Tea Party Groups Reject Compromise, Warn Republicans Against 'Yes' Vote

While Democrats and Republicans prepare to vote in favor of Sunday night’s debt deal, Tea Party members remain staunchly opposed to the compromise.

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips called the national debt ceiling compromise "an unmitigated disaster." He believes the deal does not go far enough to guarantee spending cuts, and lets President Barack Obama and Democrats off the hook.

Phillips said of the bill, "It ultimately provides for a $2.5 trillion dollar increase in the debt ceiling [while] the spending cuts this year are non-existent."

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

While Philips only speaks for one faction of the conservative grassroots movement, he believes frustrated Tea Party members will likely target Republican leaders for supporting the bill.

"When the dust settles, I believe there's going to be a lot of interest in going after John Boehner," he said.

In the Weekly Standard's transcripts of a Sunday GOP teleconference, Boehner praised Republican effort on the debt deal stating, "We've fought valiantly and frankly we've done it by listening to the American people."

Boehner also told caucus members the bill would cut spending by an amount larger than that of the debt ceiling increase.

FreedomWorks Federal and State Campaigns Director Brendan Steinhauser conceded that Republicans, with the help of the Tea Party, have changed the debt debate to discuss cuts. "For us, we feel that's kind of a tactical victory," he said.

However, Steinhauser said FreedomWorks supports a cut, cap and balance budget. The compromise bill supported by Senate Leader Harry Reid and Boehner does not, he said, "make that big of a difference" in reducing spending and deficient.

Phillips lamented, "The spending cuts really don't kick in until the year 2014."

Even then, he said the cuts are not permanent. "In 2013 they (Congress) ... can basically negated [the bill] and voila, no spending cuts."

He also said the proposed deficit commission is a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

In a White House conference call, senior adviser David Plouffe said the "super committee" will be a bi-partisan commission with six members from both parties.

The commission's reduction proposals, Plouffe said, "will fall largely in the areas of tax reform, closing tax loopholes for the very wealthy [and] for corporations, making sure that the middle class are protected, lower tax rates ... as well as entitlement reform."

Phillips, however, is doubtful that any entitlement reform will result from the meetings.

Although the commission is designated to be bipartisan, Phillips predicted, "I guarantee you, every last [Democrat] is going to be a liberal that wants big tax increases, who wants to slash defense spending and who wants either no cuts to social entitlement programs or wants to see them expanded. On the Republican side, you're going to have ... at least one ... rhino. Once you get a rhino on board, it's all over because a rhino only know how to do one thing and that's haul up the white flag of surrender."

If Republican commission members falter, Phillips predicts that Bush-era tax cuts will be allowed to expire, the capital gains and corporate taxes will be increased, and people will lose jobs.

Boehner told Republicans Sunday that the deal caps future spending without raising taxes.

However, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling said that the committee is definitely allowed to authorize "revenue-raising." Plouffe also said the low-income programs such as Medicaid, Pell grants and unemployment insurance are exempt from automatic cuts.

Steinhauser said raising taxes is one of the worst things to do during a recession, and without real entitlement reform, he said of the debt bill, "this is all just small potatoes."

Both Phillips and Steinhauser say they would discourage House Republicans from signing the bill. Phillips said Tea Party Nation is encouraging Americans to call their Congressmen and urge them to vote against the compromise.

Votes for the compromise, they said, may have repercussions in future election cycles.

FreedomWorks scores and ranks Congressional members according to their votes on issues pertaining to economic freedom and limited government.

"We will be analyzing every member of Congress and scoring them," Steinhauser explained. "If you're getting a bad score, when it comes to re-election we will certainly look at that and determine whether or not we should try to find a replacement."

While he said he was unsure of Boehner's score, Steinhauser said "I think Boehner's going to be probably good on some things."

He still needs to exhibit strong positions on a flat tax and entitlement reform, Steinhauser added.

Overall, he says, "I don't think you can rule out challenges for anybody whether it's the speaker, the majority leader or any of these leadership guys."

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles