The Tea Party has had an up-and-down political ride since the movement helped Republicans take control of the House in 2010, but those elected in the midterm elections still appear to wield considerable power in the fiscal negotiations.
The roughly 50 members elected to the House two years ago have been a challenge for the more moderate House Speaker John Boehner since they took office. Perhaps most memorably, many of them refused last year to support a debt-ceiling bill because they said it didn’t reduce federal spending enough.
Just last week they squashed Boehner’s fiscal plan by refusing to compromise and vote on a tax increase for any American, despite the House speaker -- in his so-called “Plan B” -- having suggested extending tax cuts only for those making more than $1 million annually.
And their most powerful vote might be yet to come, should Tea Party-backed House members reject a possible Senate proposal over the next two days to extend tax cuts and perhaps avert massive federal spending cuts that start January 1.
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