Lee Moves Away from Ted Cruz

Sen. Mike Lee is taking steps to get out of Sen. Ted Cruz’s shadow following the 16-day government shutdown.

Politico spoke with Lee who says he wants to be seen as more than an angry conservative unwilling to compromise.

Asked whether it made sense to insist on a defunding of the health care law in the next fiscal fight, Lee said matter of factly: “No. I would love to have that, I’m just saying in the position that we’re in, I don’t think that’s a strategy that is going to work.”

In a way, Lee’s comments are in line with the rhetoric he has been espousing in the aftermath of the shutdown, which took a significant toll on his popularity back home and could cause problems for him in his 2016 reelection bid.

Lee has called for a “conservative reform agenda,” something that would promote government action to target poverty in America and encourage upward mobility among middle-class and poorer Americans. His agenda calls for proposals like an overhaul of the criminal justice system by allowing nonviolent inmates greater opportunity to reintegrate with society; providing an additional $2,500 per-child tax credit; and more flexible comp-time policies allowing workers to choose between days off and monetary compensation for working overtime.