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. v_mag

    Why are they upset that a major tax give-away to the rich has been halted? If they want us to slow the growth of the deficit (created largely by Republican tax cuts and unfunded wars), why do they object to the government collecting taxes from rich people who have been getting a free ride?

    January 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. steve

    The Tea Party is "outraged" and "I'm extremely disgusted" with the democratic process and the idea of compromise to get the government working. She is outraged that Congress is trying to help Americans. She is right in one thing though, there will be consequences with the Tea Party's actions.

    January 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The Tea Party has proven themselves to be a bunch of domestic terrorists. U.S. policy is thet we do not negotiate with terrorists. As a veteran, I took an oath to protect this nation against all enemies, foreign & domestic. The "real" republicans in the party need to stand up and take their party back!!!

    January 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Mark

    She's out of touch with reality. Put even more far right-wing candidates into office? What potion of the electorate will they represent – 10%? They'll bring this country to its end. I live in Georgia. I'm a Democrat. I'll cross over and vote for Saxby Chambliss in the primary just to keep their Tea Party boob out of the election. Enough of this garbage!

    January 3, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Carol

    Kremer thinks he controls what??????? How delusional. You guys are irrelevant.

    January 3, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Marie MD

    I am more outraged that these cretins and traitors are still walking around and using federal government money (SS and Medicare from the old people I have seen T their gatherings) and driving on fed roads and "assembling" in national parks!
    Then again, the tea trolls have really made. Messed the rethug party. It's nice to see the young (the handful of them no) beating up on their elders.
    I take it that the koch brothers woke up from their coma after the November election?

    January 3, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Norbert

    Thank God that the Tea-Party keeps pushing Republicans farther and farther to the right. A little more extreme, a little more crazy, and wheeeee, down they go. You go, Tea-Party.

    January 3, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. spock500

    Perhaps, Ms. Kremer needs to re-review the results the 2012 Presidential election, its Exit Polls, and whether Congressional Republicans lost net seats. Psst, you guys lost – big time.

    January 3, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Conner Powers

    Interestingly – the Teaparty wanted to extend tax cuts for all americans, then they complained that the tax cuts that were extended increased the defecit. In the end it increased the defecit less than they wanted.

    I wish the Tea Party could figure out what they want. They want defecit reduction and spending cuts, but when asked what they want to cut. They cannot think of anything and blast the democrats when they provide ideas. They want Tax cuts, but complain when they get them that it increases the defecit.

    The Tea Party are crazy people.

    January 3, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. REGinAZ

    There should be "consequences" and the Tea Party should appropriately suffer them.

    January 3, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. crimsoninok

    Remember this, the Red States control the food and energy supply in this country.. We get 80 cents back on every dollar we send to Washington.. Youre not subsidizing my state, youre subsidizing washington d.c. so get that thought straight.. If it really came to it. Most red states would no longer rather be with you Blue States. We dont agree with your morals, your politics, your spending or your ethics.. You are Godless, Gunless, Gutless and lacking in American Patriotism.. You molest all of our children financially and that has to stop.. Youre a bunch of financial Pervs..

    January 3, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. history bear

    Tea Party is only concerned with keeping the wealthy wealthy and screw people and the country as a whole. Governments job is to protect the country and serve the people who elect it. ALL the PEOPLE. There needs to be tax reform, immigration reform , increased work on infastructure, getting defense spending under control and straightening out the Social Security and Medicare/Medicade mess. The TP party is only concerned with taking care of the wealthy. In short, social darwinism and oligarchy.

    January 3, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. PM

    Tea What ? I almost had to try hard to refresh my memory to remember who/what they were.
    Wasn't that the lame, crude, bunch of ..er..people.. from somewhere that everyone ignored and tried to un-associate themselves with in the last two presidential elections and all other elections in between ?

    January 3, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    There's only one red state I like and that's Texas because the Dallas Cowboys always win. O' wait...

    Yours truly...T. Romo.

    January 3, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. GIUK

    Vote out every Tea Party member. Vote out every Republican who collaborates with the Tea Party.

    January 3, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Martha C

    I live in Texas and am consistently appalled by our politicians. Sad thing is that If you talk to the people who live here, you'll see that the elected officials truly do reflect the mindset of their maladjusted constituents. God, I've got to get out of here!

    January 3, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. toydrum

    Republican does NOT automatically equal Tea Party. These extremists think that they are speaking for the whole party because they managed to hold too many members hostage. It is time for the true Republicans to make it clear that they were elected to bring a reasonable conservative voice to represent ALL of the people in their districts, not the few extremists that are perfectly willing to destroy this nation in the name of their so-called principles.

    Take the party back from the goofballs. Act like reasonable adults that understand compromise and the importance of investment in the present to pay for the future, alongside reasonable spending limits and a level of taxation appropriate to the goals of paying our bills without sacrificing the quality of life and educational requirements we need to be a great nation for the next 100 years.

    If the representatives would quit worrying about the 2 year election cycle and start demonstrating that they care about the long term future and the majority of their constituents, they would get the respect they needed without the ranting of the voices from the outer edges.

    January 3, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. gregory21

    Two parties in one is great. They can fight between each other and maybe we will never see another rep. pres.

    January 3, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. DN

    I watched a 'Tea Party' representative tell a TV anchor that he doesn't want his elected representative to reach across the aisle and work with the Democrats, but strangle them. It was dismaying to hear such words.

    We saw compromise, and that's what we should always see.

    January 3, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. Fair is Fair

    "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"
    If that's your opinion, why not just have all states stop paying federal taxes, take those dollars, pay them directly to the states, and elimintate the fat, bloated middleman pig known as the federal government altogether?

    January 3, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. SueW

    This outrage shows us two things: The tea party is irrelevant now (and always was, though they caused the Republicans a real problem) and they clearly don't understand economics or politics. The American people need to recapture the message and the Congress by removing the remaining obstructionists. We need to get something done, not block everything so you can dismantle the American economy. If the tea party dislikes the American way of life so much they should move to Canada.

    January 3, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. SRB

    The Tea Party is bound and determined to drown the government in the bathtub and destroy the country at the same time.

    January 3, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. CH

    Yes I agree there would be consequences. And the first of those consequences would be the burial of the Tea Party – Period –

    January 3, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. aaron

    With Kremer working for the billionaire Koch brothers, of couse, she's going to be jumping up and down, quite heavily. Somebody needs to send her a case of pork chops to calm her down.

    January 3, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. Liberal_style

    Fiscal Cliff vote is one of the consequences of election. Another consequence is Tea Partiers better run and hide. Run and hide baby.

    January 3, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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