Some conservative Republican lawmakers are getting set to harness the force of the national Tea Party movement in the Texas Legislature. State senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) has announced the creation of the Tea Party caucus in the Texas Legislature. Senator Patrick announced the creation in an Thursday morning e-mail, saying the group will support its members when they need help pushing legislation that reflects the Tea Party's core values...and, "challenge them when they stray."
"The Tea Party has played an important role this year and I want to be sure their voices are heard in Austin long after next Tuesday. The power of the Tea Party beyond election day is to hold those elected accountable for a conservative voting agenda."
The group kicks off with an 11 member board made up of Senate and House members including Representatives Wayne Christian, Brandon Creighton and Ken Paxton, as well as Senator Brian Birdwell. Patrick will spend the next two months inviting lawmakers to join the caucus. The group could have an immediate affect on the 2011 session with a $21-billion or more budget shortfall on the horizon. Those supporting the Tea Party have been vocal in cutting taxes and government spending.