Pelosi, Van Hollen: Tea Party Runs House GOP Caucus
As comedian and voiceover genius Jim Ward says (exploiting the principle that the last name of the House Speaker should be pronounced somewhat like Amy Poehler’s), “How long will this Boehner last? If you Boehner lasts four terms or more, consult your lobbyist immediately!”
The House Democratic leadership says that the Tea Party has thrown the leadership over the side:
House Democrats have grown accustomed to the Republican majority passing legislation that won’t stand a chance in the Senate, let alone make it to President Barack Obama’s desk. But as the lower chamber prepares to vote Friday on a continuing budget resolution that defunds Obamacare, Democrats are declaring an official takeover of the House GOP by its tea party faction.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday that she no longer likes to use the term “Republicans.”
“This is a name that has been hijacked by a segment of the Republican Party, the tea party element in the Congress,” Pelosi said.
Rank-and-file Democrats had similar comments.
“What’s clear is that in the fight within the House Republican caucus, the extreme tea party element won the day, at least for now,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told The Huffington Post. Van Hollen, ranking member of the House Budget Committee, added that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) “must put the needs of American people before tea party extremists.”
“It’s pretty clear that the Republicans have allowed this group within their caucus — the tea party leaders — to demand that we include a repeal of health care reform as part of a CR or as part of the debt ceiling,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who also sits on the budget committee. “As a consequence of that, the speaker has allowed not the majority of his caucus, but this faction of the Republican caucus to really drive the agenda in the House.”