The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

2012

December 29, 2012

The Worst Year in Washington: The Tea Party

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Then came the 2012 elections, a rebuke of the tea party's ideas and leaders. Sensing an opportunity to wrest control of his party, or at least the House GOP, back from the fringe, Boehner went on offense. He kicked Reps. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), Justin Amash (Mich.) and Dave Schweikert (Ariz.) off plum committees after the election, insisting that they had been insufficiently loyal to the party leadership on key votes — the most notable of which was on the budget proposal put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the vice-presidential nominee.

Stories of Boehner's re-emergence were crafted, citing his renewed power over his Republican colleagues and using the tea party committee purge as example No. 1. Emboldened by his newfound strength, Boehner set out to show some force in his negotiations with Obama over the "fiscal cliff." He introduced "Plan B," a bill that would preserve the George W. Bush-era tax cuts on everyone except those making $1 million or more a year, and he held a 51-second news conference pledging that it would pass the House and daring the president to ignore it.

Twenty-four hours later, Boehner released a statement admitting defeat. Plan B never made it to the House floor. The speaker and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, of Virginia, couldn't come close to securing the votes required.

The defeat was spurred by the tea party, which saw Boehner's plan not as a way to put political pressure on the president but as an unnecessary sacrifice of a core principle. That principle? It's never OK to raise taxes on anyone. As Boehner's strategy sunk, and with it, his power as speaker, it was the lawmakers he had punished who celebrated most heartily.

"Republican leadership thought they could silence conservatives when they kicked us off our Committees," Huelskamp said in a statement after Plan B's demise. "I'm glad that enough of my colleagues refused to back down from the threats and intimidation, thus preventing the Conference from abandoning our principles."

Text Only
2012
  • 2012: The Valley in Review

    A look at the Valley's top stories each month in 2012. Compiled by Jim Birt and Stacy Hinck of The Daily Item.

    December 29, 2012

  • 2012: Voter ID law motivated Valley Dems

    A controversial Voter ID law, the splitting of the Valley into two congressional districts and Mitt Romney’s victories in all Valley counties in the race for the presidency highlighted a topsy-turvy year in Pennsylvania politics.

    December 29, 2012

  • Paterno_Joe Paterno family challenges Louis Freeh's conclusions

    STATE COLLEGE — Joe Paterno's family released its response to Penn State's report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal Sunday, attacking Louis Freeh's conclusion that the coach hid sex abuse allegations against his longtime assistant.

    February 11, 2013 1 Photo

  • Bad Year in Washington: Mitt Romney//

    Remember Mitt Romney? Tall guy, slightly awkward. Looks like a 1950s matinee idol.

    December 29, 2012

  • Bad Year in Washington: David Petraeus

    At the start of the year, retired Gen. David Petraeus was flying high. He was the director of the CIA and was often mentioned as a prospective presidential candidate.

    December 29, 2012

  • The Worst Year in Washington: The Tea Party

    The Gadsden flag, which flew proudly over the 2010 midterm elections, now lies in tatters — rent by internal disagreements, losses among its most visible standard-bearers and a growing sense that the tea party movement, which once looked like it could transform American politics, will soon be nothing more than a blip in the country's collective memory.

    December 29, 2012

  • Armstrong, Houston Among Notable Deaths of 2012//

    The first man on the moon, the first U.S. woman in space and the first black Federal Reserve member were among the notable deaths in 2012.

    December 29, 2012

  • The year in TV - from bad to worse

    Let’s get the bad news out of the way first as we recap the year in TV.

    December 29, 2012

  • Top music of 2012

     

    Maybe it was all the destruction from superstorm Sandy, the ugliness of the lengthy presidential campaign, or all the senseless killings, like the ones in Newtown, Conn., but so much of the music that people sought out in 2012 was fun and escapist.

    December 29, 2012

  • Top 10 books of 2012

    The year 2012 was memorable for the literary world in many ways.

    December 29, 2012

The Daily Marquee