Published March 25, 2010
The Tea Party Movement has a message for the 219 House Democrats who voted Sunday for President Obama's sweeping health care legislation: You're fired.
The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition and the Tea Party Nation are teaming up with other Tea Party groups and conservative advocates in a campaign to oust the 219 lawmakers.
"We will use any and all legal means possible, starting with recall petitions in those 18 states that allow it and mounting primary and general election challenges to every single one of the 219," the groups say on its Web site.
Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., who led a small group of anti-abortion Democrats in opposition to the bill until a last-minute White House deal, topped the list of 30 members they seek to fire through a recall petition.
The support of Stupak and his bloc of Democrats was crucial to the passage of the bill.
It's unclear what impact, if any, the effort will have in November. Before President Obama signed the legislation into law Tuesday, Democrats were fearful that supporting such a massive and controversial bill could wipe them out in the midterm elections.
But now optimism is growing that the immediate benefits of the law, including barring insurance companies from dropping coverage when people get sick, will give them a boost.
The recall drive comes as lawmakers deal with the fallout of their vote, including threats made to more than 10 House Democrats. Federal law enforcement officials are investigating at least two possible threats directed at members of Congress and their families that Democrats suggest are related to their vote for health care overhaul.
Stupak has received several threatening messages.
Several black lawmakers said protestors at a Tea Party rally on Saturday hurled racial epithets at them and spat upon one of them.