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Tea Party Caucus

37 - Tea Party Caucus

They came to Washington to shrink government and eliminate the nation’s debt as quickly as possible. They are the House and Senate GOP classes of 2012 and 2014, and they have become a disruptive force, pushing a 2011 debt default scare that produced sequestration, forcing a 16-day government shutdown in 2013, and preventing the House from taking up any big fiscal bill the Senate would also pass, and regularly using the upper house’s rules to keep Democrats from passing any budget measures. House Republican leaders repeatedly have altered their tactics to appease this wing, and many analysts say the Tea Party Caucus is the biggest impediment to doing away with the remaining sequester cuts. To this group, including one of its leaders, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, all government spending is bad and anything that helps reduce it should be embraced. While the group was larger in 2010, it remains a highly influential and uncompromising block. The only way the Republican leadership has been able to pass a handful of critical measures has been with Democratic help, which might explain why the 113th Congress is considered the least productive in US history.

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