From the “What did you think November meant?” Department
From the AP…
Conservatives’ clout flummoxes House GOP leaders
WASHINGTON (AP) – The clout of tea party advocates and other hard-line conservatives in Congress has caught top Republicans by surprise, raising questions about whether GOP leaders can impose enough discipline in their House majority to pass tough measures, such as raising the debt ceiling.
Within 24 hours this week, House Speaker John Boehner’s team had to pull a trade bill from the chamber floor, suffered an embarrassing setback on a USA Patriot Act vote, and failed to recoup money paid to the United Nations.
And in electoral politics, the tea party’s threat to Republican incumbents came more into focus. Three GOP senators up for re-election in 2012 could be looking at challenges for their party nominations. One of them, five-term Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, crossed town Tuesday to tell the tea party’s national town hall that he has supported its budget-balancing, smaller-government agenda for decades.