The St. Louis Tea Party would like to see a Tea Party Caucus formed in the Missouri House of Representatives. Our plan is to duplicate the Tea Party Caucus on the national level and adopt a similar group for the legislators on the state level. This is a novel idea on the state level and the reaction by legislators has been supportive.
The rules of the Missouri Senate foster individualism and with filibuster power the Senators have displayed the tea party spirit. The House of Representatives is a different animal and many votes come down along party lines. The St. Louis Tea Party would like to mitigate party influence on future house votes and sees a Tea Party Caucus as a means of achieving that goal.
The election results from November’s contest gave republicans an overwhelming majority in the Missouri House of Representatives. Legislators and citizens credit tea party support as the reason for the resounding victory. A Tea Party Caucus will give fiscal conservatives across the state the ability to identify legislators who share our values and wish to identity with the tea party movement.
The issues we wish to present are simple and will not be based on social or partisan issues, but based on both state and federal constitutional principles with an emphasis on fiscal responsibility.
I've begun asking house members about their interest in this caucus and my expectations have been surpassed. I categorized each legislator I've spoken with into one of following: Yes, Leaning, Interested, and No. I initially expected a commitment of 8 to 10 legislators, but of the 28 republican house members I've spoken with so far, 21 wish to join the caucus far exceeding expectations. I fully anticipate more house members to join as I recruit in the upcoming weeks. No democrats have expressed an interest, but I will continue to recruit in a bi-partisan attempt to seek members of both parties who share tea party ideals.