Tea Party Warns Of More GOP Primaries If Party Caves On Spending Cuts
The Tea Party warned House Speaker John Boehner and the Republicans that if they compromise with President Obama on spending cuts, there will be consequences in the upcoming primary elections.
"You're going to see massive amounts of (GOP) primaries" in the 2012 election, said Mark Meckler of the Tea Party Patriots.
"The American people want substance - meaningful cuts," said Tea Party Patriots National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin. "Not self-serving symbolism that Congress throws at the American people when patting themselves on the back."
While Republicans want to cut $61 billion from the federal budget, a tentative agreement between the two parties would cut about half that, or $33 billion in spending.
But Boehner insisted Republicans had not agreed to that figure. "We're going to continue to fight for everything that's in it," he said, telling reporters that an agreement between the two parties had not been reached yet.
Several congressional lawmakers were on hand to address the crowd during the Tea Party rally.
Let's go pick a fight!" Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) told the crowd, adding "If liberals in the Senate would rather play political games and shut down the government instead of making a small down payment on fiscal discipline and reform, I say shut it down."
Pence said a shutdown could be necessary to help protect everyone's "children and grandchildren."
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), an influential leader within the Tea Party movement, also addressed the crowd, telling them that Democrats were the ones who actually want the government to shutdown. "They want to shut government down and use tea party as a scapegoat and say it's the Tea Party's fault," she said.
The current resolution to keep the government funded expires next Friday.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Thursday said it appeared the two sides have reached an agreement on "a target figure," but have not come up with a final deal yet.
“There is a general agreement on a target figure, which I think demonstrates some positive momentum here, that shows that the willingness the president has shown and the Democrats have shown to go beyond their comfort zone, to accept things that an ideal — in an ideal world they would not have to accept, but are willing to accept because they believe that the American people expect us to find common ground and reach a deal, they are doing,” Carney said. “And now the Republicans have indicated that they, too, will — are willing to do that, and that is a positive sign. A lot has to be negotiated between here and there, but we remain optimistic that an agreement can be reached.”