January 3rd, 2013
11:11 AM ET
10 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

    "Amy Kremer suggested that Education is bloated and spends more that most departments."

    Accuracy and facts don't matter. Reality is, Kremer and her ilk haven't stopped hating the public education system since Brown v. Board.

    January 3, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Lilybean58

    The only people these folks care about are themselves. They are not interested in doing the right thing or the just thing or the compassionate thing. The interesting part is most of them purport to be such great Christians, but don't seem to know anything about the principles of Christianity.. Another reason that I left the Republican party 8 years ago. I refuse to be associated with people who claim to love America, but have no respect for Americans.

    January 3, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Dennis

    Yes, there will be consequences - in 2014 the GOP's rigid stance and the Tea Party's lunacy will result in a loss of House seats, maybe even a DEM majority!! We have a spending problem and a revenue problem and to get the debt and deficit reduced we need to do a bit of both. This problem did not just happen on Obama's watch. Actually, he has reduced the deficit each year starting in 2010. It is estimated to be below $1T in 2013!!

    January 3, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Elliotu

    If they listen to the tea party the Republicans will lose even more seats in the House in the 2014 elections. Then the Republican party fade into oblivion.

    January 3, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. DanW

    The consequences brought to us by the Tea Party in the last Congress are (1) a lowered national credit rating, and (2) about $1.5 billion in additional debt resulting from their success in blocking a deal to cut spending and raise revenue. I shudder to think what consequences they would bring to us if they had full rein.

    January 3, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. WillK

    Kremer is wrong – she and her ilk did not elect the House of Representatives. They elected a small percentage of the Repubican caucus – and less this past year than in 2010. What makes her think such a small percentage of the population, and such a small percentage of the House, should have their way? Here is a wake-up call, Kremer: you will never have your way.

    January 3, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. MS

    The Tea Party is becoming increasingly irrelevant with each passing year, and I'm loving every minute of it.

    January 3, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Amen to God!

    I didn't have to read this articular to know that people are angry because after 20 years this is gonna have to pay taxes. Get over it. The poor has been picked on enough! I still can't have meat every night on my table. Sometimes just beans potatoes and corn bread' And I am happy and grateful to have that. So to all the rich out there.....suck it up.

    January 3, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. cmcle

    Ms. Kremer makes the point, over and over, that Republicans are the majority in the House and the House controls the purse strings. And she's right about both. Then she criticizes Democrats for their excessive spending. Does she not see any inconsistencies in her statements?

    January 3, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. sc

    tea party..sounds like the boogey man, there will be concsecences, really, open threats against fellow americans, really? You can ask GW himself, his tax cuts were never ment to be permenant. Nor were the payroll tax cuts. Keep going tea party, ultimately your actions will morph into open treason.

    January 3, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. CSM

    Tea Party = corporate minions who don't know better...... It's really quite sad.

    January 3, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. wolfyb

    It is perplexing, how many of the so-called "Tea Party" members are dependent on the government. Farmers want a farm bill, the retired want their Medicare and Social Security, and those hit by disasters want the government to compensate them for the loss of their house. Be careful, want you wish for, you just may get it.

    January 3, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. flyboy7588

    Tom, you have mistaken the TEA party with OWS. OWS is the gang that didn't deserve the lib media coverage they got and you know it.

    January 3, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. Oneslydragon

    Why even give her a voice to be heard? She refuses to listen... She does not deserve to be heard.

    January 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Margo

    Yeah, I see their outrage, they don't want to pay more taxes they want the poor and middle class to bear the brunt so they can continue on with their lifestyles. And what about us who need medicare...how will we afford to make up for the 27% cut to the docs who care for us...they don't have those worries. The tea party is nothing but a cult for the rich. They all need to go.

    January 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. derekadams

    While the tea party may be a little on the extreme side, the point she makes is valid. It doesn't matter how much you raise taxes because we can't keep up with the rate our government spends the money. You can raise tax rates on everyone to twice what they are now and it still will not help. We have to make cuts and i agree that everything is on the table. How about this for an idea?..for every dollar you add in taxes, you also spend one less dollar on government programs. I will gladly pay more taxes if that is the case.

    January 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. Dean

    There certainly will be consequences. Many of us lost even more respect for the tea party.

    January 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. bks

    What these Tea party people have done for the country except coming on TV and bashing the people. Let them go on the street and find out how people are living. Of course our politicians are responsible for that. Why they should listen to these guys. A country is not run by few out of the main stream guys.

    January 3, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Steve

    I agree with the Tea Party.
    If we eliminate ALL taxes, then the government will have nothing to spend. Then the deficit will quickly disappear.
    (Hurricane Sandy victims....tough luck)
    Then we should give Everyone guns (I'm sure the constitution says it's our right.....except I don't quite get the part about being in a 'well regulated militia'....)
    Then it will be just like the wild wild West.
    What's wrong with that......?

    (dang....just blew off one of my toes......gotta work on that quickdraw......)

    January 3, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Alex

    Marie MD,
    I get so tired of hearing liberals say that but I agree that Bush was a horrible president. The fact is we've lost all control of our government. There is not much of a dividing line anymore; Dems are like the GOP and the GOP are like the Dems.
    Obama is only continuing what Bush started and what others started before him. Higher taxes on the wealthy are not going to bring us out of this financial mess.

    January 3, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. mike

    Enough blaming and rigid side-taking. Let's get on with a real discussion of what is best for the country. Vote your conscience before blindly voting for your party. Time for real compromise instead of posturing.

    January 3, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. al

    The proper consequence should be for the republican party to tell the Teas to take a long hike on a short bridge and for the American people to vote for something other than the fascists that the Tea Party members have become.

    January 3, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Dave From Philly

    Can we please have a four party system? Far Left, Left, Right, Far Right. I'm sick of being just for small government and not too much spending and then being confused for thinking Gays are an abomination and The Rich shouldn't be taxed.

    Please tax the rich! They're rich, they don't care! You think a 10% hike on taxes is going to kill them?

    And last I checked, but an increase in $620 Billion coming in is more than $330 Billion going out. That's $290 Billion you can put towards the Deficit you morons.

    January 3, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. harry Baxter

    Big talk from a mini-organization of the GOP which caused the Party to lose big time in November. You're History, Guys. Live with it.

    January 3, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. Vittoriokiss

    GOP/Tea Party = Tax the middle class and poor and do whatever it takes to make sure the rich does not pay its fair share. Whenever they say, Democrats want to raise taxes, they forget to complete the entire sentence that goes like this. The Democrats want to raise the taxes of the rich and reduce the tax of the middle class/poor, the 99% of American that need it. GOP is all about helping the rich stay rich and the rest of us can suffer for it.

    January 3, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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