Texas Gains A Tea Party Caucus

Texas – The Texas Legislature will have a new caucus when they convene in January: the Tea Party Caucus.

Sen. Dan Patrick, R- Houston, said Thursday that he had formed the caucus, which is made up of 50 House members and two senators.

To be a member, Patrick said legislators must agree to uphold the principles of limited government, lower taxes and "defend the sovereignty of Texas." Members also are required to sign and support the Texas Conservative Coalition Pledge with Texas.

Patrick, a conservative talk radio host, called the tea party movement "the most important political movement of our life time."

House Democrats were quick to respond, calling the conservative group "extreme" and the agenda one of "irresponsible budget cuts that will hurt hardworking Texas families."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.