January 5, 2011 12:49 PM
Tea Party Leader: Reduction in Goal for GOP Budget Cuts is an "Absolute Joke"
Posted by Robert Hendin, Stephanie Condon 29 comments .
"So far so good" is how a leading Tea Party organizer characterizes the Republican ascension in Congress.
"CBS News spoke to Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler as he roamed the halls of the House of Representatives, delivering a welcome letter and copies of the Constitution to new and old members of Congress.
"Some new rules are good thing, it's a great start to the session," he said. Meckler defended the Republicans' pledge to read the Constitution on the House floor as being more than just symbolic. "It's good to be reminded of what the Congress is based on," he said.
"Meckler, however, was quick to temper his optimism about the new Republican-led House with a dose of skepticism.
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"Meckler also had fire for some of the incoming Republican committee chairmen in the House, specifically the choice of Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky to chair the House Appropriations Committee. Meckler said the choice is "as much a direct affront to the citizens who voted for change as anything could be... he's an earmarker... the worst possible guy they could choose."
"Meckler said he would keep an open mind about Rogers and Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, who is the incoming chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"We'll wait to see what kind of legislation comes out, most of the guys are talking a good game," he said. But he cautioned, the "symbolism is pretty strong when you appoint a guy like Rogers."
On other specific issues facing the new Congress, Meckler, like many in the Tea Party, said that raising the debt ceiling is a bad deal for the American people. "Increasing the debt is unsustainable," he said. "To paraphrase John Boehner, it's a chance for Congress to have an adult moment and actually deal with long term problems instead of kicking the can down the road."
Will Hal Rogers lead the nation in the best direction? Time will tell!