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Tea Party group: 'Cut it or shut it'

Tea Party group: 'Cut it or shut it'

A small but vocal group of Tea Party activists gathered outside the Capitol on Thursday to urge House Republican leaders to hold the line and push for deeper spending cuts in the federal budget.

Chanting, “Cut it or shut it” and “We want less,” the activists directed their ire at Senate Democrats, arguing that the cuts they have demanded are not “extreme,” but necessary to right the nation’s fiscal ship.

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House GOP leaders “are doing the right thing in changing the direction of spending, but they’ve got to go further,” said Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, a conservative group.

Titled the “Continuing Revolution,” the rally was timed to the looming deadline for Congress and the White House to strike a budget deal to avert a government shutdown after April 8. 

Tea Party rally in Washington DC, photo by Greg NashNumbering no more than a couple hundred people, the rally paled in comparison to the masses of Tea Party activists that have jammed the Capitol grounds and the National Mall in the past. Cold and wet conditions might have dampened the turnout. At its outset, it seemed as if there were nearly as many reporters and camera crews as activists.

Speakers at the rally pushed Republicans to demand at least the $61 billion in cuts the House approved in February, even if meant shutting the government down.

“If it does shut down, just remember: It’s the government’s fault. It’s Congress’s fault,” said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, the rally organizer.

A parade of conservative members of Congress addressed the rally, including Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Noisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks MORE (R-Ky.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Reps. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannYes, condemn Roseanne, but ignoring others is true hypocrisy Bachmann won't run for Franken's Senate seat because she did not hear a 'call from God' Billboard from ‘God’ tells Michele Bachmann not to run for Senate MORE (R-Minn.), Steve King (R-Iowa) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Tea Party rally in Washington, DC -- photo by Greg Nash“If Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMajor overhauls needed to ensure a violent revolution remains fictional Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees GOP has always been aggressive in trying to weaponize the system of judicial nominations MORE wants a fight, let’s give it to him,” Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said to cheers, referring to the Senate majority leader.

There were repeated calls from the crowd to defund the healthcare law, Planned Parenthood and NPR.