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 â€œweeks 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.