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Business tackles another House tea partier

Just a week after Election Day’s big win for moderate conservatives, Michigan business leaders are rallying against tea partier Rep. Justin Amash.
Justin Amash
Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. returns to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 24, 2013.

Just a week after Election Day’s big win for moderate conservatives, Michigan business leaders are rallying against conservative firebrand Rep. Justin Amash.  

Seven business leaders in the state wrote a fundraising letter on behalf of Amash’ Republican primary challenger, Brian Ellis, arguing that Amash “and others have effectively nullified the Republican majority in the U.S. House,” the letter obtained by the Hill said.

Ellis, a businessman from West Michigan, is challenging Amash for working against establishment Republican efforts.

Amash and others “rejected Speaker Boehner’s plea to pass legislation requiring Congress and the president be subject to ObamaCare, and put on hold the special new tax on medical equipment. This irresponsible action hurt over 50 great West Michigan businesses and was part of the chaos that led the nation to the edge of default,” the letter said.

Amash is just one of many Tea Partiers who will see business-backed challengers in next year's mid-term elections. Last week, business-backed attorney Bradley Byrne beat out a tea party activist and birther, Dean Young, in Alabama—it was a slim victory for the establishment in the GOP's internal war.

Amash is one of the House’s most vocal tea partiers—he attempted to orchestrate a coup against House Speaker John Boehner and lead the charge on defunding Obamacare as part of the budget—a legislative ploy that never had a chance, instead sending the country into a 16-day shutdown.

While his firebrand style may have earned him affection amongst the tea party, Amash appears to be struggling with fundraising—days before the shutdown began, he posted on his Facebook that he was behind on fundraising goals.

“I have some bad news. At this moment, we remain $12,373 behind our quarterly minimum. And we’ve heard in the last few weeks that the Washington political class is scheming to take me out. If we don’t hit our minimum target, they will be emboldened to run a challenger against me,” he wrote in late September. (A week later, Ellis officially challenged.)