“It’s hard to go home to the American people in my district and say, 'Hey, we made some changes here,' and they say ‘Well, I looked at the budget, and it's bigger than it was last year,’” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R) of Kansas, who opposes the Ryan plan. “So there’s a real credibility issue if we’re going to follow through on the Ryan budget.”
Tea party sympathizers, rallying around Capitol Hill on Tuesday in opposition to President Obama’s health-care law, agreed that their 2010 revolution has not brought the desired results. In interviews, many said they weren’t seeing enough follow-through on lawmakers' promises like the 2010 Pledge to America, a GOP campaign document that aimed to slash $100 billion from the spending for the balance of FY 2011. Congress managed a $39 billion reduction, mostly by punting spending reductions to future years.
Some tea party-backed House members “seem to have been, I guess for a word, co-opted, into the old Republican mentality which is not significantly different than the Democrats’ mentality,” says Charles Grose, a member of the Berks County Patriots in Redding, Penn. "They’re both going where I don’t want to be.”
"They need to stand more to conservative principles and not think that’s so much [about] compromising because I think the compromising weighs down the conservative message,” adds Darlene Resnick of Timonium, Md., who first got engaged in politics at a tea party rally in Washington in 2009.
Ms. Resnick’s harder-line preference is one that many conservative members of Congress say they understand.