"The Tea Party movement is my view is the most important political movement of my lifetime, and I've been around a while," said Patrick. "I don't want to see it go away, I want to see it get stronger."
But the caucus may not represent all Tea Party members across the state, so says Alice Linahan who is a member of a nationwide Tea Party group. Linahan says the election of known moderate-conservative Joe Straus to House Speaker Tuesday is a big sign the Tea Party Caucus inside the Capitol they do not represent the conservative values other Tea Party members want.
But Patrick said members will sign a pledge to support Tea Party principles as well as a pledge to the Texas Conservative Coalition.
"That's about as conservative as you can get, said Patrick. "Our Caucus is going to pass conservative legislation."
Democrats believe the Tea Party, while catching people's attention, will not influence the session.
"I think that it's still a so-called movement," said Democrat House Representative from Ft. Worth Marc Veasey. "I think that until the Tea Party really shows that they have some real muscle, it's not the Tea Party calling the shots around this place or any place in government. It's still the Country Club Republicans that are in charge."
Patrick says the caucus will focus on three main issues: balancing the budget without raising taxes, securing the border and other immigration issues, and debating the controversial voter ID bill, which died in the last session.