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

    Fair is Fair said, "...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?"
    This gets to the reason we have a federal government. It's sort of like why we have insurance companies. Nobody particularly likes either, but we love the military, interstate highways, disaster relief, Social Security, Medicare, national parks, and all the other things that would be impossible without the federal government. If we left those things to the states, there wouldn't be a United States, but just 50 wildly different adjoining countries.

    Is there waste in the federal government? Of course! Nobody likes that and we'd all like it to go away. You can start by eliminating subsidies to corporations and rich people, like farm price supports for agribusiness, tax breaks to Big Oil, and give-aways to military contractors, along with huge tax advantages for people who can gerrymander their income to be "capital gains" instead.

    January 3, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Carl

    2013 is going to be a great year. 2014, the best! It will see the return of a real inclusive and moderate republican party. a republican party that I can actually get behind.

    January 3, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota


    I think Ms. Kremer might be much more well suited and do far better as a revival or tele-evangelist than leader of a tea party group.

    It's her string of pearls. Way too Tammy Faye.

    January 3, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. titbaby

    "And that's evident because the Republicans still control the House."

    Not for long though sweetie! . . . your teapublican armeggedon - 2014 - is approaching quickly

    January 3, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. RES

    Yes, t-party there will be consequences. You will voted out by mid-term elections.

    January 3, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    @crimsoninok, you and your ilk are the reason why I am proud to be a liberal.
    You sound like a raving lunatic and I rather have my children raised by two gay parents than your kind!!!
    Molest your children financially? Where were you when shrub #43 was in power? He is the big reason we are in the mess we are in at present.
    Keep drinking the kool aid and stay sober on that tractor. Wow! Typical brainless rethug.

    January 3, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Hp

    If you are truly concerned about the economy, how about encouraging your Congressman to work across the Isle regardless of party. America is sick of the division. Yes Kremer go to FOX. What are she willing to comprise on. Taxes should be agreed on the Rich, they can afford it. Sit down Kremer. The far right has no mandate....

    January 3, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Tom

    The Tea Party is a very small fringe group that should never have been given the coverage they have received.

    January 3, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "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?"

    That's very cute. Outrageously insipid, but cute. Besides, asked an answered, 1860's. Scoreboard. But hey, we all know that there was a giant element of "the south shall rise again" at play over the past couple decades and, in particular, the past 4 years. It failed. Miserably. I'll thank Josh Marshall for providing this quote today, because it applies to the Teatrolls like nothing said by any contemporaries:

    “Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.”

    -Abraham Lincoln

    January 3, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. tony

    Small government, low taxes for the job creators and strong religious principles. We had that for at least 500 years in Europe. We called it the "Middle Ages". The founding fathers came to the US to escape it.

    January 3, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Simon sez ignorant stuff

    The only thing funny than what this women says is her hairdo and outfit!!! Like the TeaParty someone needs an entirely new make-over!

    January 3, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Steve S

    Adults have consequences, and I'm NOT including most Tea Party members in that age group.

    January 3, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. ST

    There is no an official recognition of a Party inside the other Party. Folks, this should not be allowed to continue. Tea Party is there to hinder any progress to be made. They have no leader and look like cows grazing on field without any caretaker.

    January 3, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. FMH

    That Republican majority in the House is a gerymandered one. Fix that, and Congress will settle into a true representative slice of the American will.

    January 3, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Commonsenseisntcommon

    Yup, there will be consequences.. it's called long term minority status in both houses of congress for the GOP

    January 3, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. i12bphil

    Q: How do you get out of debt? A: Spend more money! – There! Now I look like a complete genius, don't I? /sarcasm (Some people are a thick as a concrete overpass.)

    January 3, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. calamity jane


    Who defined the word "rich"? Part of the problem is that this seems to be made into a battle between the "rich" and the middle class, or "not rich". Everyone should pay their fair share of taxes, but don't penalize someone just because they are successful and make over some arbitrary dollar amount that defines them as rich.

    Alaskan, "rich" is not the problem. When someone continues to gain in wealth at the severe detriment of the middle class, for example, having every tax benefit known to man while ensuring that the middle class is being squeezed enough to pay for your rich benefits, well, that just doesn't sit well with most people. Rich? Congratulations! Just don't take food from my baby's mouth so you can afford more luxury. That's all. Does that sound fair?

    January 3, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Andi

    I think it's telling how she says 'we still control part of the government'. That's what they think it's all about. And no, 'you' do not 'control' anything.

    January 3, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. JohnC

    We need to kick out any in congress that _alwatys_ votes their party line. There's no way all liberals or all conservatives just happen to be the same degree of such or the same type (social vs fiscal, etc.). So it stands to reason that now and then they would likely disagree with their own party on some topic even if just in matters of degree. So this means for most that if you always vote your party line you are playing politics rather than what you truly think is best and so you should be kicked out. So congress folks, now and then if the opposing idea isn't too out of line with your ideals then accept it in the name of getting things done. A good plan today is better than a great plan tomorrow (or never). I'm not suggesting just caving on your principles but don't be stuborn and don't think you have a mandate just because those you hang out with happen to all have the same ideals.

    January 3, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. RES

    The t-party is still supporting tax breaks for oil companies and corporations that off shore our jobs. Indefensible!

    January 3, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Sunnysmom

    How is it going to kill jobs overall, seriously? The upper incomes have had the lowest tax rates EVER since Bush enacted those cuts...so where are the jobs? Obviously having super low tax rates is not an incentive to create jobs. There's this funny thing I heard of once upon a time called demand that has a way of creating supply and hence jobs.

    January 3, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Kevin

    The TP should quit hiding under the GOP skirt and break off and form a third party. Let's see how much support and influence they really have.

    January 3, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Media Fail 2012

    Good Lord..."The Tea Party are defending the rich!"...that's really what you took from that? What part of her saying that "we cannot spend our way out of debt" did you not understand? The Tea Party was against the all of the bailouts from the very beginning, but I guess you think only OWS thought that, huh?

    Go and thank your children for everything that you are making them pay for now. While you are at it, why not go ahead and put a a couple credit cards and a mortgage in your kid's name as well?

    January 3, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. J G

    I miss what the Tea Part was before the radicals took it over. It started out as (and I was involved at the start) a movement about restoring sanity to the U.S. Government budget. Cutting costs and fiscal responsibility. It was NEVER about ensuring that no taxes were ever raised. It understood that fiscal responsibility might mean both sensible tax increases (or tax reform to reduce use of deductions) as well as significant federal cutbacks and reform. Then the Palinites and other extreme "right" blocs got involved and turned it into a platform for all of the other hard right nonsense like anti-abortion, etc.

    January 3, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. John

    "We elected the House of Representatives – we have the majority, the Republicans have the majority there." –Amy Kremer, leader of the Tea Party Express. OK. Since the Koch brothers bought and paid for the Tea Party Express, I guess she's saying the Kochs elected the House, and now the brothers are mad things aren't going their way for all their money.

    January 3, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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