Next Phase of Deficit Battle Could Test Tea Party Resolve

The influence of the Tea Party is about to endure a critical test, as lawmakers enter the second chapter of their deficit-reduction plan after approving a record increase in the debt ceiling.

Conservative Republicans have been conflicted over the 11th-hour compromise and the course of the debate as a whole. While they claim credit for shifting the conversation in Washington from stimulus to deficit reduction, Tea Party lawmakers and activists were disappointed with the result of the debt-cap talks.

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