Tea Party controls 58% of GOP in Congress

Former Republican governor of Minnesota, and possible GOP presidential candidate, Tim Pawlenty was on Jake Tapper’s CNN show yesterday, when Pawlenty went off about how both parties, Republicans and Democrats, have their fringe.

In the case of Republicans, Pawlenty argues, it’s the Tea Party. In the case of Democrats, it’s Occupy Wall Street.

Pawlenty argues that it’s unfair to paint the GOP with the Tea Party label, unless you paint Democrats equally with the Occupy Wall Street label.


First, let’s hear from Pawlenty, then we’ll examine the math:

Former GOP Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty: As to the Tea Party, keep in mind, you know, it’s one slice of a broader coalition. They overplayed their hand here. One of the attitudes you gotta keep in mind when you negotiate: The person with the leverage wins. They didn’t have the leverage here.

But you know, there’s an analog in the Democratic Party to the Tea Party.  When you look at groups like Occupy, when you look at groups that want to just recklessly defund the Department of Defense, they don’t represent the whole Democratic Party.  And the Tea Party represents only one slice of the Republican Party.

Mind you, this is the second time I’ve heard Republicans trot out “Occupy Wall Street” in the past few days, in an attempt to make a false equivalence between the corruption and co-option of the GOP by the Tea Party, and the supposed problems of the Democratic party.

Really? Occupy Wall Street has just as much power in the Democratic Party as the Tea Party has in the GOP?

It’s easy to find the number of Tea Party devotees in the House and Senate.  All we need do is look at the recent vote on the budget deal to reopen the government and avoid the debt default:

* In that vote, 0 Democrats in the Senate voted against the budget deal (and for the Tea Party position), as did 0 Democrats in the House.

* Among the GOP, 18 Senate Republicans voted against the deal (and with the Tea Party), as did 144 House Republicans.

So the tally comes to 0 Democrats in Congress supporting the Tea Party position, and 162 Republicans supporting the Tea Party.

Percent Tea Party control of Congress

Now, let’s break that down even further, in order to truly appreciate how much control the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street have in Congress.

Senate Support for Tea Party

Democrats: 0 out of 52 Democrats in the US Senate support the Tea Party: 0%

GOP: 18 out of 46 Republicans in the US Senate support the Tea Party: 39%

House Support for Tea Party

Democrats: 0 out of 200 Democrats in the US House support the Tea Party: 0%

GOP: 144 out of 232 Republicans in the US House support the Tea Party: 62%

In conclusion, 58% of GOP in Congress supports Tea Party

So Tim Pawlenty is only partly right.

When Pawlenty says that Occupy Wall Street is only part of the Democratic party in the Congress, he’s incorrect.  Occupy Wall Street isn’t a part of the Democrats in Congress at all.

But Pawlenty is right when he says that the Tea Party represents one slice of the Republican Party, rather than the “whole” party.  Unfortunately for Pawlenty and the GOP, it’s the lion’s slice.

The Tea Party makes up 39% of the Republican Party in the Senate, and 62% of the Republican Party in the House.

And in the overall Congress, Tea Party supporters in the GOP total 162 (simply combine the House and Senate numbers).  Compare that to the total number of Republicans in Congress (278), and you get 58% of the Republicans in Congress are Tea Party supporters.

Hey, Pawlenty, you like apples?

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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41 Responses to “Tea Party controls 58% of GOP in Congress”

  1. HaHa says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GoK0539Gl4 Doesn’t count the ones working in the white house.

  2. HaHa says:

    I think you need to do some research on the Tea Party before you make assumptions.

  3. HaHa says:

    Wow really. We have over $17 trillion in debt. We have 456 government Agencies that overlap each other when in reality we could get by with 70. In some cases we have 20 agencies that do the same thing.Let’s break it done. We have 386 Agency leaders that get paid $150k a yr avg. (and that is probably a little low). That’s 57.9 million a yr. That doesn’t include the avg salaries of assistants and hourly personnel. Your avg. salary for a assistant would roughly be 100k per yr. Another 38.6 million a yr. That’s roughly $96.5 million wasted. But your dems are so responsible. The first 6 yrs of Bush’s administration they only added $3 trillion to the debt. The last 2 years with a Democratic Congress they added over $2.4 trillion. Obama’s first three years saw a increase of $1.6 trillion, $1.24 trillion and $1.28 trillion. Not until his fourth yr did he not break the trillion mark ($868 billion, if I remember right). The only reason then was because of the sequester. Roughly $5 Trillion added to the debt in 4 years. I see how being fiscally responsible is so wrong.

    Let’s talk about your supposed default. Article 1 section 7 of the US Constitution (you know, that pesky Bills of Right dems hate so much) states that the House and the house alone has the responsibility to fund government. Which means they have the right to CHOOSE what gets funded. If they choose not to fund something it is their choice. Not the president’s nor the senates tight but the House’s alone. The only right the Senate has is they can argue the amounts in the budget but they can not add funding to it. So, by the Senate adding funding, they in essence disregarded the First amendment which made it illegal. But the Republicans also sent over a Bill that funded government (including the ACA) but took away the subsidy that your $174 a year Senators were getting for their health insurance. If the Dems were serious about opening the government up, they would of signed that bill. But they didn’t did they. So those greedy little Dems for their own personal gain refused to fund government. But it is easier to blame everything on 1 party when it takes 2 to shut it down.

    But hey,we wouldn’t even been in that situation if your party didn’t lie in the first place would we. 36 times Obama told the nation “You can keep your insurance plan if you like it. PERIOD. You can keep your doctor if you like them. PERIOD”. This lie was echoed by other democrats. Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) admitted that Dems knew this was a lie for over 3 years but never spoke up. They just kept repeating it. A party of transparency we have with those dems. So honest and upright. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDDbTaWpwoc

    Dems are really concerned with helping out the needy as long as they do it with other peoples money. I have listened to dems repeated say Reps. don’t care about people but it is the Reps who donate more money to charities than those Dems. A Dems Idea to help out people is to use tax dollars instead of their own while a Rep will use his own money as well as tax dollars.http://blog.dc.esri.com/2009/01/07/dataset-of-the-day-who-is-more-generous-republicans-or-democrats/ . Anyone can care with other people money but the ones that truly care use their own.

    Let me know when your party is willing to be honest with the American people. It will be refreshing.

  4. Mike Hendricks says:

    what i get from this is no democrats=not one= voted to sabotage our country and default our govt.=i am proud of my party =to hell with these states rights=racist=selfish pukes=what are they gong to do when they get each state for itself and no govt.=that would be beyond stupid.

  5. Butch1 says:

    He’s a bigger fool than I thought. The Occupy Movement is apolitical.

  6. and how many OWS people have been elected to congress, Mr. Pawlenty? Do you have any idea or are you just scared of the tea baggers who seem to control the GOP?

  7. karmanot says:


  8. SkippyFlipjack says:

    Turns out that maybe having no specific policy aims does indeed make it impossible to turn a movement into a political force.

  9. The_Fixer says:

    As somebody else pointed out below, Sanders is an independent. They also mentioned Alan Grayson, who has a special place in my heart.

    I just loved Grayson’s reading of the various slams in the media when he made a “parliamentary inquiry” regarding the dignity of the House. He even read and described the front page of one New York newspaper that referred to them as “the House of Turds.”

    You can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ71sg5u4LU

  10. ca_rickf says:

    The Tea Party is nothing more than the John Birch Society 2.0

    While many folks know that the Tea Party roots were funded by the Koch Brothers, what many don’t know is that the Koch’s father, Fred C Koch was a founding member the John Birch Society. Fred Koch wrote the following:

    “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America” and that “public welfare was a secret plot to attract rural blacks and Puerto Ricans to Eastern cities to vote for Communist causes and “getting a vicious race war started.”

    Does any of this sound familiar? It should, because this is exactly what Tea Partyers spout on the Fox News and the Internet everyday.

  11. ca_rickf says:

    Welp, I would consider that awesome Senator from Massachusetts, Lizzy Warren to be Occupyish-leaning, and of course the equally awesome Senator from VT, Bernie Sanders. So only two truly great (D) Senators at the moment, unfortunately.

  12. KingCranky says:

    Also not the go-to-guy when it comes to avoiding bridge collapses.

  13. Anomaly 100 says:

    Occupy never supported a party or got into politics. In contrast to the tea party, they actually did some incredible things such as save homeowners who were facing foreclosure. It’s that’s fringey to Pawlenty, then he’s off the rails.

  14. BeccaM says:

    Another point of comparison:

    Tea Bagger legislation passed by the GOP Tea Baggers in Congress: All of it. Every last bit from the Paul “Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver” Ryan budget to defunding PPACA to the shutdown itself.

    OWS-favored legislation passed by the Dems: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that’s it. Which the GOP Baggers constantly try to get rid of by refusing to approve nominees, cut budgets, rescind mandates, and so on.

  15. BeccaM says:

    People have forgotten about the now long-defunct ACORN, so OWS is now the far right’s boogey-man.

    Xenophobes and fascists always need a scapegoat, and OWS is the first (and just about only) progressive/liberal movement of any significance in an entire generation — so that makes them the obvious target.

  16. SkippyFlipjack says:

    This is hilarious. Pawlenty is just making whatever argument he feels like. How many congresspeople are what you’d consider Occupy Democrats? Let’s see… oh, right, none.

  17. Naja pallida says:

    All of them… even the ones that were put into office that way, because they know they will be astroturfed out in the exact same way they came in, if they step out of line.

  18. It’s the tuquoque argument again! Doesn’t any of these Republicans realize that only the god Reagan could get away with that fallacy? Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll?????????????????

  19. angryspittle says:

    Timmeh!! You’re a deluded dipshit moron.

  20. Naja pallida says:

    It’s the standard false equivalence argument that is always trotted out as a way of self-legitimizing one’s absurdity. You know, how MSNBC is equal to Fox Noise. Or two black guys calling themselves the New Black Panthers standing outside a polling place looking black is the same as all the voter intimidation and voter suppression in Republican-controlled states. That a Republican government shut down is the same as Democrats trying to govern. Or the very notion that there is a liberal bias in the media.

    The entire “both sides do it!” argument, which is patently false most of the time. It’s people like Pawlenty having to create an enemy, where one doesn’t really exist, to justify their own hateful attitudes. Reinforced by organizations like CNN where they feel they need to walk a line to maintain access. But the reality is, a lie is never a valid counterpoint to the truth, no matter how hard Republicans try to make the voting public believe it.

  21. ArthurH says:

    I’m wondering how many GOPers in that 58% would break with the Tea Party if they weren’t scared that the billionaires masquerading as populists (and not too convincingly) would dump millions of dollars on an opponent in the next primary? They’d have to go back to the real world and do real work.

  22. Naja pallida says:

    Elizabeth Warren is the only member of Congress who went out of her way at all to try to identify with the movement, but she most certainly still isn’t “their candidate”.

  23. Houndentenor says:

    Too much of the DOD budget is about giveaways to defense contractors who donated to political campaigns and not really about defense.

  24. Houndentenor says:

    Can we name a single Democrat in the House or Senate who goes out of his or her way to be seen as the “Occupy Wall Street” candidate? I can’t think of one.

  25. karmanot says:

    This is why Good & Plenty will never be President.

  26. NotConvinced says:

    T Paw thinks he has even a sliver of a chance? Puhleezze. When I saw his pic I thought, is he still alive?

  27. NotConvinced says:

    I always wonder what the hell baggers are talking about when they bring up OWS. Huh? What? Where did that come from?

  28. Gary says:


    Democrats: 0 out of 52 Democrats in the US Senate support the Tea Party: 0%


    Democrats: 0 out of 52 Democrats in the US Senate support the Occupy Wall Street: 0%


  29. emjayay says:

    His comparison of the Tea Party and Occupy is just so incredibly stupid it’s not worth discussing.

  30. Indigo says:

    Actually, one Democratic Party candidate showed up at our Occupy Rally in Orlando last spring. Difficult as it is to believe, it looks like Central Florida Occupy Democrats are ahead of the national curve. Hurray for us! On a side note, the Buddhists staged a Zen-in during the rally but not one other clergy of any stripe showed up.

  31. JayRandal says:

    Yes and they intend to eventually control 100% of GOP. Way more than half of GOPers in House are in bed with Koch Brothers. In Senate around 18 or so GOPers too.

  32. The_Fixer says:

    Pawlenty suffers from “Repub-O-Vision”. It’s almost like seeing in 3D, only it’s just 2 Dimensional.

    Obviously, the TEA party has got the Republicans on the ropes. But Occupy being a fringe wing of the Democratic party? Nonsense.

    It’s also interesting to note that there are two wings of the TEA party. One wing, the one that is less crazy, calls itself true Libertarians (and knows how to spell), has involved itself in some Occupy actions (much to the chagrin of the Occupy people).

    The Occupy movement has been classified by those with “Repub-O-Vision” as being a bunch of dirty hippies. That’s not the case – a lot of Occupy protesters are actually middle-income people who’ve taken it on the chin – some have lost their houses and other assets – as a result of the financial collapse. They see injustice and are trying to do something about this.

    Calling the Occupy movement a wing of the Democratic party is completely wrong. A lot of them may identify as such, but a lot also identify as Independents and a number (much smaller) actually consider themselves members of the TEA party.

    Try again, Timmy.

  33. ronbo says:

    True. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) is also one of the good ones… just not a Democrat.

  34. NCMan says:

    Bernie Sanders does a good job representing in the senate.

  35. Aspects says:

    This is the problem with “reasonable” Republicans. They cannot say something is wrong with their party, they have to say both parties are equally wrong. Then when you look at their examples you see that both parties are not equally wrong, but good luck trying to get them to admit this.

  36. cole3244 says:

    sounds like pawlenty of bs to me.

  37. met00 says:

    We have two members of the Legislature who represent the interest of the 99%. Count them. In the Senate we have Elizabeth Warren. In the House we have Alan Grayson. That’s it folks. Two progressives who will stand by us.

  38. douglas01 says:

    Just like all Republicans. . . lives in a bubble.

  39. bkmn says:

    There is a reason you don’t hear much from TPaw these days – he proved how worthless and ineffective he was in the last Presidental race.

  40. caphillprof says:

    I call foul on the notion that anybody is suggesting to “defund” the Department of Defense. We have a metastasizing tumor which is the DOD and NSA budget; it’s all out of proportion to a reasonably proportionate defense budget for our nation and any attempt to reign in the out of control defense budget is always presented as “defunding” the nations defense. Nonsense!

  41. ronbo says:

    Damn, I wish Occupy owned a single Democratic politician. Only then, would about 39% of actual Americans (not millionaires politicians and their bankers) would be represented.


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