Tea Party Frosh Have Voted in Lockstep With GOP

So much for being fiery outsiders
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2011 2:00 PM CDT
Tea Party Frosh Have Voted in Lockstep With GOP
House members take their oath of office during the first session of the 112th Congress, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The House’s crop of enraged Tea Party freshmen hasn’t exactly been the independent firebrands they were advertised as, at least as far as their actual voting record is concerned. In more than 100 key House votes, Republican freshmen bucked their party at a rate of about 12.5%, almost identical to the 12.34% rate of their veteran colleagues, according to an analysis from Politico. They broke away en masse on only two of those 100 votes, and neither were major roll calls.

Of course, the block does appear to have pushed the party to the right. But many sources say they’ve become more amenable to compromise as time has worn on. “They’re being co-opted,” said one Tea Party Patriots member. “They’re buying into the lines and the lies that the leadership uses.” But one freshman had another explanation: “The speaker has given the freshman class everything we’ve asked for,” she said. (More House Republicans stories.)

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