The Thomas Jefferson Area Tea Party rallied at 5th district Congressman Robert Hurt's (R) Albemarle County office Thursday to say enough is enough. They said government spending is out of control and that it's time for Hurt to do something about it.
They called for the congressman to cut spending even if that means shutting down the government.
Carole Thorpe, chairwoman of the Jefferson Area Tea Party, said, "The message is that the Jefferson Area Tea Party is watching."
They're watching to see if Hurt votes for another continuing resolution on the budget. In the absence of a budget deal, the procedural move will keep spending at previous budget year levels until April 8.
Last week, Hurt told NBC29 that he would not support another one. "We really need to put the pressure on the United States Senate to get to work on the proposal we sent and get it done by the deadline so that we can get through 2011 and then focus on 2012," he stated.
If no deal is reached and no resolution is passed, the government would essentially shut down according to University of Virginia Law Professor George Yin.
Yin, who is also an expert on federal budget policy, said a shutdown could have major consequences. He said, "The most obvious impact and most important would be – obviously - on the troops and the war zones, but there would be many other effects."
Thursday's ralliers said lawmakers need to stop worrying about a shutdown and just do the right thing.
"Show some backbone, show some spine and do what we asked you to do. Cut the spending," said Helen Swift-Dovel, who was at the rally.
Yin says if a shutdown happens, air-traffic controllers and food inspectors at the Food and Drug Administration could be furloughed. He thinks the likelihood of that happening is very slim.
Yin says he expects Congress to come up with some sort of deal by April 8, even if that means another continuing resolution.