Capitol Hill Tea Party

House Tea Party Caucus meets

The new House Tea Party Caucus is attracting attention as Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and 27 others members are bringing it off the ground:

The founder of a new Tea Party caucus in the House of Representatives says her group’s main mission is to listen to Tea Party activists concerns, but not to serve as a mouthpiece for the movement or to vouch for actions by Tea Party members.

“We decided to form a Tea Party caucus for one very important purpose: To listen to the concerns of the Tea Party,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann, at a news conference Wednesday morning following the first meeting of the caucus.

“We are not the mouthpiece of the Tea Party. We are not taking the Tea Party and controlling it from Washington DC. I am not the head of the Tea Party.”

“We are also not here to vouch for the Tea Party, or to vouch for any Tea Party organizations or vouch for any individual people or actions or billboards or signs or anything of the Tea Party. We are here to listen and to be a receptacle.”

Bachmann said 24 representatives attended the first meeting. Twenty-eight Republican members of the House are listed as members of the caucus (see list below), including two high ranking members of the GOP House leadership, Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions.

Members of the caucus took to the air to discuss why it was formed and what it hopes to accomplish, such as Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN):

Tea Party Caucus in the House and Senate

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has filed paperwork to start a Capitol Hill Tea Party Caucus, according to Minnesota Public Radio:

“The American people are speaking out loud and clear. They have had enough of the spending, the bureaucracy, and the government knows best mentality running rampant today throughout the halls of Congress. This caucus will espouse the timeless principles of our founding, principles that all Members of Congress have sworn to uphold,” Bachmann stated. “The American people are doing their part and making their voices heard and this caucus will prove that there are some here in Washington willing to listen.”

Rand Paul, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, has also floated the idea, likely including Mike Lee and Sharron Angle as well as fiscally conservative senators like Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC), but some of his possible colleagues are cool to the idea:

So who wants to join Rand Paul’s “tea-party” caucus?

“I don’t know about that,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) replied with a nervous laugh. “I’m not sure I should be participating in this story.”

Republican lawmakers see plenty of good in the tea party, but they also see reasons to worry. The movement, which has ignited passion among conservative voters and pushed big government to the forefront of the 2010 election debate, has also stirred quite a bit of controversy. Voters who don’t want to privatize Social Security or withdraw from the United Nations could begin to see the tea party and the Republican Party as one and the same.


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.