December 13, 2010                                                                           

Contact: Colleen Owens
Phone: 804-335-5966

Congress Fails to Learn Lessons from the Midterm Elections
Legislature changes school menus but does nothing to reduce spending or the debt

Richmond, Va. – The Richmond Tea Party is seeing little if any indication that Congress or Republican leadership has learned the lessons of the November mid-term elections.

Addressing the recent activities in the lame duck Congress, Jamie Radtke, President of the Richmond Tea Party, said, “Congress continues to demonstrate their inability to do anything outside of ‘business as usual’ and continues on a course that recklessly endangers the nation.”

In the weeks since the November elections, Congress has focused on: changing local school menus, forcing state and local law enforcement authorities into collective bargaining, granting citizenship to certain illegal aliens, extending unemployment benefits, creating huge regulatory burdens on small farmers, and deciding whether to increase estate and income taxes.

Meanwhile, there has been no action to reduce spending or debt.

“Instead of putting our school children on a Washington-mandated diet, Congress should be putting the government itself on a strict diet!” said Radtke. “The voters sent a clear message: stop the runaway spending and unsustainable borrowing. Americans want cooperation, not just for the sake of cooperation, but to avert the fiscal collapse that is sure to come if spending and borrowing are not brought under control.”

The tax deal legislation being considered does not cut spending, but instead adds more spending and increases the deficit.

“Congress should be cutting spending drastically, not merely avoiding more debt, and certainly not adding to the unacceptable deficit we now have, as the pending legislation does,” Radtke said. “This shows that President Obama and this lame duck Congress aren’t willing to tackle the gravest problem facing the nation. They refuse to accept the will of the voters.”

Even more disconcerting are the recent committee appointments by Republican Leadership. Congressman Fred Upton was appointed chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Congressman Hal Rogers to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

“It is hard to believe that the Republican leadership’s response to one of the greatest political upheavals in American history, which put Republicans back in power, is to appoint Fred “The Light Bulb Ban Bandit” Upton and Hal “Prince of Pork” Rogers to chairmanships,” said Radtke.

“The Republicans are already demonstrating a return to dysfunctional politics,” Radtke continued. “If this is any indicator of what is ahead for us in 2011, it will be unacceptable to an overwhelming majority of Republican, Democrat, Independent and Tea Party Americans. We don’t need shameless spenders and unrestrained regulators in charge of the House. Congress had better make serious spending cuts a priority. Nothing else is acceptable. The tea party was serious when we said the GOP is on probation.”