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. Grady

    the consequences are less republicans in the house and senate after the 2014 mid terms..

    January 3, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. BCW

    Wow, The Tea Party is on the side of the RICH. Amazing!

    January 3, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. John Moynihan

    So the Tea Party is angry. Aren't they always angry? Isn't their entire existance based on being angry? Personally, I'm weary of hearing about Tea Party anger and vows of retribution. I'd much prefer a GOP that operates free of the cranky rumblings of these fist shaking fanatics. It's time for the party to return to the needs of the majority. The Tea Party era has been a disaster and I welcome it's demise.

    January 3, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. JohnC

    "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." They should remember that compromise is itself a principle - just not THEIR principle.

    January 3, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Nychsa

    So, Georgia must have their very own Christine O'Donnell waiting in the wings. I'm sure the good Senator Chamblis is shaking in his boots at the prospects of having someone who is "not a witch" run against him. Or maybe they have some other nut job that has his very own ideas about how female anatomy works.. I don't know, a threat from the goofy tea party? All that means is a lunatic will run against someone!

    January 3, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. conrad

    She, like the rest of the TP simply sounds like a bully ... or in political terms a dictator. She needs to recongnize that this is a democracy and her ideas were voted down.

    So what! Go ahead and run a primary challenger in Georgia it's not as big a threat as she thinks, it's just a waste of money because with each passing episode of extreme TP thinking they become less and less attractive to voters. Beyond that, the people of Georgia have a right to become a blue state if they so choose so nothing says just becuase it is a Republican State that it has to be governed by the hard right.

    Hopefully 2014 is the year of the death of the Tea Party.

    January 3, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Franky

    Sure, there will be consequences, the tea party will destroy the GOP, and the US will be better of for it!

    January 3, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. kmac

    The guy talking Texas surplus. Its only there because the price of oil was way up the past two years and they are const. required to produce a balanced budget. The schools received massive cuts resulting in tremendous lay-offs and lots of retirements. They slashed medicaid and now many are without and health facilities are taking a hit and local taxes are on the rise. Roads are just God awful and the only ones being repaired are interstates. College cost are moving up rapidly, the legislature tried to close 3 community colleges only to find out that some of the ir ability to raise local taxes caused business to apply pressure and they reversed course. The end result was they cut millions from those colleges. Local school dist. have gone to their reserves and have spent much of that and are unable to cope with something unexpected. Tx relies only on sales tax and rather than just raise tax rate on my coke and snickers slightly they chose to let my local tax districts raise my rates and I pay a lot more. Numbers and reality are not in the same conversation.

    January 3, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Kris L

    What these tea-party fanatics don't realize is that to actually get where they want to be, their own constituents will be immensely affected. What happens when you do not pass a new farm bill and farmers are not protected? You have farms that go to waste, or they get bought by mega-conglamorates that will raise prices to improve their bottom line. That's right Tea Party, get what you want and you will really see a class war. History has shown that once the disparity between the rich and poor reaches great heights, the poor react. And another thing, stop calling yourselves the Tea Party until you actually become a real political party. Until then, you are nothing but a Republican riding on the coattails of the name.

    January 3, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Matt

    I live in Georgia too & Saxby Chambliss has been a do nothing, non-descript senator. But if he ticked off the Tea Party he's got my vote

    January 3, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Lucifer1

    Notice how all these cries about the government spending doesn't actually include any specifics on where to cut spending. They make it sound likethe president is grabbing everyone's money and rushing off to Tiffany's to buy diamonds, or to a Lamborghini dealership....

    They cry to reduce spending and the size of government, how quickly they forget that the largest increase in spending and the size of government happened under two Republican presidents.

    First Ronald Reagan who increased the defense budget several fold to spend Russia into oblivion, the next one was GW who made the largest government increase in history when the department of Homeland Security was created...

    January 3, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. DocHollywood

    Yes, one thing this lady is right about, there will be consequences. But I'm afraid it's going to be against the republican tea party philosophy, the philosophy of "our way or the highway". Because even though you're elected to a specific district, you're elected to represent ALL the American people, not just your constituents.

    January 3, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. conrad

    She and the rest of them will most likely lose their jobs in 2014, thankfully!

    January 3, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. snowdogg

    "It's unacceptable to have somebody who votes with the Democrats more than they do with the conservatives..."

    TeaParty = no compromise, take no prisoners

    January 3, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. Harry Wreckdom

    OK voters – remember what the outgoing House did to the Sandy vicitms when it comes time to vote in 2014 – then vote all of these TPublican idiots out.

    I don't care if they are in your district – ALL Of them need to go – they aren't doing anyone any good.

    January 3, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. CJBaker

    It amazes me when a TV anchor asks a pointed question and it goes unanswered. Kremer did not answer the compromise question about taxing those who make $1 million or more per year. She keeps spouting the same old Palin talking points over and over, which accomplishes absolutely nothing. Won't the madness ever stop?

    January 3, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. pachyderm

    thank the lord for the tea party. as long as they are around, the democrats will have no trouble getting elected again. keep up the good work.

    January 3, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. neeko

    Order of spending in the govt. – HHS, Social Security, Defense, Treasury (debt repayment mostly), Agriculture, VA, Labor, then the rest. Amy Kremer suggested that Education is bloated and spends more that most departments. It is probably 12th on the list and a relatively minor proportion of the budget. While there should definitely be reductions and cutting, the Education Dept. is not where it should happen. Perhaps ignorance is what they are counting on to increase Tea Party support.

    January 3, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. John Cleary

    Anyone else convinced, when looking at Amy Kremer, that in her heart of hearts, she'd be most happy living on a plantation prior to the Civil War?

    January 3, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. Cat

    The tea party is anti American, they would are screwing the great people of New Jersey and New York. These people suffered a disaster and they do NOT care. Anyone who votes for the tea party is UN-American.

    January 3, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Gordon

    The Tea Party needs to split from the Republican party. That would be no great loss to Republicanism since the Tea Party appears to be vehemently opposed to any moderate/centrist thought. With the Tea Party gone, normal people could feel comfortable in joining the Republican party.
    -
    Unfortunately, the Republicans still try to push through all these social agendas like trying to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage and teach creationism in public schools. I've got perfect solutions already. Don't marry someone of the same sex unless you're gay, and if you want to learn about creationism, go to a religious school.

    January 3, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Roger

    Please, will these Tea Party radicals please just go away and let us get on with the running of the country. Didn't this last election teach you anything? Please go away and become the footnote in the history books that you were only meant to be.

    January 3, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. Oneslydragon

    knock, knock, knock.... anybody home?

    January 3, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. fishpaw23

    Since when is the Tea Party still relevant to anything anywhere? This is a non-issue. It's just the whiny kid pouting because he didn't get all the candy.

    January 3, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Steve

    I think Ms. Kremer might be much more well suited and do far better as a revival or tele-evangelist than leader of a tea party group.

    January 3, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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