Sen. Lee: Tea Party Group’s First Amendment Rights Violated

The point is these people need to be heard,” said Brian Phillips, communications director for Lee. He pointed out that a group of “Occupy Wall Street” protesters were allowed to come into Senate office buildings in the past and stage a public protest in the halls.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) believes First Amendment rights were violated when a group of Tea Party-affiliated voters were barred from holding a planned meeting in a House office building this week, his office said Friday.

The freshman senator had arranged a meeting Thursday in Russell, a Senate office building, for Tea Party activists and members of Congress and informed the Senate Rules Committee “weeks and weeks ago,” according to Lee’s office. The meeting had been approved, and several members of Congress planned to attend, including Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

According to influential Tea Party group Freedom Works, over 200 Freedom Works activists planned to attend the event, which was going to stream live on C-SPAN. A group of Tea Party leaders appointed as the Tea Party Debt Commission planned to present and discuss a set of deficit-reduction recommendations with members of Congress.


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