Utah billionaire Jon Huntsman Sr., does not like Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).
“He’s been a tremendous embarrassment to our family, to our state, to our country to have him as a U.S. senator," Huntsman, last seen feeding Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) false rumors about Mitt Romney, told Politico.
Huntsman, Politico reports, is actively recruting "establishment" Republicans to challenge Lee in the 2016 primary. Lee's crime? His role in the 2012 shutdown seems to irk Huntsman the most, but other establishment Republicans in the state seem to want him to compromise more with President Obama.
"Strictly speaking on behalf of businesses, the frustration is when you have people who refuse ... to work together to come up with solutions that can move us forward," Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce CEO Lane Beattie told Politico. "He has to, from a legislative standpoint in Congress, learn what it takes to make a change - make a difference. You can try all the bills in the world, but if you don't get anything done, what's the purpose unless you are influencing someone?"
And it is true. Obama has not signed into law any legislation authored by Lee. Not that Lee hasn't tried to be bipartisan. As Politico notes, Lee has worked with both Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) on housing and criminal justice reform respectively. Those bills just weren't priorities for Majority Leader Reid so they never went anywhere.
But as Republicans take over the Senate, you should expect to see Lee's influence more. Lee's "Conservative Reform Agenda" is highly thought of by Senate Republican policy leaders and you can expect to see legislation based on his ideas move forward on taxes, higher education, transportation, and welfare reform.
Will Obama sign any of these bills? Probably not.
But what exactly does the Republican establishment want to see Obama sign? Tax reform that raises revenue? A higher gas tax? Amnesty for illegal immigrants? More power for the Department of Education to force Common Core on the states?
What exactly do establishment Republicans like Huntsman and Beattie plan to run on in 2016?