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Sen. Paul Says Tea Party Holds Power on Hill

Written By: Seth McLaughlin - The Washington Times  |  Posted: Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

To those who predicted that the tea party movement would get swallowed up by Washington, Sen. Rand Paul says the cynics have got it completely backward - it's the tea party that has co-opted Capitol Hill.
The Kentucky Republican said in an interview that President Obama and most lawmakers have lined up behind the tea party's drive to end earmarks, while House and Senate Republicans are pushing bills to cut spending and repeal the president's health care overhaul - two more of the movement's top priorities.
Mr. Paul is a leading member of one of the most closely watched new class of lawmakers to hit Capitol Hill in a long time - tea party activists and political newcomers whose energy helped usher in a GOP majority in the House and an expanded Republican minority in the Senate.

"People asked whether we would be co-opted by Washington, I think we are co-opting Washington, " Mr. Paul told The Washington Times, just hours after he and two colleagues held the first meeting of the Senate's Tea Party Caucus, which they said would serve as the liaison between the grass-roots movement and the people it helped propel to power.

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