After starting out as just a few people with signs, then morphing into a viable third-party force tipping elections and surprising skeptics, the Tea Party is now moving into next phase on Wednesday, as members will hold their first formal positions in Washington.
Wednesday also marks the first time President Obama will face Tea Party members in a concrete sense. So far he's only had to deal with them in a distant way. His party competed against Tea Party candidates in the midterm elections, other lawmakers heard their wrath firsthand at town halls two summers ago, and Tea Party members might rally on the National Mall right outside the White House, but Obama hasn't necessarily had to come face-to-face with members and their initiatives.
Until now. The 112th Congress officially begins Wednesday with new members who align themselves with the Tea Party invading Capitol Hill.
There are 34 new lawmakers, 29 in the House and five in the Senate, who line themselves up with the tenets of Tea Party.
There's also a new Tea Party coalition in Congress, a group who plans on taking Tea Party passion - mostly from rallies and road trips in the past -- and making them a more concrete reality on Capitol Hill.
So will the White House extend a welcome invitation to the new Tea Party members?
The White House pointed out to Fox News that the president called all of the newly elected members of Congress shortly after the election and that the first couple has hosted numerous social events, picnics and holiday parties for members of Congress from both parties at the White House. No word yet on whether there will be a reception specifically for the newcomers.
One of the larger factions of the Tea Party, a group called the Tea Party Express, is also planning to boost its presence in D.C. with a rally that could possibly be later this month.
"This is still in its early stages, but we are planning to host a townhall-style event that would connect members of Congress with their Tea Party constituents nationwide. The goal is to help ensure that members of the Tea Party movement are on the same page with their elected leaders," said Tea Party Express leader Levi Russell tells Fox News.
It seems the group is looking to momentum gained in the elections and wants to make sure members aren't just getting swallowed in by D.C.
"We can't afford to cast our votes on Election Day and then just walk away - we want to ensure that we're all working towards the same goals of fiscal responsibility that will help put America's economy back on track. Our intention is to invite members of Congress who are supportive of the Tea Party ideals: stop raising taxes, stop the growth and intrusiveness of the federal government, and support private enterprise."