Speaker Pelosi finally, reluctantly, allowed recognition of a Tea Party Caucus for the U.S. House of Representatives after initially denying the request initiated by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn). Or perhaps the House Administration Committee did the right thing, where the Speaker would not.
“This caucus will espouse the timeless principles of our founding, principles that all members of Congress have sworn to uphold,” Bachmann said.
It seems to me that whether a Congressman joins the caucus, or not, will be a real indication of the level of true conservative spirit of that person. Note its purpose “to promote Americans’ call for fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution and limited government.”
One needn’t be a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent or fall into any of the myriad of ways to classify a representative, in order to be willing to be identified in the Tea Party Caucus. Just BE of conservative mind. At least I hope that’s the way it works. I would expect that anyone who joins the caucus will have their voting record scrutinized to a higher than normal degree and perhaps the caucus will be self-policing (I don’t know how they organize and regulate internally — see list of caucuses) so that being a member of that caucus is a real litmus test.
One does not have to hold with every tenet of the Tea Party movement (for it is only a movement of many parts, and not a political party), but for a member of the House to be a true conservative it would seem reasonable to expect that member to join, support, and vote consistently with, the Tea Party Caucus.