The House Tea Party Caucus, led by Rep. Michele BachmannMichele BachmannBachmann: Muslim immigrants trying to undermine Western civilization Religious leaders pray over Trump in Oval Office 'Real Housewives' producer 'begging' Conway to join cast MORE (R-Minn.), will hold its first meeting of the 112th Congress on Feb. 17, Ballot Box has learned. The looming vote to raise the nation's debt ceiling is expected to top the agenda. 

Invites to new members to join the Tea Party Caucus went out from Bachmann via e-mail last week. 

ADVERTISEMENT
"It is my hope that the Tea Party caucus will serve as a venue for members of Congress and Tea Party activists to share ideas and determine the best way to get America on a sound fiscal path that adheres to the Constitutional principles on which she was founded," Bachmann wrote in the invite.  

The group's first meeting will be similar to the first gathering of the Senate Tea Party Caucus last week. Tea Party activists and members of the public will be invited. 

During the last Congress, the membership list of the caucus included 52 House Republicans, but with dozens of new Tea Party-backed members ushered into the lower chamber after the 2010 midterms, the ranks of Bachmann's caucus are likely to grow substantially.  

A larger caucus would bolster Bachmann's clout in the House after she ruffled some feathers in the Republican leadership over the past month. Bachmann rankled GOP leaders when she gave her own televised response to President Obama's State of the Union address last week at the invitation of the Tea Party Express.

She also continues to explore a run for president in 2012. Fresh off a trip to Iowa in January, Bachmann will head back to the state for a second trip in March. 

The Senate Tea Party Caucus convened for the first time last week. Led by Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike LeeMike LeeTrouble draining the swamp? Try returning power to the states Congress must act to protect data privacy before courts make surveillance even easier Five tough decisions for the GOP on healthcare MORE (R-Utah) and Rand PaulRand PaulCurtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz Glimmer of hope in bipartisan criminal justice reform effort Trump barrage stuns McConnell and his allies MORE (R-Ky.), it has just four members. Sen. Jerry MoranJerry MoranRepublicans rebuke Trump over Charlottesville remarks GOP senator wants classified briefing on North Korea McConnell faces questions, but no test to his leadership MORE (R-Kansas), a former member of the Tea Party Caucus in the House, joined after speaking at the gathering.