'Tea Party Patriots' Preps Activists for August Town Halls on Immigration, Obamacare
Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin told Breitbart News host Stephen K. Bannon on Sunday night that her group has a plan to prepare activists for town halls with their U.S. Representatives and Senators on Obamacare and immigration nationwide over the month of August.
“Really, the rise of the Tea Party started in 2009, I guess, it was four years ago, in the summer of 2009,” Bannon opened up his questions with Martin on the show. "We had the meetings, we had the rallies, but it really started with the town halls against Obamacare. Over the next five weeks we have both the defunding of Obamacare, which is being sponsored and driven by Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, but probably more important is immigration and the immigration bill and representatives going back and hearing from people.”
Martin responded with a detailed plan her group Tea Party Patriots has for five individual town halls it is hosting with other conservative groups across the country, and details for constituents attending town halls put on by their congressional members.
“We’re focusing on both of those [Obamacare defunding and immigration] and also on IRS,” Martin said. “With immigration, we’re partnering with Eagle Forum, Remembrance Project and NumbersUSA. We’re going to be in Richmond on August 12 at a town hall meeting there. We’re looking at August 19 at having a town hall meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. And then we have three more in the works in Ohio, Dallas, Texas, and in South Carolina. And these are all town halls that we are hosting.
"So we’re doing this to get the information and the facts out there about what is in the Senate bill and what will likely happen if anything passes through the House and these bills go to conference. We’re also getting information about these congressmen and senators who are having these town halls around the country so we can let people know when their congressmen or senators are having these town halls and they can show up and confront them with the facts.”
Martin added that “one of our biggest focuses right now” is preparing constituents to pressure their members of Congress on the plans by which House GOP leadership would try to save the Senate bill by taking it to conference with a House bill, or a group of House bills.
“We’ve got to make sure the people know the dangers of what happens at conference,” she said. “What I’ve heard over the last week and a half or so up on Capitol Hill while I was in Washington, D.C., in the last few weeks is that members of Congress are very frustrated that constituents actually know what conference means. We have done our job, but we have to keep doing it and we can’t let up. Because, if we let up, they’ll think we’re not serious about it and they’ll just go on about business as usual.”
Martin said Tea Partiers nationwide should be on the lookout for tricks from their members of Congress, too, and should be sure to pressure them to actually have town halls with constituents. Since there are many members doing things in Washington their constituents may not approve of, like choosing not to fight to defund Obamacare or pushing for an amnesty of America’s at least 11 million illegal aliens, Martin said some members of Congress may actually try to avoid town halls altogether.
“These members have become much more sneaky in the past four years, than they were in 2009, about where they’re having town halls, how much advance notice they give to people prior to the town hall meeting,” Martin said.
Martin said that since the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” legislation is so complicated, like Obamacare, constituents nationwide seem to be aware of bits and pieces of the problems with it, but not the whole thing. “We are hearing that a lot of people know some things about what is in that 1,200-page monstrous bill from the Senate,” she said.
“Many of the Republicans in the Senate are saying the right things--and the things they are talking about are good things for immigration reform. But the thing that concerns us is that anything that passes out of the House will go to a conference between the Senate and the House. Ultimately, what comes out of conference will more than likely be what we saw in the Senate immigration bill. We’ve seen these things so often that we don’t take what they’re doing at face value in the House.”
Martin said Tea Partiers should read Breitbart News for details on the bill, and can visit TeaPartyToolkit.com to arm themselves with more facts for when they face their members of Congress. Ultimately, though, Martin said it is all about people actually attending the town halls. Martin also offered a few suggestions for questions Tea Partiers should ask their congressmen.
“We have to show up and let them know what we think and we have to ask them the tough questions,” Martin said. “What does it mean when you say pathway to citizenship? How many forged passports can these people have when you’re saying pathway to citizenship? How many drunk driving instances can you be convicted of when you’re saying pathway to citizenship? How much pork are you willing to put into these bills? We have to ask these questions because all of that was inside the Senate bill.”