Tomorrow the House "Tea Party" Caucus chaired by Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) will hold its first meeting.
The caucus has presented a sort of conundrum for many Republicans. While they want to tap into the energy and excitement that the Tea Party brings, they would rather not deal with some of the out of the mainstream positions that come along with some in the Tea Party.
GOP members are now in the process of deciding whether or not they will join the Tea Party Caucus.
Prominent GOP-ers who have joined the Tea Party Caucus so far:
- GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN)
- NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX)
- Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) -- the ranking member on the Select Committee on Intelligence who is also running for governor of Michigan
Prominent GOP-ers who have declined invitations so far:
- Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
- Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Bachmann did not bother to inform the GOP leadership that she was going to start the Tea Party Caucus. GOP leadership aides have strongly hinted to NBC News that they were less than pleased at its creation.
THE TEA PARTY CAUCUS PRESS RELEASE:
Tea Party Caucus to Hold First Meeting Tomorrow
(Washington, D.C.) On Wednesday, July 21, the newly formed Tea Party Caucus will be holding its first meeting at 9:00 AM ET. Members of the Caucus will hear from a handful of Americans about how the current economic environment and policies of Congress are impacting their families and businesses.
Following the Caucus meeting, a press conference will be held at 10 AM located at the House Triangle with guests and Members of Congress.
The Caucus meeting itself will be Members only, and media are encouraged to attend the press conference that follows.
The Tea Party Caucus was formed to bring Members' attention to the cries of everyday Americans who are calling for fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution, and limited government.
NOTE: Steny Hoyer (D-MD) had the following to say about the Tea Party today:
"The Tea Party per se I don't think is racist."
"There are obviously, as I said on Sunday, I have seen some virulent racist tracks which I believe are harmful to the public discourse and inconsistent with Americans values. You would have to ask the Tea Party whether they agree with those or not. I mean I don't know who the tea party is number one. You know, the answer to that question is I think that Joe Biden essentially said the same thing in a different, slightly different way. I don't have any reason to believe the Tea Party itself is racist."
When asked his feelings about the newly formed tea party caucus he said, "We'll see how many of the Republicans join the Tea Party Caucus and see whether or not they want to adopt the Tea Party Agenda."