Taking a cue from Bachmann in the House, Tea Party caucus forms in Senate

WASHINGTON — Six months after Michele Bachmann formed a Tea Party caucus in the House, the Senate’s getting one of their own.

Sen. Jim DeMint, the conservative kingmaker from South Carolina, will form the caucus with freshmen Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, according to a report in POLITICO.

Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus hasn’t really altered the course of legislation in the House as yet, but seems to have hit a niche in its plan to offer classes in constitutional law to House members. The first speaker, due up later this month, is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

It’s unknown what role DeMint’s caucus will serve, apart from as a litmus test for Tea Party-identifying senators, but the group told POLITICO that they’ll meet for the first time on January 27 to “discuss proposals to rein in the size and scope of government.”

Said DeMint: “The folks who made the Tea Party such a force to be reckoned with in the last election can have an enduring impact by holding elected officials accountable to the people.”

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