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Posted at 6:47 PM ET, 01/14/2011

Rand Paul announces Senate Tea Party Caucus

By Felicia Sonmez

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Friday announced the formation of a new Senate Tea Party Caucus, taking a formal step toward uniting members of the movement in the 112th Congress.

Paul and Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) will be the group's inaugural members, according to a joint statement released by Paul's office.

"Republicans in the Senate have already made a pledge to end earmarks and fight for a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution," Paul said in the statement. "By joining with my fellow Senators, Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, as well as grassroots groups who see the need for government reform, the caucus will work to enact real change to protect our country and its taxpayers from an ever-expanding government."

Lee described the tea party movement as "a movement of everyday Americans who have grown tired of Washington playing by their own set of rules."

"Americans have elected us to be responsible caretakers of their hard-earned money and freedom, and the formation of this caucus gives us the opportunity to listen to the American people and do what they elected us to do," he added.

DeMint was an ardent and early backer of Paul's Senate bid, helping the tea party favorite win an upset victory over establishment-backed state Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) in last year's GOP primary. DeMint also played a role in Lee's come-from-behind win; he declined to support incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and immediately threw his support behind Lee after Bennett's ouster at last year's Utah Republican Party convention.

The caucus is slated to hold its first meeting at 10 a.m. on Jan. 27, two days after the Senate reconvenes following a two-and-a-half-week break.

The formation of the new group follows an announcement by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in July that she was forming a House Tea Party Caucus.

By Felicia Sonmez  | January 14, 2011; 6:47 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

What do you call a caucus of teabaqgers? A brain fart!

Posted by: pnwmainah1 | January 15, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Finally, some accountability might emerge from the broken 2 party corrupt system playing good cop bad cop with the people, as they both drain the wallets.

Posted by: dottydo | January 14, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Finally, some accountability might emerge from the broken 2 party corrupt system playing good cop bad cop with the people, as they both drain the wallets.

Posted by: dottydo | January 14, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

The TPers will be fun to watch.

Posted by: baldinho | January 14, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Balanced budget amendment? Law alone will not make folks do right.

All the Tea Party want to do is repeal the lives of millions of Americans through repeal of health care reform. These folks are worse than al-Qaeda.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 14, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse


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Posted by: itkonlyyou445 | January 14, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Just three idiots getting together to drink their decaf teabags tea.

Posted by: truth1 | January 14, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering: how many modern states have balanced budget amendments ?

Posted by: rbe1 | January 14, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering: how many modern states have balanced budget amendments ?

Posted by: rbe1 | January 14, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Paul, DeMint, Lee. This could be the Tea party's Waterloo in the Senate.

Posted by: dudh | January 14, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Mitch is likely to stroke out before 2012. The Republicans are already lining up to eat their own in the 2012 Primaries. It won't be pretty.

Posted by: chucko2 | January 14, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is ripping itself to pieces. It is in debt up to its eyballs and the Tea Party are dragging it further and further into the land of the crazies.

The GOP has no future.

Posted by: walker1 | January 14, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

They probably just want to step on some heads.

Posted by: jdman2 | January 14, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul(ky)Jim Demint (sc)Mike Lee (utah).We're really supposed to be scared of these three wingnuts from two deep south states and one mormon controlled state. Apart from demint the other two will probably be out of the senate after their one term and the only reason demint might survive is because south carolina has an overwhelming bigoted populace that would vote for a rock if it had an R behind its name.Paul is riding on his fathers popularity but will have to stand on his own in office.He will soon find that his leadership will bottle him up and keep him in check with threats of underfunding his pet projects.

Posted by: jestindam | January 14, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh... I am so looking forward to another set of wolves guarding the chicken house.

Posted by: knutton | January 14, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

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