Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fears about fallout from GOP divide with tea party

Amy Kremer, leader of the California-based Tea Party Express, spent much of the congressional summer break on a national tour intended to pressure Republicans into backing the defunding movement.

Associated Press

Amy Kremer, leader of the California-based Tea Party Express, spent much of the congressional summer break on a national tour intended to pressure Republicans into backing the defunding movement.

FLETCHER, N.C. — Tea party activists, once unquestioned as a benefit to the Republican Party for supplying it with votes and energy, are now criticizing GOP leaders at seemingly every turn.

They're demanding that Congress use upcoming budget votes to deny money for puting President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law into effect, despite warnings the strategy could lead to a government shutdown.

They're upset that Republicans didn't block a Senate-passed immigration bill.

Many are outspoken opponents of any U.S. involvement in Syria's civil war.

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that more than seven in 10 self-identified "tea party Republicans" disapprove of GOP congressional leaders' performance.

Many of the major tea party groups are backing 2014 primary challengers against Republicans the activists deem too moderate, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky conservative once declared it his job to make Obama a one-term president.

That leaves some Republicans quietly worried that an intraparty tussle could yield a repeat of 2012. That year, conservative candidates lost winnable Senate races, and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney struggled to win over conservatives while still appealing to moderate swing voters.

The health care debate puts the GOP in its tightest spot. Wary Republicans recall the 1995-96 government shutdowns under President Bill Clinton, who persuaded many voters to blame the GOP and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Georgia Republican, for that budget impasse.

McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP congressional leaders endorse the idea to "defund Obamacare." But some also have tried to persuade core supporters that it won't happen because Democrats run the Senate and Obama won't gut his signature domestic achievement.

If Congress doesn't agree on appropriations at all, then many core government functions, including some military operations and the processing of Medicare claims and Social Security applications, would stop.

But that doesn't satisfy the tea party faithful, who say too many Republicans have welcomed their support in elections only to ignore their concerns in office.

Amy Kremer, leader of the California-based Tea Party Express, spent much of the congressional summer break on a national tour intended to pressure Republicans into backing the defunding movement.

"My message to Speaker Boehner and (House Majority Leader) Eric Cantor and Senator McConnell is simple: If you're not willing to fight for this, what are you willing to fight for?" she said at a recent stop in western North Carolina.

Her group has helped elected conservative favorites such as Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, who have driven the campaign for cutting off money for Obama's law.

Fears about fallout from GOP divide with tea party 09/14/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Man found dead in Dunedin canal identified as missing 63-year-old

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies on Tuesday identified the man found floating in a Dunedin canal as the man who was reported missing last week.

    Charles P. Morris, 63, was found dead in a canal in Dunedin behind Cedar Creek Mobile Home Park, at 605 Michigan Blvd. around 3:48 p.m. Monday. He was reported missing June 21 after he was last seen leaving his home the night before to walk his dog. [ Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  2. A Time magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It's fake

    National

    The framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least four of President Trump's golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.

    A framed copy of Time magazine, dated March 1, 2009, that hangs in at least four of President Donald Trump's golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland, is fake. There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time. The real March 2, 2009, issue of Time featured actor Kate Winslet on the cover. But the issue makes no mention of Trump. [Left, Time; right, Angel Valentin for the Washington Post]
  3. Editorial: The human cost of slashing Medicaid

    Editorials

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had no choice Tuesday but to postpone voting this week on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act that is just as devastating as the version passed by the House. The Congressional Budget Office's estimate that Senate bill would eliminate health care coverage for 22 million …

    Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  4. Vince Young takes shot at Bucs' Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Blogs

    Former NFL quarterback Vince Young, out of the league since 2011 and complaining about not getting more opportunities to prolong his career, took a shot at new Bucs backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in a story posted at …

    Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed with the Bucs to be Jameis Winston's backup this fall, has played for six other NFL teams in his 12 seasons in the league.
  5. Editorial: Scott's poor choice for CFO

    Editorials

    Gov. Rick Scott didn't reach too deeply into Florida's talent pool in appointing his friend Jimmy Patronis to fill a vacancy as the state's new chief financial officer. This is an exceptionally weak choice for a Cabinet post that requires a sophisticated understanding of banking and other financial services, and it …