Tea Party Caucuses Get Quiet

House, Senate groups haven't met in months
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2011 4:55 PM CDT
Senate, House Tea Party Caucuses Go Quiet on Capitol Hill
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., at podium, accompanied by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., left, addresses a Tea Party rally earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In January, the Senate Tea Party Caucus was in full swing, holding a meeting on Capitol Hill—but neither that group nor its House counterpart have done much of anything since. Though a leader of the Senate caucus points out that “it’s only been nine months,” the group’s members seem to be learning that running a caucus can be a time drain that offers few results, Politico reports.

Enthusiasm for a Tea Party caucus appears to have waned, but “any caucus is tough,” says Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk. Meanwhile, the 60-member Tea Party Caucus in the House hasn’t met since June. That’s because Michele Bachmann’s in charge, “and she’s almost 100% campaigning for president right now,” says her friend Rep. Steve King. Meanwhile, some Tea Party freshmen have discovered that their voices are loud enough without a special caucus behind them: “We don’t need a name of a Tea Party Caucus necessarily,” says Sen. Jim DeMint. (Read more Tea Party stories.)

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