More Heat on Boehner: Tea Partiers to Rally on Capitol Hill

By Chris Good

Government funding is scheduled, once again, to run out in two weeks, and fiscal hawks don't want another temporary stopgap. To that end, they'll rally on Capitol Hill next week to pressure Republican leaders not to pass one.

Tea Party Patriots, the nation's largest tea-party membership organization, will hold a rally next Thursday, with a few rank-and-file Republican House members in attendance. In the event announcement, TPP co-leader Mark Meckler takes a shot:

"Members of Congress have abandoned their service to the people by passing continuing resolutions instead of cutting the $100 billion they pledged," said Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, National Coordinators of the Tea Party Patriots. "Is it lack or leadership? Is it a lack of courage? A real budget will spark a national debate on the role of government, and that's what the American people want."

Boehner and GOP leaders are in an unenviable position here. The last two temporary measures, Republicans say, have lived up to the $100-billion pledge. Those bills cut spending such that, if their spending levels were extended over an entire year, federal spending would be reduced by $100 billion.

And yet there exists an activist infrastructure, including TPP, that has pledged to keep haranguing GOP leaders until they force the Senate and the White House to accept a longer-term spending plan that involves $100 billion in cuts.

It's a vortex of promises: Republicans promised voters they would cut spending. Tea party groups promised activists they would hold Republicans to that promise. Both are trying to live up to their promises.

Five representatives will attend the rally, all Republicans: Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Mike Pence (Ind.), Steve King (Iowa), Jim Jordan (Ohio), and Louie Gohmert (Texas).

Tea-party-backed members have said they'd rather shut the government down than pass another temporary resolution. Boehner has said he doesn't want that, but there may not be a choice: The last time the House voted on a temporary spending bill, 54 Republicans defected, and Boehner needed Democratic votes to pass the bill.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/03/more-heat-on-boehner-tea-partiers-to-rally-on-capitol-hill/73033/