A large umbrella group for Tea Party activists targeted Republican leaders Tuesday for what they called caving in on the deficit talks.
The Tea Party Nation put House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on notice "for betraying the movement that put Republicans in charge of the lower chamber last year."
In a press release, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips drew a hard line for the Tea Party position. Phillips warned that his organization is on the lookout for Republicans voting to give away "more borrowing authority to President Obama" without also ensuring spending cuts, entitlement reform, passage of a balanced-budget amendment and defunding programs such as Planned Parenthood and the healthcare reform law.
"Voting for the 'Cut, Cap and Balance' plan won't save you from the Tea Party's wrath if you ultimately vote for a cheap giveaway of more debt to Obama, as McConnell and Boehner are planning," Phillips said.
Calling Boehner and McConnell "RINOs" (Republicans in Name Only), Phillips warned that the Tea Party would not stand behind them in their next election if they compromised in order to reach a debt ceiling agreement. Tea Party Nation, which holds an annual Tea Party convention that boasted former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a speaker last year, plans to turn its influence toward "hunting RINOs and defeating Democrats" in 2012.
McConnell has taken some heat from conservatives over his fallback proposal, made last week, which would authorize Obama to raise the debt ceiling three times unless two-thirds of Congress disapprove. Several groups associated with the Tea Party movement signed a letter voicing opposition to McConnell's plan on Monday.
Boehner has been characterized by some conservatives as more willing to compromise in order to reach an agreement on the debt ceiling by the Treasury Department's deadline of Aug. 2. Both Boehner and McConnell have said they wouldn’t vote to increase the debt limit without deficit reductions.