Looking at the Tea Party's Effect on the Shutdown

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Veteran Republicans across the country are accusing Tea Party lawmakers of hurting the party because they're refusing to compromise on the shutdown.

According to an Associated Press survey, conducted using online interviews, 68 percent of people say the shutdown is a major problem.

52 percent say President Obama is not doing enough to cooperate with Republicans.

63 percent of people say Republicans are not doing enough.

"There are certain ramifications for everyone involved and it does have the potential to create a lot of political headaches," said Joshua Huffman with the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Patriots, who remembers the last government shutdown during the 90s.

As far as blame goes for this one Huffman said it's spread around.

"Some people blame the Tea Party, some people blame the Republican party in general and some people blame the Democrats in the Senate and some people blame the president," said Huffman.

Political analyst Dr. Bob Roberts said the Tea Party has influenced national and state politics, especially Virginia's governor's race.

"The Republican committee was taken over by Tea Party activists. There was going to be a primary and then they changed the rules so there would be a convention instead in June. That permitted Cuccinelli to easily win the nomination," said Roberts

Roberts added that libertarian Robert Sarvis could affect the Republican ticket.

"Will you get some Republicans who are angry at Cuccinelli, particularly the Bolling wing of the party who are really angry, will they vote for Sarvis as a protest vote," said Roberts.

Nationally, Roberts said about 80 House Republicans identify with the Tea Party.

"There are 80 republicans who owe nothing to compromise. The opposite, they owe not to compromise," said Roberts.

If the senate comes up with a plan for the shutdown, it's not over.

"If the Tea Party puts up enough opposition in the House, then the whole thing could collapse," said Roberts.

"I think that those within the government that want to defeat something like Obamacare I'm not sure how they can do it other than the methods they are taking right now," said Huffman.

When the shutdown ends and the debt ceiling is hopefully worked out; the question remains, who will take the hit?

"Really at the end of the day, where is that blame going to stick?" said Huffman

Huffman said the Tea Party in this area does not endorse candidates, instead it makes recommendations.

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