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The U.S. Capitol in Washington on the eve of last fall’s government shutdown, Sept. 30, 2013. In a rebuke to far-right Tea Party activists, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a $1.1-trillion budget bill Jan. 15, 2014.
The U.S. Capitol in Washington on the eve of last fall’s government shutdown, Sept. 30, 2013. In a rebuke to far-right Tea Party activists, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a $1.1-trillion budget bill Jan. 15, 2014.
(KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

David Shribman

How the Tea Party keeps dragging Republicans to the right

The Tea Party is preparing to pour hot water over the cured leaves of America’s establishment party this year, and while the conservative insurgents may not prevail either in the Republican Party or in Congress, they surely will alter the taste of politics in the United States.

The first effect of this strong brew: The fresh consensus that an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, a notion that had the ardent support of President Barack Obama, Republican congressional chieftains and business leaders, is all but doomed. Late last week House Speaker John Boehner backed away from the measure amid signs that Tea Party elements within the House Republican caucus would oppose the legislation.