Why Richard Lugar defeat scares tea party Republicans, too
House freshmen elected with tea party support see a warning in Sen. Richard Lugar's heavy defeat. If they don't start making progress on the tea party agenda, voters will throw them out.
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Congressman Landry says he often asks his town hall attendees whether they can name a single issue Congress has resolved in the last decade – at time period when both parties have had time in the majority.Skip to next paragraph
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“The question is whether we’re fighting for the American people or we’re fighting over the checkbook – this becomes a credibility issue,” Landry said at the press conference.
“People will hold us accountable for achieving things, and I think it's good for our party,” said Congressman Sessions, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. It's certainly a motivating factor as leaders like Sessions "look to gather votes on the floor of the House of Representatives.”
But whether a tea party-infused ethos prevails in the House in the next session of Congress will hinge on the coming elections. And there, GOP congressmen say, the anger with Washington that burned Lugar will turn on Democrats.
“They’re holding those seeking office accountable to a level they’ve never been held before. If you can’t respond to that and be responsive, you might find yourself in trouble,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R) of Oregon at the Monitor Breakfast. “They are going to have that same energy double when it comes to the fall. If you think they’re holding us accountable, wait until they get a choice between Democrats – and following President Obama’s agenda – versus Republicans.”
Until then, conservative lawmakers are going to bear their tea party standard even higher.
“We shouldn’t carry of banner of pale pastels but of bold colors, which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on the issues,” said freshman Rep. Jeff Duncan (R) of South Carolina, quoting President Reagan, at the press conference. “We are unabashed of that conservatism and we don’t mind talking about that. Hence, we’re here.”