Lee: GOP outrage is not an agenda

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Tuesday used the shaky rollout of President Obama’s healthcare law to justify his failed effort to defund the law earlier this month. 

“[The month] is ending with powerful and practical proof of just why stopping Obamacare is so essential,” he said during a speech at the Heritage Foundation.  

 Lee said he would redouble his effort, but cautioned his conservative colleagues that “anger” and “outrage” at the establishment is not an agenda. 

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"Especially in the wake of recent controversies, many conservatives are more frustrated with the establishment than ever before,” he said. “And we have every reason to be. But however justified, frustration is not a platform.”

"Outrage, resentment, and intolerance are gargoyles of the left," he added.

Lee spearheaded the push to use government funding as leverage to extract concessions on ObamaCare during the budget debate earlier this month. 

He, and others like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), broke with a number of members of their party who predicted the plan would end in defeat and sunken poll numbers. 

Lee accused the Republican Party of clinging to a different era’s policy agenda and challenged his colleagues to come up with their own. 

In his prepared remarks, Lee said it is fine that the GOP has not unified around a plan to replace ObamaCare. 

Attempting to rebut criticism that Republicans have only focused on stalling the law, Lee ticked off a number of GOP healthcare measures introduced in the House and Senate. 

“Unity cannot come at the expense of creativity,” he said. “The day will come when Republicans need a healthcare plan — today we need ten.” 

He cited three events in the last few years that provide a guide for the party — the effort to ban earmarks in Congress, Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) plan to reform entitlement spending and Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) 13-hour filibuster against U.S. drone policy. 

Lee outlined a package of bills he will introduce in the coming days, including a broad outline for tax reform and one addressing higher education. Another transportation proposal would reduce a tax on gasoline and hand more highway authority to states.  

He will also sponsor a House-passed measure that would allow private sector-workers to receive extra days off instead of overtime pay.