Tea party tees off on McConnell after debt vote


WASHINGTON (AP) — The tea party is teeing off on Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell's challenger in the GOP primary in Kentucky, Matt Bevin, is seizing on the senator's vote to move ahead on legislation to increase the nation's debt limit. Bevin is describing the vote as giving a blank check to President Barack Obama.

The tea party-backed businessman and conservative groups are signaling that they won't let Senate Republican incumbents forget Wednesday's vote this election year.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a tea party darling, forced Republican leaders to cast a tough vote allowing the debt bill to clear a filibuster hurdle. After overcoming that obstacle, the Senate passed the bill on a party-line 55-43 vote.

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