Moving into the second phase of the debt ceiling compromise, Americans who associate themselves with the tea party say they won’t be softening their hard line anytime soon.
As part of the budget package passed last week despite tea party members’ overwhelming opposition to any bill that would raise the debt ceiling, Congress is now in the process of appointing a bipartisan, bicameral super committee to pose further cuts in spending. As it attempts to do so, a USA Today/Gallup poll out Wednesday suggests that tea party-affiliated Americans will not be any more prone to singing “Kumbaya” on taxes and spending.
Sixty percent of adult respondents said they want the committee to reach a workable compromise, even if it’s a plan they don’t like; Democrats, independents, and Republicans all agreed – with one notable exception. Among tea party supporters, 53 percent said they prefer to “hold out for a plan you agree with, even if it prevents the committee from reaching an agreement.”
Tea party leaders themselves say they are concerned that they’ll be underrepresented at the committee table.
“We’re worried about the balance of power in the super committee,” Matt Kibbe, president of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, told National Journal last week. “At best, tea partiers will get three seats on that committee, assuming that they split the difference on the Republican side. We’ll be fighting for that.”
Survey results are based on telephone interviews conducted between August 4 and 7, among a random sample of 1,319 U.S. adults. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points.