Rep. Michele Bachmann took a hard line against the debt ceiling issue. “We won’t change our principles. We’re going to say no to another debt ceiling increase,” the Minnesota Republican said.
Sen. Rand Paul, who is one of three members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, said that group is the only one pushing real reform.
“Nobody else in Washington has proposed any plan to balance the budget,” the Kentucky Republican said. “I won’t vote for any continuing resolution that is not headed toward balancing the budget in some significant way.”
Other Republican lawmakers who spoke at Thursday’s rally included Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Reps. Steve King (Iowa), Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Louie Gohmert (Texas). The event also featured speakers from groups such as Americans for Prosperity, Let Freedom Ring and the Institute for Liberty.
“We’re pushing for the spending cuts. We’re not pushing for a shutdown,” said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, who was more cautious in her speech than those in her audience. “I think if we have a shutdown, it’s going to affect the Senate and the White House. They’re the ones who are standing in the way and being obstructionists. ... It’s time to quit this out-of-control spending. That’s what the American public feels right now.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.