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Tuesday
Jan042011

Elected As Cost Cutters, GOP Freshmen Party With Fatcats

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- They were elected on a promise to bring a frugal, belt-tightening agenda to a Congress known for profligate spending. But as the new Republican House majority got set to take command, a dozen GOP freshmen were headed to the luxurious W Hotel for a gala fundraiser that commanded $50,000 for VIP guests.

The event scheduled for Tuesday night will be held at a hotel that describes its own accommodations as "over the top," and will include a private concert by country music star Leann Rimes. The invite, sent to lobbyists, wealthy donors and political action committees, comes from America's New Majority, a group of newly-minted Republican congressmen that includes a half-dozen of the victorious Tea Party members.

Tickets are $2,500 per person, and a book of eight tickets and a VIP suite will set a donor back $50,000, according to the invite.

A sure sign the event is cutting against the GOP message of austerity was the frosty response from incoming House Speaker John Boehner, who tops the list of invited guests, but will not attend, according to his press secretary.

California freshman Rep. Jeff Denham was identified by Politico as the "man behind the event," and behind America's New Majority, a leadership fundraising committee.

"It's business as usual in Washington," said Jesse Ferguson, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Despite running an anti-Washington Tea Party campaign, freshman Republicans are embracing the corporate special interest agenda even before they are sworn in."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio