January 3rd, 2013
11:11 AM ET
1 year 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. Debbie

    Every time she was asked about concrete consequences, she would say "Here's the thing....." I would take the tea party a lot more seriously if they could actually articulate the real things they have to have. I know they want spending cuts, but I want true figures, not the stuff you hear on Fox "News", etc.

    January 3, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. mouman

    There will b e Tea Party terrorist consequences, allright, ...when more of them get booted out of Congress in 2014!!

    January 3, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Jason Shapiro

    Yup, there is nothing more charming than a bold, unadorned threat to impress people, get them quaking in their boots, and convince them that "your way is the only way." Kremer is just another "big mouth, small brain" representative of the reactionary right who should enjoy her 15 minutes of fame – because it is almost over.

    January 3, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Paul

    The Tea Party needs to prove that it wishes to create, not destroy. As long as they are associated with extremism, so they will remain unnacceptable to the majority of this population.

    January 3, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. sumday

    Yes and those consequences are that less and less people want to have anything to do with the tea party. At first I supported the movement; however, as time went on I came to realize that these lunatics truly want the USA to financially collapse. They really wanted us to default on our loans last yr, and now they really wanted us to go over the fiscal cliff and are upset that there was a compromise to prevent us from going over the cliff. The only “solutions” they offer is either total economic failure (like going over the fiscal cliff) or extreme measures like stop every bit of spending right now. I thought dems were clueless, but the tea party is truly unrealistic morons that seek our finical destruction.

    January 3, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. CJBaker

    This Amy Kremer doesn't seem very intelligent when she speaks. She has a very limited vocabulary and can't seem to express her thoughts in a confident manner. Looks like she must have tutored under Palin. It seems many of the Tea Bags have a goober level IQ. It's always entertaining to listen to their babble though.

    January 3, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. bobby

    vmag how have the rich been getting a free ride? If so why are you not complaining about the tax cuts for the friends of the politicians that were put into this deal?
    Just on another note the politicians are showing more and more that they believe in 2 sets of rules 1 for the common man and 1 for them. Many many of them are rich (yet the only evil rich people are those that actually provide a service or republican). I cant remember the last time a democrat politician was ever labeled too rich like Romney or McCain. Even though Kerry is the richest politician. There will always be rich people (at least the politicians) because they will never pass laws to take it from themselves or their friends as this bill proves. If they do take it from them they will give it back in other ways.

    January 3, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. George

    What Congress understands is that a recession is worse than the debt, that it's easier to chip away at spending (and the Defense budget is bloated beyond belief) and raise revenues that get the economy out of a recession. Will somebody in the tea party please go take a few Economics classes? This national debt is not like your household debt, it is a national debt with many variables that come into play. Just because the Koch brothers imherited billions and billions does not mean they actually understand economics, they bought their way through MIT but that does not mean they are wise or intelligent.

    January 3, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Joe citizen abroad

    Yeah. The "consequences" will be those crazy uncompromising ideologues won't be able to hold onto their seats in Congress. And then, maybe we stop automatically attaching the words, "Do-nothing" to the name, "Congress."

    January 3, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. sumday

    Yes and those consequences are that less and less people want to have anything to do with the tea party. At first I supported the movement; however, as time went on I came to realize that these insane people truly want the USA to financially collapse. They really wanted us to default on our loans last yr, and now they really wanted us to go over the fiscal cliff and are upset that there was a compromise to prevent us from going over the cliff. The only “solutions” they offer is either total economic failure (like going over the fiscal cliff) or extreme measures like stop every bit of spending right now. I thought dems were clueless, but the tea party is truly unrealistic morons that seek our finical destruction.

    January 3, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Don

    The Tea Party is right in the sense that we can't get there without reductions in spending, but that includes cuts in Defense as well, which is something the Tea Party better get on the band wagon with. It will also mean increases in taxes, more than the nickel's worth we've done so far, and they better get their heads out of their backsides on that issue as well.

    January 3, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Jules

    Yeah for the Tea Party – ready to send more nut bags to Congress. Run those moderates out in the primary and watch your party continue to go down in flames. I have never seen a less intelligent group of people.

    January 3, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Ben

    The Republican's only control the house through gerrymandering. The Republicans got 48% of the vote in House races in 2012 - and 53% of the seats. Democrats got 49% of the vote in House races - and 47% of the seats.

    January 3, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Isn't there a few Tea Party's of Phony bozo's and bimbos like Dick Army or Amy Kremer ?

    Why don't they call themselves the Strip-mall , Fast-food , Diabetic Party ?

    Amy Kremer looks like she lost the Queen for a Day contest , very angry looking lady .

    January 3, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. SayWhat

    I don't think that the solution is for the Tea party to split from the GOP. I think that the GOP should excise the Tea party the way you would lance a troublesome boil.

    January 3, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. Bob58

    Independents and Moderate Democrats will vote for a Moderate Republican ...... they won't vote for the Extremists ..... keep 'primarieing out" Centrist Republicans and they lose the seats.

    January 3, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Fed up with the Flea Party

    I think what saddens me about the Tea Party is, they trumpet their ultra-conservative drivel to the under-educated, gullible masses in Red States, then ride that support to their posts in Washington. In reality, they care nothing, and do nothing, for the ignorant people who vote for them. My support for this? I live in a conservative, Southern state, and the blind conservative dementia here is palpable. These people have no idea they're being used. So sad. The sooner the Tea Party fades into irrelevance, the better.

    January 3, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Jules

    Chris – as far as the fiscal cliff deal adding 4 trillion to the deficit, it actually would have saved over 600 billion had the vote been taken when it should have been taken, but because the idiot GOP thought it would be more palatable for their members to make believe they were reducing taxes, they put it off a day – hence the deficit because by putting it off a day, they actually took that tax revenue away. I guess they think nobody is smart enough to figure that out.

    January 3, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. open400

    The Tea Party has discredited itself. The Tea Party prides itself being the party that best represents the government that the founding fathers created. All the Tea Party is good for is to say “NO” to everything like a spoiled child. That government that the founding fathers created was based on compromise. The small states in 1789 like Rhode Island feared the large states like New York; thus, the Senate was created with every state getting two Senators despite the state’s population. There was political compromise for the sharing of “vertical power” between the federal, state and local government. There was compromise for the sharing of “horizontal power” between the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of government at the federal, state and local level. More power got transferred to the federal level to deal with the Great depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, global economies and the end of segregation. There is no way America could be a leader in the world if we go back to the political structure we had in 1800 where southern states acted almost like independent countries

    January 3, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. Richard

    Amy Kremer and her "Tea Party" should be working to limit the number of terms people can be elected to Congress (2 like the President). Maybe than we will all see Congress actual work.

    January 3, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. blf83

    And the end of the Tea Party tyranny should be the most notable consequence.

    January 3, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. Miked

    Rich and wealthy inheritants of family stock that want to get more rich are the scum the earth. They are guilty of crimes against humanity for not sharing the poor to help this country rebuild itself. The poor shouldn't have to take what's been taken from their ancestors. Give back or die on top of your big pile of money.

    January 3, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. MilitaryAF

    Apparently these fools can't see the writing on the wall: Anyone holding extreme-right views won't be keeping their position after the next election.

    January 3, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Bob58

    This last Election was a Mandate against these Extremists ...... we can't get complacent in the mid terms like we did in 2010 ..... We need to clean up the 2010 Mistake, show up for the 2014 Midterms and vote!

    January 3, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Lilli

    Tea Party Patriots are the low information VOTERS!!!! Dems must sweep both the Senate and the House in 2014!!

    January 3, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
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