House Tea Party Caucus approved

A House committee said Monday it approved the creation of an official Tea Party Caucus, headed by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) 

The Minnesota lawmaker, who is a favorite of the conservative activist movement, wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last Thursday, asking permission to create the group. 

Bachmann tweeted on Monday: “Just got word that the Committee on House Administration officially approved the House Tea Party Caucus.” Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for the panel, confirmed that it approved the creation of the group. 

In her letter last week, Bachmann spoke of the group’s affinity for small government. 

“As Members of Congress, we have an obligation to represent the views of our constituents, and this Caucus would do nothing more than promote the timeless principles of our founding, principles that all Members of Congress have sworn to uphold,” he said. 

The administration panel’s letter of approval was dated July 16. 

A number of House Republicans have courted the support of the Tea Party, which many think will influence the fall midterm elections. But the activist groups have criticized both Republicans and Democrats for big spending and expanding government. 

One member of the House GOP leadership said Monday he would join the caucus. Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) told the liberal blog TPMDC he would become a member the group. Pence's leadership office confirmed his intention. 

The group’s foundation comes amid criticism from the NAACP, which passed a resolution last week calling on Tea Party leaders to call out racist elements in their ranks. Tea Party leaders strongly condemned the resolution.

But a leader was expelled from a national Tea Party umbrella group this weekend for a blog post about the NAACP many deemed racially insensitive. 

Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul (R) has floatedthe creation of a similar group in the Senate.

This post was updated at 4:21 p.m.