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What started out as a grassroots movement in communities – large and small from Texas to Maine – has now become a national powerhouse.


The Tea Party began as a way for people to voice their frustration with liberals in Washington stealing away their personal liberty - from ObamaCare and a national energy tax to out of control spending and bailouts.


They were simply fed up! So Tea Party members turned their frustration into action. They started by voicing concerns at rallies across the country, including large gatherings in cities and towns across the 6th district from Arlington to Ellis County and Crockett to Corsicana. Next they jumped into the legislative process. Each time the Democratic leadership imposed their liberal agenda with a lopsided proposal, Tea Party members pushed back by flooding my office – and others all over Capitol Hill – with phone calls and letters.


The passion and patriotism displayed by these people is inspiring.


It has been gratifying to see that their beliefs in smaller government, lower taxes and more personal freedom aligned perfectly with mine. Those core values are the reason I ran for Congress 26 years ago and they are the same things I still fight to achieve everyday.


So I got involved. I joined my neighbors at Tea Party rallies in Arlington and Ft. Worth last year and have continued to meet personally with local leaders in the movement.


It is important to me to let people know their voices are being heard in Washington and apparently I am not alone.


Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota recently started the Tea Party Caucus in Congress. The goal is simple – to serve as a non-partisan “informal group of members dedicated to promoting Americans’ call for fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution and limited government.”


I gladly attended the first caucus meeting last week where we heard from Tea Party leaders from across the country. These hard-working Americans are genuinely concerned about the direction of our country. They echoed the same sentiments I have heard from Texans all over the 6th District: We have had enough of exploding federal spending, a bloated bureaucracy and the ‘government knows best’ ideology now prevalent in Washington. After an excellent dialogue and a positive exchange of ideas I became one of the 24 founding members of the Tea Party Caucus (By the way, Texas is the best represented state with 8 members).


The role this new group will play in Washington is still being defined, but our mission is clear: We are here to listen to your ideas, stand up for your principles, and change the direction this country is headed.


I look forward to the expanding role of the Tea Party not only in Washington, but also around the state of Texas and the 6th District. Together we can take back our country from the big-spending, tax-raising, pro-bureaucracy folks who are in charge now and give it back to those who strive for fiscal responsibility, limited government and individual liberty.


Rep. Barton represents the 6th District of Texas. He is the highest ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. You can learn more about him by visiting his website - http://joebarton.house.gov

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Nelson Propane

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