Tea Party split on House Appropriations race

"As a founder and chief strategist for the Tea Party Express, we looked for candidates across America who are committed to ending the culture of spending in Washington and bringing back fiscal sanity. To win this battle to shrink government and stop spending our children’s legacy, we must turn to the people in Congress who can get the job done" Russo wrote on Dec. 3.

He adds that Lewis is a good friend whom he has known for 40 years.

Lewis and Kingston addressed thousands of Tea Party Patriot supporters last week in a conference call — afterwards more than 80 percent of participants said they would support Kingston for the appropriations gavel. The Tea Party Patriots argue that Kingston, who has been less of a pork-barrel spender than Lewis in his years on the committee, is a more credible proponent of spending cuts.

The House Republican Steering Committee will vote Monday afternoon on who is best qualified to be the next chairman. Their decision is widely expected to be rubber-stamped by the full Republican conference next week.