News / USA

After Big Wins, Tea Party Has Big Plans for Congress

The loosely organized Tea Party movement made a major statement this week when candidates it backed scored a series of crucial victories in the U.S. elections.  Many of them beat veteran lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties.  Tea Party members say the work now is to make major policy changes from within Congress.  On the Tea Party's top agenda, repealing the health care reform law passed this year.  But analysts say some of the Tea Party's goals are unrealistic.  

The Tea Party movement swept through the United States, bringing people out to rallies and into the voting booth. Tea Party favorite Rand Paul won a Senate seat in the southern state of Kentucky.

"There's a tea party tidal wave and we're sending a message to them," said Paul.

The message Tea Party members want lawmakers in Washington to hear is one of limited government, less federal spending and lower taxes. Exit polls show four out of every 10 Americans who voted considered themselves Tea Party supporters.

The Tea Party heavily backed Republican candidates who share their views.  
Mark Meckler co-founded the group Tea Party Patriots.

"We witnessed something historic," said Meckler. "We witnessed a sea change in the American government. It was a peaceful sea change."

The exact number of winning candidates who share Tea Party values is uncertain.  U.S. media reports show a wide difference in numbers from about 30 candidates to more than 100.  

Regardless of the numbers, Tea Party Patriots plans to host an orientation class for new lawmakers in mid-November to show them what the Tea Party expects them to do on Capitol Hill.

Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin says the top issues are balancing the budget and getting rid of the new health care reform law.

"They want it de-funded immediately and they want it repealed in its entirety eventually," said Martin.

But political science professor Robert Shapiro says that will not happen.

"Any Republican efforts beginning in the House to overturn health care reform won't go very far because the Senate would oppose, and if not the Senate Obama would veto it," said Shapiro.

Election analyst Charlie Cook:

"They're not going to get everything they want and they want to repeal the entire Obama health care plan," he said. "And they have very high expectations of what they want to accomplish and probably unrealistically high."

Robert Shapiro says the Tea Party's high expectations could hurt the Republican Party's ability to get things done in Congress.

"The Tea Party, which actually helped them [Republicans] in this election, may prevent them [Republicans] from engaging in the kind of compromises they [Republicans] think they [Republicans] may need to engage in," he said.

But Tea Party supporter Colin Hanna has this to say:

"You can't necessarily set the positive agenda that we want across the board but you can stop a lot of bad things from happening and that's a step forward," said Hanna.

Members of the Tea Party Patriots say change will take time.  They have a 40 year plan to not only put Tea Party supporters in Congress but also to have them in the courts and in the schools of America.

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Counties Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs