100 People to Watch This Fall : Page 58 of 102

This first-term senator is pushing the Republican Party to take a stand against funding for ObamaCare.

Lee’s profile has risen sharply since he started rallying Republican lawmakers behind the strategy of opposing any government funding bill that contains money for the healthcare law. Because the current funding bill expires at the end of September, Lee and his peers’ blanket opposition to most funding measures could prompt a stalemate that shuts down the government, an outcome they would blame on President Obama. 

Lee and his supporters see the government funding fight as the last, best chance to defeat ObamaCare, because many of the benefits from the law will take effect on Jan. 1.

“Only in Washington is Obama-Care controversial,” Lee recently wrote in USA Today. “Outside the Beltway it is despised. … The only responsible choice now is to protect the country from Obama-Care’s looming disaster.” 

Lee, a constitutional lawyer and Tea Party affiliate, was elected in 2010 after defeating Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah). He is a member of the Armed Services, Energy and Natural Resources, and Judiciary committees.