only work with sharing ideas and compromise. Their 'damn the torpedos, full steam ahead' attitude can only get
    us in deeper trouble.

    April 9, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. slevine

    In 15 years it will all come crashing down like Greece, all dollars will be worthless, and we'll have the worst Depression known to man. And it will be 100% the fault of the Democrats.

    April 9, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. Allen Stevens

    Who cares what a SMALL minority of GOP/TP/Koch $uckers think. They are not as strong as they would like to be, and they are getting weaker everyday. Now here this tea buggers, those you sent to Washington, will be LEAVING in 2012, and President Obama WILL be re-elected. If all you have to offer is Bachman, Trump, Palin, or any other crazy, arrogant, mentally disturbed hack, your 15 mins of fame is over. These people are nothing more than lazy, under-educated know nothings. They get thier marching orders from the Koch Bros, who by the way is bank rolling the TP movement. This is why they want totax the lower 90% of Americans, and cut taxes for the top 10% of the rich. All you have to do is look at Ryans proposed 2012 budget, it's in black and white. After 2012, this group of backwoods yahoo's will be history!!!!

    April 9, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. anthony

    Not going to happen Tea People...!!! We all know your REAL agenda..!!! Time for special interest groups to put you all back in your place and get REAL. You all want, "To Much, To Fast"

    April 9, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. rusty155

    First of all Michele Bachmann Lie on CNN last night she was ask IF she was again plan parenthood , and she no but she couldn't vote for the bill because It didn't attack Obamacare. You Tea party people are going to find out you are not as powerful as you think you are. You lost a lot of people In Wisconsin And more all over America. I bet Mike Pence don't win In Indiana for Gov. because he was at the TEA PARTY rally and saying shut It DOWN These are American people he was trying to hurt , that he want to vote for him to be GOV. You Tea Party want too try and get all the dept back In one year that took years to get as high as It IS . Why don't you TEA party say ant about the TRILLIONS of DOLLARS that the two wars the Republican got us Into and been there for over TEN YEARS. I guess you TEA PARTY people think It okay to fight two wars for over Ten years and spend trillions of dollar on that But you don't want to spend million to help American Woman. And you want cut on the poor and the old that work all there live and pay Into IT ever week 50 years. But the wars are ok. You Tea PARTY are working for the KOCH'S BROTHER AND A FEW OTHER BILLIONAIRE , YOU people are out just too make them RICHER. Any body vote for any one back by the TEA PARTY must really be dumb.

    April 9, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. MiddleOfTheRoad

    I have a message for electied officials. Receiving 52 or 53% of the votes doesn't mean you ignore the other 47 or 48% of the voters.

    April 9, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. somedy89Name

    Tea party suck. Why is there even a tea party in congress aren't tea party more republicans. Get rid of them they are idiots. N they carry old world traditions from England.

    April 9, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. anthony

    I think with all the spending weve done in the past year or so a $38.5 bil cut is a joke, i mean dont get me wrong its a start but comon guys you had plenty of time to decide.Personally im a democrat but i think both parties were too stubborn to make the hard decisions.

    April 9, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Ray

    The Tea Party is not only out of control, they are not smart people. They are a product of corporate propaganda. They refuse to accept that we need to increase revenue instead of cutting programs that greatly effect the poor, elderly and women. With the greatest separation of wealth of any modern country and corporate America fully recovered from the recession and sitting on more money than they ever have with the lowest taxes, the Tea Party still continues their ideological stupidity of supply-side only ideas.

    April 9, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Madison

    I'm not too impressed with the so-called Tea Party. They appear to think that chopping a budget is like chopping wood.

    We are in the midst of a tentative and fragile economic recovery. If we chop without thinking, we risk destroying the small economic momentum of the past several months. We may balance our budget, but it will then be the budget of a third-world country.

    Mr. Boehner, Mr. Obama, and others clearly understand this issue. They do not make simplistic remarks about randomly-picked budget limits. They have differences in opinion as to which changes are most important to the country – great: let them debate the pros and cons of each approach.

    The Tea Party makes no distinctions – chop everything. I'm sorry, but that's what a teenager would do if put in charge...

    April 9, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. deadidol

    Welcome to the new Rome empire.

    April 9, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Bob in Pa

    Nope, not thrilled at all. These idiots are still spending what they don't have. They were elected to run the government and not put us into collective debt.

    April 9, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. US Service Member

    Well, Tea Party, I am pleased with the budget deal because now I can feed my family for a little while longer. Thanks for thinking of yourselves, instead of the over 1 million service men and women in the DOD. I'll help guarantee your right to stand in the way of compromise and progress.

    April 9, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Diana Menendez

    The Tea Party and others who say they have to do what the people sent them there to do,is a vague statement.The President and Democratic Party,who by the way won the presidential,and still control Senate,have THEIR PEOPLE ALSO,that expect them to hold to campaign promises,which by the way they have already reniged on because of the extreme right.What makes their constituents desires for Govt. preferential to desires of others? WHO ARE THEY,that it has to ALWAYS be EXACTLY what THEY want or NOTHING!! This is the UNITED STATES of AMERICA,Not the DIVIDED STATES of AMERICA!!!!

    April 9, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Democrat4life

    Funny how all this deficit could of happened with just the help of our current president!! When last I checked he was left with it from a selfish president that was hated by the time he left office so define selfish just a little better you might see Bush in the fine print!

    April 9, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. BennyTheBeaver

    "the Tea Party has a lot more work to do in ousting the spending-addicted liberal Democrat"

    Yep, the so called 'fiscal conservative republicans' have had no hand in creating our budget crisis. Reagan, Bush I and II were the best things to ever happen to our budget apparently.

    Face up to it. Republicans hate spending... unless they are doing it.

    April 9, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Randy

    The tea baggers are never happy just go away and go hug a tree your never going to win anytihng except maybe a bottle of lipton tea

    April 9, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. nobodyKnows

    I like what the tea party stands for, but its hard getting behind them looking at how they conduct themselves (with hate in their heart masked as love for Americans.). I do hope they succeed in their mission to decrease government size, but Rand Paul can bag up his racist ideas and skydive in parachute pants!

    April 9, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Dave in Silver Springs

    Well at least the Weeper of the House didn't get all teary eyed on national TV again. That was a surprise. Of course he was only in front of the cameras for about 45 seconds to announce this tremendous Tea Bagger victory. They're still gonna "primary him in 2012, you watch.

    April 9, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. DD

    "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.

    NOTE TO TEAPARTY- You are NOT the only ones in America. I believe you are about 23% of the population. What about the rest of us? Our opinions and causes do not matter? That is why in government it MUST come down to compromise. That means that YOU cannot get EVERYTHING you want. BE FAIR to ALL AMERICANS. We all believe in certain causes and we too will fight for what we believe in.

    April 9, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Josh P

    This just further reinforces the notion in my mind that the Tea Party is bad for America and the Republican Party. Does the Tea Party not realize, or do they just not care, that the government shutdown would have been tragic for our troops and the many taxpaying, hard working, government employees and contractors whose income and well being was threatened.

    The Tea Party needs to realize they aren't the only ones in this nation, and there are plenty who don't believe that their answer is the right answer or direction for our nation. America has long advanced because of negotiations and working together for the best course of action, not by staying on the extreme left or right and refusing to give any ground. The Tea Party might have great intentions, might be formed of hard-working Americans who love their nation, but they need to realize they're not alone in this nation.

    April 9, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Susan Fonda

    The "Tea Party" is never happy with anything. They seem to be a moderate group of people who have somehow lost fulfillment in their own lives and feel by objecting to everything in a negative manner will somehow change it all. I think the "Tea Party " should switch to decaf

    April 9, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    considering current budget why are they (govnmt) practactly give away food stamps benefits with many exemptions? one wd think that this is when we wd be mindfull of issuance so we extend what we have

    April 9, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. Bruce

    Why won't the Tea Party stop trying to hurt our country? If we could get a budget passed, the congress could get to work on things like the economy.

    April 9, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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