From THE HUFFINGTON POST:
A newly-launched Tea Party caucus in the U.S. Senate will hold its first meeting on January 27, Roll Call reports.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who announced the creation of the political affinity group last week, first spoke of the idea during the 2010 midterm campaign. Shortly after floating the concept, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) took it upon herself to introduce the idea into the U.S. House of Representatives.
Roll Call reports that Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) will be members of the new caucus in the upper congressional chamber.
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From abc NEWS:
Somehow two House Republicans […] neglected to get sworn in as new members of Congress.
A photo on http://www.phillyburbs.com shows, Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas with Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania were on Capitol Hill but during the swearing-in ceremony they were not in the House chamber but rather in front of a television in the Capitol Visitors Center.
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From THINK PROGRESS:
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), right-wing conspiracy theorist and oil-industry apologist, has promised that Republicans are “certainties” to win at least the ten seats necessary to regain control of the U.S. Senate on November 2. In an interview while stumping for Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck on Thursday, Inhofe told the National Review Online that extremist candidates such as Buck, John Raese (WV), Dino Rossi (WA), Pat Toomey (PA), and Carly Fiorina (CA) are guaranteed to win. Inhofe even said that Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell (DE) has a shot:
Little Chrissie may be a witch, but I bet she can’t see the future!
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From THE HILL:
It was a bittersweet night for Democrats as they won a House special election but saw one senator fall and another incumbent go to a runoff.
Meanwhile Republicans saw their favored Senate candidate lose in Kentucky to a darling of the Tea Party movement.
Most of all, Tuesday’s primaries were another sign of the anti-incumbent mood that has swept the nation and has lawmakers worried about their futures.
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American women will pay the price for the Democratic dithering that allowed Saturday’s passage of the Stupak-Pitts amendment, a worm virus inserted into the House healthcare reform bill with surgical precision. But the Democratic Party will suffer collateral damage.
Stupak-Pitts isn’t just “the biggest restriction on women’s right to choose in our generation,” as Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado puts it; it’s also evidence that on abortion the Democratic Party is now captive, just like the GOP, to Christian conservatism. Of course, Republicans traded away their party’s moderate wing for real electoral gains, a base that propelled them to power for decades. The Democrats, already in power, sucker-punched themselves, and all they have to show for it is a big fat shiner in the shape of Bart Stupak’s knuckles.
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From the Los Angeles Times:
When he announced the other day that he was switching to the Democratic Party, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter offered to return campaign donations from any contributors who might take offense.
Turns out that includes a lot of his Senate Republican colleagues who lent money to the cause.
Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson was first in line — asking Specter to return his $5,000 leadership political action committee contribution. Other Republicans requesting refunds on behalf of their PACs: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky ($10,000), Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander ($5,000), Texas Sen. John Cornyn ($5,000) and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker ($5,000).
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Faced with a high-profile defection and the prospect of political irrelevance in the Senate, Republicans took off the gloves Wednesday for a ferocious game of finger-pointing.
Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and George Voinovich blamed the Club for Growth for imposing a right-wing litmus test that chased Arlen Specter out of the Republican Party. The Club for Growth blamed Specter — first for helping to ruin the GOP and then for leaving it. A leading Republican strategist blamed the party for turning its back on moderates. Sen. Lindsey Graham sniped at Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. Specter’s pollster blamed the stimulus bill. Karl Rove blamed Specter himself.
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