Big spending cuts mark tea party success, and risk

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Associated Press

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pending $85 billion in federal spending cuts would seem like a tea partyer's dream. So why are tea party activists and other conservatives so wary on the eve of the big reductions?

It's because even ardent cost-cutters see the so-called "sequester" as a ham-handed and unpredictable way to reduce federal spending.

While some tea party activists are claiming all-out victory, others are keeping their distance. They call the across-the-board cuts the least-bad of several unpleasant options.

In many ways, the sequester marks the tea party movement's maturation into a virtually mainstream role in the Republican Party.

Cutting the Pentagon's budget once was unthinkable for most Republican lawmakers. But now it is trumped by the drive to keep taxes down while reducing costs wherever possible.

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