January 3rd, 2013
11:11 AM ET
9 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.

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"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. Sniffit


    "And we're a red state, we deserve a conservative senator."

    What you don't deserve is all that blue state money that helps you survive as a state in the first place. You should be made to crawl on your slimy bellies to foot of the Lincoln Memorial in order to beg the federal gov't for the federal aid that keeps your chronically, historically mismanaged red states afloat. It's time we capped federal aid to all states at the amount of federal taxes paid by their citizens. Period. Let's hear your Teatroll tune then, TAKERS.

    January 3, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    The next time a hurricane hits the South, or Texas is blanketed in wildfires, we will remember. You don't want to pay for the tab you run up, you don't want to pay for the relief the Blue states send you: screw you. We're done subsidizing you.

    January 3, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. strangerq

    "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,

    Tea Party – You don't control jack. You can't even control yourselves.

    January 3, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. sammy zoso

    Tea party is dead. No one cares what they say. Bye , bye.

    January 3, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Sid Prejean

    "There will be consequences," all right. Extremists like the Tea Bag Gang have always come, burned brightly, and faded quickly in this nation. They'll soon go the way of the "Know Nothings" of the 1850's, and their ilk.

    January 3, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. Bob

    Go away you bunch of cry babies...........

    January 3, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Lou Lange

    Neither party was happy with this deal, but what would have been worse is if the Congress had done nothing to resolve it.

    January 3, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. pierce

    At some point the tea party will have to decide who it respresents: the average american who is overtaxed or the wealthy 3% who the tea party leadership cares so much for.

    Cant have it both ways. You either represent the average middle income American or the superrich, which the tea party seems to gravitate to even though the tea party is largely funded by and joined by poor and middle-class Americans.

    January 3, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. llydapdicter

    You guys are funny 🙂 Every state receives aid, its not "Blue State" relief as you like to put it. Pretty sure federal dollars come from all states. Also, if you want to talk about "Chronically mismanaged red states" look no further than California. That is a well run Blue state alright :sarcasm: Good luck with your dem logic.

    January 3, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. VEW2012

    We just need to vote the teapitty party out of office....and Darrell Issa doesn't need any aid for his district either...What a piece of work he is. Always there with his hand out for a California fire or earthquake, but not for the people affected by Sandy.

    January 3, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. Bob C.

    There were consequences in my district. Last November we voted out the Tea Party Congresswoman and replaced her with a Democrat, who unlike her just voted for the new deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Problem solved.

    January 3, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Ex-GOPCon

    The TEA Party is farce. Their spokesperson RAISED taxes under the Alaska Clear and Equitable Shares bill!

    Kremer just angry that there is a black man in the white house. Pay down your Bush GOP war debt instead of passing the bill down to our children and grandchildren Kremer!


    January 3, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. chicagorich

    I realize that the economy is difficult but I disagree with extending unemployment benefits still further. At some point people have to deal with the reality that the jobs they had are gone, and many are not coming back. We would be better served as a nation to use that money to reduce the deficit, or invest in future industries that will create new jobs. Life can be tough, but you shouldn't rely on your few fellow working countyment to support them indefinitely into the future.

    January 3, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. Fed up with the Flea Party

    That's the closest analogy I can come up with... the Flea Party. Annoying little bitemes who won't go away, no matter how hard you try to clean house. America will be much better off once these ignorant people realize they belong in the distant past. Time to move forward, America!

    January 3, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. Wake up People!

    It's time for this lousy group of lowlifes to hit the bricks. You burst on the scene yelling about jobs, jobs, jobs and you haven't even tried to do anything except obstruct the POTUS and interfere in our personal lives. You care about no one but the rich.

    Last but not least, President Obama leaves office in 2016, there will be no more need for your klan.

    January 3, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Yes, the Tea Party was hijacked a long time ago by the likes of Sarah Palin and Gingrich. Its been dead a long time!

    January 3, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. jim

    Pot calling the kettle..The Red states are against the same programs they enjoy. Crazy

    January 3, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Joefriday

    Give the tea party what they want and see how quickly they destroy themselves. They don't care about the country, just themselves.

    January 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Rosslaw

    Sniffit has the answer to balancing the budget. All red states must repay stimulus funds which they tended to p*ss away by using it to balance state budgets instead of stimulating their own economies. For example, $25 billion to Texas alone. By repaying stimulus funds, red states may thereby achieve the state of grace and purity required by the teatards. Better yet, no more federal funds to red states in excess of revenue collected from those states, particularly in the healthcare field. The natural "deselection" of those red state inhabitants who happen to be morbidly obese, diabetic and cardiac impaired can only help the balance the budget even further. Problem solved.

    January 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. fredsmuda

    Yes the Republicans do control the House. But how much time has to pass and how many failed negotiation sessions have to take place before you realize that the Republicans can't come up with a plan of their own, nor are they willing to seriously negotiate. I'm aa Republican myself and I am totally embarressed by my party's ineptitude. It may be timet seriouslyy consider some recalls and infuse new thinking and talent into the system.

    January 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. wgf

    I don't think there's much doubt that if we were talking about Florida, Missisippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia or Texas, the hurricane relief aid would have been passed within a week of being introduced - because the they belong to "real America" ?

    January 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. GeorgiaDem

    A hearty 'thank you' to the Tea Party for effectively splitting, dismantling, and (somehow) successfully putting the GOP in an even worse light. The more radical right-wingers get off the Hill, the more things will get done...for ALL Americans.

    January 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Marty, FL

    Please vote this uncompromising tea nonsense OUT of our government.

    it's the problem and created the most unproductive Congress ever, along with Boehner's incompetent speakership.

    January 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. bill1024

    The tea party is an unamerican organization

    January 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. smithdp

    The Republicans control the House only because they don't have to run statewide and can hide in gerrymandered districts. House Democrats received more votes than House Republicans this cycle. As for McConnel preaching about the deficit. Spare me. The deficit has increased 10 fold since he has been in Washington.

    January 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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