About the Tea Party Caucus

Posted on July 23, 2010

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…..The Tea Part Caucus debuted Wednesday and already counts nearly 30 House Republicans as members. They did not claim to speak for the Tea Party movement, and Tea Partiers say that’s the way it ought to stay

A move by members of Congress to plant the Tea Party flag on Capitol Hill is getting a cautious reception from Tea Party members who are warning the lawmakers not to attempt a takeover of the grassroots movement. 

The caucus debuted Wednesday and already counts nearly 30 House Republicans as members. They did not claim to speak for the Tea Party movement, and Tea Partiers say that’s the way it ought to stay. 

“They’re not the leaders of the movement. … They don’t give orders of any kind,” said Shelby Blakely, a leadership council member for Tea Party Patriots and the director of the network’s online publication. She said Tea Party Patriots is fine with the caucus, provided its only job is to listen. She described it as just another Tea Party, nothing more. 

“We went from 2,350 groups to 2,351 groups nationwide,” Blakely told FoxNews.com. 

But the Tea Party has traditionally picked which candidates and lawmakers it supports, not vice-versa. Blakely said the motives and loyalties of incoming caucus members is “something worth watching for.” 

“If their voting records are not taken into account, then it’s just a show,” she said. 

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who championed the caucus by asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week to allow it, said she’s not trying to hijack the movement. 

“We decided to form a Tea Party caucus for one very important purpose — to listen to the concerns of the Tea Party,” Bachmann said Wednesday. “We are not the mouthpiece of the Tea Party. We are not taking the Tea Party and controlling it from Washington, D.C.  I am not the head of the Tea Party, nor are any of these members of Congres.”the head of the Tea Party movement. The people are the head of the Tea Party movement in all of their form.” 

 

As of Wednesday morning, 29 House members, all Republicans, had joined the caucus, including Mike Pence of Indiana, Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, Paul Broun of Georgia, Todd Tiahrt of Kansas, John Carter of Texas and Cliff Stearns of Florida. 

MORE…...foxnews.com

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