Why Sen. Mike Lee needs to stay in Sen. Ted Cruz’s shadow

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TexasWhen the two senators gummed up the works of Senate over the weekend, using its arcane procedure against the wishes of the GOP leadership to force a vote on the constitutionality of a $1.1 trillion spending package already approved by the House, Cruz was the one most openly chastised by other GOP senators and hounded by the press. But he doesn’t need his colleagues to gain clout with a conservative base that disdains them, and so he has no political incentive to invest in relationships with other senators, according to Senate Republican aides. Lee, who harbors no apparent presidential ambitions but will need to win reelection in Utah under new, less favorable GOP primary rules in 2016, does.

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