January 3rd, 2013
11:11 AM ET
2 years ago

Calls from tea party for 'consequences' of fiscal cliff vote

(CNN) - Prominent tea party voices are calling for action following the fiscal cliff votes this week in Washington.

Amy Kremer, leader of the group Tea Party Express, said Thursday she is "outraged" over the deal, which was struck between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. It allows tax rates on wealthy earners - families earning over $450,000 and individuals earning over $400,000 - to expire while extending the tax breaks passed under President George W. Bush for earners below those thresholds.

"We elected the House of Representatives - we have the majority, the Republicans have the majority there. We still control part of the government and the House controls the purse strings," Kremer said on CNN.

"At some point we're going to have to come together and do what's right for America, but do the Democrats have a mandate to go and just do whatever and just spend into oblivion? No," she said. "And that's evident because the Republicans still control the House."

President Barack Obama made increasing the tax rates of the wealthy a central part of his re-election campaign, and a series of polls have shown Americans support his view.

In the November House elections, Republicans posted a net loss of 8 seats.

Another conservative group, Tea Party Patriots, urged the new House to select their speaker through a secret ballot "so members can vote their conscience without fear of retribution from leadership."

"Through this 'fiscal cliff' crisis Congress has demonstrated once again its incapability of actually cutting government spending and preventing tax hikes," the group's head, Jenny Beth Martin, said in a statement. "Republicans who stood on principle, and did not cave to political pressure instead should not be impeded from voting for a speaker with whom they have confidence will help take the country in the right direction."

While negotiations between House Speaker John Boehner and the White House were often at a stalemate, Boehner did offer a compromise on taxes, laying out a plan which included tax increases for earners of over $1 million in exchange for GOP-backed elements, including a change in entitlement benefit calculations.

Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, who is seen as a moderate in the GOP, said on CNN tea party conservatives have held "a feeling after the 2010 election that leaders of both parties weren't doing enough to rein in the deficit and the debt."

"So as a result, they have laid obstacles in front of the speaker for the last two years," he said, including the "fight on the fiscal cliff" and over a bill with appropriations for the states impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

The final fiscal cliff compromise passed the House 257-167. It was supported by 85 Republicans and opposed by 151 Republicans.

After the vote, Kremer posted on Twitter, "I'm extremely disgusted with what happened in the House tonight. There will be consequences."

It passed the Senate 89-8 with a majority of Republicans - 42 of them - casting yes votes.

In particular, Kremer has singled out Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the Georgia Republican who has spoken out against the Grover Norquist-backed pledge against raising new taxes.

"I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge," Chambliss said in a post-election November interview with WMAZ, a CNN affiliate. "If we do it his way, then we'll continue in debt and I just have a disagreement with him about that."

Kremer has promised the two-term senator will face a primary challenge in 2014.

"I live in the state of Georgia and Saxby Chambliss is going to be 'primaried,' our own senator," she said in the CNN interview. "It's unacceptable to have somebody who votes with the Democrats more than they do with the conservatives, and he has proven time and time again he is all about the spending. And we're a red state, we deserve a conservative senator."

The Washington publication National Journal rated Chambliss as more economically conservative than 78% of the U.S. Senate, based on 2011 votes. Overall, they ranked him the 26th most conservative senator; from the other angle, they found 73 members to be more liberal than he.

Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and tea party favorite, was elected this year to the seat held by retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. He said Thursday morning that he was disappointed with the agreement.

"I think it was a lousy deal," he said. "I think it raised taxes by $620 billion, which is going to hurt the economy, it's gonna kill jobs. And to combine that not with spending cuts but with spending increases, $330 billion in additional spending - that doesn't solve the problems we've got."

Besides raising revenue through increased taxes on wealthy earners and limiting tax exemptions for the wealthy, the law spends by extending long-term unemployment insurance and averting a scheduled pay cut to doctors who provide Medicare services. The Congressional Budget Office said the deal would spend $332 billion over ten years.

– CNN's Jim Acosta and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Tea Party • Tea Party Express
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Under GWB's leadership, we got two deadly and costly wars totaling $5.2 trillion, a squandered surplus, a housing crisis, record unemployment, high inflation, an inflated national debt, a broken financial infrastructure and the worst economic crisis in America since the Great Depression. So where was the Tea Party then??? Have a problem with the progressive Black President??? Well, too bad...you're stock with him for four more years. Get over it or seceed.

    January 3, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. bill

    Republicans: Thank you for ignoring the fuming and fits of the Tea Party. Thank you for accepting the fiscal compromise. Please continue to do so.

    January 3, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. DGfromMI

    The tea party understands spending can not continue as it has...the tea party supports spending cuts, across the board, and smaller government...

    If you have an once of common-sense...how in the world can we look ourselves in the mirror as our children's children future are spent away...

    Across the board cuts are the only way...it paves the way for winners and losers on both sides...the tea party can live with those terms...

    January 3, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    No tears for the GOP when Tea Party bullies exact revenge and pain on those who voted for the compromise bill. This is just punishment for allowing an extemist element to take control of the party.

    January 3, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. Alaskan

    Who defined the word "rich"? Part of the problem is that this seems to be made into a battle between the "rich" and the middle class, or "not rich". Everyone should pay their fair share of taxes, but don't penalize someone just because they are successful and make over some arbitrary dollar amount that defines them as rich.

    January 3, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. BHPT

    The only way we'll ever get a handle on this debt is by getting our ECONOMY going again! Drastic cutting of government spending at this juncture will only INCREASE the debt due to falling revenues in the near-Depression it will trigger.
    The current recovery is fragile and must be handled with kid gloves. There can be NO drastic changes in any part of it. All change must be accomplished in carefully engineered increments. The President and responsible members of Congress understand that.

    January 3, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Solesoaky

    Roadkyng, New York and California both ALSO pay in more federal taxes than they get back. Most of the states that get more federal money than they collect are red states.

    January 3, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Ray

    The 'Tea Party' has lost there relevance. Most Americans understand that we'd be in a depression at this point if the Tea Party had gotten their way at the beginning of the financial meltdown. While I would have loved to see Wall Street crash and burn (they deserved it... and still do), I'm happy that the Obama administration bailed out the banks and underwater businesses. The downside to not having a depression is that we now have to pay off the debt incurred by that rescue... but it's far better than the alternative.

    We are seeing the death throes of the Tea Party. Good riddance. Hopefully Grover 'Wormtongue' will be next.

    January 3, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Derpity-Derp

    Dance, monkeys! Dance!! I hope you keep eating each other right back into oblivion.

    January 3, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Chuck

    Funny half of the country feel the same way about the whole Democratic Party, they are a bunch of Leftists Extremists

    January 3, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. falcontea

    sixteen trillion and climbing . uhmm the tea asks when does it stop , or even level off. Wake up LEFTY the bills are coming due , they wont just vanish sooooo what are you going to do?

    January 3, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. snods-are-us

    I agree that states should be held liable for their own mis-management. California are you listening? Red South, are you listening?

    January 3, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. studentofhistory

    There is only one explanation for the Tea Party's consistent contradictions.....racism. Lets be honest......the problem they have is that they do not want a black man for president.....plain and simple. If they were truly deficit hawks they would have been around for 30 years. They just so happen to show up when Obama is elected. Come on nation we arent that stupid.

    January 3, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Anthony

    Yes, there should be consequences. We need to end Tea Party control of the House, so the rest of us can have a functional government.

    January 3, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Paul Deemer

    After the 2010 elections the Tea Party was riding high. Then they shot themselves in the foot with their extremist views and being the Party of No. Then the Republican Party started doing the same thing a couple months before the elections. Result? Tea Party was decimated, GOP image went to an all time low, Democrats gained seats in both The House and Senate and Obama won re-election. Even after the election the GOP kept shooting itself in the foot over and over again. Unless a miracle happens and the Republican Party does something mature for a change there is going to be a Reckoning in 2014. I predict Democrats will gain a Majority in the House and get a Filbuster Proof Majority in the Senate. At the rate they are going it may be a decade before the Republican Party can repair it's image and make it a party worth voting for. That is provided they start this year and stop acting like a bunch of Children. They also need to throw Grover Norquist down a water well and fill it up with concrete so he is never to be seen or heard from again. He has done more damage to the Republican Party image than Rove, Trump, Koch Brothers, Boehner, Cantor, McConnell and the Tea Party Combined. The only reason Grover went along with the current deal was because the alternative meant that he would become Irrelevant.

    January 3, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. sameeker

    The people wanted spending cuts to be part of the deal; however, the tea party wanted all of the cuts to come from social services, while protecting all of their giveaways for the corporations and the wealthy. Get them out of the way and real reform can finally happen.

    January 3, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. jefflz

    Lets face it the Democrats caved and Obama failed to show any real leadership yet again. The hypocritical whining of the GOP is pathetic given that the Bush tax cuts are now institutionalized and there will almost certainly need to be cuts to key social programs as a result. Grover Norquist is laughing up his sleeve at te so called "White House Victory". Revolting on all fronts.

    January 3, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    "If that's your opinion, why not just have all states stop paying federal taxes, take those dollars, pay them directly to the states, and elimintate the fat, bloated middleman pig known as the federal government altogether?"

    Good God, Fair is Fair. A true patriot such as yourself can't seriously be arguing that we abolish the United States of America?

    January 3, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. kmac

    Texas has talked seccession for some time maybe the whole south should be encouraged to leave with them.

    January 3, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Greg

    The most amazing thing about American voters and commenters is, people don't understand, the best possible outcome for America is gridlock in Congress. If any party controls all aspects of Washington, radical ideology prevails.

    January 3, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. Grumpster

    There certainly will be consequences...the Tea Party will be voted out of existence the next election.

    January 3, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. john

    Have a feeling that the "consequences" will be a loss of republican control of the house in 2014.

    January 3, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. Dustin Lapray

    I understand why she is upset, but she is threatening to help remove people from office who voted not to slam the brakes on a slowly accelerating economy? The tea party started with such noble purpose, but has it lost its way? She says "we" voted these people into office. Yes, we, the people of the United States, not she, the leader of this small group of anti-federalist politicians. She is not an elected official. Why is she the one being interviewed? I want to hear from the House Reps who cast the votes and why. I want to hear from the new reps who join the House today. What are they going to actually do to help their constituents? We need to balance the budget, and begin cutting into the deficit. It must entail both taxes and line-item slashing. You can'ty solve this by being divisive. They must work together, instead of casting veiled threats on national tv.

    January 3, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. Scott

    I didn't even realize the Tea Party still existed? Who knew? And . . . our government is a farce. The House/Senate get paid big $$, free health insurance, free insider trading . . . and they sit on their butts and do nothing. My only hope is that, when election time rolls around, the voters of this country have enough nerve to vote every single one of them out of office. And, for the record, the current problems in the GOP can be traced back to the creation of the Tea Party . . . which worked out well for the Democrats. Go figure.

    January 3, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. doug

    The Tea Party is not the solution, it is the problem. The budget deficit scare tactics are a deflection. The deficit did not cause our economic recession. Anybody with a brain know that. The budget deficit is a long term problem which was made worse by Republican tax cutting in the first place. Now they want to cut taxes futher. These are true idiots.

    January 3, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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