News / USA

Tea Party Keeps Close Eye on Republicans

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, center, performs the ceremonial swearing-in of Tea Party favorite Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., in Washington, January 5, 2011
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, center, performs the ceremonial swearing-in of Tea Party favorite Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., in Washington, January 5, 2011

In U.S. politics, the so-called Tea Party movement played a crucial role in helping Republicans make gains in Congress in last November’s midterm election.  Tea Party leaders are vowing to keep a close watch on newly elected lawmakers, especially Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, where Republicans are now the majority party.  

The Tea Party movement is a loose alliance of grassroots groups around the country that are generally conservative or Libertarian in outlook and united by a single theme-reducing the size and reach of the federal government.

Tea Party supporters have taken credit for the new Republican majority in the House and Republican gains in the Senate, and their leaders are vowing to keep the pressure on the new Congress to carry out the promise of lower taxes, budget cuts and smaller government.

North Carolina Tea Party activist Randy Dye recently attended a rally in Raleigh. "We are here to let the Republicans know that we are watching,” he said. “Just because they are elected, and we are glad they are elected, we are going to hold them accountable for the promises they have made."

Newly elected members of Congress who benefited from Tea Party support are determined to deliver on the election promises they made.

Republican Representative Allen West of Florida says voters and Tea Party supporters in particular are impatient for change. "The American people are looking for positive indicators and trends within the first 90 to 120 days and if they do not see that coming and that we are just more business as usual, we will get thrown on the ash heap as well," he said.

Republicans in Congress have already formed Tea Party Caucuses in both the House and Senate to push the demands of the Tea Party movement in Washington.

Rand Paul is a new U.S. senator from Kentucky who was elected in November with strong support from the Tea Party.  Speaking at the first meeting of the Senate Tea Party Caucus’ Rand receive support from the crowd.

The relationship between Tea Party supporters and Republican congressional leaders continues to evolve.

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan gave the official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address.

But another Republican House member, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, also gave a response on behalf of some Tea Party groups. "And you voted out the big-spending politicians, and you put in their place great men and women with a commitment to follow our Constitution and cut the size of government," she stated.

For the moment, Republicans and Tea Party activists appear to be on the same page in the wake of last year’s election, united in working to repeal the Obama health care reform law and pushing for major cuts in federal spending.

Analyst John Fortier is with the American Enterprise Institute and was a guest on VOA’s Encounter program. "The big theme [of the election] was we are worried about debt, deficits and the size of government.  And you do not even have to be the most radical Tea Party person to believe that.  Many independents also have some queasiness about some very serious budget problems," he said.

Many experts foresee a prolonged congressional battle over government spending this year with President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress trying to fend off deep budget cuts.

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama said he believes the election results in November mean the American people want the two parties to work together. "With their votes, they have determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties.  New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans," Mr. Obama said.

Republicans have plenty of political momentum in the wake of their November election victories.  But President Obama has also made a comeback in public-opinion polls in recent weeks, says analyst Richard Wolffe.

"He has been making up substantial ground in recovering poll numbers and support from the middle of the country, from independent voters who left him over the last couple of years," Wolffe said.

The first major political test for the president, Republicans and the Tea Party will come in a matter of weeks when Congress will be asked to raise the debt limit so that the government can continue to borrow money.  Republicans are insisting on deep cuts as part of any deal to raise the debt limit, and experts will be closely watching the extent to which Tea Party endorsed lawmakers will be willing to compromise on the issue, if at all.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More