Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul announced the formation of the Senate Tea Party Caucus.
Sen. Rand Paul on Friday announced the launch of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, making good on an idea he floated during last year's campaign.
GOP Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Mike Lee (Utah) will join the Kentucky Republican as the first members of the caucus.
DeMint helped several tea party-backed candidates ó including Paul and Lee ó win primaries last year and he is viewed as a hero within the grass-roots movement.
The group's first meeting will be on Jan. 27. The Senate group mirrors the House Tea Party Caucus, which Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced she was forming last year.
According to a joint statement announcing the caucus issued Friday afternoon, "citizens will be invited to speak so we can hear from them and address their concerns about what's happening in Washington."
"Americans have elected us to be responsible caretakers of their hard-earned money and freedom, and the formation of this caucus gives us the opportunity to listen to the American people and do what they elected us to do," Lee said, according to the statement.
"The folks who made the Tea Party such a force to be reckoned with in the last election can have an enduring impact by holding elected officials accountable to the people," DeMint added. "They will be watching to see if those they helped elect make good on their limited government promises, and I intend to help them stay informed and engaged."
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.