(CNN) - Don't be fooled by the tiny turnout at the tea party rally on Capitol Hill Wednesday. The conservative movement doesn't much need rallies anymore. November 2010 changed all of that.
Boasting powerful leaders inside the Senate and big numbers in the House of Representatives, the tea party just might show the world how it might govern come August 2, the nation's deadline for raising the debt ceiling.
Washington (CNN) - Who's really in charge up on Capitol Hill? House Speaker John Boehner or people like Joe Walsh? Not the guy from The Eagles. U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Illinois, is one of dozens of new tea party-backed House Republicans who are pushing the Speaker for steep cuts to entitlements and federal spending in exchange for an increase to the debt ceiling.
Walsh blames President Obama for bringing the country to the brink. But he is also candid that he and other Republicans will be partly to blame if the nation goes into default.
Washington (CNN) - As House Speaker John Boehner and the House Republican leadership continues to build support for its proposal to raise the debt ceiling, several influential tea party and conservative groups Tuesday voiced opposition to it.
House GOP leaders are working the conservative members of their caucus to try and get enough support to reach the 217 votes needed to pass the Speaker's plan in a vote scheduled for Thursday. That proposal would couple $1.2 trillion in savings over a decade with a hike of just under $1 trillion in the debt limit that would extend it through the end of the year. It also calls for the formation of a congressional committee to find $1.8 trillion in deficit savings, and if that is enacted the debt limit would increase by $1.6 trillion.
Washington (CNN) - Right now, some Republican lawmakers in Washington may be wondering how to wiggle out from between a rock and a hard place.
On one hand, they're staring at a possible financial nightmare if the nation's debt limit isn't raised. On the other, many are feeling the heat from tea party demands that bluntly warn: Vote against us and suffer political consequences.
Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had some kind words for a potential opponent Tuesday during a speech to tea party activists in South Carolina.
During a question-and-answer session with the Charleston Tea Party, Gingrich was asked by the moderator, a local radio host, to name "the second best candidate for the Republican nomination."
Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney seems to have everything going his way. The former Massachusetts governor is certainly ahead of the pack where it counts in fundraising and in many recent polls. He's the front-runner, right?
"Certainly that is where Mitt Romney is now. He's running really a strategy as a front-runner. He's not engaging the other candidates. He's focusing his attacks on Barack Obama. I think that's smart," said Doug Heye, a Republican strategist.
(CNN) – South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint – a major booster of the Tea Party movement – is expected to speak with activists about the U.S. budget and the nation's debt ceiling in a "Tele-TownHall" phone conference Wednesday evening.
An email to conservative activists obtained by CNN says DeMint will also discuss the "Cut, Cap & Balance Pledge," a contract that opposes raising the nation's debt ceiling without major spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment.
Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - Mere hours before this cycle's first presidential debate in New Hampshire, some key figures in the tea party movement had a message for any Republican presidential hopeful: if he or she thinks they can win the GOP nomination without Tea Party support – think again.
That's the declaration from the Tea Party Express on Monday ahead of the debate, in Manchester, co-sponsored by CNN, WMUR and The New Hampshire Union Leader.
Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) – Tea Party organizers had hoped to have him on the program, but former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty won't be appearing at a hotly-anticipated pre-debate Tea Party rally in downtown Greenville.
The day-long rally being held down the street from the site of the first Republican presidential debate will feature a who's who of South Carolina conservatives, the sort of grassroots activists and elected officials that any GOP presidential contender needs to attract to win the state's pivotal primary early next year.
(CNN) – The Tea Party movement has grown more unpopular among Americans with nearly half now seeing it in an unfavorable light, according to a new poll. The sentiment will be closely watched by both sides of the aisle for its potential influence as the 2012 presidential campaign gears up.
According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 47 percent of Americans view the Tea Party movement in an unfavorable light while 33 percent hold a favorable view.