Senate Tea Party Group Holds First Meeting

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Senate Tea Party group holds first meetingThe Senate Tea Party Caucus held its first official gathering on Jan. 27, welcoming supporters of the grassroots organization from around the country and fielding their questions.

Senators Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are currently the only members of the caucus. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) attended the event and said that he would be joining the group soon. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) are backed by the Tea Party, but they did not attend the gathering on Capitol Hill.

"What we're trying to do … is to make sure all the activists know that we're still listening," DeMint told CNN. "We want to get their input; we want to keep them up to date with what we're doing. So it's more a forum than a caucus to keep that interaction going."

Paul, a freshman Senator, told the group that the Tea Party's presence has already made an impact, referring to President Barack Obama speaking out against earmarks during his State of the Union address. According to the Los Angeles Times, Paul touted his budget proposal, which would cut $500 billion in a year by eliminating the Department of Commerce as well as cutting spending on defense and education.

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