Tea Party leaders ripped into House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as well as other House Republicans, saying any vote to raise the debt limit without major fiscal policy changes will amount to selling out the Tea Party, adding the group will work to unseat those who vote for an increase in the next election.
"We're telling Boehner and all of the House Republicans, they came into office with Tea Party help. We now expect them to keep their promises and hold the ceiling on the national debt," said William Temple, head of this fall's Tea Party National Convention. "The Tea Party will not be in a very forgiving mood this fall, nor as the GOP primary season opens, if House freshmen and others elected by the Tea Party cave to Obama. We will find replacements for them this fall."
He added the group could go along with a small increase in the debt ceiling, but only if Republicans were able to win a major policy battle such as a repeal of health care or the passage of a balanced budget amendment.
Temple appeared at a Washington press conference dressed in colonial garb and was especially critical of the 2011 budget compromise Boehner worked out with Republicans last month. The deal cut $37.8 billion in spending and narrowly avoided a government shutdown, but was short of the $100 billion in cuts Republicans originally sought.