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. Mike R

    Share your vast inherited wealth with the poor or there will be consequences.

    January 3, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. fishpaw23

    I'd be worried if these people were actually relevant to anything. This is just the whiny kid pouting because he didn't get ALL the candy. Nobody likes that kid.

    January 3, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. RLD

    If it wasn't so pathetic, it would be almost entertaining to watch the Tea Party people fight and scramble for relevance after the November election. Even Grover Norquist is attempting to put a face-saving spin on passage of the "fiscal cliff" package. Someday, Mr. Norquist may figure out that he no longer matters. As for the Tea Partiers....they cost the GOP the Presidency and the GOP is not oblivious to that. As for the TP people threatening Primary challenges to Republicans who didn't cave in to TP ranting....I hope they follow through. Maybe the GOP moderates will pay attention and get out to the polls, thereby saving the future of the GOP.

    January 3, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. KK

    I have heard this woman speak before. Not too swift. The Tea Party has got to go.

    January 3, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Mel

    I'm sorry, I consider myself a conservative on most issues and I think the tea party is looney tunes. Although I won't go into detail here, I do not take them seriously and tend to think of them as a joke. Point being, some conservatives eye roll the tea party.

    January 3, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Rev

    Palin supports the tea party. nuff said.

    January 3, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Daniel

    I'm sure that the knife that the Tea Party has to the throats of every single Republican in Congress will come back to haunt them.

    January 3, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Steve

    There is nothing like some good old wholesome infighting to do a group in!

    January 3, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. pauleky

    Ah, the "Tea Party." Supposedly for the working man, but really for the corporations and the rich. Any poor-to-middle class person that supports such a group is cutting off their nose to spite their face. If things continue in this vein, there will definitely be consequences – there'll be a Dem majority in the House, too.

    January 3, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. Ray

    What anti-democracy crap. How dare her say "we elected the House of Reps" and that "We control the House." The people of the US control the House and the House voted by an overwhelming majority to pass the fiscal cliff bill. What's perverting our democracy is people like this idiot that thinks its OK for them to say stuff like that. Or for a party like the GOP to implement a policy that only allows a bill to move forward if they have a majority of their party is support of it. The fact is that a bill should come forward and be voted up or down. When it is then the reps of all the American People are doing their job. We the American People need to make sure that extremists on any side of the debate understand we will not allow our democracy to be taken hostage.

    January 3, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. jinx88

    How many seats did the Tea Party win this past election? O' thats right they Lost!!! That means their voice was not heard or wanted to be heard.

    January 3, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. Derek

    "We elected the House of Representatives – we have the majority"

    WE? The Tea Party is not a party at all. It has highjacked the GOP and the TP does not have majority.

    January 3, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. hcx

    Oh brother. More sabre rattling from the far right. I am weary of it.

    January 3, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. What?

    It's amazing that these folks have such a simplistic view of the world. Has there ever been a time where we get everything we want? Disenchanted people who were unwilling to use the process we have (elections) to rid ourselves of politicians who won't do what we want, elevated the tea party to it's current status. Now we're all suffering the consequences and trying to get them to tone down their rhetoric is like trying to put a genie back in the bottle! Good luck with that!

    January 3, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. jerri uhl

    leading by majority of majority is irresponcible. the hastert rule is how bohener leads.

    January 3, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. Al Ford

    I saw that Amy Kremer on tv yesterday. I ended up rolling about laughing. She represents the Tea Potters? That ex-flight attendant tub of lard? And every word out of her mouth was idiotic.

    January 3, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  17. john

    The tea party was rendered irrelevant on November 6, 2012.

    January 3, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. WillB

    She became leader of the Tea Party Express (bus service) only after someone on the "bus" disclosed that the prior "leader" was raking off most of the donations for personal benefit. So far, she has not done that, but that's because the donations are mostly coming out of her own pocket. No one knows where the bus is now, probably sold for scrap.

    January 3, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. CareFree

    If the "Bush" tax cuts helped the "job creator" so much, and were passed originally in 2001, then why did we have the near-depression in 2008? Why weren't they creating jobs with that massive tax cut all those years. And, also, Why doesn't anyone on TV ask this question when they get supposedly knowledgable senators & reps in interviews? Because it is just a phrase the non-taxers like to throw around, and has no semblance in reality....

    January 3, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. Grumpy

    "...there will be consequences." Sounds like a threat made by the Nazis before WWII. Just who does this woman think she is? The last time I checked, this is still the U.S. of A. and not Nazi Germany or the old Soviet Union.

    January 3, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. us_1776

    The Tea Party and it's head muslim traitor, Norquist, will be gone in 2014.

    .

    January 3, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    I agree with the Tea Party "that leaders of both parties weren't doing enough to rein in the deficit" but making Congress dysfunctional & destroying the economy aren't the way to fix things. Based on their performance the statement "At some point we're going to have to come together and do what's right for America" is hypocritical-and that, IMO, exposes the Tea Party's real agenda-not to do what's right for America but to do what's 'right' for themselves. In the 1950's there was a slogan 'better dead than Red'. I think the Tea Party's slogan might be 'better dead than led by a Democrat'. They belong in another era-or maybe in another country. Get rid of them.

    January 3, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. disco

    Tea Party should be retired. Failed policies. People should get over this red state blue state stuff and stop using it in their conversation, it seems to be dividing the country.

    January 3, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "don't penalize someone just because they are successful and make over some arbitrary dollar amount that defines them as rich."

    Nobody's penalizing anyone. Those qho have benefitted most and have the most at stake SHOULD pay more to help maintain the system of government, economic infrastructure, etc., that enabled them to get insanely rich in the first place. If they don't...well...just look around you and you can see what happens once plutocracy sets in and begins dismantling the democracy that gave rise to it.

    January 3, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. axolotl

    Hopefully the Tea Party will be the death knell of th eGOP.

    January 3, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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