A Guide to Fund-Raising, Tea Party Style

Representative Raúl R. Labrador talked to the news media after the House Freedom Caucus meeting in Washington in October.

By Jennifer Steinhauer – – – –

It seems Representative Raúl R. Labrador has a considerable view of his singular ability to oust a speaker, tame federal spending and decapitate special interests. We know this, because he is trying to raise money by saying so.

In a letter to donors, Mr. Labrador, a Republican from Idaho elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, reminds them that, like all members of the House, he is a perpetual candidate in need of cash. He reassures them that “your support is the reason I sat in Speaker Boehner’s office and gave him an ultimatum: Change the way you’re running the House of Representatives or step down. The next day, he resigned from Congress.”

Actually, several conservative members, many of them in the loosely formed Freedom Caucus, of which Mr. Labrador is a member, went after former Speaker John A. Boehner for the better part of a year. Mr. Boehner announced this fall that he would end his career in Congress. He was replaced in the speaker’s chair by Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.

Mr. Labrador points out that he “didn’t stop there,” and that he “told special interest groups that enough was enough and extracted $2 trillion in reduced spending over the next 10 years.” It is not clear what budget measure Mr. Labrador is referring to, but he generally votes against bipartisan budget deals and was not a major player in any fiscal negotiation. He did have a role in attempts to come up with immigration legislation, but he did not refer to this in his letter.

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