Continuing resolution: Republicans fund the government three more weeks, angering the Tea Party.

Continuing resolution: Republicans fund the government three more weeks, angering the Tea Party.

Continuing resolution: Republicans fund the government three more weeks, angering the Tea Party.

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
March 15 2011 4:47 PM

The Don't-Tread-on-Meter

Defeat from the jaws of victory!

Don't-Tread-on-Meter: March 15, 2011:40

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post. 

For the first time in weeks, the Don't-Tread-on-Meter falls slightly. Why is that? Ask Tea Party activists what they think about the Republican-run House passing a three-week continuing resolution. Try not to ask them when they're driving.

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"If we really believe we are against Obamacare, this is the vote," said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. "If a member votes for the continuing resolution, that vote effectively says, I am choosing not to fight."

"Local tea party coordinators are overwhelmingly opposed to the short-term 'punt' by Republicans," said Tea Party Patriots co-chairman Mark Meckler on Tuesday, before the vote.

Only six House Republicans opposed the last CR. Fifty-four of them voted against it this time, as it passed with the help of Democratic votes. The Nay-saying Republicans were egged on by the Club for Growth, the Family Research Council, and other loud members of the movement. They are not angry about the spending; if this passes the Senate, $10 billion will have been cut from five weeks of projected spending, a cut without precedent. They are angry that the short-term funding measures don't include the "defund the Left" measures House Republicans put in there, like zeroing out funding for Planned Parenthood and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In Bachmann's case, she believes that the Congress failed in one of its final chances to defund the implementation of the health care law.

Eric Cantor said on Monday that he'd like for this to be the last CR, and that the next vote should fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year. That sets the stage for another battle. The Tea Party is used to winning those; this week, it hopes, is a fluke. The Don't-Tread-on-Meter drops one point, to 40.

What Is the Don't-Tread-on-Meter?
It will track the progress (or lack thereof) of the Republican House of Representatives, and the Republican conference in the Senate, in fulfilling the promises they made to Tea Party activists. The meter will hit 100 if and when the GOP does absolutely everything it promised.

You can now add the Don't-Tread-on-Meter to your blog or site. Just click the button in the lower right of the widget to get the code.