Huntsman is expected to serve as co-chair of the group along with Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: EPA aims to work more closely with industry Overnight Finance: Lawmakers grill Equifax chief over hack | Wells Fargo CEO defends bank's progress | Trump jokes Puerto Rico threw budget 'out of whack' | Mortgage tax fight tests industry clout Lawmakers try again on miners’ pension bill MORE (D-W.Va.), the Utah newspaper reported.

In the conference call, Huntsman, who dropped out of the 2012 presidential race early in the year, said he supported a proposal for lawmakers to forgo their salaries if they are unable to pass a budget. Huntsman also said that the only way to avoid impending spending cuts and tax increases referred to as the fiscal cliff is for legislators to reach across the aisle. 

"There’s no conceivable path forward on the debt [crisis] unless Republicans and Democrats reach across the aisle," Huntsman said.