With a government shutdown looming, leaders in the Tea Party community urged House Speaker John Boehner not to cave and agree to a budget compromise with Democrats that contains anything less than $61 billion in spending cuts.
Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Debbie Dooley said if Boehner agrees to a deal that fails to meet that threshold, then the Republican party "will have broken their campaign promise," according to the Wall Street Journal. The suggestion was presumably made in reference to a "Pledge to America" released by congressional Republicans last year outlining plans to reduce government spending.
"If they fold on this, then they will fold on the debt ceiling and they will fold on budget 2012," she said before asking, "Why should we trust them further to keep their promises?"
Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler made similar comments on the budget issue during an appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball With Chris Matthews" on Thursday night. Here's an excerpt of the exchange that went down:
MATTHEWS: And you are a leader, and it may be that you're in charge of the United States government in this sense--you guys are calling the shots. What is your demand? Is it still absolute victory, you want all the cuts the Republicans talked about in that first House bill this year, HR-1, $100 billion currently pro-rated to $61 billion. You want that or nothing, right?
MECKLER: That's what we're looking for. That's correct, Chris.
MATTHEWS: That's what you're looking for?
Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips also recently expressed dissatisfaction with the House Speaker's efforts to reduce government spending.
"Charlie Sheen still makes more sense than John Boehner because at least Charlie Sheen is winning," he said during an appearance on Fox News. "This is the one message the Tea Party needs to be out there pushing. ... If you don't live up to your promise, we're going to throw you out."
TIME's Jay Newton-Small reported on Friday:
With a temporary solution effectively blocked, Boehner now has a choice before him: allow the government to shut down and become a hero to his freshmen and Tea Party conservatives ("Shut it down," chanted Rep. Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican, on the House floor yesterday), or compromise with the White House and become enemy No. 1 to much of his own conference.
Earlier this week, Boehner told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that "there's no daylight between" himself and the Tea Party.
"They want us to cut spending," he said. "They want us to deal with this crushing debt that's going to crush the future for our kids and grandkids. There's no daylight there."
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