Politics

Tea Partiers Draft 'Contract From America' to Tackle Country's Problems

Tea Party activists, echoing the Republicans who took control of Congress in 1994, are crafting a document that expresses their beliefs, values and ideas on how to solve the country's biggest problems.

The Tea Party Movement will unveil the full "Contract from America" on April 15, Tax Day. But on Thursday, Tea Partiers released the top three planks of the platform, which were determined by an online vote.

The top priority, chosen by 80.7 percent of respondents, is to protect the Constitution. This would require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.

The second priority, selected by 70.8 percent, is to reject President Obama's climate change legislation, otherwise known as "cap and trade."

The third priority is demand a balanced budget – chosen by 69.9 percent. This calls for starting a constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.

The priorities were chosen from a list of 21 issues that included "stop the tax hikes," "commit to real government transparency," "no more bailouts," and "stop the pork."

Clearly, the Tea Party Movement is hoping to capitalize on its success of mobilizing disaffected Americans who are fed up with government spending, bailouts and Obama's policies.

In 1994, Newt Gingrich released the "Contract with America," a document that detailed the actions Republicans would take if they regained control of Congress. After elections that year, Republicans saw a net gain of 54 seats in the House, giving them control of the chamber for the first time in 40 years.