Members of an increasingly vocal group in McAllen are essentially asking lawmakers to put principle ahead of party or seal their fate at the ballot box.

The McAllen Tea Party Association held two protests on Friday morning in Edinburg and McAllen outside the offices of U.S. Reps. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mcallen and Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo.

Roughly 100 members gathered to oppose a tentative decision on a government healthcare plan saying “it will not work.” They also oppose cap and trade legislation, which they say “will not do anything for the environment” but rather create another security, similar to derivatives on the subprime mortgages in the wake of last fall’s meltdown on Wall Street.

“It will bleed this economy dry. There’s nothing in the government’s record in the last 50 to 75 years (showing) that they can run anything efficiently,” said McAllen Tea Party Association interim president Glen Hagenbach about cap and trade.

“No (to) the government healthcare plan, they should not do the cap and trade and he (Hinojosa) should follow the Constitution of the United States as he swore to do and to represent the good of the people and the good of the country to put principal ahead of party,” Hagenbach said.

Hagenbach says the impression Hinojosa has given is that he is not listening to the people, albeit the conservative voice of the Valley which chastises him for voting for the stimulus plan earlier this year, and more recently for cap and trade.

The bill, officially called the The American Clean Energy and Security Act passed narrowly in the U.S. House in June with 219 votes for the measure and 212 votes against.

The idea behind cap and trade is to enhance America’s energy independence, create millions of new clean energy jobs and cut global warming pollution. It is strongly backed by President Barack Obama.

Rep. Cuellar also voted for the cap and trade bill and in an interview with the Guardian called it “transformational” for energy independence in the U.S.

Those present at the Tea Party protest in McAllen say lawmakers should look around and see that there are some who are very upset with their vote.

“Ruben Hinojosa, I would like you very much to listen to the people when they call you. All the lines went down when they said ‘don’t vote for cap and trade we can’t afford it’ you didn’t listen so we are hoping that people will listen to us and get rid of you,” said Fern McClaugherty, a member of the Objective Watchers of the Legal System (OWLS) who was present at the protest.