Tea Party senator unveils new PAC

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeConservatives balk over funding bill ahead of shutdown  Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Senate sides with Trump on providing Saudi military support MORE (R-Utah), a member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, has established a new fundraising committee to support conservative candidates, and will not rule out challenging GOP incumbents.

Lee on Tuesday unveiled his new leadership political action committee (PAC), the Constitutional Conservatives Fund. It appears to be modeled on Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) Senate Conservatives Fund, which helped elect Tea Party-backed candidates to the Senate in 2010.

“The purpose of it is to help find and support candidates for federal office who share my view that federal government has become too big and too expensive and believe in the need to restore what I refer to as constitutional-limited government,” Lee told The Hill.

DeMint used his leadership PAC for a similar purpose, helping elect Tea Party favorites including Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump GOP senator threatened to hold up bill over provision to honor late political rival: report Conservatives balk over funding bill ahead of shutdown  MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump replaces McMaster with Bolton as national security adviser Orlando March for Our Lives protesters to march to Rubio's downtown office, Pulse nightclub Lawmakers eye crackdown on China’s Confucius Institutes MORE (R-Fla.) over front-runners favored by the GOP establishment in Washington.

Lee has already endorsed two conservative candidates in GOP primaries for open Senate seats in Arizona and Texas: Rep. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOvernight Health Care: House passes .3T omnibus | Bill boosts funds for NIH, opioid treatment | Senators spar over ObamaCare fix | 'Right to Try' bill heads to the Senate The Hill's 12:30 Report Booker admits defeat in Capitol snowball fight with Flake MORE (Ariz.) and Texas solicitor general Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzConservatives balk over funding bill ahead of shutdown  Confirmation fight over Trump pick exposes blurred lines in GOP-LGBT activism GOP pushes to change Senate rules for Trump MORE.

More from The Hill:
♦ Employers unlikely to drop coverage because of health law
♦ Rep. Eshoo: Rule to stop loud TV ads applies to all providers
♦ Former Sen. Domenici to promote nuclear energy
♦ Bachmann, Palin outraged at Biden's Tea Party 'terrorist' jab

Lee, who defeated three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett (R) at Utah’s Republican primary convention in 2010, is not ruling out backing conservatives who might challenge his Senate colleagues.  

“It would be hypocritical of me if I were to say never, ever under any circumstances would I try to support someone trying to come here the same way I came here,” Lee said.

He added, however, he does not have his mind set on supporting any particular challenger against a particular incumbent right now.