Tea Party movement

American fiscally conservative political movement / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Tea Party movement was an American fiscally conservative political movement within the Republican Party that began in 2009. Members of the movement called for lower taxes and for a reduction of the national debt and federal budget deficit through decreased government spending.[1][2] The movement supported small-government principles[3][4] and opposed government-sponsored universal healthcare.[5] The Tea Party movement has been described as both a popular constitutional movement[6] and as an "astroturf movement" purporting to be spontaneous and grassroots, but created by hidden elite interests.[7] It was composed of a mixture of libertarian,[8] right-wing populist,[9] and conservative activism.[10] It has sponsored multiple protests and supported various political candidates since 2009.[11][12][13] According to the American Enterprise Institute, various polls in 2013 estimated that slightly over 10% of Americans identified as part of the movement.[14]

Tea Party protesters on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall at the Taxpayer March on Washington on September 12, 2009

The Tea Party movement was popularly launched following a February 19, 2009, call by CNBC reporter Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for a "tea party".[15][16] On February 20, 2009, The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition also helped launch the Tea Party movement via a conference call attended by around 50 conservative activists.[17][18] Supporters of the movement subsequently had a major impact on the internal politics of the Republican Party. While not a political party in the strict sense, research published in 2016 suggests that members of the Tea Party Caucus voted like a significantly more right-wing third party in Congress.[19] A major force behind it was Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a conservative political advocacy group founded by businessman and political activist David Koch. It is unclear exactly how much money was and is donated to AFP by the deceased David Koch and his brother Charles Koch.[20]

By 2016, Politico noted that the Tea Party movement was essentially completely dead; however, the article noted that the movement seemed to die in part because some of its ideas had been absorbed by the mainstream Republican Party,[21] although CNBC reported in 2019 that the conservative wing of the Republican Party "has basically shed the tea party moniker."[22]

The movement takes its name from the December 1773 Boston Tea Party, a watershed event in the American Revolution, with some movement adherents using Revolutionary era costumes.[23]

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