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. Overlord_Xenu

    Why do I see the Tea Party sitting atop their volcano lair, shaking their metal-clad fists going "NEXT TIIIIIMMMMEEEE!!!" ?

    January 3, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. sgraffwriter

    Tea party is nothing. A blip. Has no relevance. You've bullied your party so much that they are now incapable of winning national elections. You are going up against what the majority of Americans want, but in your arrogance you think you know what Americans SHOULD want. That's not democracy. So...I agree. Goodbye Tea Party. Your days telling everyone what they should do are over.

    January 3, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. democratsrule

    We elected the president and one of his campaign promises was to raise taxes on the wealthy. He accomplished that. The people of this country elected him on that promise. He kept it. The republicans need to shut the hell up and listen to him and the democrats because the American people voted him into office. Republicans are nothing but communist obstructionists that only care for there own self interests and not the interests of the American people.

    January 3, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. calamity jane

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

    No, actually you are getting what you deserve right now.

    January 3, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Gary

    Tea Party................................................YOU ARE NOT RELEVANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 3, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. Bobby

    Everyone here is just going to bash the tea party but they have a valid point. We cant keep running up a credit card bill and only pay the interest that is charged. We will never pay down the debt. Think of your own household, do you run up your credit card and only pay the interest? What about if you cant pay it down anymore because you have so much spending..what happens? You default and your credit is ruined. No one will lend you $.
    This is where we are as a county. We cant just ask the American people to pay more in taxes just to spend more... If we ask for more in taxes we should be paying our debt down with the extra revenue.

    January 3, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. ZoeyKay

    "It's unacceptable to have somebody who votes with the Democrats more than they do with the conservatives..."

    It's not exactly about voting with the Democrats, it's more about voting for sane, logical bills that will help the American people who voted you in.

    January 3, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Roadkyng

    "The Real Tom Payne"

    Texas has a budget surplus and has sent more money to the FEDS than it draws for years. In fact there is a big movement here for secession due to the control NY, CA and other liberal states have over the federal government.

    Embracing the Tea Party has cost the Republicans dearly. The The Party wants to use a scorched earth policy to balance the budget with little regard of how it actually effects the country and the people in it. The end cannot justify the means.

    But through it all I would not live any other place in the world. Shut down all the world policing we do and the deficit could be cleared in 18 months.

    January 3, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. tepeters

    There will be consequences the Tea Party will wither away and good riddance.

    January 3, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. babs

    This amy person makes me laugh out loud. Does she really think she's "someone"? Tea baggers, get a clue. No one cares about your cry baby foot stomping anymore.

    January 3, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. history bear

    CHICAGORICH, yup, have to understand that the jobs are gone. Gone to China, Pakistan, Vietnam, etc. sent there by people who want all the benefits of being American and dodging the cost that entails. WE don't need more service , low wage jobs, we need our manufacturing jobs back. Quit considering the bottom line as the only line .

    January 3, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Dave R.

    I blieve many are looking forward to 2014. That is when we have the best chance of voting ALL of the rigid and inflexible TP mindset people OUT OF OFFICE!! They are the ones causing all of these political games of chicken and gridlock.

    January 3, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. DB

    Tea Party: Your 15 minutes are up and it's time for thinking people to step in and do things... unfortunately that doesn't apply to most of congress, but for you it's the antithesis of your very being.

    January 3, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Bryan Rickard

    It's time to do some drone strikes on the Taliban Tea Party.

    January 3, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. cul8rv8

    So we increased tax on the wealthy, but added $330 billion in additional spending... Makes sense to me how this will get us out of debt. Increase income AND spending at the same time, that's a sure-fire way to pay off our debt. I'm going to try that with my own bank accounts, I'll be out of debt in no time!

    January 3, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Sue

    strangerq – You're two short sentences summed it up best! Congrats!

    January 3, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Tutuvabene

    Apparently there are no working class Tea Party activists.

    January 3, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -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?
    Because that fat, bloated middleman pig is the only thing that keeps the GOP's geographic base from slipping into banana republic status. All those bases, public works projects, all paid for by that fat, bloated middleman pig you described. Did you mind when they gave Halliburton all those no-bid contracts?

    January 3, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. joet

    There was a time that dispite party bickering and posturing, our representatives managed to get their heads out of their backsides and do what is best for the country. No More. The mere fact that they walked away without voting on the Sandy funding is a prime example of what a selfish, self centered bunch we now how. What used to be a model for the world is now an embarrassment.

    January 3, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. For what it's worth in Ontario

    The Tea party has made it's point and is no longer relavent in any reasonable national discussion relating to the economy. Self promoting non-elected activists like Kremer and Norquist have injected themselves into this debate and are now having difficutly accepting the end of their proverbial fifteen minutes of fame with the loss of support from those who were short-sighted and foolish enough to sign this ridiculous pledge. Just wish media outlets like CNN would not feed their need for more facetime on the public airwaves.

    January 3, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. ronald raygun

    the tea party is a pathetic tiny group of people that is not far from the ideological thinking of the westboro hate church.

    January 3, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Marcia

    BUT everyone NOW knows that the Tparty is funded by the Koch Brothers who are only interested in their own low taxes and they do NOT care about the rest of the country-the Tparty will go down in 2014 and if not careful will take the rest of the Republican party with it-We MUST make our govt work not just obstruct

    January 3, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Anonymous

    "After the vote, Kremer posted on Twitter, "I'm extremely disgusted with what happened in the House tonight. There will be consequences."

    No more than the majority of Americans are disgusted with the Tea Party fanatics, Ms Kremer. And, yes. There will be consequences. Against all odds, you folks got the media to air your dangling tea bag complaints 24/7. It's about time our media starts digging deeper into where your grassroots money is coming from, and who really supports your ... cause.

    January 3, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Mike from Seattle

    Instead of the Tea Party, they should be renamed the Hemorrhoid Party because they're always a pain in the...

    January 3, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. Mittens Rmoney

    Keep it up, Tea Party. You didn't cost the Republicans enough in the last election.

    January 3, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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