The Washington Post

Tea party groups denounce Senate plan

Matt Kibbe, president of the national tea party group FreedomWorks, lashed out at the Senate deal as a capitulation to President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“I think it’s a total surrender to what Harry Reid always wanted,” said Kibbe, whose organization aggressively pushed the effort to use a stopgap budget deal to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

The plan could have worked, he said, if the GOP leadership had stood firm.

“We will never know, because very early in this process, some Republicans started shooting at other Republicans and changed the narrative,” Kibbe told The Post.

“We don’t have regrets,” he added. “This was a very winnable fight, if the Republicans had been willing to fight.”

Despite the apparent defeat, FreedomWorks activists are unbowed, he said.

“This fight goes on and on as long as Obamacare continues to be implemented,” Kibbe said. “It is now proven to be a train wreck, and people are going to be wrestling with all of its problems up to election day.”

“The reaction we’re getting from our activists is resolve to keep fighting,” he added, particularly on the issue of the national debt. “Somebody needs to stop the bipartisan recklessness, and that’s what we’re here to do.”

The conservative group Club for Growth will penalize members, who support the deal, on their vote rankings, designating the bill as a "key vote."

"This announced plan, the details of which aren't completely known, appears to have little to no reforms in it," the Club's Andy Roth said in an e-mail to congressional offices. "There are no significant changes to Obamacare, nothing on the other major entitlements that are racked with trillions in unfunded liabilities, and no meaningful spending cuts either. If this bill passes, Congress will kick the can down the road, yet again."

And Tea Party Patriots head Jenny Beth Martin said her group is calling for Republicans to hold their ground against the Senate plan.

"The Senate deal is a complete sellout.  Speaker Boehner and the House should stand firm and reject this deal to reign in the executive branch’s power before it is too late," Martin said. "The House ‘leadership’ must stop playing ‘flinch’ with themselves, and instead, play hardball with the White House, the Senate, and the House. Otherwise, hard-working Americans are going to bear the burden of this unaffordable law (Obamacare). The American people will hold those responsible for this mess accountable."

Heritage Action also opposes the Senate plan and says it will use the vote to rate members of Congress.



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Sean Sullivan · October 16, 2013

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