T Nation

Tea Party Activity


Don't think they are going away.

Cutting earmarks in all bills will be a great start.

Here is a look into some of the latest:

The Good News

Dear Fellow Patriots,

For two years we have told the media and the rest of the country that we are nonpartisan and that we intend to holdall lawmakers to a higher standard, and now is our first chance to hold accountable the newly empowered Republican Party.

Next week, Senate Republicans will meet privately to elect their leaders and to consider changes to their conference rules. This is incredibly important and could determine whether or not they were serious about their campaign promises to reduce spending and the size of government.

Sen. Jim DeMint is introducing an amendment to ban all Republican earmarks in the Senate for the 112th Congress in their closed door caucus meetings next week. Rep. Boehner will be introducing a similar amendment in the House. Sen. DeMint and Sen. Cornyn will also submit an amendment making it the policy for the Republican conference support constitutional amendment that forces Congress to balance the budget without raising taxes.

The Senate earmark ban has been co-sponsored by Senators Tom Coburn (OK), John Ensign (NV), Mike Enzi (WY), and John Cornyn (TX) along with Senators-elect Pat Toomey (PA), Marco Rubio (FL), Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), Ron Johnson (WI), and Kelly Ayotte (NH).

Sen. DeMint states, "If adopted, the GOP earmark ban will represent a very important step toward getting our fiscal house in order. While the cost of earmarks is not large compared to the entire budget, they are used to pressure senators into supporting budget-busting spending bills that have buried our nation under a mountain of debt. As you know, many Republicans are still addicted to earmarks and won't give them up without a fight.

I know it's difficult to quit this habit because I used to request earmarks too. But once senators give them up, they're free to fight against excessive spending without fear of retaliation. It's time for Republicans to lead by example on this issue so we can effectively stand together as a party against excessive spending."

         The Bad News

There are already a group of Republican lawmakers that are trying to fight against this ban. Read about it here. The Senators that are going to vote against Sen. DeMint's amendment need to be reminded about the message that was sent to them just last week. Americans are tired of these games and the way that earmarks breed corruption and favor-trading.

We need to call these Senators that are thinking of voting no on Sen. DeMint's amendment. Their numbers are listed below, so go ahead and melt their phone lines and let them know that the Tea Party Patriots didn't disappear just because the elections are over.


The reason that these Senators are saying they will vote no on the amendment is because earmarks are such a tiny portion of federal spending that the effort to ban them is meaningless, especially when compared to reforming entitlements and cutting spending for other federal programs.

This is true in the sense that compared to all the other trillions of dollars that politicians are spending, the spending on earmarks seems inconsequential. Make sure you let them know you fully understand the numbers, but that regardless of the comparative size, it is still important. It shows that they were serious and honest in their campaign promises. As Marco Rubio said, the Republicans were given a second chance and this is their first test. We want an end to earmarks AND spending cuts AND entitlement reform.

First call your own Senator if he or she is a Republican to find out how they are voting and then call this list. Be polite, but firm. Some of these Senators have been with us on other issues, but on this issue we need to remind them that they work for the people, and the people spoke last Tuesday: No more wasteful spending.

Mitch McConnell (KY)
(202) 224-2541

Jim Inhofe (OK)
(202) 224-4721

Lindsey Graham (SC)
(202) 224-5972

Lamar Alexander (TN)
(202) 224-4944

Jon Kyl (AZ)
(202) 224-4521

John Barrasso (WY)
(202) 224-6441

John Thune (SD)
(202) 224-2321

You are the heart and soul of the Tea Party Movement. Thank you for promoting the causes of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets with us!

Your Tea Party Patriots National Coordinator Team,
Debbie Dooley, Jenny Beth Martin, Mark Meckler, Sally Oljar, Diana Reimer, and Dawn Wildman

TPP Support email: support@teapartypatriots.org
TPP Support phone number: 404-593-0877

Jenny Beth Martin (jennybethm@gmail.com, on Twitter @jenuinejen, on Facebook)
Dawn Wildman (dmwlaw1@yahoo.com)
Mark Meckler (mark@teapartypatriots.org)
Debbie Dooley (debbie0040@yahoo.com)