Budget deal doesn't thrill some in the Tea Party movement
April 9th, 2011
12:10 PM ET
12 years ago

Budget deal doesn't thrill some in the Tea Party movement

Washington (CNN) - Some leading national Tea Party organizations are anything but happy with Friday night's deal on the budget that prevented a federal government shutdown.

A spokesman for the Tea Party Express tells CNN the group isn't "very impressed" with the budget deal and says the agreement proves the Tea Party has a lot more work to do to make deeper cuts in the federal budget.

"According to the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. budget deficit in the first six months of the current fiscal year totaled $830 billion. So you can imagine we're not very impressed by a deal that cuts an almost trivial $38 billion," says Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell. "It just shows that the Tea Party has a lot more work to do in ousting the spending-addicted liberal Democrats who refuse to stop acting like selfish children incapable of making the tough decisions voters have demanded."

Tea Party Express, one of the most well known and politically active national tea party organizations, is teaming up with CNN for a first of its kind Tea Party debate featuring GOP presidential candidates and scheduled for early September in Tampa, Florida, the city that's hosting the 2012 Republican National Convention.

While the Friday night agreement will avert a government shutdown by funding the federal government for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, major showdowns over raising the government's debt ceiling and hammering out a budget for the 2012 fiscal year are looming.

"The Tea Party has a lot more work to do, and we're focused on 2012 more than ever," adds Russell.

A similar message comes from FreedomWorks, a nonprofit conservative organization based in the nation's capital that helps train volunteer activists, has provided much of the organization behind the Tea Party movement, and which supports conservative candidates in Republican primary and general election contests.

Adam Brandon, a spokesman for the group, says the just-concluded budget fight is only a preview for the real battles ahead. He tells CNN, "The battle lines are clearly being drawn, and it's up to the Republicans to make the tough spending cuts."

Brandon adds that the deal to avert a shutdown illustrates the Tea Party movement's influence, saying, "The conversation's turned from whether to cut to how much to cut."

While there was talk of the battles to come, there's also more disappointment with the deal.

Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots tells CNN, "In February the government incurred a historic high $233 Billion deficit. Last night, at best, they agreed to cut $38.5 billion in spending over the next six months. Are we disappointed? We think those numbers speak for themselves. This country needs bold and visionary leadership, something that seems sorely lacking in those 'leading' today. The fight will continue in the days and months ahead, and Tea Party Patriots is in it for the long haul."

Asked if the group might urge members of Congress to vote no, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin tells CNN, "We won't make any calls for action before Monday. As always, we need to consult with our local coordinators."

And Rep. Michele Bachmann says the agreement "is a disappointment for me and for millions of Americans who expected $100 billion in cuts."

The Minnesota Republican, who is chair of the House Tea Party caucus and is seriously considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination, adds that, "Sadly, we're missing the mandate given us by voters last November, and for that reason I voted against the Continuing Resolution."

More dissent comes from Judson Phillips, head of the Tea Party Nation, the group that last year put on the first national Tea Party convention.

Phillips, who has been very critical recently of House Speaker John Boehner's actions when it comes to the budget, asks in an email to supporters, "Can someone please tell me how this is anything other than John Boehner hauling up the white flag because he is unwilling to fight? Can anyone please tell me how this is anything but a complete victory for the liberal Democrats, who want to keep spending this country into bankruptcy and poverty?"

While most recent polls indicated that a majority of Americans wanted congressional lawmakers to compromise rather than to stick to their guns on the budget, even it if meant a government shutdown, the same surveys indicate a partisan divide.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal released Wednesday indicated that 68 percent of Democrats said they want Democratic leaders in Congress to make compromises in the current budget battle, with 56 percent of Republicans, and 68 percent of self-described Tea Party supporters, wanting GOP lawmakers to stick to their positions, even if it leads to a shutdown.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Stan

    So sick of these tea party lunatics. When did being conservative start to equate with extremism?

    April 9, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. keeth in cali

    Dimwits can't understand that it takes time to wind down the spending. It's simple logic. Live beyond your means for years and then all at once pull all that extra money away and see how smooth the transition is. It's a machine, figuratively and literally. If you sudden stop, the whole thing lurches, breaks, and fails - including support for our military and some of the entitlements that these Tea Party elders rely on. Learn more about the real mechanisms of your government than what Fox News and the Tea Party talking points are telling you. Have patience. Keep working. It is moving in the right direction. But only a fool says cut it all now, all at once, without a thought of the real life consequences to yourself and your fellow Americans.

    April 9, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. JJ

    NO surprise here...people who do want the govenment parties to compromise.....how can you please them???

    April 9, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. thomas

    The Tea part is not America ! America is smarter then that !

    April 9, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. labman57

    Once again, the GOP is more than willing to hold the nation financially hostage in order to implement their narrow-minded social agenda. The House Republicans conveniently went after federally-funded programs that conflict with their political ideology.

    If they truly were concerned about reducing the federal deficit, then they would have supported last year's plan to end the Bush tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy, and they would have stripped corporations such as the fossil fuel industries of their federal subsidies, axed wasteful, unneeded military weaponry contracts, worked to eliminate corporate tax loopholes, and removed the tax-exempt status of politically-active religious organizations.

    April 9, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Benjamin Fretwell

    Who cares what the Tea baggers think.

    April 9, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Rope-a-dope

    "...recent polls indicated that a majority of Americans wanted congressional lawmakers to compromise rather than to stick to their guns on the budget." This, Judson Phillips, is the will of the American people. Not yours, not your little party, not the Democrats, nor the Republicans. We, the Americans people, are sick and tired of people and extremist groups such as yours, continue efforts to disrupt the legislative process with your outrageous demands and polictical threats! We, the American people that elected President Obama and still supports President Obama wait also, for 2012.

    April 9, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. tony

    Message to tea party. Make love elsewhere.

    April 9, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. once upon a horse

    if the Tea Party isn't happy with it then I'm head over heels for it. TheTea Party movement approval rating is falling into Sarah Palin territory which means they have more than worn out their welcome.

    April 9, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. No Tea For Me

    The tea party is nothing but spoiled brats holding the country hostage.

    April 9, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. TheyDon'tGetIt

    The tea partiers don't understand how a government is run. They holler "constitution" this and "mortgaging our children's future" – notice they all same the same thing – like they've been taught by their puppeteers...

    The only way to save our children's futures is to fix the economy now – and a shut down would only hurt the economy. What's more – education has got to be fixed. Kids should go to school year round – it's the only way our kids will ever catch up to the other countries and be competitive in the future.

    We've mortgaged our kids' futures long ago when we did not improve our educational system and parents stopped taking an interest in their kids. So now the schools are full of unruly students and no one learns a thing.

    April 9, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Ronnie

    Any deal that make the tea baggers mad is a good deal !

    April 9, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Charles W. Skinner

    This will be one half of the decision as to whether Speaker Boehner will face a primary fight. If he does ANYTHING short of cutting 400+ Billion from the 2012 budget, he not only will draw a primary fight to knock him out of Congress, he may very well lose the speakership MID-SESSION by a revolt from the TEA Party Caucus. The SOLE and ONLY reason that Republicans control the House currently is the TEA Party's actions in the prior election. But for them, the Republicans would still be mired in the complete minority, and would still be whining about how "they can't do anything."

    April 9, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. steven harnack

    I am sick to death of these loud mouth know nothings. They want everyone to think that they are some new phenomenon but they have been around in various forms since at least the 1850s when they WERE known as the Know Nothings. They arose, complete with their millionaire backers, to oppose Roosevlt when he was reviving this county, as the Liberty and Freedom Party or some such drivel. These guys are spouting the exact same propaganda about tax and spend Democrats when every study has shown the opposite is true. If it weren't for the billionaire backers that they have in this reincarnation they would have died out a week after their first clown show.

    April 9, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. Michael

    Of course the Tea Party hates the deal. They hate anything that could possible move the country forward, or (more precisely in this case) move it backward more slowly than they would like. The Tea Party's agenda is to destroy any hope of opportunity for everyone who isn't a WASP multi-millionaire.

    April 9, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Lilarose in Bandon

    Tea Partiers, it's not all about YOU! There are far more of the rest of us who aren't so nasty and demanding as Tea Party folks. We have to share, remember that from kindergarten? That means we don't always get what we want. Give a little, take a little. Please remember all this government action affects REAL PEOPLE, and most of the cuts will directly affect all Americans, not for the better.

    April 9, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. stevetall

    How to put this gracefully... Shove it, you ding-dongs! Dressing up all goofy and regarding yourselves as modern-day pilgrims isn't really doing America any good. Frankly, I'm not at all certain why this tiny, confused bunch of flag-wavers is getting so much attention. As usual, they don't have a clue about our current budgetary/economic situation. If we taxed the people who make the most money, the corporations, and the political action committees pretending to be religions, we'd be rolling in dough in a debt-free country. Nobody seems to have the courage to tax fairly anymore, so this is the mess we've ended up with.

    April 9, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. lynn

    The Tea Party is not a legitimate political party, but a Club of whiners that the news media gives way too much time covering. How the Tea's appear to have power over the Republicans is curious, just who are they and who funds them? I have zero interest in whether they're thrilled, how about the rest of being thrilled if they just faded away.

    April 9, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Sue, MN

    It about time that John Boehner grew a pair and threw those tea baggers under the "tea party express" bus. If
    Michele Bachmann thinks she's "disappointed" now, wait until 2012, when her seat is up for grabs. You think she would stand
    up for the rights of women. But her hateful agenda comes first. Lesson of the day for Boehner, "Never smile at a crocodile".

    April 9, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. Chris

    To Michele Bachman, Tea/Republicans and Democrats- gaining a small majority of seats in the house is not a manadate from the people, it just shows the great divide of people across the country. Most of us are independent and like a balance in the middle. Also, you could learn some lessons from our greatest statesman, Ben Franklin. At the Constitutional Convention, Franklin urged his fellow delegates to be willing to sacrifice, not their principles, but their overwhelming urge to be right. Today’s career politician believes Not mine (or my parties) = wrong. We need faor taxation across the board as well. It is not fair when teh middle class pay 25 to 35% in taxes while teh rich pay maybe 11% or less. Warren Buffet even poited this out. He pays 11% tax whlle most of his employees are paying 25 to 35%. Teh real tough descesnion to be made is to raise taxes fairly and equally. You cannot wage 2 was, decrease taxes and incresed spending adn balance the budget. Bush senior lost reelection for doing the right thing. A sacrifice most career politicains are not willing to make. To bad careeer politicians think party and self first, coporatins sedonc and teh people are dead last. Vote Independent!!!

    April 9, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. GOP = Greed Over People

    It is a good thing that Bawlin' Boehner finally found the 'nads to b!@$h-slap the tea baggers!

    At least we can give the weeper of the House, the benefit of a doubt, that MAYBE he did view the welfare of the American people with a higher regard than caring about 66 tea baggin' toads in the House and the GOP agenda for "America to fail".

    April 9, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. C. Howe Yulikit

    Trust me when I tell you I truly do not give a crap about what the Tea Party wants or thinks. Who empowered these trolls? Oh right...

    April 9, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. Maria

    The Tea Party is not America!!! America is a nation of all of its people. The one question that I would like to see discussed is when will we depend that Congress has term limits? The biggest problem is that our elected Congressional leaders go to Washington, draw a big check plus all of the other perks of being a federally elected official and they become corrupt. I would like to see a 3-term limit for all Congressional seats. That would ensure that the voice of the ALL American people are heard. We, as a nation, can come up with a reduced budget that decreases the deficit yet still provides services and programs to its citizens. I do not want to continue to pay taxes and get absolutely nothing in return (as the Tea Party would have it). I would like a solid return on my investment. Term limits will get us back on track!!!

    April 9, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. Jackson from Rome, GA

    I'm so surprised! Were you surprised? I was surprised.

    April 9, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |

    Please!!! These nut jobs won't be happy until the poor and middle class are stripped of everything. I'M not thrilled with these wackos.

    April 9, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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