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U id t e S n t ne Sa s e a r t t o

Mi eL e k e

MICHAEL S. LEE
UTAH SPENCER F. STOKES
CHIEF OF STAFF

COMMITTEES:
JUDICIARY

United States Senate


WASHINGTON, DC 20510-4404

ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES FOREIGN AFFAIRS JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE

To the Utah State Legislature:

In many ways, 2011 was a transitional year for the country. The American people, tired of broken promises, ushered in a wave of new faces into Congress and expected them to begin immediately addressing the nations most pressing problems.

With a clear message from the people of Utah, we began working on fixing systemic flaws in congressional procedure even before I was officially sworn in. I wrote a letter to Senate Leadership in December of 2010 that ultimately lead to the earmark ban. That momentum carried me into my first year in office when I began researching and developing solutions to problems associated with Congresss out-of-control spending, our mounting national debt, the federal governments overregulation of individuals and businesses, the administration blocking access to Americas domestic energy resources, our inefficient and lengthy immigration process, and a host of other national and Utah priorities. Along the way, I visited with literally hundreds of Utah groups, associations, elected officials, individual constituents, representatives from Utahs schools and colleges, and many others with interests before the U.S. Senate. We held town halls all over the state, began a Mobile Office program to visit every county at least twice, and responded to thousands of letters and phone calls. The Annual Report includes all of the legislation I have sponsored and cosponsored; executive summaries of the work from the committees on which I sit; published press releases, blogs, and other forms of communication; and many other items showing just how we are working to improve the prosperity and liberty of Utahns. Thank you for allowing me to serve you in Congress. Michael S. Lee United States Senator

This 2011 Annual Report is intended to chronicle the activities of my office over the past year. I believe you will see we have been hard at work representing the people of Utah.

316 Hart Senate Office Building

(202) 224-5444

(202) 228-1168 Fax

B t l f rt e a te o h B ln e B d e aa cd u g t A n me me d nt

U id t e S n t ne Sa s e a r t t o

Mi eL e k e

IIA

112TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION

S. J. RES. 5

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States requiring that the Federal budget be balanced.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES


FEBRUARY 3, 2011 Mr. LEE (for himself, Mr. KYL, Mr. BARRASSO, Mr. BURR, Mr. DEMINT, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. PAUL, Mr. RISCH, Mr. RUBIO, Mr. THUNE, Mr. TOOMEY, Mr. VITTER, Mr. CRAPO, and Ms. AYOTTE) introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

JOINT RESOLUTION
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States requiring that the Federal budget be balanced. 1 Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives

2 of the United States of America in Congress assembled 3 (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the fol4 lowing article is proposed as an amendment to the Con5 stitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all 6 intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when 7 ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several
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8 States:

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2 1 2 ARTICLE SECTION 1. Total outlays for any fiscal year shall

3 not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year. 4 SECTION 2. Total outlays shall not exceed 18 per-

5 cent of the gross domestic product of the United States 6 for the calendar year ending prior to the beginning of such 7 fiscal year. 8 SECTION 3. The Congress may provide for suspen-

9 sion of the limitations imposed by section 1 or 2 of this 10 article for any fiscal year for which two-thirds of the whole 11 number of each House shall provide, by a roll call vote, 12 for a specific excess of outlays over receipts or over 18 13 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States 14 for the calendar year ending prior to the beginning of such 15 fiscal year. 16 SECTION 4. Any bill to levy a new tax or increase

17 the rate of any tax shall not become law unless approved 18 by two-thirds of the whole number of each House of Con19 gress by a roll call vote. 20 SECTION 5. The limit on the debt of the United

21 States held by the public shall not be increased, unless 22 two-thirds of the whole number of each House of Congress 23 shall provide for such an increase by a roll call vote.
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SECTION 6. Any Member of Congress shall have

25 standing and a cause of action to seek judicial enforce-

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3 1 ment of this article, when authorized to do so by a petition 2 signed by one-third of the Members of either House of 3 Congress. No court of the United States or of any State 4 shall order any increase in revenue to enforce this article. 5 SECTION 7. The Congress shall have the power to

6 enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 7 SECTION 8. Total receipts shall include all receipts

8 of the United States except those derived from borrowing. 9 Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States 10 except those for repayment of debt principal. 11 SECTION 9. This article shall become effective begin-

12 ning with the second fiscal year commencing after its rati13 fication by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several 14 States..

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II

Calendar No. 97
112TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION

S. 1340

To cut, cap, and balance the Federal budget.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES


JULY 7, 2011 Mr. LEE (for himself, Mr. TOOMEY, Mr. PAUL, Mr. DEMINT, Mr. JOHNSON of Wisconsin, Mr. HATCH, Ms. AYOTTE, Mr. BARRASSO, Mr. BLUNT, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mr. COBURN, Mr. CORKER, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. ISAKSON, Mr. PORTMAN, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. RUBIO, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. THUNE, Mr. VITTER, and Mr. WICKER) introduced the following bill; which was read the first time JULY 11, 2011 Read the second time and placed on the calendar

A BILL
To cut, cap, and balance the Federal budget. 1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-

2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 3 4


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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the Cut, Cap, and Balance

5 Act of 2011.

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TITLE ICUT
SEC. 101. REDUCTION OF 2012 SPENDING.

Fore purposes of section 302(a) of the Congressional

4 Budget Act of 1974, the estimated allocation of the appro5 priate levels of budget totals for fiscal year 2012 for the 6 Senate Committee on Appropriations shall be 7 8 9 10 11 12 (1) $1,137,000,000,000 in total new budget authority; and (2) $1,277,000,000,000 in total budget outlays.

TITLE IICAP
SEC. 201. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

It is the sense of Congress that Congress should

13 enact comprehensive tax reform that lowers marginal 14 rates, broadens the base, and simplifies the tax code to 15 increase economic growth while generating revenues that 16 are in line with the historical average of 18% of GDP. 17 18 19
SEC. 202. MODIFICATION OF THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT.

Title III of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974

20 is amended by inserting at the end the following: 21 22


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SEC. 316. DISCRETIONARY SPENDING LIMITS.

(a) IN GENERAL.It shall not be in order in the

23 House of Representatives or the Senate to consider any 24 bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that

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3 1 includes any provision that would cause the discretionary 2 spending limits as set forth in this section to be exceeded. 3 (b) LIMITS.In this section, the term discretionary

4 spending limits has the following meaning: 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23


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(1) For fiscal year 2012 (A) for the defense category (budget function 050), $575,790,000,000 in budget authority; and (B) for the non-defense category,

$435,000,000,000 in budget authority. (2) For fiscal year 2013 (A) for the defense category (budget function 050), $593,476,000,000 in budget authority; and (B) for the non-defense category,

$435,000,000,000 in budget authority. (3) For fiscal year 2014 (A) for the defense category (budget function 050), $609,549,000,000 in budget authority; and (B) for the non-defense category,

$435,000,000,000 in budget authority. (4) For fiscal year 2015

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(A) for the defense category (budget function 050), $621,853,000,000 in budget authority; and (B) for the non-defense category,

$435,000,000,000 in budget authority. (5) For fiscal year 2016 (A) for the defense category (budget function 050), $634,895,000,000 in budget authority; and (B) for the non-defense category,

$435,000,000,000 in budget authority. (6) For fiscal year 2017 (A) for the defense category (budget function 050), $646,458,000,000 in budget authority; and (B) for the non-defense category,

$435,000,000,000 in budget authority. (7) For fiscal year 2018 (A) for the defense category (budget function 050), $658,261,000,000 in budget authority; and (B) for the non-defense category,

$435,000,000,000 in budget authority. (8) For fiscal year 2019

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5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 (A) for the defense category (budget function 050), $667,000,000,000 in budget authority; and (B) for the non-defense category,

$435,000,000,000 in budget authority. (9) For fiscal year 2020 (A) for the defense category (budget function 050), $671,000,000,000 in budget authority; and (B) for the non-defense category,

$443,500,000,000 in budget authority. (10) For fiscal year 2021 (A) for the defense category (budget function 050), $695,000,000,000 in budget authority; and (B) for the non-defense category,

$457,700,000,000 in budget authority. (c) ADJUSTMENTS.After the reporting of a bill or

19 joint resolution relating to oversees deployments described 20 in subsection (d), or the offering of an amendment thereto 21 or the submission of a conference report thereon 22 23
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(1) the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the budget may adjust the discretionary spending limits provided in this section, the budgetary aggregates in the concurrent resolution on the budget

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6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 most recently adopted by the Senate and the House of Representatives, and allocations pursuant to section 302(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, by the amount of new budget authority in that measure for that purpose and the outlays flowing there from; and (2) following any adjustment under paragraph (1), the Senate Committee on Appropriations may report appropriately revised suballocations pursuant to section 302(b) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to carry out this subsection. (d) OVERSEAS DEPLOYMENTS.If a bill or joint

13 resolution is reported making appropriations for fiscal 14 year 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, or 2017 that provides 15 funding for overseas deployments and activities under16 taken as a result of a declaration of war or Congressional 17 authorization of force, the allowable adjustments provided 18 for in subsection (c) shall not exceed the following: 19 20 21 22 23
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(1) For fiscal year 2012, $126,500,000,000 in budget authority. (2) For fiscal year 2013, $50,000,000,000 in budget authority. (3) For fiscal year 2014, $50,000,000,000 in budget authority.

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(4) For fiscal year 2015, $50,000,000,000 in budget authority. (5) For fiscal year 2016, $30,800,000,000 in budget authority. (6) For fiscal year 2017, $8,500,000,000 in budget authority. (e) POINT OF ORDER IN THE SENATE. (1) WAIVER.The provisions of this section shall be waived or suspended in the Senate only (A) by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members, duly chosen and sworn; or (B) in the case of defense budget authority, if Congress declares war or authorizes the use of force (2) APPEAL.Appeals in the Senate from decisions of the Chair relating to any provision of this section shall be limited to one hour, to be equally divided between, and controlled by, the appellant and the manager of the measure. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under this section.

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8 1 2
SEC. 317. CERTAIN MANDATORY SPENDING LIMITS.

(a) IN GENERAL.It shall not be in order in the

3 House of Representatives or the Senate to consider any 4 bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that 5 includes any provision that would cause total on-budget 6 mandatory spending, except as excluded in subsection (b), 7 to exceed the limits specified in subsection (c). 8 (b) EXEMPT FROM SPECIFIED LIMITS.The man-

9 datory components of the following functions are exempt 10 from the limits specified in subsection (c): 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 700. (4) Net Interest, function 900. (c) LIMITS
ING.The ON

(1) Social Security, function 650. (2) Medicare, function 570. (3) Veterans Benefits and Services, function

REMAINING MANDATORY SPEND-

total combined budget authority for all manda-

18 tory spending not exempted in subsection (b) shall not ex19 ceed the following limits: 20 21 22 23
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(1) For fiscal year 2012, $701,640,000,000 in budget authority. (2) For fiscal year 2013, $648,701,000,000 in budget authority. (3) For fiscal year 2014, $580,743,000,000 in budget authority.

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(4) For fiscal year 2015, $575,423,000,000 in budget authority. (5) For fiscal year 2016, $574,072,000,000 in budget authority. (6) For fiscal year 2017, $568,519,000,000 in budget authority. (7) For fiscal year 2018, $558,645,000,000 in budget authority. (8) For fiscal year 2019, $558,869,000,000 in budget authority. (9) For fiscal year 2020, $566,867,000,000 in budget authority. (10) For fiscal year 2021, $588,162,000,000 in budget authority. (d) POINT OF ORDER IN THE SENATE. (1) WAIVER.The provisions of this section shall be waived or suspended in the Senate only by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. (2) APPEAL.Appeals in the Senate from decisions of the Chair relating to any provision of this section shall be limited to one hour, to be equally divided between, and controlled by, the appellant and the manager of the measure. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members of the Senate, duly cho-

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10 1 2 3 4 5 sen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under this section.
SEC. 318. LIMITS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY.

(a) IN GENERAL.It shall not be in order in the

6 House of Representatives or the Senate to consider any 7 bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that 8 includes any provision that would cause total mandatory 9 spending for Social Security (function 650) to exceed the 10 limits specified in subsection (b). 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
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(b) LIMITS. (1) IN


GENERAL.For

purposes of this sec-

tion the limits are as follows: (A) For fiscal year 2012, total outlays shall be $760,356,000,000. (B) For fiscal year 2013, total outlays shall be $798,614,000,000. (C) For fiscal year 2014, total outlays shall be $841,440,000,000. (D) For fiscal year 2015, total outlays shall be $887,837,000,000. (E) For fiscal year 2016, total outlays shall be $938,547,000,000. (F) For fiscal year 2017, total outlays shall be $995,325,000,000.

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(G) For fiscal year 2018, total outlays shall be $1,057,552,000,000. (H) For fiscal year 2019, total outlays shall be $1,123,629,000,000. (I) For fiscal year 2020, total outlays shall be $1,193,747,000,000. (J) For fiscal year 2021, total outlays shall be $1,265,566,000,000. (2) EXCEPTION.If the Congressional Budget Office determines that projected outlays are expected to exceed the limits specified above due to changes in cost-of-living adjustments contained in present law subsection (c) shall not apply. (c) POINT OF ORDER IN THE SENATE. (1) WAIVER.The provisions of this section shall be waived or suspended in the Senate only by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. (2) APPEAL.Appeals in the Senate from decisions of the Chair relating to any provision of this section shall be limited to one hour, to be equally divided between, and controlled by, the appellant and the manager of the measure. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an ap-

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12 1 2 3 4 peal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under this section.
SEC. 319. LIMITS FOR MEDICARE.

(a) IN GENERAL.It shall not be in order in the

5 House of Representatives or the Senate to consider any 6 bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that 7 includes any provision that would cause total mandatory 8 spending for Medicare (function 570) to exceed the limits 9 specified in subsection (b). 10 (b) LIMITS.For purposes of this section the limits

11 are as follows: 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
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(1) For fiscal year 2012, total outlays, excluding offsetting receipts, shall be $488,060,000,000. (2) For fiscal year 2013, total outlays, excluding offsetting receipts, shall be $530,767,000,000. (3) For fiscal year 2014, total outlays, excluding offsetting receipts, shall be $560,744,000,000. (4) For fiscal year 2015, total outlays, excluding offsetting receipts, shall be $585,256,000,000. (5) For fiscal year 2016, total outlays, excluding offsetting receipts, shall be $634,769,000,000. (6) For fiscal year 2017, total outlays, excluding offsetting receipts, shall be $657,799,000,000. (7) For fiscal year 2018, total outlays, excluding offsetting receipts, shall be $682,951,000,000.

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(8) For fiscal year 2019, total outlays, excluding offsetting receipts, shall be $745,186,000,000. (9) For fiscal year 2020, total outlays, excluding offsetting receipts, shall be $800,853,000,000. (10) For fiscal year 2021, total outlays, excluding offsetting receipts, shall be

$858,830,000,000. (c) POINT OF ORDER IN THE SENATE. (1) WAIVER.The provisions of this section shall be waived or suspended in the Senate only by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. (2) APPEAL.Appeals in the Senate from decisions of the Chair relating to any provision of this section shall be limited to one hour, to be equally divided between, and controlled by, the appellant and the manager of the measure. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under this section.
SEC. 320. LIMITS FOR MANDATORY FUNCTION 700 SPENDING.

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(a) IN GENERAL.It shall not be in order in the

25 House of Representatives or the Senate to consider any

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14 1 bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that 2 includes any provision that would cause total mandatory 3 spending for Veterans Benefits and Services (function 4 700) to exceed the limits specified in subsection (b). 5 (b) LIMITS.For purposes of this section the limits

6 are as follows: 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
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(1) For fiscal year 2012, total outlays shall not exceed $69,400,000,000. (2) For fiscal year 2013, total outlays shall not exceed $69,400,000,000. (3) For fiscal year 2014, total outlays shall not exceed $71,350,000,000. (4) For fiscal year 2015, total outlays shall not exceed $73,300,000,000. (5) For fiscal year 2016, total outlays shall not exceed $80,500,000,000. (6) For fiscal year 2017, total outlays shall not exceed $77,310,000,000. (7) For fiscal year 2018, total outlays shall not exceed $74,250,000,000. (8) For fiscal year 2019, total outlays shall not exceed $81,600,000,000. (9) For fiscal year 2020, total outlays shall not exceed $83,830,000,000.

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15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 (10) For fiscal year 2021, total outlays shall not exceed $86,100,000,000. (c) POINT OF ORDER IN THE SENATE. (1) WAIVER.The provisions of this section shall be waived or suspended in the Senate only by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. (2) APPEAL.Appeals in the Senate from decisions of the Chair relating to any provision of this section shall be limited to one hour, to be equally divided between, and controlled by, the appellant and the manager of the measure. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under this section..
SEC. 203. STATUTORY ENFORCEMENT OF SPENDING CAPS THROUGH SEQUESTRATION.

The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control

20 Act of 1985 is amended by inserting after section 253 the 21 following: 22 23


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SEC. 253A. ENFORCEMENT OF DISCRETIONARY AND MANDATORY CAPS.

24

(a)

ANNUAL

REPORT

AND

SEQUESTRATION

25 ORDER.

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(1) REPORT.Not later than 30 calendar days following the start of each fiscal year, the Office of Management and Budget shall make publicly available and cause to be printed in the Federal Register an annual report containing expected budget authority and outlays for the categories and limits established in sections 316 through 320 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. The limits established in such sections shall be enforced without regard to the waiver of such limits by either House. (2) ORDER.If the annual report issued by OMB, as required by paragraph (1), shows any category exceeding specified spending caps, OMB shall prepare and the President shall issue and include in that report a sequestration order that, upon issuance, shall reduce budgetary resources by an amount sufficient to bring spending in line with that categorys statutory cap. (3) EFFECTIVE
DATE.The

sequestration

order shall take effect no later than 60 days after completion by the OMB. (b) CALCULATING A SEQUESTRATION. (1) IN
GENERAL.OMB

shall calculate the

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uniform percentage each program within a category that has exceeded its spending cap shall be reduced

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to bring that categorys budget authority and/or outlays in line with the limits referred to in subsection (a)(1). (2) IMPLEMENTATION.The sequesters shall be implemented as follows: (A) For the discretionary limits in section 316 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, pursuant to the section 251 with each category sequestered separately. (B) For the mandatory limits in section 317 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, pursuant to the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, except that section 7 of such Act shall not apply. (C) For the Social Security limits in section 318 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Social Security Administration shall modify the program so that all benefits and administrative expenses are reduced in a uniform fashion by a percentage sufficient to allow the program to operate under its cap. (D) For the Medicare limit in section 319 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shall modify the program so that all

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outlays are reduced by a uniform percentage sufficient to bring the program under its cap. (E) For the Veterans Benefits and Services limit in section 320 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall modify the program so that the program operates under its spending cap. (c) MODIFICATION OF PRESIDENTIAL ORDER. (1) IN
GENERAL.At

any time after the Di-

rector of OMB issues a sequestration report, Congress may override the order through the passage of a law that either waves or supersedes the spending limitations for that category of federal spending for that fiscal year. (2) SENATE.In the Senate, any motion to move to consideration of a bill to waive, modify, or in any way alter a sequestration order shall be subject to a point of order that can only be waived through an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. This point of order shall not apply to defense spending while the nation is engaged in a conflict which has been justified through a declaration of war or a Congressional authorization of force..

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19 1 2 3 4

TITLE IIIBALANCE
SEC. 301. REQUIREMENT THAT BBA BE SUBMITTED TO STATES.

(a) IN GENERAL.The Secretary of the Treasury

5 shall not exercise the additional borrowing authority under 6 subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States 7 Code until the date that the Archivist of the United States 8 transmits to the States S.J. Res. 10 as introduced on 9 March 31, 2011, a balanced budget amendment to the 10 Constitution, or a similar amendment provided it requires 11 that total outlays not exceed total receipts, that contains 12 a spending limitation as a percentage of GDP, and re13 quires that tax increases be approved by a super-majority 14 vote in both houses of Congress, for their ratification. 15 (b) AMENDMENT
TO

TITLE 31.Effective on the

16 date that the Archivist of the United States transmits to 17 the States S.J. Res. 10, a balanced budget amendment 18 to the Constitution, or a similar amendment provided it 19 requires that total outlays not exceed total receipts, that 20 contains a spending limitation as a percentage of GDP, 21 and requires that tax increases be approved by a super22 majority vote in both houses of Congress, for their ratifi23 cation, subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United
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24 States Code, is amended by striking the dollar limitation

S 1340 PCS
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20 1 contained in such subsection and inserting

2 $16,700,000,000,000.

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S1340

Calendar No. 97
112TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION

S. 1340

A BILL
To cut, cap, and balance the Federal budget.
JULY 11, 2011 Read the second time and placed on the calendar

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S1340

Vote No. 30 PATENT REFORM/Balanced Budget Amendment


SUBJECT: Patent Reform Act of 2011, S. 23. Lee/Manchin amendment No. 115. IN BRIEF: The Lee amendment would express the sense of the Senate that Congress should pass and the States should agree to an amendment to the Constitution requiring a Federal balanced budget. CONTEXT: 1) As of February 7, the national debt was $14.104 trillion. The national debt includes both debt held by the public and debt that the Government owes to itself, mostly to trust funds. 2) Debt held by the public places a burden on the economy because the Government borrows scarce private capital to incur and service such debt. If credit markets tighten, borrowing costs climb. If the debt gets too high the Government will have to monetize it or default. Debt owed to trust funds represents a future obligation to spend at least the amount in the funds--it does not involve borrowing from the public. 3) Debt held by the public stayed under 40 percent of GDP under President Bush for 6 years. Democrats then gained control of Congress and increased spending. They expanded their majorities in the 2008 elections and won the presidency. Borrowing and spending grew greatly in 2009. Under President Obama, debt held by the public is on course to double in 4 years and triple in 10. 4) Deficits from FYs 2004-2008 were as follows: $412 billion, $318 billion, $248 billion, $162 billion, and $455 billion (due in part to the 2008 stimulus bill). The FY 2009 deficit was $1.413 trillion, for FY 2010 it was $1.294 trillion, and for FY 2011 it is projected to be $1.480 trillion (as estimated by the CBO in February) or $1.645 trillion (as estimated in the President's FY 2012 budget). 5) Democrats suffered historic losses in the mid-term elections (6 Senate seats and over 60 House seats) due in large part to voter anger over massive deficit spending by Democrats. ACTION: Amendment Rejected, 58-40

Alexander (R-TN) Ayotte (R-NH) Barrasso (R-WY) Begich (D-AK) Bennet (D-CO) Blunt (R-MO) Boozman (R-AR) Brown (D-OH) Brown (R-MA) Burr (R-NC) Carper (D-DE) Chambliss (R-GA) Coats (R-IN) Coburn (R-OK) Cochran (R-MS) Collins (R-ME) Corker (R-TN) Cornyn (R-TX) Crapo (R-ID) DeMint (R-SC) Akaka (D-HI) Baucus (D-MT) Bingaman (D-NM) Blumenthal (D-CT) Boxer (D-CA) Cantwell (D-WA) Cardin (D-MD) Casey (D-PA) Coons (D-DE) Durbin (D-IL) Feinstein (D-CA) Franken (D-MN) Gillibrand (D-NY) Hagan (D-NC) Conrad (D-ND)

YEAs ---58 Ensign (R-NV) Enzi (R-WY) Graham (R-SC) Grassley (R-IA) Hatch (R-UT) Hoeven (R-ND) Hutchison (R-TX) Inhofe (R-OK) Isakson (R-GA) Johanns (R-NE) Johnson (R-WI) Kirk (R-IL) Kohl (D-WI) Kyl (R-AZ) Lee (R-UT) Lieberman (ID-CT) Lugar (R-IN) Manchin (D-WV) McCain (R-AZ) McCaskill (D-MO) NAYs ---40 Harkin (D-IA) Inouye (D-HI) Johnson (D-SD) Kerry (D-MA) Klobuchar (D-MN) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Menendez (D-NJ) Merkley (D-OR) Mikulski (D-MD) Murray (D-WA) Pryor (D-AR) Reed (D-RI) Not Voting - 2 Landrieu (D-LA)

McConnell (R-KY) Moran (R-KS) Murkowski (R-AK) Nelson (D-FL) Nelson (D-NE) Paul (R-KY) Portman (R-OH) Risch (R-ID) Roberts (R-KS) Rubio (R-FL) Sessions (R-AL) Shelby (R-AL) Snowe (R-ME) Thune (R-SD) Toomey (R-PA) Udall (D-CO) Vitter (R-LA) Wicker (R-MS)

Reid (D-NV) Rockefeller (D-WV) Sanders (I-VT) Schumer (D-NY) Shaheen (D-NH) Stabenow (D-MI) Tester (D-MT) Udall (D-NM) Warner (D-VA) Webb (D-VA) Whitehouse (D-RI) Wyden (D-OR)

Vote No. 116 CUT, CAP, AND BALANCE/Motion to Proceed


SUBJECT: Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011, H.R. 2560. Reid motion to table the Reid motion to proceed. IN BRIEF: This House-passed bill will cut spending by setting FY 2012 discretionary and direct spending caps (with exclusions for Social Security, Veterans, and Medicare), will quickly reduce total outlays as a percentage of GDP to normal levels and will cap them through FY 2021, and, if Congress first passes a balanced budget constitutional amendment and sends it to the States for ratification, will raise the debt limit to $16.7 trillion, as requested by the President. CONTEXT: 1) Financial markets nearly collapsed late in 2008 due to bad mortgage debt. Democrats then won the presidency and gained large majorities in Congress. Their gains were largely due to voters believing that Republicans had been overspending. Democrats immediately began a spending spree. 2) Democrats said their spending would keep the unemployment rate from climbing above 8 percent; it rose to 10.1 percent and has yet to fall under 8 percent (it is now 9.2 percent). The economy and housing market were weak before this spending spree began. They remain weak. 3) The FY 2010 Obama budget planned on doubling the debt held by the public in 5 years and tripling it in 10; it has been growing more rapidly. Debt held by the public has grown from 40 percent of GDP in 2008 to a projected 69 percent of GDP in 2011. The CBO March baseline projects a $1.4 trillion FY 2011 deficit. Many experts predict a debt crisis will occur within the next few years if deficit spending is not substantially reduced. 4) Democrats adjourned for the 2010 elections without having passed any of the FY 2011 appropriations bills (funding was provided on a series of shortterm resolutions) or even a budget. They suffered historic losses and control of the House in those elections. House Republicans have passed a budget this year; the Senate Budget Committee, under Democrat control, has not reported a budget. It is required by law to do so by March 31 of each year. On May 19, the Majority Leader said it would be "foolish" to produce a budget now. ACTION: Motion to Table Agreed to, 51-46

5) The debt limit was reached on May 16. The Treasury Department projects it will be able to use existing authorities to preserve borrowing authority without breaching the limit until August 2. Negotiations on the terms under which the limit will be raised are ongoing. The Vice President was representing the Administration. 6) The President joined the negotiations after an impasse was reached in late June because Democrats suddenly insisted on raising taxes. The President has argued for roughly $1 trillion in new taxes with the promise that roughly $3 trillion in unspecified spending cuts will be made over an unspecified time frame. 7) Democrats have expressed support for higher taxes on millionaires, Republicans have sought passage of the pending bill, and a bipartisan group of Senators (the "Gang of 6") has issued a deficit-reduction outline calling for large immediate cuts followed by more cuts and a large net tax increase over the current policy baseline. Grouped By Vote Position YEAs ---51 Hagan (D-NC) Harkin (D-IA) Inouye (D-HI) Johnson (D-SD) Klobuchar (D-MN) Kohl (D-WI) Landrieu (D-LA) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Lieberman (ID-CT) Manchin (D-WV) McCaskill (D-MO) Menendez (D-NJ) Merkley (D-OR) Mikulski (D-MD) Murray (D-WA) NAYs ---46 Enzi (R-WY) Graham (R-SC) Grassley (R-IA) Hatch (R-UT)

Akaka (D-HI) Baucus (D-MT) Begich (D-AK) Bennet (D-CO) Bingaman (D-NM) Blumenthal (D-CT) Boxer (D-CA) Brown (D-OH) Cantwell (D-WA) Cardin (D-MD) Carper (D-DE) Casey (D-PA) Conrad (D-ND) Coons (D-DE) Durbin (D-IL) Feinstein (D-CA) Franken (D-MN) Alexander (R-TN) Ayotte (R-NH) Barrasso (R-WY) Blunt (R-MO)

Nelson (D-FL) Nelson (D-NE) Pryor (D-AR) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Rockefeller (D-WV) Sanders (I-VT) Schumer (D-NY) Shaheen (D-NH) Stabenow (D-MI) Tester (D-MT) Udall (D-CO) Udall (D-NM) Warner (D-VA) Webb (D-VA) Whitehouse (D-RI) Wyden (D-OR) Moran (R-KS) Murkowski (R-AK) Paul (R-KY) Portman (R-OH)

Boozman (R-AR) Brown (R-MA) Burr (R-NC) Chambliss (R-GA) Coats (R-IN) Coburn (R-OK) Cochran (R-MS) Collins (R-ME) Corker (R-TN) Cornyn (R-TX) Crapo (R-ID) DeMint (R-SC) Gillibrand (D-NY)

Heller (R-NV) Hoeven (R-ND) Hutchison (R-TX) Inhofe (R-OK) Isakson (R-GA) Johanns (R-NE) Johnson (R-WI) Kirk (R-IL) Kyl (R-AZ) Lee (R-UT) Lugar (R-IN) McConnell (R-KY) Not Voting - 3 Kerry (D-MA)

Risch (R-ID) Roberts (R-KS) Rubio (R-FL) Sessions (R-AL) Shelby (R-AL) Snowe (R-ME) Thune (R-SD) Toomey (R-PA) Vitter (R-LA) Wicker (R-MS)

McCain (R-AZ)

Vote No. 229 BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT/Rejection

SUBJECT: Joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States, S.J. Res. 10. Passage. IN BRIEF: This resolution sponsored by Senate Republicans proposes an amendment to the Constitution to require a balanced budget each year beginning 5 years after ratification; under the proposal, spending in a year will not exceed 18 percent of GDP, two-thirds majority votes in each House will be required to raise taxes or deficit spend (lower thresholds will apply during declared wars or military conflicts), and three-fifths majority votes will be required to raise the debt limit. CONTEXT: 1) In 1995, the House approved a balanced budget constitutional amendment but the Senate fell one vote shy of doing the same after 6 Senate Democrats who had supported an identical proposal the previous Congress changed their votes (see 104th Congress, first session, vote No. 98). The national debt at that time was less than $4.9 trillion. It is now over $15 trillion; $4.5 trillion of this amount has been accumulated since President Obama took office. 2) More than $4 trillion of the $4.5 trillion increase under this President has been in debt held by the public, which has reached $10.4 trillion (the remainder is intragovernmental debt, which represents future promises to spend but does not require borrowing from either non-Federal entities or the Federal Reserve). Federal debt as a percentage of GDP is approaching the level at which other deeply indebted governments have defaulted. 3) The debt limit was reached in May but the Treasury Department used existing authorities to avoid breaching it until a compromise was reached and enacted on August 2 to increase the limit and cut deficit spending (see vote No. 123). The compromise includes a section requiring each House to vote on passage of a balanced budget constitutional amendment no later than December 31, 2011. Constitutional amendments require two-thirds majority votes of Members present and voting in each House and ratification by threefourths of the States. 4) The House failed to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment proposed by Republicans by a vote of 261-165 on November 18. House ACTION: Joint Resolution Defeated, 47-53

Republicans had weakened their proposal in an attempt to gain Democrat support. They gained the votes of 25 Democrats and lost the votes of 4 Republicans. 5) The Senate has agreed by unanimous consent to consider and vote without amendment on two balanced budget constitutional amendments, the first of which is sponsored by Republicans and the second of which is sponsored by those Senate Democrats who say they favor a constitutional balanced budget requirement but oppose the spending limits and restrictions on tax hikes in the Republican proposal. YEAs ---47 Alexander (R-TN) Enzi (R-WY) McConnell (R-KY) Ayotte (R-NH) Graham (R-SC) Moran (R-KS) Barrasso (R-WY) Grassley (R-IA) Murkowski (R-AK) Blunt (R-MO) Hatch (R-UT) Paul (R-KY) Boozman (R-AR) Heller (R-NV) Portman (R-OH) Brown (R-MA) Hoeven (R-ND) Risch (R-ID) Burr (R-NC) Hutchison (R-TX) Roberts (R-KS) Chambliss (R-GA) Inhofe (R-OK) Rubio (R-FL) Coats (R-IN) Isakson (R-GA) Sessions (R-AL) Coburn (R-OK) Johanns (R-NE) Shelby (R-AL) Cochran (R-MS) Johnson (R-WI) Snowe (R-ME) Collins (R-ME) Kirk (R-IL) Thune (R-SD) Corker (R-TN) Kyl (R-AZ) Toomey (R-PA) Cornyn (R-TX) Lee (R-UT) Vitter (R-LA) Crapo (R-ID) Lugar (R-IN) Wicker (R-MS) DeMint (R-SC) McCain (R-AZ) Akaka (D-HI) Baucus (D-MT) Begich (D-AK) Bennet (D-CO) Bingaman (D-NM) Blumenthal (D-CT) Boxer (D-CA) Brown (D-OH) Cantwell (D-WA) Cardin (D-MD) Carper (D-DE) Casey (D-PA) Conrad (D-ND) Coons (D-DE) Durbin (D-IL) NAYs ---53 Hagan (D-NC) Harkin (D-IA) Inouye (D-HI) Johnson (D-SD) Kerry (D-MA) Klobuchar (D-MN) Kohl (D-WI) Landrieu (D-LA) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Lieberman (ID-CT) Manchin (D-WV) McCaskill (D-MO) Menendez (D-NJ) Nelson (D-FL) Nelson (D-NE) Pryor (D-AR) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Rockefeller (D-WV) Sanders (I-VT) Schumer (D-NY) Shaheen (D-NH) Stabenow (D-MI) Tester (D-MT) Udall (D-CO) Udall (D-NM) Warner (D-VA) Webb (D-VA)

Feinstein (D-CA) Franken (D-MN) Gillibrand (D-NY)

Merkley (D-OR) Mikulski (D-MD) Murray (D-WA)

Whitehouse (D-RI) Wyden (D-OR)

Why we need a balanced-budget amendment - Op-Eds - Press O...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=cb4930...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Mar 04 2011

Why we need a balancedbudget amendment


Turning rhetoric into reality
By Mike Lee

As originally published by the Washington Post Amending the Constitution is not easy, nor should it be. That the Constitution has been amended just 27 times demonstrates that the process is reserved for only the most important circumstances. Our nation's critical need to balance the federal budget rises to that level. Any effort to amend the Constitution will start in the Senate Judiciary Committee. So far, ve other Republican members of the committee, on which I serve, have introduced or co-sponsored a balanced-budget amendment. This week, 58 senators - including all 47 Republicans, 10 Democrats and Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent - recognized this urgent need and expressed support for a balanced-budget requirement. I have put forward a proposal that would require a balanced budget every scal year; limit federal spending to 18 percent of gross domestic product; and require a two-thirds vote in Congress to increase taxes, raise the debt limit or run a specic decit. A similar measure in the House has more than 120 co-sponsors. This is a vital issue and one on which I am committed to lead the effort in the Senate. The vast majority of states have constitutional or statutory mandates to

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Why we need a balanced-budget amendment - Op-Eds - Press O...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=cb4930...

balance their budgets each scal period. Even during this tough economic climate, most states have been able to prioritize their obligations and make tough choices. The federal government should be expected to do the same. First, a balanced-budget requirement will ensure we do not continue to drive our country further into debt by trying to do all things for all people. There are some programs we simply cannot afford, but decit spending makes it too easy not to say no. When Republicans and Democrats are forced to spend only what we take in, Congress will not be able to sidestep tough decisions about our national priorities. Second, balancing our budget today will avoid even tougher choices tomorrow. Proponents of investments in areas such as education, infrastructure and energy should welcome a balanced-budget amendment because it will help make money available in the future for these priorities. Under the president's recent budget proposal, which runs a decit every year, payments on the national debt will quadruple over the next decade, crowding out important resources. Delaying the inevitable only increases the severity of the cuts to important programs. Finally, a structural budget restraint is necessary to overcome Congress's insatiable appetite to spend. Both parties deserve blame for irresponsible spending. A balanced-budget amendment is the only way to ensure that Congress acts in the best interest of the country, regardless of who is in power. Critics worry that an amendment that requires a two-thirds vote to circumvent under any circumstance may prove problematic in the case of an emergency. But history shows that in real emergencies, it is not difcult for Congress to produce a supermajority. Three days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the House passed an emergency supplemental spending bill, 422 to 0. The Senate passed it 96 to 0. In contrast, Americans were told that President Obama's stimulus bill was a necessary response to an economic emergency. After passing on pure party-line votes in the House (246 to 183) and Senate (60 to 38), the bill failed to create the kind of job growth the president promised. The stimulus would not have passed had it been held to the standards of our proposal, which required a two-thirds vote, and that would have saved taxpayers
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Why we need a balanced-budget amendment - Op-Eds - Press O...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=cb4930...

nearly $1 trillion. I am ready and willing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to see that a balanced-budget amendment clears the Judiciary Committee and receives a full vote on the oor of the Senate. My proposal is strict, enforceable and holds the federal government to a necessarily higher standard. Other senators have good ideas, and I am open to considering and incorporating additional proposals as long as a meaningful balanced-budget amendment remains in effect. The federal government has run out of excuses. I agree with the president that the federal government can and should live within its means. A balanced-budget amendment will turn that rhetoric into a reality. The writer is a Republican senator from Utah.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/3/why-weneed-a-balanced-budget-amendment

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Reforms, Not Just Cuts, Needed Before Debt-Ceiling Increase -...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=f84350...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Apr 25 2011

Reforms, Not Just Cuts, Needed Before Debt-Ceiling Increase


In response to the Obama Administrations efforts to force a debt-ceiling increase, a number of Republicans and even a few Democrats have demanded spending cuts. Reducing short-term spending is important and enjoys widespread support among the American people, but raising the debt ceiling without fundamental, structural spending reforms would be a mistake. Like many conservatives, I was disappointed by the spending cuts agreed to as part of the most recent continuing resolution. I was of course pleased that we were talking about how much to cut rather than whether to cut. Nevertheless, the nal deal perpetuated our countrys debt problem, reducing spending by just $38 billion (much less than that, according to the Congressional Budget Ofce) in the face of a $1.65 trillion annual decit. Worse, it did nothing to address the underlying reasons for our ballooning debt. By some estimates, we would have to raise the debt ceiling by $738 billion in order to fund government at current levels through the end of this scal year. Even an additional $40 to $50 billion in spending cuts would be trivial when compared to our current decit and our almost-$15 trillion debt. Those who insist that we have no choice in this matter ignore the grave risks associated with raising the debt ceiling yet again without making any serious effort to address the underlying problem. It would therefore be irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without rst adopting a reliable, binding mechanism i.e., a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budgetto end its perpetual expansion. For that very reason, I will oppose any and every effort to raise the debt ceiling until Congress passes a balanced budget amendment and presents it to the States for ratication. I invite members of both political parties and both houses of Congress to join me (and a growing list of others) in making
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Reforms, Not Just Cuts, Needed Before Debt-Ceiling Increase -...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=f84350...

this pledge. Only by passing a balanced budget amendment can Congress credibly assure the American people that they wont have to endure a repeat performance of the debt-ceiling charade every few months for the rest of their lives. Such fundamental reform would, moreover, send a positive signal to nancial markets, help reafrm the value of our currency, and put us on a path toward more meaningful and permanent spending reductions. Now is the time to pass a balanced budget amendment. The amendment I have cosponsored with Senator Orrin Hatch has the support of the entire Senate Republican Conference. In March, a sense of the Senate resolution expressing the need for a balanced budget amendment attracted all 47 GOP Senators, plus 11 votes from Democrats, leaving us just 9 votes short of the 67 needed to pass a constitutional amendment. A House version of the Hatch-Lee amendment is gaining momentum and, with a strong Republican majority in the House, the odds are good that it would receive signicant support if brought to the oor for a vote. Americans overwhelmingly favor a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. And unlike another short-term spending bill, it would not be subject to a presidential veto. Some insist that we simply must raise the debt ceiling, and that a decision not to do so would be unthinkable. If those making that assertion really believe it, then they should be willing to make signicant concessions in order to secure the votes of those wholike meare equally convinced that the truly unthinkable consists of blindly extending the debt limit without permanently restricting Congresss decit-spending authority. The only way to do that is through a balanced budget amendment. I will continue to oppose any effort to raise the debt ceiling until Congress passes a balanced budget amendment. If every Republican will make the same pledge, we will pass a balanced budget amendment this year, effectively ending the era of perpetual decit spending.

Mike Lee is a U.S. Seantor from Utah.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/4/reformsnot-just-cuts-needed-before-debt-ceiling-increase

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Breaking the Debt-Ceiling Cycle - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mik...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=66cb4e...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Apr 27 2011

Breaking the Debt-Ceiling Cycle


"We will raise the debt limit. We always have. We will do it again. Pres. Barack Obama President Obamas words highlight the charade that surrounds the recurring debate over whether it is in Americas best interest to increase the debt ceiling. The president articulates a simple sentiment that pervades his administration: Business in Washington is best when its business as usual. The pattern of pretending to debate the factors contributing to Washingtons debt addiction is a rehearsal of rhetoric that, while increasingly circular, produces one-directional results. As the arguments for and against raising the debt ceiling make their way back and forth between the White House and Congress, continuing this exercise without a balanced-budget amendment in place means that the debt ceiling will perpetually move in only one direction: up. With the political will for debt reform gaining momentum propelled by the nations declining credit rating, rising oil prices, and high unemployment it is clear that the status quo can no longer be king. The debt-ceiling charade must come to an end, and the federal government must implement binding, permanent, structural spending reforms most important, a balanced-budget amendment. Blindly raising the debt ceiling yet again carries signicant risk indeed, a risk that easily rivals that associated with not raising it. In the last three years, gross federal debt has grown from 64 percent to 93 percent of GDP. Debt of this magnitude crowds out much-needed private investment and could lead to reduced private-sector growth, persistent unemployment, a devastating scal crisis (think of Greece), and skyrocketing interest rates. The nancial shortfalls created by such conditions could seriously impair Congresss ability to fund everything from defense to entitlements.

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Breaking the Debt-Ceiling Cycle - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mik...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=66cb4e...

Too often in the current debate, Washington overlooks these daunting threats to our economy that will result from perpetually increasing our national debt. Instead of acknowledging those threats and trying to address them, the establishment uses scare tactics that have proven reliable in the past. For example, Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, following the lead of past administration ofcials, presents only the doomsday scenario in which the economic consequences of not raising the debt ceiling would be catastrophic. Having abdicated its duty to develop a responsible scal policy, the federal government forces the American taxpayer to choose between taking on more debt and facing the unthinkable. As history suggests, the strategy of creating a debt-ceiling boogeyman works every time, and, without a balanced-budget amendment in place to stop it, the cycle continues. Elected ofcials who have grown dependent on perpetual decit spending will again quickly reach the limit on each credit card the taxpayers reluctantly give them. Having maxed out one card, they habitually demand another, using threats of scal Armageddon to extort taxpayers into giving them just one more. Unfortunately, as the president reminds us, they will do it again that is, unless we insist that this time be different. This time, the American people should refuse to let Congress raise the debt ceiling without rst passing a balanced-budget amendment, one that would compel Congress to hold the line on future spending. And considering that Americans overwhelmingly oppose raising the debt ceiling but overwhelmingly support the idea of balanced-budget amendment, it shouldnt be too difcult for members of Congress especially those who agree that refusing to raise the debt ceiling would be unthinkable to commit to passing a balanced-budget amendment before (and as a means of gaining public support for) raising the debt ceiling. Recently, all 47 Senate Republicans signed on to Senate Joint Resolution 10, a balanced-budget amendment proposal sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch and me that would prohibit Congress from spending more than it collects each year unless two-thirds of the members of both houses voted to authorize a limited decit for a specied purpose. It would likewise prohibit Congress from spending more than 18 percent of annual GDP, raising taxes, or raising the debt ceiling without a supermajority vote in both houses. Similar legislation, introduced just a few days ago by Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois, is gathering momentum in the House. Under this proposal, a simple majority of Congress couldnt impulsively raise the debt ceiling to accommodate perpetual spending increases. As this debate moves forward, I will aggressively oppose efforts to raise the

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Breaking the Debt-Ceiling Cycle - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mik...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=66cb4e...

debt ceiling until both the Senate and the House pass the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment. I invite my colleagues in both parties and in both houses of Congress to do the same. Those who fail to do so will render prophetic President Obamas words: We will raise the debt limit. We always have. We will do it again. This Article was Originally Published in the National Review Online Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/4/breakingthe-debt-ceiling-cycle

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Cut, Cap, and Balance - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mike Lee, Unit...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=3839d6...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Jun 27 2011

Cut, Cap, and Balance


by Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee

Its been called the most preventable disaster in American history. The coming debt crisis is so predictable its difcult to nd a single economist, expert, politician or American taxpayer who doesnt warn of the consequences of spending and borrowing ourselves into oblivion. A recent publication from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Ofce called Americas debt problem daunting. The debt-to-GDP ratio has just crossed 90%, a threshold linked to lower average economic growth. If left unchecked, our ballooning debt will almost certainly lead to the countrys long-term economic decline. Fortunately, the solution is basic and one that is followed by most responsible state and local governments, families and business owners. When faced with tough times they know they must eliminate spending on the things that arent absolutely essential. Then they make a budget for the things they need and have the discipline to stay within that budget. Finally, they stop borrowing and spend no more than they take in. These steps are the common-sense force behind a bold new proposal in Congress that will put the country on a scally sustainable path and fundamentally change the way Washington spends money. Its called Cut, Cap, and Balance. First, Congress must make immediate spending cuts that will signicantly reduce the decit. Next, it must enact spending caps that put the federal government on a glide path toward a balanced budget. And nally, Congress must pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that forces Congress to spend no more than it takes in each year, limits spending as a percentage of the gross domestic product, and requires a supermajority to

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Cut, Cap, and Balance - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mike Lee, Unit...

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increase taxes or raise the debt ceiling. Cut, Cap, and Balance is a common-sense proposal for dealing with the most signicant economic and scal crisis since the Great Depression. It directly addresses the fundamental problems of a system that encourages overspending and unsustainable borrowing. The hard choices can no longer be put off. We must take action immediately. To that end, we have both signed the Cut, Cap, and Balance Pledge, which commits signers to oppose any increase in the nations debt ceiling until all three of the plans conditions have been satised. We believe the federal government should not plunge the country deeper into debt unless it rst directly addresses the underlying problem and makes fundamental structural changes to the way Washington spends taxpayer money. To date, not a single Democrat in Congress has signaled support for the Cut, Cap, and Balance approach. Instead, they have called for more reckless spending and irresponsible job-killing tax increases. We will continue to press our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to sign the pledge, support a balanced budget amendment, and pass debt ceiling legislation consistent with Cut, Cap, and Balance. We know what needs to be done; we just need the will to act. Now is the time to cut the decit, cap future spending, and balance our budget to preserve the prosperity of the next generation.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/6/cut-capand-balance

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2/3/12 1:21 PM

Obama's "Recovery" Worst in Modern Times - Op-Eds - Press O...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Jul 08 2011

Obama's "Recovery" Worst in Modern Times


The evidence that President Obamas economic policies have failed continues to mount. The unemployment rate notched up to 9.2 percent in June. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the labor force fell by more than a quarter of a million workers, dropping the labor force participation rate to 64.1 percent the lowest rate of labor force participation in nearly 30 years. While no one expected our economic problems to be solved overnight, there was the reasonable expectation that our bounce back from the downturn that began in 2007 would proceed along the lines of previous recoveries after recessions. History tells us that today, more than three years after the recession began, things should be getting better. But they arent. Every economic statistic, from the housing market to economic growth to employment, indicates a struggling, depressed economynot one on the rebound. Take unemployment. In the 28 months since the signing of an $814 billion stimulus billwhich White House economists claimed would prevent unemployment from reaching even 8 percentthe unemployment rate has remained stubbornly above 9 percent, and 4.2 percent higher than it was at the beginning of the recession. That compares to an average increase of only 1.1 percent in past recessions. Even more worrisome, at the same point in past recoveries total employment had grown by 3.9 percent; in the Obama recovery total employment has fallen more than 5 percent. Instead of getting back to work, Americans are dropping out of the workforce.

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Obama's "Recovery" Worst in Modern Times - Op-Eds - Press O...

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Or look at housing. Despite unprecedented amounts of federal spending and a host of tax credits aimed at reviving the faltering housing market, the bust continues. In the estimation of most analysts, the real estate market collapse was the primary driver of the downturn, and most believe that a moderate recovery in home prices is a prerequisite for a sustainable recovery. Yet foreclosures remain extremely high, and a record 28 percent of homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages. The median singlefamily home price has declined 15.5 percent since the start of the recession; over the same period in previous recessions, the average home price increased 24.1 percent. If we turn our eyes to economic growth, we see the same story. In the rst quarter of 2011, the economy grew at an anemic 1.9 percent. Since the recession began, real GDP has risen by less than 1 percent, compared to an average increase of 9.9 percent after past recessions. Simply put, the approach of the Obama administration to get this economy on its feet again has been a patent failure. All the money spent trying to stimulate the economy has turned out to be counter-productive, sucking resources and capital out of the private sector and pouring them down the black hole of the federal government, while reducing individuals and businesses spending and hiring out of fear over rising debt and taxes. This is unquestionably the worst recovery in modern times. Still, the President continues to push for policies like tax increases that will further weaken our economy. The better approach to raising revenue is to grow our economy, not by raising taxes on Americas job creators. Along with 20 of my colleagues, I have proposed the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, legislation aimed at growing our economy by reigning in government spending. The bill would reduce total spending next year by $142 Billion, set caps on spending over the next decade, and require Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment before it can raise the debt ceiling. Reducing our annual decit and national debt will accomplish at least two things to help get our economy back on track: (1) decrease the dead weight loss of tax receipts as interest payments swallow an increasing larger share of total budget outlays and (2) lessen the crowding-out of private investment by large amounts of federal spending. It is past time to turn the page on the failed Keynesian approaches of this administration and reverse course. If we make a concerted effort to deal with the decit by getting government spending under control once and for all, the American economy will come roaring back, as it always has in the past.

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This Op-Ed Originally Appeared in The Hill


Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/7/obamas-recovery-worst-in-modern-times

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2/3/12 1:21 PM

Washington doesn't know best - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mike Le...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Aug 29 2011

Washington doesn't know best


President Barack Obama recently called the 16 months leading up to the 2012 election a critical period to debate [our respective] vision[s] for America. He noted that much of the debate will focus on governments role in creating the kind of growth that we need. The president seems to think he will win that debate. I say and I hope every Republican candidate for president says: Bring it on. Its well past time to have a spirited debate over the proper role of government, and the proper reach of government into our lives. Clearly, there are two very different visions for what this role should be. One vision assumes that government is the problem-solver of rst, and last, resort. Every issue we face as individuals and as a nation should be addressed, controlled, regulated, overseen and xed by the government. Under this paradigm, we can restore economic prosperity only by maintaining or expanding the federal governments current spending levels even if it means we engage in perpetual, large-scale decit spending. The other vision rests on the opposite assumption: the rm conviction that individuals have sovereign rights and responsibilities to control their actions and their fate. This vision holds that the private sector, not government, is the source of innovation, competition, growth and jobs. It holds that economic conditions will not improve until we take afrmative, deliberate steps to restrict Congresss borrowing and spending practices. Federal spending and government interference has so run amok that such steps must include a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to balance its budget and spend no more than a xed percentage of gross domestic product.
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Proponents of each vision can be found in both political parties. The rst approach has become familiar to us over many decades; many prefer it for that very reason. For incumbent federal ofce holders, this also has the added allure of protecting Washingtons existing power structure. Members of Congress are more powerful when they can borrow and spend unlimited sums of money and therefore have a built-in reason to prefer the status quo. The second approach, in contrast, would signicantly limit the power wielded by each member of Congress and otherwise upset the status quo. Americans either love it or hate it for that very reason. Most love it. According to a recent CNN poll, 75 percent of American voters agree that we need a balanced budget amendment. This statistic is not just a statement by the American people about budgeting. It derives from the deeply held, deeply American dedication to self-reliance and responsible stewardship. Balancing the national check-book is merely a symbol of a much larger responsibility: to prioritize; to understand that progress requires hard work and sacrice, and to make the tough choices. When faced with a crisis, Americans have a remarkable track-record for choosing well. We chose independence over British tyranny. We chose emancipation over slavery. We chose freedom over fascism. We chose equality over segregation. The time has come for us to make another choice. To do that, we should ask ourselves: Has the Washington knows best approach, which inexorably leads to excessive borrowing and spending, made jobs more plentiful? Enhanced economic activity in America? Strengthened the dollar and our own purchasing power? Led to robust economic growth and expansion? Improved our outlook for future prosperity? Or not? Never have freedom and prosperity been so thoroughly intertwined. Never have both of them been more threatened. We have a chance to save them both. Lets not waste it. This article originally appeared in Politico

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/8/washington-

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2/3/12 1:22 PM

Congress Needs Structural Reform - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mi...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Aug 30 2011

Congress Needs Structural Reform


There is very little accountability in Washington when it comes to how the federal government spends taxpayer money. Having watched how things work from the outside, I was frustrated at the obvious waste and abuse of Americans hard-earned dollars. The system looked like it was intentionally set up so Congress and the President could continually nd ways to put off difcult decisions. After almost eight months in the trenches, it is still challenging to get much done that will begin to solve our problems, but Im a little more optimistic. Thats because the reformers who were sent to Congress in 2010 have not simply tried to impose a different ideology on national policy. Instead, we have begun to push for changes to the process itself. Even before being sworn in earlier this year, I and several of my new colleagues demanded Congress end the use of earmarks. Though these special projects didnt usually come with a high price tag when compared to a $3 trillion budget, earmarks were the grease that pushed through outrageous spending bills the country could not afford. Now, without earmarks, legislators have not been able to dangle these in gifts in front of members of congress in order to win their votes. The result has been more senators and congressmen willing to vote in the best interest of the country, rather than their own political interest. Additionally, after more than 15 years, a balanced budget amendment to the constitution is again part of the national debate. If passed by Congress and ratied by the states, the amendment would be an incredibly signicant structural reform that would begin to solve our debt problem immediately.

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Congress Needs Structural Reform - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mi...

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With a balanced budget amendment in place, Congress wouldnt be able to just focus on what to spend money on. They would be forced to explain how the government is going to pay for it and be held accountable if the numbers didnt add up. The push for structural changes also includes political third rail issues like Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, as well as reforming the tax code and defense spending. There is greater enthusiasm to take on these enormous challenges because, as we saw with our credit rating being downgraded, the consequences of ignoring them are too great. When Congress returns, I plan on continuing to work on these issues and more to make sure this isnt the rst generation in history to leave things worse then we found them. As part of the August recess, I am holding several town halls around the state so Utahns can voice their concerns to me directly. I will be at the Fairview City Hall on August 30 at 6:00 pm and invite everyone in Sanpete County to attend. Id like to hear everyones ideas on how to get our country back on track and share some of my experiences since being elected your Senator.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/8/congressnees-structural-reform

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2/3/12 1:22 PM

A Pro-Growth Jobs Agenda - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mike Lee...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Sep 21 2011

A Pro-Growth Jobs Agenda


President Obama began and ended his speech last Thursday by correctly identifying America's unemployment problem as a crisis that deserves urgent action by Congress. After two and a half years, it's encouraging that the President nally recognizes the true magnitude of our job shortage. Unfortunately the President's proposal was a predictably disappointing iteration of the failed economic prescriptions he offered in 2009. The President gave several similar speeches during his recent round of taxpayer-funded campaign stops. When those speeches received a less-thanenthusiastic response, the President took the unusual step of calling for a joint session of Congressapparently hoping to create the perception that he had formulated a new approach to promoting job creation. Those wanting to hear something other than a tax-and-spend agenda were surely disappointed. In fact, it's difcult to believe that much thought went into the jobs speech beyond copying his 2009 address, which outlined the failed $800 billion stimulus package. In 2009, the President insisted that Congress devote nearly a trillion dollars to a stimulus package designed to create new jobs in construction, green energy, and rail projects, while giving hiring incentives to employers. The President now claims once again that more spending will lead to new jobs for construction workers, as well as (this time) teachers and veterans. He also promised there would be similar incentives for businesses that hire new employees. The President was wrong in 2009. Americans understandably have little condence that pursuing the same failed policies will work this time. Adding a trillion dollars to our staggering national debt hasnt signicantly affected the employment rate, and short-term tax incentives do not create the kind of certainty employers need to create jobs. A small, short-lived bump in employment may give rise to a comparably small, short-lived bump in the

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A Pro-Growth Jobs Agenda - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mike Lee...

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President's approval rating, but will have little if any lasting inuence on the overall health of our economy. We need real solutions now. Instead of lecturing Congress to pass yet another stimulus package right away, the President should be focusing on ways to minimize the federal government's burden on individuals and job creators, giving them more money in their pockets and more freedom to invest, save, innovate, and prosper. A pro-growth jobs agenda would include: (1) Enforceable spending restrictions. Immediate spending cuts will reduce the decit and national debt, and signal to businesses, investors and the credit-rating agencies that the federal government is serious about balancing its budget. It will also signicantly reduce our debt-service costs, which over the next decade are expected to balloon to $1 trillion per year. Whatever one's vision of government may be vast and expansive or limited and dened interest payments of this magnitude will severely limit our ability to nance current government programs. The Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, which I sponsored in the Senate and was later passed in the House, proposes the most comprehensive and serious spending reform in the last two decades. Passage of the CCB Act would create the kind of certainty the market needs to create jobs across the economy. Furthermore, scal discipline will encourage improved monetary policy and help reverse the ruinous trend of a rapidly depreciating currency.

(2) Restrictions on regulatory overreach. While all Americans expect clean air, clean water and competitive business practices, very few believe it is necessary (much less desirable) to have 165,000 pages of regulations to achieve those goals. Such regulations cost businesses $1.75 trillion annually and have a chilling effect on economic growth and job creation. Congress should immediately pass S. 1438, the Regulation Moratorium and Job Preservation Act, and S. 299, the REINS Act. The former would place a moratorium on all new regulations until unemployment reaches 7.7%, the rate at which unemployment stood when the President took ofce. The latter would restrict Congresss pernicious practice of delegating its authority to unelected, unaccountable executive branch bureaucrats from assuming the power of legislators. Regardless of how competent these public servants might be, individuals who are neither elected by nor accountable to voters cannot be entrusted with the sensitive task of

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A Pro-Growth Jobs Agenda - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mike Lee...

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making major rules and regulations carrying the force of federal lawat least not without Congress's explicit approval. (3) Encourage domestic energy production. The President should reverse his assault on the productive sector of our domestic energy industry and remove excessive barriers to increased energy production. America has vast quantities of untapped oil and gas resources primarily because the regulations surrounding their development require an unnecessarily prolonged and restrictive federal regulatory approval process. Congress should act on legislation such as S. 706, the Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy, and Decit Reduction Act, to encourage on- and off-shore energy exploration.

Enacting another stimulus package would be the wrong approach to promoting job growth. We need bold, transformative proposals to get Americans working again. By focusing on getting government out of the way of those who actually create jobs, Congress may pursue a more promising and prosperous agenda than what the President outlined in his speech. Click here to read article as originally published in Roll Call

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/9/a-progrowth-jobs-agenda

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2/3/12 1:22 PM

Obama's unserious plans are losing the future - Op-Eds - Press O...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Sep 27 2011

Obama's unserious plans are losing the future


In consecutive weeks, President Obama has presented two painfully unserious and economically misguided proposals. The rst, his $450 billion "American Jobs Act," is another stimulus proposal, based on the ill-conceived notion that more government spending is the answer to what ails the economy. The second is the president's plan to raise taxes by $1.5 trillion on American job creators. Both plans are a far cry from "winning the future," as the president claims on the campaign trail. Like the president's last stimulus, which cost nearly $1 trillion and failed to turn the economy around, Stimulus 2.0 assumes that massive government spending on feel-good projects (with the administration picking the economic winners and losers) will result in job creation and jolt the economy out of its doldrums. This assumption is already a proven loser. Stimulus 1.0 ended in bad investments, massive corporate welfare, wasteful spending and more debt. What was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent, create millions of new jobs and hasten the economic recovery instead stands as a textbook example of the failed liberal notion that we can spend our way out of an economic hole. The most egregious failure of the rst stimulus is the now-infamous case of Solyndra, a California solar energy company, which received a $535 million stimulus loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. At the time, Obama said such investments were "leading the way toward a brighter, more prosperous future." Vice President Biden said, "We are not only creating jobs today, but laying the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st century economy." Solyndra has now led for bankruptcy and more than 1,000 jobs have been lost, sadly emphasizing the disastrous consequences of economic meddling

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Obama's unserious plans are losing the future - Op-Eds - Press O...

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by the federal government. President Obama then followed up his poor jobs plan with an equally unserious and overtly political decit reduction proposal. It relies heavily on enormous tax increases at a time when the economy can least afford them. Worse, Obama all but ignores entitlement spending, the greatest driver of our decit. His plans makes no mention of Social Security -- which can be made solvent for the next 75 years with just a few relatively easy adjustments -and would reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending by just 3 percent over the next decade. The president's tax plan will allow entitlements to balloon out of control, threatening not only the solvency of those programs, but our entire economy. Obama's focus on small-ticket spending items, like ending subsidies for corporate jet owners, reveals he is much more concerned about election-year talking points than positive reforms to create jobs and make the economy grow. Rather than waste our time debating these plans, or engaging in political gamesmanship over the decit, Congress should now focus on how to get the federal behemoth out of the way so that American companies and workers can thrive. We should push for enforceable spending restrictions (like the Cut, Cap and Balance Act and the Balanced Budget Amendment) that would signicantly reduce our debt service costs and make it easier to nance our current obligations. We should put a moratorium on new federal regulations, which are strangling economic growth and job creation. And we should encourage domestic energy production, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reversing this administration's assault on our domestic energy industry. Two years after the passage of the rst failed stimulus, we have little to show for it other than an increase in our federal debt. Yet this administration appears to have learned anything useful about how the economy works. Congress should reject Obama's new attempt to tax and spend our way out of an economic hole, and instead get to work paring away the taxes and regulations that stand in the way of job creation. >>Read original article in the Washington Examiner Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/9/obamas-unserious-plans-are-losing-the-future

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2/3/12 1:22 PM

Senators Lee and Kyl Release Balanced Budget Amendment - P...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jan 27 2011

Senators Lee and Kyl Release Balanced Budget Amendment


WASHINGTON, DCSenator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) today introduced a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution. The amendment includes three pillars: (1) requiring a balanced budget for each scal year, (2) limiting federal spending to no more than 18 percent of GDP, and (3) requiring a two-thirds vote in both Houses of Congress in order to increase taxes, raise the debt ceiling, or run a specic decit in a particular year. Senator Kyl stated, We cant wait any longer to ensure Congress will rein in wasteful Washington spending. This balanced budget and spending limit amendment will do just that. The federal government is too big and too expensive and the temptation for Congress to continue to spend billions and even trillions of dollars it does not have is simply too high. Again and again, even well-intentioned efforts to restrain decit spending through the normal budget process have failed, said Senator Lee. A balanced budget amendment is the only certain method to ensure that the federal government consistently lives within its means. This past Novembers election made clear that the American people will no longer tolerate reckless government spending and ever-expanding federal debt. The amendment that Senator Kyl and I have introduced is the essential rst step in putting the nations scal house in order. In addition to Senator Lee and Senator Kyl, the number two Senate Republican leader, the amendment has received broad support from conservative leaders including Senators Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, David Vitter, Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio and John Thune as original co-sponsors as well as endorsements from conservative organizations like the Club for

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2/3/12 12:19 PM

Senators Lee and Kyl Release Balanced Budget Amendment - P...

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Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks, and Americans for a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/1/senatorslee-and-kyl-release-balanced-budget-amendment

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2/3/12 12:19 PM

Lee: Don't Hit Taxpayers, Show Fiscal Restraint - Press Releases...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Feb 22 2011

Lee: Don't Hit Taxpayers, Show Fiscal Restraint


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee of Utah released the following statement ahead of next weeks budget debate and amid accusations of a potential government shutdown: The question remains whether Senate Democrats will follow President Obama in penalizing the American people with massive tax increases, or whether they will instead take responsibility for years of excess and make sensible spending reductions in the current budget. Frankly, American taxpayers are not to blame for our massive decit and we should not look to balance our budget on their backs. Americans are overtaxed as it is. The charge lies with Congress to show some scal restraint. Further, the threat from Democrats to shut down the government in order to protect excessive spending is utterly disappointing. That threat is unnecessary, irresponsible, and unwarranted. Republicans have suggested closing a mere fraction of our $1.5 trillion decit, and this suggestion deserves serious consideration without resorting to talk of panic. This is another unfortunate reminder of why we need a procedural restraint, such as the Lee-Kyl proposal for a Balanced Budget Amendment, so we can avoid the kind of politics that could endanger our prosperity.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/2/lee-don-t-hittaxpayers-show-scal-restraint

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2/3/12 12:20 PM

Lee Pushes Vote on Balanced Budget Amendment - Press Relea...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Feb 27 2011

Lee Pushes Vote on Balanced Budget Amendment


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee of Utah introduced legislation that would signify the level of support in the Senate for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Added as an amendment to a patent reform bill being debated today, Lees sense of the Senate stipulates that Congress should pass and the States should agree to an amendment to the Constitution requiring a Federal balanced budget. Lee said it was important to get all Senators on the record before the Senate votes on a continuing resolution to fund the government or an increase in the debt limit. The debate over Americas scal future must begin with a vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment, said Lee. The American people should know whether or not the Senate is serious about getting spending under control and reducing the national debt before we vote on even a short-term extension of current spending. While I will continue to push for a full vote on the Lee-Kyl Balanced Budget Amendment, the sense of the Senate motion is a reasonable place to start. Though Senator Lee does have a specic Balanced Budget Amendment proposal, the motion does not stipulate the details of any particular amendment. The purpose of the motion is to gauge support for a strong structural restraint on spending that will hold Congress accountable.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/2/lee-pushesvote-on-balanced-budget-amendment

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2/3/12 12:20 PM

Lee Delivers Maiden Speech, Urges Balanced Budget Reform -...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Mar 01 2011

Lee Delivers Maiden Speech, Urges Balanced Budget Reform


WASHINGTONSenator Mike Lee (R-UT) today delivered his rst ofcial speech on the Senate oor, focusing on the need to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Lee has been a staunch advocate for structural budgetary restraints that will hold Congress accountable for how it spends taxpayer resources. The speech included a call to move past the traditional partisan divides over spending and make the tough choices to reduce the countrys massive national debt. In the past there has been a great debate between, on the one hand, some Republicans who have been unwilling to cut some programs - to consider in any context cuts in the area of, say, national defense. You've had others who perhaps from the other party have been unwilling to consider any cuts to any entitlement program. But we're now faced with a scenario in which both sides of the aisle can understand that our perpetual decit spending habit places in jeopardy every single aspect of the operations of the federal government. We now face a moment when both liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, regardless of what they most want to protect most in their federal government, have to realize that what they most want to protect is placed in grave jeopardy by our current spending practices. I'm troubled by the fact that as we approach debate surrounding a continuing resolution, this week a continuing resolution is likely to operate for just a few weeks to keep the government funded, we're still talking about adding on an annualized basis to our national debt at $1.5 trillion a year. I think the American people deserve better. I know that they demand better. And some of the things that we saw in the 2010 election cycle portends

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2/3/12 12:21 PM

Lee Delivers Maiden Speech, Urges Balanced Budget Reform -...

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something greater than what we're going to see in the 2012 election cycle. Americans want Congress to balance the budget and they want us to do something about it, more than just talking about it. Benjamin Franklin used to say, He'll cheat without scruple, who can without fear. I think the congressional corollary to that might be that Congress, which can continue to engage in perpetual decit spending, will continue to do unless or until the people require that Congress to put itself in a straitjacket. That's the straitjacket we need. That's why I'm proposing this [Balanced Budget] Amendment. Senator Lee has recently introduced a sense of the Senate amendment to a bill being debated in the Senate today that would put Members on record as supporting or opposing a nonspecic Balanced Budget proposal. Lees specic constitutional amendment, SJ Res 5, cosponsored by Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, includes the following three pillars: (1) requiring a balanced budget for each scal year, (2) limiting federal spending to no more than 18 percent of GDP, and (3) requiring a two-thirds vote in both Houses of Congress in order to increase taxes, raise the debt ceiling, or run a specic decit in a particular year.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/3/lee-deliversmaiden-speech-urges-balanced-budget-reform

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2/3/12 12:21 PM

Lee to Oppose Spending Proposal - Press Releases - Press Ofce...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Mar 02 2011

Lee to Oppose Spending Proposal


WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Mike Lee of Utah announced that he would vote against a proposed spending bill intended to fund government activity for two weeks. The Senator said the continuing resolution did not reect the message the American people sent last year to make signicant cuts to government spending and reduce the national debt. "The proposal is a disappointing failure on the part of both parties to seriously address the economic meltdown we face from our massive decit and growing national debt," said Lee. "While some have been patting themselves on the back for proposing $4 billion in so-called cuts, in reality, this bill fully funds billions upon billions of dollars in wasteful, duplicative programs that should be eliminated, reduced, or reformed. "Support for the continuing resolution means continuing Congress's unfortunate record of driving this country into debt. If a $1.6 trillion decit and $15 trillion national debt do not force this Congress into bold action, then I have little patience for procedural games that kick the can an inch or two down the street. "This is not the kind of legislation the people of Utah sent me to Washington to support and I cannot in good faith do so."

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/3/lee-tooppose-spending-proposal

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2/3/12 12:21 PM

Lee: Support for CR is a Losing Strategy - Press Releases - Pre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Mar 15 2011

Lee: Support for CR is a Losing Strategy


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee of Utah announced he would continue to oppose any continuation of current spending that did not seriously address our decit and debt, and lacked structural spending reforms. Lee said he plans to vote against the continuing resolution that is expected to come to the Senate oor this week because the so-called spending cuts in the bill are inadequate and it does not take steps to prevent future overspending. It is unfortunate that Members of Congress in both parties are supporting a losing strategy, rather than doing what is right for the country, said Lee. The continuing resolution maintains unsustainable spending levels despite widespread agreement that we need meaningful reductions. The question before the Senate is whether we are going to take bold action now to reduce our decit and control spending, or keep putting it off and drive the country further into debt. I am pleased to see a growing number of Members beginning to see the budget debate in these terms and have pledged to oppose additional continuing resolutions. My hope is that we attract enough support to nally put an end to this short-sighted tactic and forge a long-term agreement that is right for the American people.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/3/lee-supportfor-cr-is-a-losing-strategy

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2/3/12 12:24 PM

Lee, Hatch, Senate GOP Back Constitutional Amendment to Res...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Mar 31 2011

Lee, Hatch, Senate GOP Back Constitutional Amendment to Restrain Spending


WASHINGTON Today, with the full backing of the Senate GOP Caucus, Senator Lee introduced an amendment to the Constitution to balance the federal budget. Sponsored by fellow Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and four others as principle cosponsors, the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment is one of the most signicant pieces of legislation introduced this year aimed at putting the country on a path to scal sustainability. The central component of the bill states that total spending for the scal year must not exceed total receipts and must not exceed more than eighteen percent of the economy, as measured by gross domestic product. Only a two-thirds vote by the House and Senate would allow Congress to run a decit for a specic excess or raise taxes. Additionally, the amendment stipulates that a three-fths vote would be necessary to increase the debt limit. Two other very limited exceptions to the amendment allow spending in excess of receipts during a national security emergency or during a time of war. Three-fths of Congress would be required to vote for a specic excess during a military conict declared to be an imminent and serious military threat to our national security; and a just a simple majority vote would be needed during a declared war. The law becomes effective ve years after ratication. When it comes to spending, Congress has proven it cannot be trusted to live within its means or spend only what the federal government takes in, said Senator Lee. Our annual decit approaching $1.7 trillion and national debt of almost $15 trillion are a signicant threat to our economy, job growth, and future prosperity. Only a structural restraint on spending, like a constitutional
1 of 3 2/3/12 12:26 PM

Lee, Hatch, Senate GOP Back Constitutional Amendment to Res...

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amendment, will force Congress to make the tough decisions about our national priorities and prevent digging the country deeper in debt. Once the bill is voted on and approved by two-thirds of Congress, it must then be ratied by three-fourths of all state legislatures to become an amendment to the Constitution. A bill earlier this year sponsored by Senator Lee expressing support for a balanced budget amendment received 58 votes in the Senate. All 47 Senate Republicans are supporting the amendment. Communications Director Brian Phillips Brian_phillips@lee.senate.gov (202) 224-5444 Press Secretary Emily Bennion Emily_bennion@lee.senate.gov (202) 224-3904 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=191073197591048 http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=191238397574528 http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=191289544236080 http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=191656470866054 Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYJk5vHB1Rg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfGd7Urb5iU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCcI4h95J2U http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs7Ug1nlxmM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFtZ4smOGU8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZxFSwgNp-0

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2/3/12 12:26 PM

Lee, Hatch, Senate GOP Back Constitutional Amendment to Res...

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7LI_76oawk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reiWPWJWjVQ

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/3/lee-hatchsenate-gop-back-constitutional-amendment-to-restrain-spending

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2/3/12 12:26 PM

Lee Statement on President's Decit Reduction Speech - Press ...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Apr 13 2011

Lee Statement on President's Decit Reduction Speech


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee responded to the Presidents speech on decit reduction: While it is encouraging the President has nally decided to participate in the decit debate, it is disappointing that he has offered a so-called framework that ignores the destructive, burdensome long-term costs of entitlements and reversed his position on increasing taxes on the American people. What the President calls savings wont scratch the surface of our annual decit and, without a plan to balance the budget, the President continues to increase the national debt to unfathomable and irresponsible levels, which threatens our future prosperity. His calls to reduce our most bloated entitlement programs by roughly $30 to $40 billion per year are woefully inadequate to address an annual decit approaching $1.7 trillion. The President completely ignores Social Securitys contribution to the decit in the coming years. Most disappointing is that the President no longer believes tax relief is important to protect our economic recovery. In December of last year, the President said extending the Bush-era tax cuts will spur our private sector to create millions of new jobs, and add momentum that our economy badly needs. Less than ve months later, the Presidents framework proposes historic tax increases on the very segment of our economy on which we are depending to create those new jobs. This is not just a political ip-op. Its a reversal that will create greater

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2/3/12 12:27 PM

Lee Statement on President's Decit Reduction Speech - Press ...

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instability in our economy and threaten to turn around the small gains weve made in employment. Republicans in Congress have submitted dozens of ideas to reduce our decit, balance our budget, restrain spending, and create jobs. Many of us stand willing to work with the President and together make the difcult choices to put the country on a scally responsible path. The President has proposed only symbolic spending cuts and higher taxes for Americans. His speech today shows he is simply not serious about real decit reduction.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/4 /lee-statement-on-president-s-decit-reduction-speech

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2/3/12 12:27 PM

Lee Backs Balanced Budget Proposal - Press Releases - Press Of...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


May 10 2011

Lee Backs Balanced Budget Proposal


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee spoke in support of a budget proposal that will balance the federal budget over 10 years, save Medicare, enact real tax reform, and put the country on scally sustainable path. Senators Jim DeMint (SC), Tom Coburn (OK), David Vitter (LA), Marco Rubio (FL), Richard Burr (NC), James Risch (ID), and Ron Johnson (WI) joined the measure, principally authored by Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. In support of the budget, Senator Lee released the following statement: The most important challenge we have as a country is getting our scal house in order and Senator Toomey has developed a responsible plan to address it, said Senator Lee. While the President has proposed a budget that never balances and creates decits and debt as far as the eye can see, Senator Toomeys proposal moves the country in a scally responsible direction, balances the budget over a reasonable amount of time, simplies and reforms our complex tax code, and signicantly reduces spending to a manageable percentage of GDP. This budget represents yet another set of good ideas from Senate Republicans while our friends across the aisle have still not offered a budget of their own, despite a legal requirement to submit one. I applaud Senator Toomey for his leadership and look forward to debating his and other budget plans.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/5/lee-backsbalanced-budget-proposal

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2/3/12 12:27 PM

Senator Lee, Republican Colleagues Call on Administration to ...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


May 26 2011

Senator Lee, Republican Colleagues Call on Administration to Produce Budget


Senator Mike Lee (UT-R) and 22 of his Republican colleagues on Wednesday signed a letter to President Obama, calling attention to the failure of the democrats to produce a budget in 756 days. Lee and others are urging the Administration to work with budget experts to develop plans to allocate spending within a $2.6 trillion Debt Ceiling Budget. "We believe it is irresponsible to spread panic instead of taking responsible action to calm the markets. We believe it is irresponsible to ignore the broken political system and the very real possibility that the debt ceiling might not be raised in time. And we believe it is irresponsible not to develop robust contingency plans now just in case. "We are calling on your Administration to immediately begin working with budget experts in Congress to allocate spending within a $2.6 trillion Debt Ceiling Budget. All agency heads should then be instructed to develop plans to make sure essential services would be funded on a priority basis." "Finding real solutions is the preferred course of action. All spending programs must be on the table to achieve the structural reform necessary to avert a real debt crisis. We stand ready to be your willing partners in developing these solutions. "This is no time to play politics. The American people are depending on all of us." The full letter can be accessed below.

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2/3/12 12:29 PM

Senator Lee, Republican Colleagues Call on Administration to ...

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Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/5/senatorlee-republican-colleagues-call-on-administration-to-produce-budget Related Files Obama Letter.pdf (420.9 KBs)

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2/3/12 12:29 PM

Lee Signs Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge - Press Releases - Press Off...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jun 22 2011

Lee Signs Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee announced his support for a plan that would fundamentally change the way the federal government spends taxpayer money. Known as Cut, Cap, and Balance, the proposal seeks to signicantly reduce the annual decit, place a statutory cap on federal spending at 18% of GDP, and pass the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment out of both houses of Congress, all before allowing a vote on raising the nations debt ceiling. Cut Cap Balance Press Conference Cut, Cap, and Balance is the single most signicant reform package Congress has seen in decades, said Senator Lee. It forces Washington to balance its books with strict, enforceable scal restraints and will cut spending signicantly and immediately to improve our economy and create jobs. Earlier in the week, Senator Lee became the rst Member of Congress to sign the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge, which was announced at a press conference today. The pledge signies a commitment to passing all three provisions of the plan before a vote to increase the nations debt ceiling takes place. We cannot continue to rack up debt without rst addressing the underlying problems that cause Washington to overspend, Lee added. Supporters of the pledge are saying we want to x the problem before it gets any worse. Opponents believe we can keep piling up debt and just hope Washington changes on its own. We owe future generations more than that and have a responsibility to do the right thing for them today. ###

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2/3/12 12:31 PM

Lee Signs Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge - Press Releases - Press Off...

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Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/6/lee-signscut-cap-balance-pledge

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2/3/12 12:31 PM

Lee, GOP Senators Push for Balanced Budget Amendment - Pre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jun 29 2011

Lee, GOP Senators Push for Balanced Budget Amendment


WASHINGTON Today, the Senate Republican Caucus began a coordinated effort to push for passage of the S. J. Res 10, the Hatch Lee Balanced Budget Amendment. Senator Mike Lee, a lead cosponsor of the bill, has consistently championed the need for binding, structural spending reforms like a constitutional amendment, even before joining the Senate. The bill would force Congress to balance its budget each year, limit spending to no more than 18% of GDP, and require a supermajority vote in both the House and Senate before raising taxes or increasing the nations debt ceiling. To truly x the spending problem in Washington, we have to fundamentally change the rules that govern Congress, said Lee. If we want to eliminate decits, reduce the national debt, get control of spending, preserve our constitutional priorities, and save our economy, it starts with the balanced budget amendment. It is the only solution that guarantees future reforms will be enforced. A number of GOP Senators, including Lee, spoke in support of the amendment this morning on the Senate oor. They will also hold a press conference at 11:30 am near the Ohio Clock outside the Senate Chamber. Floor speeches on the balanced budget amendment will continue tomorrow, with Members planning to carry the message into the July 4th recess.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/6/lee-gopsenators-push-for-balanced-budget-amendment

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2/3/12 12:32 PM

Lee, Romney Talk Economy - Press Releases - Press Ofce - M...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jun 29 2011

Lee, Romney Talk Economy


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee met with Governor Mitt Romney to discuss issues relating to the economy and getting the country moving in the right direction. I appreciate Governor Romney taking the time to meet with me today, said Sen. Lee. I expressed my view that we are currently dealing with the critical scal issues of this generation and that we need strong leadership on these issues. I was happy to hear that Gov. Romney supports the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge including a Balanced Budget Amendmentone of my top prioritiesand that his focus remains on growing the economy to create good jobs for our country. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/6/lee-romneytalk-economy

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2/3/12 12:32 PM

Lee: After Vote, President Has Some Explaining to Do - Press R...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jul 19 2011

Lee: After Vote, President Has Some Explaining to Do


WASHINGTON In anticipation of the House vote on the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, Senator Mike Lee released the following statement: After the House passes the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, as I expect them to do, the President will have to explain to the American people why he, Harry Reid, and Senate Democrats are blocking the increase in the debt ceiling they requested. So far, we have heard that the President opposes immediate spending cuts and a constitutional amendment that requires the federal government to balance it budget, which puts him directly at odds with the majority of Americans. Republicans have proposed a realistic compromise that gives the President what he has asked for in return for immediate spending cuts, reasonable decit reduction over the next decade, and structural reforms that require Congress to balance its budget. We currently have 39 co-sponsors in the Senate for this compromise, all Republicans. It takes just a small number of Democrats and the President to do the right thing, protect the economy, and move past this stalemate. After the House vote, it will be up to them.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/7/lee-aftervote-president-has-some-explaining-to-do

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2/3/12 12:33 PM

Lee: Cut, Cap, and Balance is Plan A, B, and C - Press Releases...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jul 20 2011

Lee: Cut, Cap, and Balance is Plan A, B, and C


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Lee released the following statement as a strong endorsement of the recently passed Cut, Cap, and Balance Act in the House of Representatives: Cut, Cap, and Balance is Plan A, B, and C because it is the only plan that will, a, protect the U.S. triple-A bond rating, b, balance the budget, and, c, raise the debt ceiling with Republican support, said Senator Lee. Senate Democrats should stop wasting time we dont have ddling with plans that wont work. The House did the right thing. Now its time for Senate Democrats and the President to do their part and pass the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/7/lee-cutcap-and-balance-is-plan-a-b-and-c

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2/3/12 12:34 PM

Poll Shows 66% of Americans Support Cut, Cap, Balance - Pre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jul 21 2011

Poll Shows 66% of Americans Support Cut, Cap, Balance


Today, Senator Mike Lee highlighted a new CNN poll that shows two-thirds of the American people support the cut, cap, and balance approach to solving the nations debt crisis. Using language that closely mimics Senator Lees Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, respondents were asked whether they favored or opposed only raising the debt ceiling if Congress rst passed a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved. A full 66% said they were in favor. Additionally, the poll shows three out of four Americans (74%) favor a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. Senator Lee reacted to the poll results: The survey backs up what we have been saying all along: the American people are with us. They want Congress to cut spending and balance the budget. We have a plan to do that called Cut, Cap, and Balance. The responsibility is now on The President and Senate Democrats to follow the will of the American people and pass this legislation. The poll included interviews with 1,009 adult Americans conducted by telephone on July 18-20, 2011 Full poll results can be found here Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/7/poll-shows66-of-americans-support-cut-cap-balance

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2/3/12 12:35 PM

Lee: Blocking 'Cut, Cap, and Balance' Vote is Shameful and De...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jul 22 2011

Lee: Blocking 'Cut, Cap, and Balance' Vote is Shameful and Despicable
WASHINGTON Following a procedural vote to prevent the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act from coming to the Senate oor, Senator Mike Lee released the following statement: Today, Majority Leader Harry Reid used procedural tactic to prevent a vote on a bill that is supported by two-thirds of the country. It is shameful, despicable, and an abuse of this chamber. We werent even allowed sufcient time to debate the one bill in Congress that would address the countrys most immediate challenges. The Democrats have blocked a vote for now, but the ght is not over. I will continue to make sure Cut, Cap, and Balance receives a proper up or down vote in the Senate.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/7/lee-blockingcut-cap-and-balance-vote-is-shameful-and-despicable

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2/3/12 12:35 PM

Debt Proposals are "Typical Washington Answers" - Press Rele...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jul 25 2011

Debt Proposals are "Typical Washington Answers"


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee released the following statement on the debt proposals released by Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Harry Reid: Both plans represent typical Washington answers to the federal governments out-of-control spending problem. They add trillions to the national debt in the short-term while making hollow promises to cut spending in the long-term. Neither of the proposals fundamentally reform the way Washington spends money, require the federal government to balance its budget, or protect our triple-A credit rating. The right solution is immediate cuts, enforceable spending caps, and structural reform, including a balanced budget amendment, not empty promises, unaccountable commissions, and business as usual. Republicans have already put forward a plan that grants the Presidents unprecedented request on the debt ceiling. The House passed it and every Republican in the Senate voted for it. If we reach August 2 without a meaningful deal, it will be because the President and Senate Democrats refused to take Washingtons spending problem seriously.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/7/debtproposals-are-typical-washington-answers

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2/3/12 12:35 PM

Budget Control Act is a 'Disappointing Failure' - Press Releases ...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Aug 02 2011

Budget Control Act is a 'Disappointing Failure'


The Budget Control Act represents a disappointing failure on the part of this Congress. We have squandered the best opportunity we had to fundamentally reform the way Washington spends money and put the nation on a sustainable path toward a balanced budget. Instead, this bill increases our national debt by more than $2 trillion and cuts spending by only $7 billion over the same time period. There is no reliable enforcement mechanism for future spending reductions. We only have the hollow promises from a Congress that created the mess in the rst place. The Act contains neither a balanced budget amendment nor any other structural spending reform to end the federal governments scal irresponsibility. Worse, it creates a Super Congress with the power to submit legislation that cannot be amended and could raise taxes on the American people. This is not at all what we were elected to do. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/8/budgetcontrol-act-is-a-disappointing-failure

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2/3/12 12:36 PM

Heller, Lee , Four Senators Demand Transparency from Joint ...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Aug 04 2011

Heller, Lee , Four Senators Demand Transparency from Joint Committee


Letter to Senate leadership requests open, public meetings
(Washington, DC) Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) and a group of ve Republican Senators wrote a letter to Senate leadership asking that all meetings of the new joint congressional committee created by the Budget Control Act be open to the public and available for television broadcast. The Senators also expressed concern about the closed-door nature of the joint committee meetings. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Boozman (R-AR), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), and David Vitter (R-LA) co-signed the letter. The American people have a right to know what their government is going to do with their tax dollars. Not only do closed door meetings by this Committee prevent the public from knowing how their dollars are being spent, but these meetings also have the potential to promote deals with special interests. Open door proceedings will allow the public to be their own advocates, rather than relying on games of inside baseball that too often dominate todays Washington, said Senator Heller. All of the letters co-signers are also original co-sponsors of the Budget Control Joint Committee Transparency Act (S.1501), legislation Senator Heller introduced in the Senate yesterday. This bill mandates that proceedings of the Joint Committee on Decit Reduction be transparent and open to the public. Full text of the letter below:

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2/3/12 12:36 PM

Heller, Lee , Four Senators Demand Transparency from Joint ...

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August 3, 2011

The Honorable Harry Reid Democratic Leader United States Senate Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell Republican Leader United States Senate Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell: The Budget Control Act (S.637) signed into law on August 2, 2011, creates a new joint congressional committee entrusted with recommending and ultimately crafting legislation to reduce our decit by at least $1.2 trillion. We support addressing our national debt and warding off what has been called the most predictable economic crisis in our nations history. However, we are united in our concern about the authority granted to this committee. As we understand it, this Committee essentially has the ability to craft their list of recommendations without any joint committee jurisdictions and without an open committee process. Furthermore, these recommendations are not subject to debate or an amendment process afforded the majority of legislation considered in the Senate. We remain concerned that all aspects of the federal budget, including revenue increases, could be subject to the Committees recommendations. If our colleagues wish to raise taxes or propose spending cuts, the American people have a right to see that process unfold. We ask you, as two of the appointers of the Committee, to ensure that all meetings and hearings are done in a transparent manner through advanced public notication, public attendance and live television broadcasts. Meetings will include any time a quorum of members are present to discuss committee related matters whether it be in person, over the phone or via teleconference. All Americans should have the ability to see how the Committee crafts a

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2/3/12 12:36 PM

Heller, Lee , Four Senators Demand Transparency from Joint ...

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concrete plan for our scal future. As original cosponsors of the Budget Control Joint Committee Transparency Act (S.1501), we stand rm in our belief that the public should understand how their tax dollars are being spent, which requires an open process rather than a series of closed-door meetings. We recognize the very serious dangers posed by our nations debt and share your commitment to addressing it. As you begin to craft the Committee, we ask that you allow this process to unfold before the American people through an open debate. We remain committed to this issue and hope that it will be resolved prior to consideration of S. 1501. In order to meet our nations nancial obligations, this body must meet its obligation to the American people to do the work we were sent here to do. We look forward to your response to this request.

Sincerely, U.S. Senator Dean Heller U.S. Senator David Vitter U.S. Senator Mike Lee U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte U.S. Senator John Boozman U.S. Senator Ron Johnson

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/8/ve-senatorsdemand-transparency-from-joint-committee

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2/3/12 12:36 PM

U.S. Senator Mike Lee Responds to S&P Downgrade of United ...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Aug 05 2011

U.S. Senator Mike Lee Responds to S&P Downgrade of United States


Lee lays out path back to AAA rating and American greatness
WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Mike Lee responded to S&P lowering the long held AAA rating for the United States saying, This downgrade conrms what we have known was coming, but have chosen to ignore, for a long time. This downgrade further conrms that the true threat to our country, our economy and our way of life is our debt and the continued decit spending Washington and the current administration are pursuing. For the rst time ever the United States does not hold a AAA rating. The impact could be felt in numerous ways including higher interests rates for car, home or student loans along with credit card rates. Lee then stated, Unfortunately, when it comes to the signicant nancial challenges this country faces, we have been swatting at the branches and symptoms instead of attacking the root and core causes. Never has there been a greater need for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution to ensure we get our scal house in order, reduce our debt, and get Washington to live within its means. Calling on his colleagues in the House and Senate along with the Administration and Americans across the country Lee said, The answer to our economic challenges lies within a simple concept most Americans and most states understand and live by balance your checkbook and dont spend more than you bring in. This is not a liberal or conservative issue, it isnt a Democrat or Republican issue it is an American issue. If ever there were a time for Americans and members of Congress to have an open debate and dialogue about the future of our country, that time is now. I invite

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2/3/12 12:37 PM

U.S. Senator Mike Lee Responds to S&P Downgrade of United ...

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everyone to begin to understand where we are as a nation and what it will take to restore both our AAA rating, and more importantly, our strength and greatness as a country.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/8/u-s-senatormike-lee-responds-to-s-p-downgrade-of-united-states

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2/3/12 12:37 PM

Lee Statement on President's Upcoming Speech - Press Releases...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Sep 07 2011

Lee Statement on President's Upcoming Speech


WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Mike Lee outlined several policy proposals that he would like to see the President support in his speech on Thursday night. The Presidents agenda for the past two and half years has been a failure. From persistent unemployment to the rst credit downgrade in our countrys history, President Obamas economic policies are making Americans worse off. For the good of the country, the President should advocate proposals that will get the federal government off the backs of the countrys job creators and incentivize investment in our economy. Senator Lee noted ve objectives the President should support in his speech: Structural, binding spending reforms, such as a balanced budget amendment to the constitution, that would reduce the national debt and end the practice of perpetual decit spending Support for sound monetary policy that will prevent further collapse of the dollar, including opposing another round of quantitative easing and additional bailouts of failing banks Regulatory reform, including a moratorium on all new regulations until the unemployment rate reaches 7.7% (S. 1438, the Regulation Moratorium and Job Preservation Act sponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson (WI)) Reforming the tax code to make American businesses more competitive and put more money in the hands of consumers and investors Accelerating development of Americas energy resources by reducing delays and bureaucratic hurdles

The President has asked to speak directly to Congress on Thursday night. If he continues to push more spending, more borrowing, and more debt, it will
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Lee Statement on President's Upcoming Speech - Press Releases...

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be a wasted opportunity. I sincerely hope that will not be the case.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/9 /lee-statement-on-president-s-upcoming-speech

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2/3/12 12:37 PM

Lee to Offer Motion to Cut Spending - Press Releases - Press Of...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Oct 19 2011

Lee to Offer Motion to Cut Spending


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee will offer a motion to keep 2012 spending levels on certain appropriations at 2011 levels. Submitted as a motion to recommit on the minibus spending bill which funds areas in agriculture, transportation, and commerce, among others Senator Lees motion would save tax payers $10 billion next year. Theres no question this would save taxpayers just a drop in the decitspending bucket, said Senator Lee. However, I am committed to pursuing immediate spending reductions at every opportunity. While a lot of Senators talk about scal responsibility, heres an opportunity to show they really mean it even in a small way. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/10/lee-to-offermotion-to-cut-spending

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2/3/12 12:40 PM

Lee: Failed Motion Shows Commitment to Big Spending Remai...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 01 2011

Lee: Failed Motion Shows Commitment to Big Spending Remains


WASHINGTONToday, Senator Mike Lees motion to maintain certain 2012 spending appropriations at 2011 levels was voted down. The motion would have affected legislation that will authorize funding for several departments, including agriculture, commerce, and transportation. My motion to reduce current 2012 spending by roughly $10 billion should have easily passed at a time when the country is running an annual decit of $1.3 trillion and is saddled with a national debt as large as the entire annual output of the economy. Instead, todays vote shows that too many members of the Senate are still committed to ghting every attempt to enact even the smallest amount of savings. Worse still, todays appropriations package will achieve its increased spending levels through accounting tricks and gimmicks that allow the true numbers to be hidden from the American public. I will continue to do whatever I can to make the federal government smaller and more transparent. Before the vote, Senator Lee made the following comments on the Senate oor: Mr. President, I led this motion to recommit HR 2112 with instructions to send this minibus back to the committee on appropriations for one simple reason.: it spends more for the same set of expenditures in scal year 2012 than it did in 2011 to the tune of about $10 billion. I understand that there are reasons for this excess. I understand that when we look at individual components of the 2012 provision, there may be some cuts in there.

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2/3/12 12:42 PM

Lee: Failed Motion Shows Commitment to Big Spending Remai...

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But the overall picture, the entire pie, is about $10 billion more than what we had in FY 2011. Unless we can be open and transparent with the American people and acknowledge the fact that we are, in fact, spending more, I think this is a problem. We've got to get this scal house in order. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11/lee-failedmotion-shows-commitment-to-big-spending-remains

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2/3/12 12:42 PM

Lee Co-Sponsors Reform to Eliminate Budget Gimmicks - Pres...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 02 2011

Lee Co-Sponsors Reform to Eliminate Budget Gimmicks


WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Mike Lee will co-sponsor legislation that eliminates the most common budgetary gimmicks used by Congress to hide hundreds of billions of dollars in spending. In the past six years alone, the tricks addressed in the Honest Budget Act (S.1651) have enabled Congress to spend over $350 billion, money that the country simply doesnt have. For too long, Washington has been using budgetary tricks and gimmicks to hide the real cost of government spending, said Senator Lee. The federal budget is often nothing more than a shell game: a sleight-of-hand hoax that leaves Americans wondering where the real numbers are hidden. This is not how a transparent, responsible government functions. The people deserve better. The Honest Budget Act will put an end to disingenuous practices such as phony rescissions, abuse of the emergency spending designation, and certain types of automatic pay increases, as well as require a supermajority vote to proceed to a spending bill without a budget in place. In total, the HBA will eliminate nine different gimmicks that have been abused as part of business as usual in Washington. This legislation is a signicant step forward toward reforming how Washington works and putting the country on a scally sustainable path. For more information, please visit: http://budget.senate.gov/republican/public/index.cfm/honest-budget-act

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11/lee-co-

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2/3/12 12:42 PM

Lee Statement on Failure of Super Committee - Press Releases -...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 21 2011

Lee Statement on Failure of Super Committee


Even after the failure of the Super Committee, Congress still has an obligation to cut spending, balance the budget, and make the necessary reforms to restrain its ability to do signicantly greater damage to our economy. I still believe the principles established in the Cut, Cap, and Balance legislation I introduced earlier this year provide the way forward for Congress to achieve these goals, get its scal house in order, and regain our triple-A credit rating. The American people overwhelmingly support the bill and it has already passed the House. The Senate should do the same and the President should sign it. Playing around at the margins and cutting a few percentage points off our national debt over the next decade may be politically suitable, but doesnt x the problem. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11 /lee-statement-on-failure-of-super-committee

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2/3/12 12:45 PM

Lee Urges Senate to Pass Meaningful Spending Restriction - Pre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Dec 12 2011

Lee Urges Senate to Pass Meaningful Spending Restriction


WASHINGTON Ahead of this weeks vote in the Senate on two competing versions of a balanced budget amendment, Senator Lee urged his colleagues to support S. J. Res 10, the only version that will lead to meaningful spending restraint. After three straight years of record decits, a national debt now larger than our entire economy, and losing our triple-A credit rating, Congress still hasnt woken up to the seriousness of our situation, said Senator Lee, a member of the Judiciary Committee. By allowing spending to go unchecked, the opponents of a strong, structural spending restraint are threatening the future prosperity of every American. On Wednesday, the Senate will vote on Senator Lees balanced budget amendment and a version authored by Senate Democrats that allows Congress to easily circumvent any constitutional restrictions and avoid spending discipline. Despite all the talk about spending cuts over the last year, Congress actually spent $145 billion more in scal year 2011 than it did in the previous year, according to the Congressional Budget Ofce. Lee said this proves the need for an external, structural spending restraint like S.J. Res 10, the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment, to get the countrys annual scal decit and national debt under control. Every day we wait to do the right thing means making tougher and tougher choices later. If we start the process of balancing the budget now and begin prioritizing what we spend over the next seven to ten years, we can avoid the dramatic and draconian cuts that will occur as a result of doing nothing.

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2/3/12 12:46 PM

Lee Urges Senate to Pass Meaningful Spending Restriction - Pre...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

All of us know that spending is the problem. A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that keeps Congress and the President in check is the only real solution.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/12/lee-urgessenate-to-pass-meaningful-spending-restriction

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2/3/12 12:46 PM

Lee Statement on BBA Vote - Press Releases - Press Ofce - Mi...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Dec 14 2011

Lee Statement on BBA Vote


Though it was no surprise that getting the requisite two-thirds vote on either amendment was a tough hill to climb, I am shocked that more than sixty percent of the Democrat caucus could not support either version. It sends a strong signal that the majority of Democrats in the Senate do not view Congresss out-of-control spending to be a problem, and the American public should be appalled. Despite all the warnings from economists and experts on both sides that we are headed for a scal meltdown if we dont control spending, the majority of Democrats in Congress are content to do nothing about it and choose instead to ght political battles aimed at the next election. The silver lining is that with 47 Republican votes for SJRes 10 and 20 Democratic votes for SJRes 24, we have a total of 67 Senators who are ofcially on record supporting a constitutional amendment to require the federal government to balance its budget. Americans should nd some relief in the fact that Congress has the votes to pass a balanced budget amendment so long as we can nd consensus on a bill. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on this issue. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/12 /lee-statement-on-bba-vote

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2/3/12 12:46 PM

The Seeds of Shutdown - Blog - Press Ofce - Mike Lee, United...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=6b87ffd6...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Apr 07 2011

The Seeds of Shutdown


I could not agree more that we should not have a government shutdown. I could not agree more that we need to take steps to protect and improve our economy. And, I could not agree more that we need to take steps to make sure that our brave uniformed men and women are fairly compensated and otherwise treated. I must, however, express my profound, albeit respectful, disagreement with my colleague, the junior senator from New Jersey. This is not a possible shutdown that we're facing as a result of the Republican party or the Tea Party. As a life-long Republican and a founding member of the Tea Party caucus, I can tell you there is not one member of this body, nor is there one member of the senate Tea Party Caucus who wants a government shutdown. Republicans have, from the outset of this, attempted to bring forward proposals to make sure that we don't get into a shutdown. The question we need to ask ourselves, is why does the President of the United States, President Barack Obama, want a government shutdown? Let's ask a few questions: Why was it that a few months ago, after the election, but before the new congress tookover, when the president had both houses of congress under the control of his party, why did he opt not to pass a full budget for scal year 2011? That was the rst seed that he sowed in the direction of a government shutdown. I submit that it was one that was either irresponsible on the one hand or deliberate and malicious on the other intending to bring about a sequence of events that would culminate in agovernment shutdown.

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2/3/12 12:52 PM

The Seeds of Shutdown - Blog - Press Ofce - Mike Lee, United...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=6b87ffd6...

Number two, even after the new congress convened, after the balance of power shifted in the House of Representatives and after a number of seats in this body shifted, the new Congress convened in January of this year. The President didn't bring forward something that could attract both houses of congress to approve and that he could fund the government with for the balance of the year. He, instead, chose to operate on a series of continuing resolutions. We're now moving again with what I believe will be our seventh continuing resolution if it's passed. What we have from the president is radio silence in the direction of what we need to do to move forward. A number of us have suggested all along in this process that at a point in time in America when we have a national debt approaching $15 trillion, at a point in time when we're adding to that debt at a staggering $1.7 trillion a year, it doesn't make sense and it isn't responsible to continue even in small increments perpetuating that degree of reckless decit spending. So what we want to see more thananything, isn't any specic set of social issue legislation. It's not any specic degree of spending cuts. It is, instead, a plan that will move us in the direction of a balanced budget. That will put us on track so that we might once again enjoy the benets of a balanced budget. So we might again enjoy the day and age when we don't have a debt to GDP ratio well inexcess of 90%. Because we know when we have a ratio in excessof 90%, which we do now, it slows economic growth in this country by more than half,costing our economy as many as a million jobs every single year.

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2/3/12 12:52 PM

The Seeds of Shutdown - Blog - Press Ofce - Mike Lee, United...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=6b87ffd6...

This is ultimately about jobsbecause our sprawling debt kills jobs and economic growth necessary to create jobs. So, no, this is not a quixotic quest for perfection. This is simply a quest for that which will sufce to get us back on track towards scal responsibility. Now, I mentioned two seeds that the president has planted to lead to a shutdown. The rst being his refusal to push through a budget for the entire year for scal 2011. The second being his reliance on continuing resolutions. The third seed he sowed, one that I'm not sure we're going to be able to get around this time, much as we would like to is his threat, just in the last hour or two -- his threat, his promise to veto the continuing resolution that the house is expected to be passing this afternoon and that it may have passed just moments ago. He's threatening to veto that before it even gets over here. One must wonder, why does the president want a shutdown? We have to remember, these are not drastic changes that have been proposed. In fact,
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The Seeds of Shutdown - Blog - Press Ofce - Mike Lee, United...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=6b87ffd6...

they're not even sufcient in my opinion to get us back on track so that we can say, this heads us in the direction of an eventual balanced budget. These are minor cuts and yet the president insists on moving us inevitably, inexorably in the direction of a shutdown. Now, while we're on the subject of addressing a false blame that has been placed on the Republican party and on the Tea Party, I care to address the accusation that has been made by various of my colleagues, an accusation that I believe was made in ignorance and, in any event, is manifestly incorrect. With regard to the Tea Party, this is a movement whose views are not extreme. What is extreme is a $15 trillion debt that we're adding to by $1.7 trillion a year. That is extreme! With what has happened in the last few years, including the government takeover of everything from our banking industry to our auto manufacturing industry, to our health care industry. Those things are extreme. The tea party movement is something that is shared by many Americans, regardless of whether they ever appear at a rally of any kind. It's a spontaneous grass-roots political phenomenon that simply recognizes that our federal government has grown too big and has become too expensive, and we need to do something about that. Many of us who consider ourselves part of a tea party movement believe that the best solution, perhaps the only solution to this is to return to that 223-year-old founding document we call the U.S. Constitution. Look to those tasks, those powers that are identied as something within the exclusive power, control of the federal government. The more we do that the more we can turn to constitutionally limited government of the sort that can operate on a balanced budget. This is not necessarily even a politically conservative movement. It is neither conservative nor liberal. At the end of the day, it need not be either Republican or Democratic. It is simply American. It recognizes that this country is founded upon the principle that national governments, as they become large and powerful,have a certain tendency toward gaining an excess of power, and spending an excess of money, and to

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2/3/12 12:52 PM

The Seeds of Shutdown - Blog - Press Ofce - Mike Lee, United...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=6b87ffd6...

tyranny. A national government can function best when it has limited, enumerated powers of the sort we granted the federal government a couple of centuries ago. Powers including things like national defense, establishing a uniform system of weights and measures, regulating trademarks, copyrights, patents and so forth. Included in that list you won't nd anything about a government takeover of health care or manufacturing industries or banking industries. This is neither liberal nor conservative. It's neither Republican nor Democratic. And it certainly isn't extreme. It is simply american. It is what makes us great. It is part of what has created-- it is part of what has created the strongest economy and the greatest civilization the world has ever known. At the end of the day, as those who have planted, quite deliberately, the seeds for an inevitable shutdown seek to blame others, we have to remember the seeds that they have sown and we have to be willing to cast blame where blame is due. The blame here cannot, and as long as I'm standing, will not be placed at the feet of the Republican party or the Tea Party. We do not want a shutdown and we'll do everything we can to ght against it. If we have one, it will be because the President of the United States and members of the other party in this august body have refused to put forward a palatable, defensible budget. Thank you.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/4/the-seedsof-shutdown

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2/3/12 12:52 PM

Oppose the Debt Limit Until We Pass the Hatch-Lee BBA - Blog...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


May 10 2011

Oppose the Debt Limit Until We Pass the Hatch-Lee BBA


As the debate over the nations debt ceiling heats up, many are wondering not only whether Congress will support an increase, but also what measures will the opponents of an increase demand in return for lifting the limit. I stand rmly behind a proposal that, in return for allowing a vote on the debt ceiling, will begin to fundamentally change the way Washington spends money. In a letter distributed last week, I asked my Republican colleagues in the Senate to join me in opposing any increase in the debt ceiling unless or until both houses of Congress have passed the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment. The amendment would cap future spending at 18% of GDP and require a supermajority in both houses to run an annual decit for a specic purpose, raise the debt ceiling, and increase taxes. To borrow from Churchill, to get spending under control, a balanced budget amendment is the worst solution except all the others that have been tried. And Congress has tried several. Previous Congresses have attempted to restrict spending through statutory restrictions such as the Balanced Budget and Emergency Decit Control Act, more commonly known as Gramm-Rudman, and the Budget Enforcement Act. Both failed to control spending long-term because of each of the laws built-in limitations and the ease with which subsequent Congresses were able to reform, repeal, dismantle and ultimately ignore the restrictions. The debt ceiling itself is some measure of a spending restraint, but, again, because it only requires a majority vote to increase the cap, lifting the limit has been little more than a formality from year to year.

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2/3/12 12:53 PM

Oppose the Debt Limit Until We Pass the Hatch-Lee BBA - Blog...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=d2b15e6b...

The worst solution of all has been to do nothing and simply trust that the President and Congress will produce scally responsible budgets and spending bills. From unenforced debt limits, to enacting new entitlements, to emergency spending bills loaded with pork, Washington has proven that it cannot be trusted to act responsibly in the short-term to ensure the countrys long-term prosperity. It would be gross scal negligence not to impose some structural, binding, and permanent spending restraint on Congress at a time when our national debt threatens to collapse our economy. Back to Churchill, several proposals have been oated as possible bargains for increasing the debt limit. Unquestionably the best worst solution, indeed the only one that has a real chance of permanently changing the way Washington spends money, is the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment. It is the very nature of a constitutional amendment that makes the proposal a highly effective limitation on Congresss insatiable appetite to spend. Unlike other statutory reforms that have failed because they needed only a simple majority to dismantle, an amendment to the Constitution would require overwhelming support from Congress and the American people to return to the country to the status quo. I will continue to encourage my colleagues to oppose an increase in the debt limit unless and until we pass the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment. For anyone serious about preserving the long-term prosperity of our country, it should be an easy stand to take.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/5/opposethe-debt-limit-until-we-pass-the-hatch-lee-bba Related Files 2011-05-04 Letter Debt Limit.pdf (682.5 KBs)

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2/3/12 12:53 PM

Cut, Cap, Balance - Giving the President What He Wants and W...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Jul 19 2011

Cut, Cap, Balance - Giving the President What He Wants and What He Needs
President Obama has ofcially signaled that he is not on the side of the American people. Today, the House will vote on a common-sense, reasonable compromise to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion. In giving the President every penny of debt ceiling he has requested, Republicans have asked for immediate spending cuts and a multi-year framework to balance the federal budget. Even before the House has begun debate on the measure, the President announced he planned to veto the bill if it came to his desk. One has to wonder why the President believes that spending cuts and balanced budgets are unrealistic policy goals. Hell tell you its because the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act cuts Medicare and Medicaid. But that is false. Nowhere in the text of the language does it call for specic cuts to specic programs. The intent of the bill is to set reasonable spending limits based on what we can afford. If future Congresses can reform the budget so we can live within our means and make no changes to entitlements, then so be it. Under the act, Congress is free to structure programs however they wish, so long as we are staying under the caps and over the next decade or so balance our budget. So why the hyperbole and misinformation? The only answer is that the President is not serious about cutting spending and has no desire to ever balance the budget.

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2/3/12 1:00 PM

Cut, Cap, Balance - Giving the President What He Wants and W...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=ece32405...

For further evidence, look no further than his own budget. It never balances and adds trillions to the national debt. He is pained to suggest a single entitlement reform he would support, even though they are the biggest drivers of spending in our budget. If the President will not take our scal challenges seriously, Republicans are right to move forward with a plan that raises the debt ceiling while making immediate spending cuts, limiting future spending, and requiring a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. It is the only plan that raises the debt ceiling with signicant Republican support. We have put a plan on the table that will cut spending, balance the budget, help our economy and create jobs. It is now the Presidents job to explain why he opposes the goals the American people support.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/7/cut-capbalance-giving-the-president-what-he-wants-and-what-he-needs

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2/3/12 1:00 PM

Accept no Imitations: Senator Lee Outlines the Necessary Requ...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Dec 08 2011

Accept no Imitations: Senator Lee Outlines the Necessary Requirements of an Effective Balanced Budget Amendment
Senator Lee: Mr. President, I stand today to urge my colleagues to support efforts to bring forward a balanced budget amendment, one that can be passed out of both houses of Congress and submitted to the states for ratication. Article 5 of the Constitution gives us the power to change the Constitution from time to time, to modify our law of laws, that 224-year-old document that has fostered the development of the greatest civilization the world has ever known. We have done this 27 times. We have done it at times when in order to protect and preserve the nation that our ancestors fought so valiantly to create and later again to defend. We have to modify our government, the manner in which we do business in order to preserve that system, in order to make it strong, in order to ensure that it will continue to be strong for future generations. We made it stronger when, for example, we added the Bill of Rights shortly after the ratication of the Constitution. We made it stronger again when, for example, we added the so-called civil war amendments, the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, ending slavery and the incidents thereof. We made it stronger when we made it clear that women must always be given the right to vote. We made it stronger a number of times. The time to make it stronger has come yet again. It's time to modify the Constitution to limit, to restrict Congress' current power granted by article 1, section 8, clause 2 of the Constitution, to borrow money on credit of the United States.

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2/3/12 1:09 PM

Accept no Imitations: Senator Lee Outlines the Necessary Requ...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=f125d655...

The reason we need to do this is because this power has been so severely abused over such a prolonged period of time that it's causing devastating consequences for our economy and for our ability to fund the operations of government. We have now accumulated over $15 trillion in debt as a country. That works out to about $50,000 for every man, woman and child in America. It works out, arguably, to about $120,000 to $150,000 for every taxpayer in America. This is a lot of money. It also represents about 90%, between 90% and 100% of our gross domestic product annually depending on whose statistics you follow. This is troubling given that once a country's debt to GDP ratio crosses the signicant 90% threshold -- which we have now done -- economic growth tends to slow, tends to slow to a point that an economy as large as ours can expect to lose as many as a million jobs a year. We can't afford to lose jobs, especially when we know what one of the major causes is, our national debt. It's time that we change the way we do business. It's time to change the manner in which Congress acquires new debt. This is no longer an issue that is either Republican or democratic, that's either liberal or conservative. It is simply American. I remind my colleagues that whether you're most concerned on the one hand about preserving America's leading edge, its ability to fund its national defense program, or on the other hand if you're most concerned about funding entitlement programs, you should want a balanced budget amendment because this is what we need to do, this is what we have to do in order to protect our ability to fund both of those things, and everything else that we do. You see, because by the end of this decade, according to the White House's own numbers, we will be paying close to a trillion dollars every year just to pay the interest on our national debt, just the interest alone. We're currently spending a little over $200 billion a year on interest. Still, a lot of money, but about $800 billion lower than what we're likely to be spending by the end of this decade. Where will that additional $800 billion every single year come from? This isn't a discretionary sum. This is money that we have to pay. It's the rst thing that we have to pay. Where will that $800 billion difference be made up? At that point, we can't expect simply to raise taxes to make up that difference. I'm not aware of any tax increase plan that could bring in that much additional revenue every year without stagnating our economy to the point that we might within a year or two bring in less revenue rather than more, certainly not $800 billion more. Nor am I aware of any plan whereby we could simply borrow an additional $800 billion just to pay that interest, because doing so, of course, would cause our interest rates to skyrocket, grow out of control, and our interest payments would be even

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2/3/12 1:09 PM

Accept no Imitations: Senator Lee Outlines the Necessary Requ...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=f125d655...

more signicant at that point, thus further impairing our ability to fund everything from defense to entitlements. So at that point, the only option on the table would be dramatic, severe, abrupt, even draconian cuts to everything from defense to entitlements and everything in between. We don't want this, there is a better way, and the better way forward that consists of a permanent structural spending reform that can be achieved only through a balanced budget amendment. Now, let me explain what I mean by that. More importantly, let me explain what I don't mean by that. We have to beware of things that masquerade as balanced budget amendments, things that will actually do the job instead of purporting to do the job, distracting the public's attention away from the need to do this, while in effect doing nothing. We need to be aware of what I sometimes call the Trojan horse balanced budget amendment proposal. So there are a few hallmarks of what a real effective balanced budget amendment would accomplish. First and foremost, it has to apply to all spending in requiring Congress to provide a supermajority vote for any borrowing authority. There are some that have suggested that we should have a balanced budget amendment that exempts certain categories of entitlement spending, but of course as we all know, it's entitlement spending that it continues to consume a larger and larger share of our national budget each and every year. It's entitlement spending that is anticipated to have shortfalls for sums that will have to be expended for people, Americans alive today, could range anywhere from $50 trillion to $60 trillion to $110 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities. So simply exempting out entire categories of entitlements is one of these hallmarks of a Trojan horse balanced budget amendment. We can't do that. We need it to apply to all federal outlays, all federal spending. Second, an effective balanced budget amendment must cap spending at the average historical level of federal revenue. Over the last 40 years, our average take, our average income as a percentage of GDP has been about, 18% to 18.5% of our gross domestic product. So we need to make sure that we're not spending more than that, that Congress can't without a supermajority vote spend more than 18% of GDP in any given year. Otherwise, we run the risk that Congress will nd a way through tricky accounting schemes to circumvent the restrictions to make sure that it's not spending more than it takes in. Third, the supermajority requirement must apply to the votes in both houses
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Accept no Imitations: Senator Lee Outlines the Necessary Requ...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=f125d655...

of Congress every single time Congress wants to spend more than it takes in. Any balanced budget amendment proposal that allows for a simple majority to bring about an exception to these spending limitations is one that Congress can and will use to circumvent the amendment entirely. Let me explain what I mean. We have had in the past certain statutory legislative limitations on Congress' spending and borrowing power. Some of these have been known as the Graham-Rudman-Hollings legislation. Also the PAYGO rules. But because Congress makes those laws and because they haven't been reduced to a Constitutional amendment, just as Congress giveth, Congress taketh away and it sees t to exempt itself out of those rules. A balanced budget amendment even while enshrined in our Constitution becomes no more effective than those statutory or internal rules unless every time Congress wants to get around those limitations, it is required to cast a supermajority vote to justify that excess. Finally, an effective balanced budget amendment must require that Congress cast a supermajority vote any time we raise the debt limit. This will give us an additional guarantee that tricky accounting mechanisms won't be used to circumvent some of these most important restrictions. Without these restrictions, Mr. President, Congress will continue to spend out of control because members of Congress tend to be rewarded when they spend and they tend to be criticized when they cut, and political pressures are such that I fear this spending will continue out of control in perpetuity until that moment when we reach our natural mathematical borrowing limit, not our statutory limit, our mathematical limit. It's at that point, Mr. President, when the most abrupt, painful, draconian cuts will have to be made. We can do this in a way that's sensitive to the needs of the most vulnerable Americans, those who have become the most dependent upon our entitlement state, those that have become dependent for their day-to-day existence on these very programs. Those programs will have to be cut abruptly in a most painful manner unless we take the necessary steps right now and start moving on to a smooth glide path towards a balanced budget amendment. So the American people are paying for Washington's scal irresponsibility in the form of job losses, in the form of increased prices for goods and for services, and in the form of ination.

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Accept no Imitations: Senator Lee Outlines the Necessary Requ...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=f125d655...

It's likewise my experience with my state legislature, that they seem to be very supportive of it. In fact, I have a document here signed by the legislative leaders of my state, by Governor Gary Herbert, by Utah House of Representatives Speaker Rebecca Lockhart and by Utah State Senate President Michael Waddups. They say -- quote -- "we urge the United States Senate and House of Representatives to pass a balanced budget amendment and send it to the states for ratication. Additionally, we urge Congress to make Utah's concurrent resolution part of the Congressional Record." They also proceed to explain why they feel so strongly about this. They say not only for our own sake but for future generations as well, the states must now combine in an unwavering resolve with convincing action to put the nation's nancial house in order. Passage of your own state's resolution urging the support for a balanced budget amendment can help make this happen. Please join with Utah and call upon Congress immediately to pass a balanced budget amendment. We respectfully encourage you and urge your Congressional delegation to act in your behalf. They're calling not only on Congress but also on their fellow state legislators throughout the country to urge this same action from Congress. And in the same breath they also adopted and they supported whole heartedly the specic balanced budget amendment found in Senate joint resolution 10. I thank them for doing that and I think they reect views of so many of our state legislatures which balance their budgets every single year. Most of them do. It's not news when they do it. It's not news because it's what's expected. It's what's expected because that's what they do. I look forward to the day and age when it's no longer news, when Congress balances its budget. Perhaps it is inherent in the institution itself, in the forces at play, that have made Congress uniquely vulnerable to this kind of massive decit spending. But whatever the reason, we know that Congress isn't willing, isn't able or at least in recent years has not been inclined except in rare, unusual circumstances to balance its own budget. That being the case, we can't assume that Congress will all of a sudden start doing its job as those who have used this argument have insisted. Part of Congress' job as Congress has come to perceive it is to engage in decit spending. One of Congress' powers as members of Congress who read the Constitution
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Accept no Imitations: Senator Lee Outlines the Necessary Requ...

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will point out, is to borrow money on credit of the United States. And so it isn't enough simply to say Congress, do your job, because it has regarded this kind of massive decit as consistent with that mandate, consistent with that injunction. Meanwhile, Congress continues to occupy a larger and larger share of the American economy. We have to remember that for the rst 150 years or so of our Republic's existence, at the federal level we were spending between 1% and 4% of gross domestic product at the federal, national level with only two brief exception, once during the civil war and one in the immediate aftermath of World War I. But that all started to change in the 1930's when we broke into double digits for the rst time ever during peace time. We've never really gone back, and now the federal government is spending about 25% of GDP annually -- GDP annually. Roughly a quarter of every dollar that moves through the American economy every year is taken out of the real economy by Washington. It's absorbed within the federal morass that is our government. That's a problem. That needs to change. I fear, I suspect, I rmly believe that it will not change until we take this power away, until we at least impose severe restrictions on Congress' borrowing power because it has become part of Congress' nature to engage in this kind of out-of-control decit spending. And I think it's important for us to remind our colleagues that because the American people overwhelmingly support this, by a margin of about 75%, according to a recent CNN poll, those who oppose it, those who are members of this body or of our sister body, the US House of representatives just down the hall, who choose not to support it will do so, will cast their "no" vote at their own political peril. Because the American people are standing up and they are demanding more. They understand that in the words of Benjamin Franklin, he'll cheat without scruple who can without fear. When Congress is free to spend more than it takes in every single year without political consequence, bad things happen. Congress starts to manipulate more and more of the economy and that is something that the American people understand is hurtful rather than helpful to them, to the people on the ground, to the person who's unemployed and looking for a job, for the person who's underemployed or underpaid for the work that he does. Or the single mother who's just worried about taking care of their children. For the grandparents who are worried about the future of their grandchildren, worried about the fact that for the rst time in American history, Americans

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fear that they will enjoy a lower standard of living than what they have enjoyed. All of this is due to the fact that Congress has known no real boundaries to its authority and recognized no real limits on its ability to spend your hard-earned money. This has real consequences. But we can forestall those negative consequences right now if we will act to restrict on a permanent and structural basis Congress's ability to engage in decit spending. Accept no imitations. Beware of the Trojan horse balanced budget amendment, the one that can be circumvented easy by a simple majority vote. Beware of the balanced budget amendment that doesn't limit as a percentage of GDP Congress's ability to spend money. Look out for these principles. We get this balanced budget amendment passed, submit it to the states for ratication, they will ratify it and we will nd that our best days as Americans are yet ahead of us. I urge my colleagues to cast a vote in favor of senate joint resolution 10. Thank you, mr. President.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/12/acceptno-imitations-senator-lee-outlines-the-necessary-requirements-of-aneffective-balanced-budget-amendment

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Support in the States for the Balanced Budget Amendment - Blo...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Dec 12 2011

Support in the States for the Balanced Budget Amendment


Legislative leaders from South Carolina to Missouri to Utah have signed a letter in support of Congress passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that will restrain spending and reduce our national debt: Dear Senator Lee: You have my strong support for a Constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. I want you to know that if Congress sends us a Balanced Budget Amendment to the federal Constitution, I will work to ensure that the House votes to ratify the amendment. It is vital that Congress pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. Much as the states have been striving to get government spending under control, so, too, should the federal government. Without limits placed on Congress as they determine Americas spending, this country will continue to spend itself into insolvency. We cannot afford to mortgage our childrens future. To prevent the grave harm to our nation from a debt crisis and to ensure that Congress spends no more than it takes in, Congress and the state legislatures must act to amend the United States Constitution to require a balanced federal budget. I urge you to move quickly this year to pass a Balance Budget Amendment so that I can begin working with my colleagues to secure ratication.

Sincerely,

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Support in the States for the Balanced Budget Amendment - Blo...

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Jase Bolger, Speaker of the House, Michigan Frank McNulty, Speaker of the House, Colorado Kraig Paulsen, Speaker of the House, Iowa Linda Upmeyer, Senate Majority Leader, Iowa Art Wittich, State Senate, Montana Phil Bryant, Lt. Governor, Mississippi Tom Dempsey, Senate Majority Leader, Missouri Russell Pearce, Senate President, Arizona J. T. Jabo Waggoner, Senate Majority Leader, Alabama Tony Ross, State Senate, Wyoming Harvey S. Peeler, Jr., State Senate, South Carolina Robert W. Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the House, South Carolina Gary R. Hebert, Governor, Utah Rebecca Lockhart, Speaker of the House, Utah Michael Waddoups, Senate President, Utah

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/12/supportin-the-states-for-the-balanced-budget-amendment

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Highlights from Today's Floor Debate on the Balanced Budget...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Dec 13 2011

Highlights from Today's Floor Debate on the Balanced Budget Amendment


Today, the Senate vigorously debated the details of a balanced budget amendment. Below are comments from some of my colleagues, who agree that we need a strong BBA that will truly force the federal government to live within its means, rather than a Trojan horse BBA that will make runaway decits a permanent part of Washingtons books: Senator Jim DeMint: President Obama, as I said, proposed a budget that doubled the national debt in the next ten years. That's not responsible leadership at a time when we are already at an unsustainable debt level. Despite all the bipartisan promises to cut spending, Washington is still voting to make government bigger and more expensive than ever. And this includes some Republicans joining the fray here to just increase spending. Federal spending went up 5% in the rst nine months of the year despite all the hoopla about us cutting spending here. There's one way to judge if we're cutting the budget or not despite all the Washingtonspeak: If we know if we're spending more, we just have to ask ourselves, are we spending more than we did last year? The answer is yes. And we're going to spend more next year than we did this year, based on the bills we're passing this week and next. It's gluttony. It's political gluttony. Since Obama became president, the debt limit has been raised four times. The debt is rising faster and higher than ever. Yet the senate refuses to pass a budget or cut spending. We must budget and balance the budget or we're going to bring down our whole country. Senator Orrin Hatch: For 2010, spending on interest on the national debt is greater than the funding for most other federal programs. Just look at that. If you can see in one year spending on interest is greater than most programs $414 billion for interest expense. $173 billion for the Department of Labor. $129 billion for the Department of Agriculture. $108 billion for the

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Highlights from Today's Floor Debate on the Balanced Budget...

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Department of Veterans' Affairs. Just one other I'll mention, $92.9 billion for the Department of Education. Well, the impact of this quickly escalating debt burden could prove catastrophic for economic growth and for America's families. What happens if interest rates rise? Right now, they're at historic lows. But that will not always be the case. And we're guring on historic lows right now as though they're going to continue. We're spending at historic highs and going higher and with interest on the debt taking up a larger and larger share of spending, we need to be concerned we are entering a debt spiral from which we will have a difcult time extricating ourselves. For these reasons, Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concluded that our national debt is the biggest threat we have to our national security. Senator John Cornyn: It's true as the senator from Maine has said, that the basic conundrum we have in times when we passed decit reduction legislation like Gramm-Rudman-Hollings and the other is purely statutory xes are ne but they can't bind future Congresses. We need a constitutional amendment that will make at this time law of the land that cannot be ignored by future Congresses when we do, as I hope we will do, embrace our responsibility to pass this constitutional amendment. Well, the facts show that -- show that the time for a strong balanced budget amendment is now. It is today. Joint Resolution 10 is a strong balanced budget amendment that will protect the American people from runaway decits and reckless spending. If ratied by three quarters of the states, that's 38 states, it will require a two-thirds supermajority of Congress in both chambers to approve a decit in any scal year. A supermajority would be needed in a time of emergency to approve a decit in any given year and it can't be open ended. It has to happen each year that a decit might be run. And we can imagine that emergencies could occur, but it shouldn't be a routine matter as it is now where we engage in decit spending. Senator Rand Paul: I rise today in support of the balanced budget amendment. In fact, it's beyond me to imagine that anybody in this body could oppose a balanced budget amendment. I ran my election last year primarily on this fact, that government spending was out of control and that debt was consuming our country and that we needed serious rules to bring our budget into control. We tried in the past. This body passed GrammRudman-Hollings and immediately began to evade it. This body passed PAYGO and then proceeded to disobey [its] own rules 700 times. We wonder why 9% of the people approve of Congress? It's because we cannot even obey our own rules. We need new rules. We need a balanced budget amendment that would be an amendment to the Constitution because we do not adhere to the rules that we pass. This body is literally out of control. Now, the other side says, trust us. Trust us. We can balance the budget. This other side hasn't even passed any budget this year or last year, not just a

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Highlights from Today's Floor Debate on the Balanced Budget...

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balanced budget, the other side can't pass any budget. So I think we really do need new and stronger rules to force us to do what is right, what every American family has to do and that's balance our budget. A nation is no different. Senator David Vitter: First of all, I hope it's perfectly clear that our debt, our growing, unsustainable level of debt, is a clear and present danger and an immediate danger to our republic, to our democracy, to our economy, to our future. Debt, overspending has been a problem for quite a while in Washington. It's been a problem under Republican and Democratic administrations and Congresses. But forever it was a problem because we were passing on these big debt gures, this big burden to our kids and grandkids and we were kicking the can down the road. It was a problem for the future, which we should correct now, but largely a problem for the future. As Senator Paul said, that's not true anymore. It is an immediate threat right now. It's not a question of just our kids and grandkids. It's a question of next month, next year, whether we avoid a crisis as is brewing in Europe which could be the biggest hit to our economy since the Great Depression, bigger than what we went through in 2008. So this issue is an immediate threat and it's not some esoteric issue about balance sheets.

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One of the Most Important Pieces of Legislation to Come Befor...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Dec 14 2011

One of the Most Important Pieces of Legislation to Come Before Senate in Decades
Mr. President, I stand today to urge my colleagues to support one of the most important pieces of legislation that has come before this body in decades: Senate joint resolution 10, the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment Balanced Budget Amendment proposal. The reason why I insist this is so important is because of a crisis that we're facing today. We've accumulated about $15 trillion in sovereign debt on behalf of the united states. $15 trillion. It works out to about $50,000 for every man, woman and child in America. This is an amount of money that could represent an expensive car. It could represent a college education. It could represent all kinds of things but it represents ultimately debt that Congress has incurred that Congress can't afford to continue to incur at this same rate which we're doing every day. We're adding to that debt at an unsustainable rate of about $1.5 trillion every single year. Here's why that's so distressing to me. As the White House itself has acknowledged just a few months ago, we're now within about a decade, perhaps much less, of owing about a trillion dollars a year just in interest on our national debt. Currently we're paying a little over $200 billion a year in interest. By the end of this decade, that number is likely to rise to an astounding $1 trillion a year. We could reach that number much sooner than that. It could happen perhaps in half that amount of time if interest rates suddenly start to climb, as they easily could do, particularly given the fact that we're about 350 basis points below the historical average for yield rates on U. S. Treasury instruments, the means by which our governmental debt is nanced. We have to get this problem under control now, because if we wait until
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then, until we have to pay a trillion dollars a year just in interest on our martial debt, it will be too late to do anything. By waiting, by postponing the day of our accountability, we will have made a choice, a devastating choice that will prove the signal, the downfall of the greatest economy the world has ever known. We can't allow that to happen. Not now, not on our watch, not when the stakes are this high. If we have to make up that difference, the difference between the $200 billion a year that we're paying now and the trillion dollars a year that we'll have to be paying in interest on our national debt just a few years ago, that money has to come from somewhere. That money isn't something we can expect simply to obtain through an increase in taxation. Over the long haul, we've learned that our tax system is capable of generating a revenue stream equaling a little over 18% of all the revenue that moves through the American economy every single year. A little over 18% of our gross domestic product. As this chart shows, that percentage remains relatively constant. It's remained that way for many decades, going back to at least 1960. It averages out a little over 18% of gross domestic product. Now, that remains true even when we go back 30 years or so, when our top marginal income tax rates were approaching 90%. The economy nds a way to produce no more than a little over 18% of GDP. So we can't just raise taxes at that point in order to generate more revenue because our income tax system, no matter how we tweak it, no matter how high we raise top marginal rates, isn't capable of generating that much revenue. What we do when we simply ratchet up those tax rates, if anything, is we shrink the size of our economy, we chill economic growth to the point where we're actually generating less revenue, not more. So we can't just tax our way out of that problem, nor can we, at that point, simply borrow our way out of that problem. In other words, we can't just borrow an additional $800 billion a year on top of the present day $1.5 trillion a year that we're borrowing. Because if we did that, our interest rates would go up that much more. That would make our decision that much more crippling on our economy. There are a lot of reasons why this matters. My colleague from Ohio, Mr. Portman, acknowledged just a few minutes ago that this chills job growth when we have this much debt. It's also true that this chills, this impairs our ability to fund every conceivable government program, from defense to entitlements, such that if we wait in order to make the necessary changes to
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the way we spend money in Washington, we will wait at our own peril, we will wait at the peril of those who have become dependent on those very government programs that will have to have their budgets slashed immediately, abruptly, severely. We can't afford to do that. Those who have become dependent on Social Security, on Medicare, on Medicaid, on other entitlement programs, on supplemental nutritional assistance, would be devastated if all of a sudden we cut off funding for those programs or we had to slash those budgets by 30%, 40%, 50% overnight. It's these abrupt changes that prove more difcult for our economy to absorb. I've often said that it's something that we can analogize to being on top of a large building. Let's say our $15 trillion debt can be compared to a 15-story building. If you need to get down off of that building, you need to get to the ground oor, if you want to do it really quickly, you could decide to jump. If you decide to jump, it's not the fall that will kill you, it's the abrupt halt at the end of that fall. So you need to do something to cushion the fall, to slow it down a little bit so that it can be accomplished gradually, so that nobody gets hurt. That's where the Balanced Budget Amendment comes in. The Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment, Senate joint resolution 10, would bring about signicant systemic changes but it would do so gradually so that the cuts, while signicant over the long haul, are not abrupt, so that the impact isn't severe other than avoiding the severeness of the impact that would otherwise occur. We have to get down from that 15-story building, from that $15 trillion debt. We do that through a Balanced Budget Amendment, one like Senate joint resolution 10, which contains a ve-year delayed implementation clause. That would give us time to work out a phased-in glide path toward balancing our budget. That's what we need to do in order to protect and preserve our economic stability, our jobs market, and our ability within the federal government to fund everything from defense to entitlements. Those who ignore the need for this amendment ignore the fact that our spending continues to escalate. I want to talk about how much we've spent as a country as a percentage of our overall economy, as a percentage of our gross domestic product. Between the early 1790's and the early 1930's, the federal government spent on average between 2% and 4% of gross domestic product every single year
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with only two notable exceptions -- once during the civil war and a second time during and in the immediate aftermath of World War I. With those two exceptions, Congress's spending was modest, between 2% and 4% of GDP. That all started to change in the early 1930's when we reached the double digits during peacetime for the rst time in our history. We've, unfortunately, never really retreated from that cycle. Federal spending today as a percentage of GDP stands close to 25%, meaning that for every dollar that moves through the American economy, a quarter of that goes to Washington, is sucked in by the federal government and can't move on to help continue to stimulate the economy. That pattern of increased federal spending as a percentage of GDP is expected to increase in the next few years. It's expected, based on data provided by the Congressional Budget Ofce, to reach 26.4% of GDP within the next ten years, by 2021. Some say that that gure is too optimistic and that it could actually be much higher than that, it could, in fact, be signicantly higher than 30%. At a minimum, we know that it will be 26.4% or more unless we take pretty signicant steps to control our spending. And so I nd it interesting that many are saying that we don't need to make changes, that we can somehow just have Congress just do its job, that Congress just needs to follow the Constitution and do its job and just balance its budget. Well, let me tell you the problem with that. First of all, there's nothing currently in the Constitution that restricts Congress's power to borrow money. Clause 2 of Article 1 of the Constitution gives us the power to do that. And we've done it. We've done it again and again and again. We've done it so many times in recent years that we've almost lost track. Now, Congress rst placed a statutory limit on the acquisition of new federal debt in 1917, which was the second Liberty Bond Act. Since 1962, Congress has altered the debt limit through 74 separate measures and has raised it ten times just since 2001, just in the last ten years. Since 1990, the debt limit has been raised by a total of $10.1 trillion. Nearly half of that increase has occurred just in the last four years, since late 2007. So this is not a situation in which we're just seeing the normal growth of government spending, either in normal numbers, in numbers adjusted for ination, in numbers measured as a percentage of GDP. By any metric, the amount of federal spending and the amount of debt acquisition has grown exponentially, giving us this hockey stick-like curve in the acquisition of
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federal debt. We can't continue this practice. We especially can't continue it given the fact that we know that the natural limit on our ability to receive revenue through the income tax system is a little over 18% of GDP. So we have to have something in place that keeps us from spending more than we take in. That can't possibly be accomplished, in my opinion, without something that ups the ante, something that make it structurally more difcult on a permanent basis for Congress to engage in decit spending. And to spend more than 18% of GDP. There are a few critical features in the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment proposal that I think any viable Balanced Budget Amendment proposal ought to have. First, it needs to apply to all spending. Second, it needs to cap spending at 18% of GDP. It also needs to require a supermajority vote in order to exceed that percentage of GDP Spending limit, in order to raise taxes or in order to raise the debt limit. Without these kinds of provisions, this kind of redundant protection against the inexorable growth of federal spending generally and the in inexorable growth of decit spending in particular, our debt will crush the very programs that we purport to be protecting. Those who have fought against this say well, we can't limit spending to 18% of GDP or else we will hurt program x., y, or z. While they are making this argument, they are making it in reckless disregard of the fact that those same programs will be jeopardized if we continue to borrow recklessly without any structural spending restraint or reform on the horizon. Others have argued that we don't need this because somehow it's unenforceable. I'm not quite sure what they mean. Perhaps they don't know what a court would do with it, but they are forgetting the fact that we have other provisions in the Constitution that raise the vote threshold, which is essentially what the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment does. In other words, we have other provisions in the Constitution, provisions that are followed routinely, without the need for litigation, just based on members of Congress taking an oath to uphold the Constitution, as all of us are hired to do pursuant to Article 6.

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Those are complied with every day. For instance, we all know and none of us really will dispute the fact that it takes a two-thirds supermajority vote in both houses of Congress to override a presidential veto. It takes a two-thirds supermajority vote in both houses of Congress to propose a Constitutional amendment. It takes a two-thirds supermajority vote in the United States Senate to ratify a treaty. We don't dispute the fact that these vote thresholds exist. We don't have to wait for the courts to intervene or for them to enforce them within Congress. We just follow them. That's what this would do. This says that because Congress has the ability to destroy itself, to destroy the economy, to destroy the very government that we have created through reckless, indenite, perpetual decit spending, we must protect Congress from itself. Perhaps better said, we must protect people from Congress by requiring that Congress approve any amount of money spent in excess of what Congress brings in or in excess of 18% of GDP or in excess of the debt limit by a supermajority vote. We have to have that. It will be followed and it's absolutely necessary. Now, it's interesting. Few, if any, of my colleagues will dispute the fact that Congress should balance its budget. There is perhaps a difference of opinion, maybe even widespread difference of opinion, as to how best we should try to close this gap, as to how best we should close the gap between the money that Congress brings in each year through the tax system and the money that it spends. There is widespread dispute about where cuts need to be made, but I think all of us agree that we do need to balance our budget. That begs the question if we all agree, as I think we all do, then why can't we agree that we need to adopt a permanent structural mechanism that will be embodied in the Constitution that will ensure that that actually happens. This proposal remains agnostic as to where cuts will be made. All it says is that if you're going to spend more than you take in or spend more than 18% of GDP or raise taxes or raise the debt limit, you're going to do it by a supermajority vote. That's something that the American people support. In fact, 75% of the American people support these basic principles that Congress should not, for example, spend more than it takes in each and every year. That brings me to the question of why it is that we should support Senate joint resolution 10, the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment and not another proposal. For example, Senate joint resolution 24. Senate joint resolution 24, which I might refer to alternatively as the Trojan horse Balanced Budget
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One of the Most Important Pieces of Legislation to Come Befor...

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Amendment or as the do-nothing amendment proposal, purports to be a solution when, in fact, it is not, for one simple reason -- it gives Congress unfettered discretion to exempt itself out of the budget balancing requirement that it contains. This would in effect, I am certain, render this amendment, were it to take effect, virtually dead letter provision. We have seen what Congress does when it has the option of simply exempting itself out of statutory spending caps, in the PAYGO rules, in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Decit Control Act and in other statutory provisions like this. Congress giveth and Congress taketh away. Congress has become a walking, breathing waiver unto itself, and when Congress is given the option of saying I know we're supposed to balance our budget but we don't feel like it today, it ends up not doing that. All Congress would have to do under Senate joint resolution 24, under the do-nothing amendment proposal, is simply acknowledge that the United States is involved in a military conict, and by simple majority vote it can exempt itself out of these provisions entirely. By contrast, the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment proposal acknowledges that in time of war or armed military conict, it may be necessary to spend more than we take in. But in the case of an armed military conict not amounting to a war, it requires a 3/5 supermajority vote, and in either a war or another armed military conict, it specically provides that in that war or conict any overage, any amount spend above and beyond what Congress brings in has to be limited to that required to prosecute that war or that military conict effort. That's a huge difference. You can't simply give Congress the option of complying with the Balanced Budget Amendment's provisions only when Congress feels like it. This is a little bit like telling an alcoholic you have got to give up drinking while leaving an open container of whiskey on the table and requiring that person to walk past that bottle or even carry it around with him every single day. It doesn't work. You have got to take it out of the house. You have certainly got to take it out of the possession of the recovering alcoholic. This is the challenge of our time, to gure out how to prevent Congress' chronic abuse of its own borrowing authority from collapsing under its own weight and from bringing about the economic collapse of the United States of America. We have to have these structural spending reform mechanisms because our government is run by imperfect people. Benjamin Franklin has often been
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One of the Most Important Pieces of Legislation to Come Befor...

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quoted for the line that says he will cheat without scruple who can without fear. I think when looking at Congress today, he might say Congress will spend more money than it has whenever it possibly can, whenever it has the option of spending more. As Madison said, if men were angels, no government would be necessary, and if angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. We are, as human beings, not angels, and our government isn't run by angels either. This is why we need these structural, permanent spending reform mechanisms. We cannot afford to accept a substitute here, a cheap imitation, a Trojan horse Balanced Budget Amendment like Senate joint resolution 24, because if we adopt something like that, we will create the illusion to the American people that we are actually undertaking efforts to control our out-of-control decit spending problem when, in fact, we're doing nothing because it's always the case that we're involved in a military conict somewhere. Congress will always be able to muster a simple majority, saying we can't be expected to balance our budget right now because of that. We've got to draw that line in the sand. We've got to stand for those who support everything from defense to entitlements. We have got to stand up for our children and our grandchildren and those who will come after them, those who are not yet old enough to vote, those who have not yet been born, those whose parents have yet to meet. Those people aren't here to vote against us as we spend their money. This is a particularly pernicious form of taxation without representation. We fought a war over two centuries ago over that pernicious practice and we won that war, and we shouldn't subject our children and their children and grandchildren after them to that same practice. This is contrary to liberty, it's contrary to economic prosperity, and we can't stand for it to occur anymore. So we really have two choices. One choice involves supporting, passing and submitting to the states for ratication the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment proposal, putting some permanent restraint at long last on Congress' self-destructive borrowing capacity. The other option can take many forms. It can take the option of supporting Senate joint resolution 24 which doesn't solve the underlying problem or it can take the form of doing nothing at all. You see, if we do nothing at all, we still made a choice, we have made a
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One of the Most Important Pieces of Legislation to Come Befor...

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devastating choice, a choice that will inure to the detriment of the American people and of the federal programs that we all rely on, the federal programs that people rely on to keep them safe, to protect them from the ravages of nature, to protect them from the conditions of poverty that we seek to avoid in this country. It is, after all, the objective of all of us to seek for a better, more prosperous, more safe country, but we jeopardize all of those interests the longer we allow this practice of perpetual decit spending to continue. At the end of the day, we have to face our own constituents, those who choose not to vote for the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment will have to face their constituents and tell them why they were unwilling to stand for a proposition so basic as we should balance our budget. There is no excuse based on the fact that we can't do this oversight because this has a delayed implementation clause. It won't take effect until ve years after it's been ratied by the states. In the meantime, we will be able to set in motion a sequence of events, a series of implementing bills that will allow us to put ourselves on a smooth glide path toward balancing our budget. We'll be able to do that. Those who vote against the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment can't look their constituents in the eye and tell them they did everything they could do to get our out-of-control decit spending habits under control. I urge each and every one of my colleagues to do this, to do this for themselves, for the programs that they want to save, to do this for their children and grandchildren. Our prosperity, our success as Americans, our survival as a nation and the success of our government require nothing less. Thank you, Mr. President.

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Sampling of Balanced Budget Amendment Video Coverage Find more @ www.youtube.com/senatormikelee

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Sen. Mike Lee: Greedy Politicians Don't Want Balanced Budget


Wednesday, July 20, 2011 05:00 PM By: Henry J. Reske and Kathleen Walter Members of Congress oppose a balanced budget amendment simply because they do not want to give up power that rightly belongs to the American people themselves, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, tells Newsmax.TV. Lee, who introduced the "cut, cap, and balance" act in the Senate and is the author of The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government, said some members of Congress are reluctant to support his amendment even though polls show wide public support for a balanced budget amendment. Why? Because a balanced budget amendment would make politicians less powerful, he said. It would make Congress as an institution less powerful. Anytime an institution has access to an unlimited pool of money, especially if it is a lawmaking institution like Congress, it will be made more power as a result of that. We need the balanced budget amendment to save the American people from this power," Lee added. "Every time we expand the power of the federal government we run the risk of interfering with the individual liberty of Americans. Lee said he was elated by the passage of the cut, cap and balance amendment in the House by a vote of 234-190 and was working on Senate Democrats to support the measure even as he acknowledged none had yet converted. We think that before we raise the debt limit we need to address the underlying problem, he said. We need permanent structural and binding spending reform before we extend the credit of the United States government once again. As to President Barack Obamas assertion that a balanced budget amendment is not needed, Lee said, History tells us exactly the opposite. When the president says Congress just needs to do its job rather than amend the Constitution I cant help but think about the fact that that hasnt worked, he said. Thats how we got to the point where we are now, where were almost $15 trillion in debt. We need Congress to bind itself; we need it to be bound constitutionally. Not just in this Congress but in subsequent congresses and the only way to do that is to amend our laws of laws, the only law that cant just be repealed by a future Congress and that is through an amendment to the Constitution. On other issues, Lee said:

Congress must address changes to entitlement programs such as Medicare no matter how difficult it may be because Medicare is headed for insolvency. He would avoid like the plague Sen. Mitch McConnells plan to give the president the power to raise the debt ceiling. He said the proposal is constitutional but the fact that its constitutional doesnt mean its good policy and its not good policy. People are understandably concerned about the debate over the deficit and debt ceiling be they understand this is something that effects everything from job creation to what they pay in interest rates on home mortgage and their auto loan, their ability to finance every aspect of their lives, their ability to finance their own businesses. They are concerned about this and we owe it the American people to handle this matter responsibly in a manner that wont continue the barbaric practice of burying our children and our grandchildren, some who are not yet born, in a mountain of debt by spending money that we dont have.

Hatch, Lee offer competing balanced budget plans


Senate Hatch and Lee offer separate bills toward shared goal of requiring a balanced federal budget. By Thomas Burr Published: January 31, 2011 03:10PM Updated: March 22, 2011 11:26PM Washington Both of Utahs senators are seeking to amend the U.S. Constitution to require Congress to balance the federal budget every year, though freshman Sen. Mike Lees proposal cuts deeper than his senior colleagues plan. Still, while Sen. Orrin Hatchs bill and Lees differ, both say they are eyeing the same goal: rein in spending and make the federal government live within its means. Hatch formally introduced his bill this week that would bar Congress from passing a spending plan that tops 20 percent of the gross national product, essentially a measure of how much the nation produces in labor and goods in a given year. Lees proposal, which he also offered this week, would set the limit at 18 percent of the GDP, a threshold Hatch previously said hed like to see but that isnt politically viable. And the two also differ on another major point: Hatchs proposed amendment allows Congress to override the balanced budget requirement if a majority of the House and Senate declare war or says there is an imminent national security threat. Lee says thats a loophole in the amendment, and his bill doesnt offer it. Still, both Lee and Hatch see wiggle room in their proposals and argue its good to have divergent points to debate. In the end, their measurers could be combined. At some point I strongly suspect thats what will happen, Lee says. In the meantime, I think its helpful to have competing versions so that different senators can debate the relative merits of each one and try to achieve some consensus on whats the best way to go. Hatch, too, doesnt see it as competition between himself and his colleague. Mike made a commitment to the people of Utah that hed fight for a balanced budget amendment and Im glad he did, Hatch said. With this shared goal, I know we can make this happen once and for all. The more people pushing for this absolutely critical constitutional

amendment, the more likely we are to actually get it through so we can finally bring some fiscal sanity back to Washington. Hatch has attempted to add a balanced budget component to the Constitution a dozen times in the past, coming close in 1997 but losing by one vote in the Senate. A constitutional amendment requires approval by two-thirds of each chamber of Congress and then approval by three-quarters of the state legislatures. Opposition to the amendment, however, will be strong. Some economists argue that a balanced budget amendment could wreak havoc on the federal budget, impacting vital programs, and wouldnt allow government to do what it needed to do in times of economic downturn. Charles Schultze, a senior fellow emeritus at the left-leaning Brookings Institution who has testified about the balanced budget amendment before Congress, says such an amendment could be disastrous for the country in that it would be extremely hard to get lawmakers to cut or get two-thirds of Congress to raise taxes. For example, before the economic crisis of the last two years, tax revenues were 18 percent of the GDP, but that dropped to 15 percent during the downturn, leaving a $400 billion to $500 billion gap that, under the amendment, would have just had to be cut, he said. You dont know what youre setting up by way of a deadlock, said Schultze, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Jimmy Carter. He noted that such an amendment would bar things like the stimulus act that has been credited by some with keeping America out of another Great Depression. You can debate how bad it would have been, but without it, wed have been in a helluva lot worse shape, Schultze said. Lastly, the economist says that in reality, passing such an amendment would just mean the federal government would create off-budget authorities to borrow money, similar to how state and local governments dont count road and school construction projects in their annual budgets. Hatch has lined up various groups backing his bill, including Americans for Tax Reform, American Conservative Union, and the National Taxpayers Union. Lee, too, has backing from ATR, as well as from the Americans for a Balanced Budget Amendment and several tea party groups. Alan Parks, the founder of Americans for a Balanced Budget Amendment, says hes more a fan of Lees proposal since it doesnt have the so-called war opt-out and Congress would need twothirds of each body to go over the budget cap. With a war loophole, Parks says, they would be off the hook for years and years or even decades. Look how long the war in Afghanistan has been going on. That would be the kind of thing Congress would use to override the balanced budget amendment.

Lees amendment proposal has attracted seven fellow GOP senators as co-sponsors; Hatchs bill now carries 23 Republican sponsors.

Sens. Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee pushing for Balanced Budget Amendment
By Kelly McConkie Henriod , Deseret News Published: Sunday, April 3 2011 11:51 p.m. MDT WASHINGTON Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee and four other senate Republicans came together last week to unveil the Senate Republican Balanced Budget Amendment. If ratified, the amendment would mandate that budgetary outlays for any fiscal year do not exceed total revenues, and would require that the president submit a balanced budget to Congress ever year. Using the amendment as a loud statement about fiscal conservatism, Hatch and Lee hope to send a message to Congress and the American people that they are dedicated to getting federal spending under control. "If we are fortunate enough to get this passed, this amendment is really going to put the screws to excessive spending," said Hatch. "We need this amendment, because Washington is not going to solve this crisis on it's own." Lee, who ran a campaign full of promises to restrict federal spending, hopes that this amendment will put an end to what he sees as dismal fiscal irresponsibility. In a press release, Lee said: "When it comes to spending, Congress has proven it cannot be trusted to live within its means or spend only what the federal government takes in. Our annual deficit approaching $1.7 trillion and national debt of almost $15 trillion are a significant threat to our economy, job growth, and future prosperity. Only a structural restraint on spending, like a constitutional amendment, will force Congress to make the tough decisions about our national priorities and prevent digging the country deeper in debt." The measure was set to hit the Senate floor on March 17, but was barred from presentation at the last minute by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in hopes to garner the support of all 47 members of the Senate Republican Caucus. Because of the strategic delay, the amendment now has the official support of all Senate Republicans. Despite the unanimous Republican support, the amendment faces a difficult road to passage Republicans will have to recruit at least 20 more votes from their Democratic colleagues in order to have two-thirds of the chamber on board, the amount required for passage in both the House and the Senate. It would then need to be ratified by three-quarters of the state legislatures before it could officially become the 28th amendment to the Constitution. Hatch, however, has been through this before. This amendment marks the fifth time that he has sponsored or co-sponsored a balanced budget amendment that has reached the senate floor. The most recent one he sponsored in 1997, was only one vote shy of passage. So while Hatch understands the uphill battle this amendment faces in the Senate, he is confident that he and his fellow cosponsors have a decent shot at pushing this through.

"The Founding Fathers made the Constitution very difficult to amend, and with good reason. We don't want the Constitution to be able to be amended willy-nilly helter-skelter," explained Hatch. "But with a bill like ours, that has the support of all the Senate Republicans, we hope that we can get some Democrats to vote with us. This is important stuff, everyone realizes that." Hatch explained that amendments like this one usually attract some Democratic dissenters in fact, he pointed out that in 1997, then-senator, now Vice President Joe Biden from Delaware voted for his amendment. Hatch explained that Democrats should be attracted to this measure, as it will free them from being beholden to personal-injury lawyers and unions. "It would save Democrats a lot of grief if they could turn down these big spending groups by saying that they can't give them as much money because of the balanced budget amendment," said Hatch. Former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett has been openly critical of late of the balanced budget amendment, calling them "dangerous." Bennett recently told the Deseret News: "I voted for balanced budget amendments in the past, but the wording of the amendment is the most important thing. If worded improperly, a balanced budget amendment can be a source of great economic mischief." He went on to say that amendments like this can potentially put Congress and the Federal Reserve in an 'economic straight-jacket,' something he feels could be troubling down the road. Hatch, who first explained that he and Bennett have been friends for a very long time, says he is confident that if Bennett were still in office, he would be voting for the amendment along with his fellow conservatives. "If he [Senator Bennett] were here with me, I think he would vote for this amendment," said Hatch. "He may not like the idea of an 'economic straight-jacket,' but considering the reality that if we stay the current course, our country will be spending over 90 percent of our gross national product, I think he would vote for it." He explained that under the Obama administration, federal spending levels have reached over 25 percent of the national economy. The amendment would cap federal spending at 18 percent GDP. Exceptions to this restriction could only be made in times of war or national emergency, so long as two-thirds of both houses of Congress agree to waive the limits. Hatch explains that the specific limitations in the amendment are to ensure that excessive spending cannot happen. "The current administration absolutely refuses to make the necessary cuts. The responsible way to cut spending is through a balanced budget amendment," he said. "Some might think a statute is good enough, but a statute is only as good as the Congress that passes it. Democrats have kept themselves in power by spending us into the ground, and without a balanced budget amendment, they will continue to do so."

Currently there is no set timeline for when the amendment will be voted on, but in the meantime Hatch and Lee will have to work tirelessly to convince their friends across the aisle this amendment is what our country needs right now. "Runaway spending has pushed spending to dangerous limits," said Hatch. "Families across America have had to tighten their belts, it's time Congress does, too."

Lee: Scared Dems ducking votes


By: Tim Mak December 13, 2011 07:54 AM EST Sen. Mike Lee on Tuesday dared Senate Democrats to propose a budget that stood a chance of passing and suggested they are looking to dodge as many votes as possible to protect themselves in next years elections. They have 23 Democrats up for election in the 2012 cycle. I think they want to take as few votes as possible. They want to view as few controversial things as possible because, for whatever reason, they have concluded this inures to their political advantage, Lee (R-Utah) said on MSNBCs Morning Joe. I think in time theyll see theyve done this to their own peril. Lee claimed that Republicans had put forward substantive proposals but had been stymied by the Democrats. At a time when weve gone 900 days without a budget, when weve had Republican proposals put forward and voted down by the Democrats. Im not sure without a change of heart on the part of the Senate Democrats what we can get done, Lee said. Weve had exactly one Democratic budget voted on in the Senate this year, and that was from the president and it received exactly zero votes. The Utah Republican said Americans should encourage their Democratic senators to step forward and put forward a budget and start moving things forward. For his part, Lee said he agreed with the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, and stressed the need for statutory spending caps and a balanced budget amendment. He even took some time to plug his book on the matter, The Freedom Agenda. Itll make you weep as you read it, the senator joked.

Lee's bill would cut, cap, balance


By Jamshid Ghazi Askar , Deseret News Published: Thursday, July 7 2011 11:20 p.m. MDT With few firm offers in play for increasing the federal debt ceiling in advance of the Aug. 2 deadline, Sen. Mike Lee opted Thursday to lead out by introducing the Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011. "There has been a surprising and somewhat disturbing absence of serious proposals on the table (for raising the debt limit)," the Utah Republican said. "That is troubling to me on a number of levels most noticeably what happened a few months ago when we were going through a series of continuing resolutions as we neared what almost became a government shutdown. We don't want that same sort of thing to happen." The Cut, Cap and Balance Act is like the mirror-image twin brother of the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge that Lee and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, endorsed last month. The pledge commits signees against raising the debt limit unless and until Congress passes immediate spending cuts, statutory spending caps and a balanced budget amendment; the new act Lee introduced Thursday takes the affirmative side of the issue and promises to raise the federal debt ceiling once its three prongs of cut-cap-balance are satisfied. "I expect it to get a lot of support among Republicans in both houses of Congress," Lee said. "I'm also hopeful that we'll get a number of Democrats signing on with us. So far we have not had proposals that have taken off (in Congress)." Hatch is one of 17 Republican senators co-sponsoring Lee's Cut, Cap and Balance Act. "I think this is a great idea, a step in the right direction," Hatch told the Deseret News. "There will probably be at least two or three versions (of Republican bills on this issue), and I suspect that Sen. Mitch McConnell's will be the one that will advance. Even so, I commend Sen. Lee for coming up with his version of this. I suspect that we're going to be unified to try and make it very clear that we've got to have real spending reductions and no tax increases or the debt ceiling's not going to be lifted." The group Pass the Balanced Budget Amendment is holding a rally Friday in downtown Salt Lake City to promote the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge. The event begins at 2 p.m. at Washington Square, across the street from Matheson Courthouse. "We want to bring people out, have them sign the pledge and make sure they get behind it," said state Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman. "We don't have a lot of time. Our federal leaders are really playing chicken with the clock, and we are on the precipice of financial disaster."

Senate GOP Unifies Over Balanced Budget Message


By Meredith Shiner June 28, 2011, 8:25 p.m. Republican Senators are set to kick off a media blitz to push a balanced budget amendment, beginning Wednesday in D.C. and building up through their July Fourth recess next week, when Members will flood local papers and airwaves with support. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) laid the groundwork for the campaign Sunday, when he told ABC News that he would call for a mid-July vote. More than a dozen lawmakers will hold a news conference Wednesday morning to reintroduce the bill they touted in March, followed by colloquies on the floor Wednesday and Thursday and multiple television appearances throughout the week. McConnell will introduce a broke or balanced talking point that leaders hope will energize an effort that has failed multiple times. The timing of the campaign is deliberate: Republicans want to gain momentum for the amendment over the July Fourth recess, when they believe they can accrue grass-roots support for the provision, before returning to Capitol Hill and forcing a vote. They also think the political climate is better now than it was in the spring, with Congressional and national attention focused on the ongoing budget debate in the run-up to the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling. I think youll be seeing our Members slowly build up our echo chamber, taking this message back to our constituents, working with local press, local groups, local outlets in a full-scale push to get this done, a senior GOP aide said. Were circumventing the traditional Beltway filters and going straight to local markets. All 47 Members of the Republican Conference have united behind the balanced budget amendment, a rare occurrence in a Conference that encompasses moderates such as Olympia Snowe of Maine and tea party darlings like Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah. The aides orchestrating the hometown push for the balanced budget amendment said most lawmakers are slotted to write local opinion pieces, discuss the amendment in local TV appearances, and address the topic in town halls and constituent meetings over the holiday break. They touted a Mason-Dixon poll, published at the end of May, that found that 81 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats support the amendment. Republicans think they can do a better job of separating themselves from Democrats on economic issues if they do so at home, and they see the balanced budget amendment as the way to do it.

If you take Nebraska, for example, I imagine people in Nebraska will be very interested in why both their Senators talk about the need to reduce our debt but only one of them is doing anything; same in Florida, another GOP leadership aide said. But Democrats arent biting on the balanced budget amendment bait. Given that Republicans just voted for a budget that increases the debt by $9 trillion, this is nothing more than a hoax to mollify their right-wing base, a Democratic leadership aide said. Republicans are rolling out the dog-and-pony show to try and turn this amendment into a consolation prize for their base when their plan to end Medicare isnt in the debt deal. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, is planning a hearing on the amendment in response to a request this month from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). The hearing is timed to occur at roughly the same time that McConnell wants a floor vote. Although Democrats say they will keep an open mind, they insist that the Majority Leader sets the schedule and that the GOP push is futile, given that such a measure is unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled chamber. The push to move the balanced budget amendment to the floor has a distinct tea party flavor, although establishment Republicans are also championing the measure. For instance, Paul campaigned on the issue and will be one of the Senators to address the media Wednesday. His staff said he has spoken so much on the issue that he wont take prepared remarks for the news conference. His staffers are working on multiple opinion pieces to run across the state over the July Fourth break, and Paul, who has widened his local media TV outreach, will address the topic in upcoming interviews. Coalescing around an issue is an opportunity that Senate freshmen have been restless about. I know its been frustrating for some of the new Senators who came in on this tide, to sit around and have three or four votes on nominations each week instead of taking on serious issues, Paul spokeswoman Moira Bagley said. The fact that you can get the entire Republican caucus to agree on this is a pretty big move in itself. But the question still remains whether others, from outside groups to a handful of vulnerable Democrats, will regard the GOP effort as attractive or even reasonable. In March, 10 Democrats backed a sense of the Senate amendment offered by Lee in support of a balanced budget amendment: Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Tom Carper (Del.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Udall (Colo.). Six of those Members are up for reelection, and Kohl is retiring. America faces a choice do we go broke or do we enact a balanced budget amendment to slash our over $14 trillion debt? Thats why we are forcing this debate that Washington Democrats dont want to have, because we have to start living within our means, said Sen. Orrin Hatch (RUtah), who will lead the floor colloquy Wednesday.

Republicans Set Sights on Balanced Budget Amendment


By Jennifer Steinhauer WASHINGTON House Republicans, feeling they have scored significant fiscal victories, are moving on to an even bigger challenge: persuading voters, state legislatures and Democrats to alter the Constitution with a balanced budget amendment. In a meeting with his conference on Monday, Speaker John A. Boehner told members that the best thing they could do during the August recess was to sell their constituents on the idea that the amendment which essentially stipulates that government cannot spend more than it takes in is necessary and good. Republican leaders on the Hill have pivoted from railing against Democrats about tax increases to pressing for the amendment, which would require the acquiescence of two-thirds of each chamber of Congress, and three-quarters of state legislatures. They point out that such a measure passed the House in 1995, but then failed in the Senate by a single vote. And if Congress passes a proposed amendment, it bypasses the president, going straight to the states, where 26 legislatures are dominated by Republicans. Getting Democrats to agree to such a measure now is likely to be an uphill battle. President Obama has previously rejected the idea of a balanced budget amendment. And, after the nasty debt-ceiling duel with Republicans, which left the country a cats whisker from default, most Congressional Democrats are bruised and cranky, with little incentive to work with the other side. Further, of the roughly 10 bills filed by House Republicans to create such an amendment, most contain provisions, like setting a high bar for votes on future debt-ceiling increases, that few Democrats in either chamber would abide. The nations fiscal situation is far worse than in the 1990s, when a balanced budget would have required much less drastic cutting than what would be required today. Opponents argue that an amendment could hamstring the government at times that it needs to run deficits, comparing it, for example, to a situation in which families would be forbidden to get mortgages to buy homes. Most of the versions being proposed this year in the House and Senate do contain a provision that the amendment would be waived when the country is in a declared time of war. But for Democrats seeking to redefine themselves as careful fiscal stewards on the cusp of the 2012 campaign, the idea of a balanced budget amendment free of hard-line provisions is not an impossible sell. Several Senate Democrats have said in the past that they support such an amendment, and Senator Mark Udall of Colorado has already put forth his own measure.

I think it is definitely achievable, said Representative Robert W. Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia, who has offered two balanced budget amendments, one far more conservative than the other. I have been talking to dozens of Democrats in the House about this, and there is a tremendous amount of interest in this issue. Under the agreement to lift the debt ceiling approved by Congress and signed by President Obama this week, a second, $1.5 trillion increase is contingent upon either the adoption of deficit reductions recommended by a new Congressional super committee or Congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment. If neither is done, large cuts to military spending and some social programs would automatically be made. Nearly every state has some form of balanced budget provision, though most are more flexible than those proposed for the federal government. It is almost so institutionalized now, though there is a variance in stringency, said Brian Sigritz, the director of state fiscal studies for the National Association of State Budget Officers. In the House, the two measures that have gained the most traction are Mr. Goodlattes, which prohibit outlays exceeding total receipts for that fiscal year, other than interest payments, unless Congress says otherwise in a three-fifths vote of each chamber. The more conservative version would require a two-thirds majority in the House and the Senate to raise taxes and a spending cap of 18 percent of the gross domestic product, unless two-thirds of each chamber of Congress provides for a specific increase above this amount. The measures require a three-fifths roll call vote in each chamber to increase the public debt limit. The more tough version has broad Republican support, Mr. Goodlatte said, but its not going to get the 290 votes needed. The other measure, similar to the amendment that passed the House in 1995, has support from even those members who offered their own right-leaning options, he said. In the Senate, Mr. Udalls amendment faces significant hurdles with Republicans, largely because it prohibits Congress from providing income tax breaks for people earning more than $1 million a year, except during years of budget surpluses. Another senator, Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, has his own measure, and the two men have been playing phone tag trying to set up a time to talk about their proposals. Many Democrats, even moderates, have raised skepticism about any balanced budget amendment offered by a Republican. As someone who supported the 1995 balanced budget amendment, let me say that at this point in time I would not support it, Representative Steny H. Hoyer, the Democratic whip, said in a recent meeting with reporters. Mr. Hoyer added, I dont have any confidence that even at a time of great challenge, that there arent 40 percent-plus one in the House that would oppose doing something necessary to assure the country was on a sound footing. Republicans have also expressed their doubts. In a recent speech on the floor of the Senate, Senator John McCain of Arizona said: I will take a back seat to none in my support of the balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. I have voted for it 13 times. I will vote for it tomorrow. What is amazing about this is some members are believing we can pass a balanced

budget amendment to the Constitution in this body with its present representation, and that is foolish. That is worse than foolish. But none of this is likely to stop Republican supporters from pushing the issue, as they have with all their fiscal policy hopes and dreams in the 112th Congress. House and Senate passage of the balanced budget amendment will make reckless borrowing a thing of the past and will ensure that our children enjoy futures full of opportunity, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the majority leader, said in a recent op-ed article. Let Democrats and Republicans join together to do the right thing and make a real difference for the future.

Sen. Lee: Obama's 'Class Warfare' Won't Solve Debt Problem


By Sean Hannity Published July 26, 2011 | FoxNews.com Watch the latest video at FoxNews.com This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 25, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated. SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The stalemate on solving the debt crisis drags on. While the president is attempting to get out in front of the issue with speeches and several meetings with congressional leaders, well, the one thing we still have yet to see from "The Anointed One" is an actual plan of his own. Here with more reaction to tonight's big debt ceiling debate and the speeches by President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner is Utah Senator Mike Lee. Senator, good to see you, sir. SEN. MIKE LEE, R-UTAH: Thank you. It's good to be with you, Sean. HANNITY: One thing I've learned about this president, and I'm not patting myself on the back, he's so predictable. Bumper stickers, slogans, he goes back to the 1970 playbook, class warfare, scaring old folks, no plan of his own. And of course they have his poll-tested line, "balanced approach." The question is, will enough Americans see through his predictable propaganda and his little talking points? LEE: I think they will. Look, the man, as you pointed out, is stuck in the 1970s and he can't get out. Class warfare, as much fun as it may be for the president, is not going to solve this problem. What's going to solve this problem is when Congress finally imposes upon itself permanent structural binding spending reform of the sort that we need and can obtain only through a constitutional amendment restricting Congress's ability to borrow. That's why I wrote the book "The Freedom Agenda," to point out that until Congress restricts its own spending power through the Constitution, we are not going to get out of this mess. HANNITY: Yes. What did you think specifically? I mean, he comes out of the box and he blames President Bush. And I love how, you know, he got his budgets passed. Those were his budget

plans. He had both houses of Congress. He accumulated over $4 trillion in Obama debt, unprecedented, any president in history. He didn't take any of the blame himself. He is still blaming George W. Bush. He said -- he described his spending as "emergency steps," because the recession caused us to spend more. I mean, is he capable of taking any responsibility? Does he have to blame everybody for his bad decisions? LEE: Apparently so. Apparently he even has to blame the fact that he made it worse. Unemployment has gotten worse. The availability of jobs, the availability of credit, the surplus of homes on the market, the number of people going into foreclosure, all of this has gotten worse. Why has it gotten worse? Because he made it worse. Now he's telling us yet again that the solution to our problems, the problems caused by too much government, is more government, more government funded by excess deficit spending. It has got to stop somehow and it has got to stop right now. HANNITY: Well, one of the things that -- I got very frustrated last week because I like the idea of "Cut, Cap and Balance." I think that's a solution that deals with short-term problem, takes care of Social Security recipients, pays for Medicare, raises the debt ceiling, which they say is so necessary with this artificial deadline. But it also dealt with structural issues in terms of how we got there. So I thought that was a -they wouldn't even bring it up for a vote in the Senate. The president doesn't support it. Can you tell me what his plan is? Because I have never read his plan. I have never seen his plan. LEE: No one knows, Sean. It is for all of us just to imagine what his imperial majesty might decide to cram down our throats next. But you are exactly right, we had a plan amid all this call for compromise. He refuses to acknowledge that it is Republicans, Tea Party Republicans, like myself, especially who were behind the one and only legislative proposal to do this. I wrote the "Cut, Cap and Balance" act and introduced it in the Senate with 40-some-odd co-sponsors, and saw it get passed in the House a few days later. We were ready to debate it, to discuss it, to subject it to full amendment processes and everything else that a normal piece of legislation goes through. But then Harry Reid and the Democratic caucus decided to kill it. They tabled it before it even had a single opportunity not just for a vote on the merits, but for any debate discussion or amendment. Now they want to convert this whole thing into a "super congress," into a bipartisan commission setting aside the fact that 17 such commissions have failed in the past. We've got already two perfectly good constitutionally empowered bipartisan commissions. One is called the Senate, and one is called the House. They are trying to bypass this and cram down the throats of the American people a precooked deal that their legislative elected leaders won't have the opportunity to debate and discuss on the merits.

HANNITY: Yes. This is where I run into problems with Speaker Boehner's plan. And I like the fact that they are going to get more in cuts than they're going to get in terms of raising the debt ceiling. But I'm skeptical. We've been burned before. We've been down this road before. I can't support a plan that 12 members of Congress are going to vote on by themselves. I just can't support that because I don't have enough faith in those 12 members. I don't even know who the 12 members are. LEE: Well, and no one does know. No one knows who are. No one knows who they will be. But more importantly, this is a process that, again, will arrange for a precooked deal, one that will be brought back to the actual Congress to vote on without opportunity for amendment. HANNITY: All right. What the president -- it's interesting, half of Americans don't pay any federal income tax, fully one half. We've got one in seven Americans on food stamps. The president tries to make it corporate jets versus grandma and Social Security or Medicare. That's how he's trying to frame this debate, half of Americans don't pay so he goes after the rich, the wealthy, the successful. He said, well, if you make over $250,000, you won't pay. But that includes every small business which creates about 65, 70 percent of the jobs in this country. So he's really not being honest when he says that small businesses or people that don't make a lot of money are going to get their taxes raised, right? LEE: He's not being honest. And he's overlooking the fact that when you raise taxes on that group of people, you are raising taxes on the very people that we need to rely upon to invest their money to place it at risk so that we can create jobs in this country. That's the only way we are ever going to create jobs. Moreover, the tax increases that he's talking about wouldn't even put a dent, not even a scratch on a dent in the deficit problem that we have. HANNITY: Will his fear-mongering have an impact with the American people? In other words, America's credit rating is going to be downgraded -- by the way, it already has been. Standard & Poor's already is saying in 90 days it is likely to happen, Moody's is saying the same thing in large part because of his policies which he won't acknowledge. But is any of the fear-mongering that interest rates will go up, the rich won't pay their fair share, Social Security and Medicare, do you think that is going to resonate? LEE: It may resonate with some. But at the end of the day, Sean, I believe that the truth will prevail here. And the American people are starting to realize the fact that it is not just the immediate debt limit increase vote that puts it us stake for a credit rating downgrade. What is arguably an even greater risk and a more long-term pervasive systemic one is the risk associated with cavalierly and reflexively raising the debt limit yet again without putting place a permanent constraint. HANNITY: Last question, Senator, what happens from here? LEE: What happens from here is that conservatives in the House and the Senate continue to stand their ground on the "Cut, Cap and Balance" act, which has passed the House, which is the only legislative proposal introduced so far to actually address the debt limit issue. We have got to place that emphasis here.

HANNITY: Sixty-four percent of the American people support it, 75 percent want a balanced budget amendment. Seems like the most responsible, balanced plan. I would say that's a very balanced plan. Anyway, Senator, good to see you. LEE: Good to see you, Sean. Content and Programming Copyright 2011 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2011 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

Romney Heads to Capitol Hill Next Week for Lee Meeting


By David M. Drucker June 24, 2011, 1:21 p.m. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to meet with Sen. Mike Lee on Wednesday on Capitol Hill, according to GOP sources. The Utah Republican invited the former Massachusetts governor for a discussion on the debt ceiling and plans to press him to support the Cut, Cap, Balance pledge jointly sponsored by several conservative advocacy groups and supported by Members with tea party ties. The pledge calls for Members to withhold support for increasing the debt ceiling unless the deal is coupled with deep spending cuts, mandated spending caps and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Lee, a freshman Senator elected with substantial tea party support last year, has put out similar invitations to the rest of the GOP presidential field. Four candidates have already announced their support for the pledge, including businessman Herman Cain, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.). Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), set to formally launch her candidacy Monday in Iowa, is considered the big catch by pledge supporters, one Republican source said. Her support would go a long way to making the movement successful, this source said. Several of the coalition groups and Senators, including Lee, have reached out to her campaign asking her to sign the pledge. Other supporters of the pledge include Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Dean Heller (Nev.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and David Vitter (La.). About 20 House Members have also signed the pledge. Lee has yet to make an endorsement in the presidential race, although Hatch, who backed Romney when he ran in 2008, is supporting the former Massachusetts governor again. As a devout Mormon and through his reputation for saving the 2002 winter Olympics from mismanagement, Romney has maintained strong ties to Utah. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) announced his presidential candidacy this week.

C mmit e o te A s n nt si me s g

U id t e S n t ne Sa s e a r t t o

Mi eL e k e

Senator Mike Lee Senate Committee on the Judiciary 2011 Summary Senator Lee has been actively involved with his assignment to the Senate Judiciary Committee throughout the year, beginning with his leadership in the crusade to enact a Balanced Budget Amendment. He has played a key role in acting as a Constitutional scholar and defender, looking out for ways in which the federal government encroaches on States rights and individual liberties. Such efforts include his resistance to the powers granted the executive branch in the PATRIOT Act reauthorization, the provision of the NDAA permitting detention of U.S. citizens, the effort to ensure that the FBI Directors extension followed the Constitution, and vigilantly fighting against an expansive interpretation of the Commerce Clause. Senator Lee has been active as the Ranking Member of the Antitrust Subcommittee, working to prevent government intervention in mergers such as the AT&T/T-Mobile merger and the ExpressScripts/Medco merger, as well as discouraging further government regulation in the internet and the railroads. While Senator Lee has been overwhelmingly accommodating to the nominations submitted by President Obama, he has also been very vocal about his reservations with a few key nominees who have then failed to garner enough support to be confirmed. Senator Lee led the opposition against Goodwin Liu in committee and on the floor. He spoke out against the appointment of Caitlin Halligan at a Republican policy lunch, which was pivotal in preventing her confirmation. He led the opposition of Miranda Du in her hearing and in committee, even writing a letter regarding her misstatement in that hearing. Senator Lee is respected on the Committee as a constitutional scholar, courteous colleague, and principled voter, and will certainly increase his already substantial influence throughout the coming years. Legislation Introduced or Co-Sponsored S. 533: Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2011 S. 554: A bill to prohibit the use of Department of Justice funds for the prosecution in Article III courts of the United States of individuals involved in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks S. 569: Federal Judicial Fairness Act of 2011 S. 671: Finding Fugitive Sex Offenders Act of 2011 S. 723: Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 S. 1061: Government Litigation Savings Act S. 1196: Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act S. 1241: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act S. 1697: Dairy and Sheep H-2A Act S. 1746: Visa Improvements to Stimulate International Tourism to the United States of America Act S. 1857: Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act

Amendment to S. 1867: National Defense Reauthorization Act that would prohibit indefinite detention of American citizens on U.S. soil S.J. Res. 5: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution requiring that the Federal budget be balanced S.J. Res. 10: Joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States S.J. Res. 11: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to limiting the number of terms that a Member of Congress may serve to 3 in the House of Representatives and 2 in the Senate. S.J. Res. 145: A resolution designating April 15, 2011, as "National TEA Party Day".

Opposition PATRIOT Act Led opposition to provisions that allowed inappropriate government access to private information S. 49: Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2011 Led negotiations and instituted hold to prevent the bill from reaching the floor S. 968: PROTECT IP Act Expressed concerns before and after markup, working with the Committee members to adequately address those concerns S. 1867: NDAA Voted against the bill because of the provision allowing the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on American soil

Hearings The Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act Questioned Walter Dellinger, suggesting that under the Commerce Clause as interpreted by the Affordable Care Act, Congress could force Americans to set aside a portion of their income to purchase leafy vegetables. The President's Request to Extend the Service of Director Robert Mueller of the FBI Until 2013 Senator Lee joined with Senator Coburn in asserting that the extension of the Directors term should be done in the manner most consistent with the Constitution, which led to that manner being adopted in an amendment on the floor. Considering the Role of Judges Under the Constitution of the United States Senator Lee asked Justices Scalia and Breyer a series of questions regarding Constitutional interpretation. Oversight of the Department of Justice Senator Lee questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about documents regarding Justice Kagans involvement in the Affordable Care Act and about the failed operation Fast and Furious.

The AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Is Humpty Dumpty Being Put Back Together Again? Senator Lee worked to show the potential that allowing free markets has to improve consumer welfare, eventually writing a letter to that effect to the FTC and DOJ. The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition? Senator Lee encouraged Google to correct any potentially anti-competitive behavior in order to forestall the need for government regulation. The Express Scripts/Medco Merger: Cost Savings for Consumers or More Profits for the Middlemen? Senator Lee led questioning regarding the effect of the merger on community pharmacies in Utah and the potential efficiencies mergers create.

Speeches Heritage Foundation speech on the Congressional duty to interpret the Constitution and on potential coordinate branch construction of the Constitution. Federalist Society Speech on the Congressional duty to interpret the Constitution and on the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare.

Senator Mike Lee Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee 2011 Summary As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (Committee) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Water and Power, Senator Lee has applied his conservative and Constitutional principles to issues related to public lands, energy development, water use, and other issues subject to the jurisdiction of the Committee. Legislation Introduced or Co-Sponsored The first bills sponsored by Sen. Lee that were passed by the Senate were two land transfers from the federal government to the Utah cities of Alta and Mantua. Under the legislation, Mantua will gain control of nearly 32 acres of land in Box Elder County that was originally owned by Hans Rasmussen, an early settler of Mantua and who later transferred the land to the federal government. The Alta bill will transfer several parcels of land to Alta to support the growth of the town. The Mantua bill was passed into law, and the Alta bill should be considered by the House of Representative in February and passed into law thereafter. In addition to these bills, Senator Lee has sponsored or introduced many other bills, including: Good Neighbor Forestry Act (Original Co-Sponsor) (S.375) - A bill to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to enter into cooperative agreements with State foresters authorizing State foresters to provide certain forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration and protection services. Better Use of Light Bulbs Act (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 395) - A bill to repeal certain amendments to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act with respect to lighting energy efficiency. A bill to amend the Federal Power Act to ensure that rates and charges for electric energy are assessed in proportion to measurable reliability or economic benefit, and for other purposes (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 400) National Monument Designation Transparency and Accountability Act of 2011 (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 407) - A bill to amend the Act of June 8, 1906, to require certain procedures for designating national monuments, and for other purposes. Bonneville Unit Clean Hydropower Facilitation Act (Co-Sponsor) (S. 499) - A bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to facilitate the development of hydroelectric power on the Diamond Fork System of the Central Utah Project.

South Utah Valley Electric Conveyance Act (Co-Sponsor) (S. 500) - A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain Federal features of the electric distribution system to the South Utah Valley Electric Service District, and for other purposes. Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2011 (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 635) - A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to sell certain Federal lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, previously identified as suitable for disposal, and for other purposes. A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to allow for prepayment of repayment contracts between the United States and the Uintah Water Conservancy District (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 808) A bill to amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to clarify that uncertified States and Indian tribes have the authority to use certain payments for certain noncoal reclamation projects and acid mine remediation programs. (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 897) American Energy and Western Jobs Act (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 1027) - A bill to provide for the rescission of certain instruction memoranda of the Bureau of Land Management, to amend the Mineral Leasing Act to provide for the determination of the impact of proposed policy modifications, and for other purposes. Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011 (Co-Sponsor) (S. 1087) A bill to release wilderness study areas administered by the Bureau of Land Management that are not suitable for wilderness designation from continued management as de facto wilderness areas and to release inventoried roadless areas within the National Forest System that are not recommended for wilderness designation from the land use restrictions of the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Final Rule and the 2005 State Petitions for Inventoried Roadless Area Management Final Rule, and for other purposes. Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform Act of 2011 (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 1153) - A bill to improve Federal land management, resource conservation, environmental protection, and use of Federal land by requiring the Secretary of the Interior to develop a multipurpose cadastre of Federal land and identifying inaccurate, duplicate, and out-of-date Federal land inventories, and for other purposes. A bill to prohibit the further extension or establishment of national monuments in Utah except by express authorization of Congress (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 1182)

A bill to clarify authority granted under the Act entitled An act to define the exterior boundary of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in the State of Utah, and for other purposes. (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 1209) Northern Arizona Mining Continuity Act of 2011 (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 1690) - A bill to preserve the multiple use land management policy in the State of Arizona, and for other purposes. County Payments Reauthorization Act of 2011 (Co-Sponsor) (S. 1692) - A bill to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, to provide full funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program, and for other purposes. A bill to ensure that Federal Register notices submitted to the Bureau of Land Management are reviewed in a timely manner. (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 1844) Wasatch Range Recreation Access Enhancement Act (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 1883) - A bill to provide for the sale of approximately 30 acres of Federal land in Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Salt Lake County, Utah, to permit the establishment of a minimally invasive transportation alternative called "SkiLink" to connect 2 ski resorts in the Wasatch Mountains, and for other purposes. Scofield Land Transfer Act (Original Co-Sponsor) (S. 2056) - A bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain interests in Federal land acquired for the Scofield Project in Carbon County, Utah.

Hearings National Commission Report of the BP Oil Spill Natural Gas Service Outages in New Mexico Energy Efficiency Standards Proposed Fiscal Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 For the Department of the Interior Carbon Capture and Sequestration Legislation Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 for the Department of Energy Charles McConnell and Rebecca Wodder Nominations

Opposition Response to Secretarial Order 3310 In response to the Department of Interiors Secretarial Order 3310, which would have created additional, de-facto wilderness areas without Congressional approval, Senator Lee sought Department of Interior documents used in the formulation of Secretarial Order 3310. After a thorough investigation by Republican lawmakers into the decision, and after Sen. Lee placed a hold on the nomination of Dan Ashe as Director of the Fish and

Wildlife Service, Secretary Salazar ultimately reversed his decision on his Wild Lands policy. Response to Changes in the BLMs Master Leasing Plan (MLP) Process In July of 2011, Senator Lee expressed concern that the MLP process adopted by the BLM to reform oil and gas leasing on public lands was obstructing responsible exploration for oil and gas in the West. In letter to Secretary Salazar, Senator Lee explained that the MLP policy may negatively impact the nations ability to develop its own natural resources by creating a duplicative review process for oil and gas. Please find a list of Senator Lees concerns regarding the MLP process in the attached letter.

Speeches Address to the Utah Association of County Commissioners Convention (November 2011) Senator Lee discussed his policies regarding county lands bills and various other issues with Utah county commissioners at the annual convention. Western Caucus Weekly Address (January 2012) Senator Lee addressed the Western Caucus with a speech supporting domestic energy production, especially on our underutilized public lands, and explained his opposition to President Obamas rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Senator Mike Lee Senate Foreign Relations Committee 2011 Summary As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), Senator Lee engaged in several issues that combined his commitment to the Constitution with his dedication to national security. Senator Lee challenged the Obama Administration on its flawed policy in military engagement in Libya and highlighted the Administrations abandonment of the War Powers Resolutions. Major issues the SFRC faced last year included a discussion on the Constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution, reauthorization of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the proper role of the United States in Libya and Afghanistan. Through his position on the Near East Subcommittee, Senator Lee confirmed his commitment to Israel as our most important ally in the Middle East. He also served on the Western Hemisphere and African Subcommittees and participated in the nominations process for the appointment of United States Ambassadors to foreign countries. Legislation Introduced or Co-Sponsored S.Res. 350: (Original Sponsor): Expressing Sense of Senate regarding the need for fair presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. S. 1975: (Cosponsor): No More IMF (International Monetary Fund) Bailouts Act. S. 1875: (Original Sponsor): United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2011. S. 1048: (Cosponsor): Iran, North Korea, and Syria Sanctions Consolidation Act of 2011. S. 1595: (Cosponsor): Solidarity with Israel Act. S.Res. 216: (Cosponsor): A resolution encouraging womens political participation in Saudi Arabia. S.Res. 185: (Cosponsor): A resolution reaffirming the commitment of the United States to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, reaffirming opposition to the inclusion of Hamas in a unity government, etc. S.J.Res. 18: (Cosponsor) Prohibited the deployment of the United States Armed Forces on the ground in Libya.

S.Con.Res. 23: (Cosponsor): Declared the policy of the United States is to support Israel in maintaining defensible borders. S.Res. 138: (Cosponsor): Called on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report. S.Res. 148: (Cosponsor): Called on the President to submit to Congress a detailed description of United States policy objectives in Libya. S.Res. 99: (Cosponsor): Declared the sense of the Senate that the primary safeguard for the well-being and protection of children is the family.

Hearings Iraq: The Challenging Transition to a Civilian Mission Breaking the Cycle of North Korean Provocations Intelligence Update on Libya Afghanistan: Progress & Expectations Assessing U.S. Policy and Its Limits in Pakistan Libya and War Powers The State of Democracy in the Americas Chinas Role in Africa: Implications U.S. Strategic Objectives Towards Iran

Speeches Law of the Sea. (September 15, 2011): At the Heritage Foundation, Senator Lee gave a speech explaining that ratification of the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea would jeopardize American security, rule of law, and prosperity. President Reagan refused to sign the treaty in 1982, and we should still oppose it today. AIPAC (July 2011): Senator Lee affirmed his support to Israel and concern that Iran is gaining traction towards obtaining nuclear weapons. School Choice. (December 7, 2012): In a conference call which included thousands of members of The National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, Senator Lee affirmed his support for Hebrew Day Schools and other private schools in America whose missions are to educate children and empower parents and communities to influence that education.

Senator Mike Lee Joint Economic Committee 2011 Summary As a member of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), Senator Lee has promoted free market principles in the areas of fiscal, monetary, and regulatory policy. Each of these policy areas has a significant impact on the health of the U.S. economy and is currently in need of major reform. Fiscal Policy Since taking office in January of 2011, Senator Lee has been a strong advocate for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, recognizing that a sound economy depends on a government that lives within its means. In 2011, the federal government ran a budget deficit of over $1.3 trillion (more than 8% of GDP), and ended the year with gross federal debt of $15.5 trillion (more than 100% of GDP). It should be noted that this figure does not include the more than $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Moreover, this marks only the second time in U.S. history that the federal debt has exceeded 90% of GDP (the other instance occurred in the period during and shortly after World War II.)
Gross Federal Debt as % of GDP (Source: Office of Management and Budget)
130.0% 110.0% 90.0% 70.0% 50.0% 30.0%

"Danger Zone"

A study entitled Public Debt and Some Consequences: A Discussion by economists Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff states, there is no obvious like between debt and growth until public debt reaches a threshold of 90 percent[countries] with debt-to-GDP over 90 percent have median growth roughly one percent lower than lower

1940 1943 1946 1949 1952 1955 1958 1961 1964 1967 1970 1973 1976 1978 1981 1984 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 2011

debt [countries]. Debt of this magnitude poses several risks to our country, including the following: Deadweight Loss of Taxes Needed to Service Debt. All money borrowed must be repaid with interest owed. All else being equal, this implies that taxes will eventually have to be raised and the cost to society beyond the amount of revenue raised is known as deadweight loss. Need to Increase Taxes or Reduce Spending. More debt means higher interest payments by the federal government. In order to make these higher interest payments, higher revenues or larger spending reductions are necessary. Significant increases in marginal tax rates decrease peoples incentive to work and save, leading to lower incomes. In order to close the budget deficit in 2011, total federal outlays would have to be reduced by approximately 40%, roughly the amount of all Big Three entitlement programs combined, or taxes receipts would have to climb by approximately two-thirds. Reduced Growth and Job Creation in the Private Sector. High levels of government borrowing crowd out private investment because private savings are diverted to buy Treasury securities rather than productive capital stock. In other words, a dollar borrowed by the government is a dollar no longer available for private use. This leads to lower economic output than would otherwise lower relative output and incomes in the long run and make future generations worse off. Increased Likelihood of a Fiscal Crisis. Excessive debt increases the probability that the country will face a fiscal crisis at some time in the future because holders of federal debt may require higher interest payments to compensate them for the risk that they might not be repaid or the value of their securities might be eroded by inflation. Reduced Ability to Respond to Emergencies. High debt levels limit policymakers ability to respond to needs and challenges that may arise in the future. For example, large debts might give the government less flexibility to increase spending in order to respond to events such as natural disasters, wars, or humanitarian crises. Adverse Effect on Monetary Policy. High debt levels cause lenders to demand higher rates of interest to compensate them for the increased risk of default. As an enabler of government spending, the Federal Reserve System has the ability to manipulate interest rates to lower levels than they would be in a free market, reducing the value of the dollar and real interest rates. This is accomplished through monetary policy tools at the Feds disposal, including discount window lending, open market operations, and quantitative easing. These tools increase the money supply and result in higher rates of inflation over the long term. Diminished Political Independence and International Leadership. Transitioning from a net creditor nation to a net debtor has a number of implications and

consequences. Today, approximately half of the nations public debt is held by foreign creditors like China, Japan, and a number of Middle Eastern countries. This fact can compromise U.S. strategic and diplomatic operations with these countries and others. While growth in public debt has been substantial in the last few years, the rate of increase in deficit spending has been even more prolific. From 2007 to 2010, the deficit grew from $161 billion to $1.3 trillion, representing a seven-fold increase in just three years. The federal government cannot run budget deficits indefinitely without significant economic and social consequences for the country. The U.S already experiencing some of the effects of poor fiscal policy coupled with poor monetary policy in the form of higher unemployment and higher prices paid by consumers for food, gas, energy, clothing, and other products. The poor and people on fixed incomes are most hurt by rising prices because they have the least amount of flexibility in their budgets and these items make up a larger percentage of their budgets overall. Those who claim to care about the economically disadvantaged should have more interest in this issue than anyone else. According to the CBO, its own baseline estimate of the deficit is highly sensitive to factors such as real GDP growth, interest rates, and inflation rates. In the CBOs Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2011 to 2021, the CBO estimates that if the growth rate of real GDP is 0.1% lower per year, the deficit will increase by $310 billion in the 2011 to 2021 period. Also, if interest rates are 1% higher per year, the deficit will increase by $1,292 billion in the 2011 to 2021 period. Finally, if inflation is 1% higher per year, the deficit will increase by $867 billion in the same period. The sensitivity of the deficit to these economic factors and the uncertainty inherent in long-term forecasting highlight the wisdom and practicality of working to balance the federal budget in the near term. Experts like David Walker, Founder and CEO of the Come Back America Initiative and former Comptroller General of the U.S., estimate that we may only have two to three years before a major economic crisis unfolds in our country. This crisis will likely take the form of a run on our nations currency and result in a substantially weaker dollar, significantly higher interest rates, and a global economic depression. We can avoid this crisis if we act now. With fiscal reforms including deficit reduction, debt limits, and stronger fiscal governance, the U.S. can get on the path to fiscal responsibility in relatively short order. Other nations that have faced financial challenges in the recent past and have made the requisite changes (i.e., Australia and New Zealand) are now some of the most fiscally sound and responsible countries in the world. There is no reason we cannot do the same. Monetary Policy Monetary policy is another important area where Senator Lee focused significant attention in 2011. Since the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over

95% of its value. Moreover, recent GAO reports have indicated that the Federal Reserve has spent literally trillions of dollars bailing out failing banks in the U.S. and Europe. In order to help address these issues, the Senator co-sponsored legislation like the Sound Money Promotion Act and the Federal Reserve Transparency Act in 2011, which are aimed at exposing the ruinous policies and actions of the Federal Reserve and ultimately promote sound monetary policy. Legislation Introduced or Co-Sponsored Regulatory policy is an important economic consideration due to the effect onerous administrative laws have on business and individual freedom. Last year, the Obama administration added over 80,000 pages of new rules and regulations to the federal register. This represents more than 20 times the number of pages of laws enacted by Congress in 2011, highlighting the challenge an unelected, unaccountable bureaucratic state poses economic growth and prosperity. To counteract harmful administrative law growth, Senator Lee co-sponsored the REINS Act, the Regulatory Responsibility for Our Economy Act, the National Right to Work Act, and several bills repealing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in whole and in part. The following is a list of selected legislation related to fiscal, monetary, and regulatory policy sponsored by Senator Lee in 2011: S.18 (Cosponsor): To repeal the expansion of information reporting requirements for payments of $600 or more to corporations, and for other purposes. S.163 (Cosponsor): To require that the Government prioritize all obligations on the debt held by the public in the event that the debt limit is reached. S. 202 (Cosponsor): To require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks by the Comptroller General of the United States before the end of 2012, and for other purposes. S. 299 (Cosponsor): To amend chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, to provide that major rules of the executive branch shall have no force or effect unless a joint resolution of approval is enacted into law. S. 358 (Cosponsor): Regulatory Responsibility for our Economy Act of 2011. S. 504 (Cosponsor): National Right-to-Work Act S. 609 (Cosponsor): To provide for the establishment of a committee to assess the effects of certain Federal regulatory mandates.

S. 706 (Cosponsor): To stimulate the economy, produce domestic energy, and create jobs at no cost to the taxpayers, and without borrowing money from foreign governments for which our children and grandchildren will be responsible, and for other purposes. S. 712 (Cosponsor): To repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. S. 726 (Cosponsor): To rescind $45 billion of unobligated discretionary appropriations, and for other purposes. S. 746 (Cosponsor): To repeal provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. S. 1287 (Cosponsor): To treat gold and silver coins used as legal tender in the same manner as United States currency for taxation purposes. S. 1316 (Cosponsor): To prevent a fiscal crisis by enacting legislation to balance the Federal budget through reductions of discretionary and mandatory spending. S.1340 (Original Sponsor): To cut, cap, and balance the Federal budget. S. 1438 (Cosponsor): To provide that no agency may take any significant regulatory action until the unemployment rate is equal to or less than 7.7 percent. S. 1523 (Cosponsor): To prohibit the National Labor Relations Board from ordering any employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstance. S. 1651 (Cosponsor): To provide for greater transparency and honesty in the Federal budget process. S. 2040 (Original Cosponsor): A bill to amend the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to establish a point of order to prohibit an increase or other modification of the public debt limit.

Hearings

04/01/11 - March Employment Report 05/25/11 - Innovation and Job Growth in the Life Sciences Industry 05/06/11 - April Employment Report 06/22/11 - Manufacturing in the USA: Why We Need a National Manufacturing Strategy? 06/21/11 - Spend Less, Owe Less, Grow the Economy 07/27/11 - Maximizing Americas Prosperity: How Fiscal Rules can Restrain Federal Overspending

07/12/11 - Manufacturing in the USA: Training Americas Workforce 08/05/11 - The Employment Situation: July 2011 09/21/11 - Manufacturing in the USA: How U.S. Trade Policy Offshores Jobs 09/20/11 - What is the Real Debt Limit? 10/06/11 - Tax Incentives to Bolster Job Creation and Strengthen the Economy 10/04/11 - The Economic Outlook with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke 11/17/11 - Could Tax Reform Boost Business Investment and Job Creation? 11/16/11 - the Impact of Infrastructure on the Manufacturing Sector 11/04/11 - October Employment Report Friday

C n tt e o s iu nt Ou r a h t ec

U id t e S n t ne Sa s e a r t t o

Mi eL e k e

OFFICE OF SENATOR MICHAEL S. LEE State Office Summary Utah State Director: Boyd C. Matheson Federal Building 125 South State Street, Suit 4225 Salt Lake City, Utah 84138 (801) 524-5933 (office) (801) 960-6126 (cell) boyd_matheson@lee.senate.gov The State Office is responsible for serving constituents in Utahs 29 counties as well as acting as the Senators liaison to state, county and local officials. The year 2011 proved to be an extraordinary first year filled with transition, set up, service and outreach. The bottom line for the State office is to connect the Senator to constituents and constituents to the Senator. The State Office Report for 2011 includes: Summary of Northern Utah Area Activities Summary of Southern Utah Area Activities Summary of Central Utah Area Activities Summary of Utah Mobile Office Activities U.S. Service Academy Nominations Summary of Casework for Constituents Summary of Official Appointments and Meetings Looking forward to 2012 the State Office will continue to deliver excellent service to constituents while deepening our connection with elected officials, business executives and community leaders. Major areas of focus for 2012 will include: reducing the burden of federal regulation on entrepreneurs, businesses and job creators; continuing the fight for public lands; fostering energy independence and opportunity in Utah and ensuring Utahns continue to support the actions required to cut federal spending, balance the budget and reduce the debt.

Northern UTAH REPORT 2011 Northern Utah Director Larry Shepherd 125 South State Street STE 4225 Salt Lake City, UT 84138 (801) 524-5933 office (801) 995-0102 mobile (801) 524-5730 fax larry_shepherd@lee.senate.gov The geographic area of US Senator Mike Lees Northern Utah region encompasses the following counties: Box Elder, Cache, Rich, Weber, Morgan, Davis, Tooele, Summit, and Daggett. This area includes several of Utahs most rural counties where agriculture and outdoor recreation are the major economic interests as well as the more urban and economically diverse northern Wasatch Front counties. Outreach During 2011, Senator Lees Northern Utah Director met directly with local elected city and county officials on nearly 125 different occasions. Many of these meetings were one-on-one visits to hear directly of the issues, concerns, and challenges that these local leaders are experiencing in their interactions with the federal government. Meetings with civic and business organizations, tours and ribbon- cuttings provided helpful interactions with constituents in the business community. Major issues: Hill Air Force Base In addition to being one of the largest employers in the state, economic activity in and around Hill Air Force Base is a mainstay of the economy of Northern Utah. The base is the engine of economic growth in the region and a magnet for future business opportunity. Senator Lee views the announced restructuring of the civilian workforce at Hill Air Force Base as a serious threat to the economic health of the region and has committed significant time and resources to mitigate the negative effects of the restructuring. Flooding Record-breaking snowpack and a wet, cool spring in Northern Utah contributed to flooding that inundated thousands of acres of farmland and led to tens of millions in property and crop damage. Senator Lees office closely monitored the developing situation, toured flooded areas, and aided those affected by the disaster in obtaining appropriate assistance. Cache Pipeline - On July 11, 2009 the 100-year-old canal above Canyon Road in Logan failed, burying homes below in water, mud and rocks, and killing three people. Other victims included water users who counted on the canal to deliver irrigation for their crops. Throughout 2011, Senator Lees staff communicated with

all interested parties and closely monitored the negotiations that led to an agreement for federal participation in a rerouted pipeline to carry water from Logan Canyon to water users in Northern Cache County.

SOUTHERN UTAH REPORT 2011 Southern Utah Director: Ellen Schunk 285 W. Tabernacle St. George, UT 84770 (435) 628-5514 (office) (435) 201-2499 (cell) ellen_schunk@lee.senate.gov The Southern Utah area is comprised of 11 Counties: Beaver, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Kane, Millard, Piute, San Juan, Sevier, Washington, and Wayne. During 2011 we met with County Commissioners and Mayors in all 11 counties. We gathered information on local concerns and issues, and provided reports on federal activity. The focus of this office is on constituent outreach - staying in regular contact with elected officials, government agencies and the general public. Staff from the Southern Utah Office attended a host of regularly scheduled meetings ranging from AOG, Veterans, Transportation, County Commission and NRC, to specific meetings for State and Federal Agencies as well as Economic Forums. We moved from temporary quarters to our current office in late June. This central location, in historic St. George, provides easy access for constituents. The staff consists of the Southern Utah Director, the Lands Policy Advisor, the Constituent Liaison, and 1 Intern. Daily phone calls are received from constituents, and people come into the Southern Utah office each day. Since July 2011, we had approximately 200 constituents come into our St. George office to express opinions or seek help with a problem. Casework was started where appropriate. An Open House was held in August, and a few hundred people from multiple Counties attended. Senator Lee addressed the crowd, and people had an opportunity to ask questions, share concerns, and talk one-on-one with the Senator. People were encouraged to visit the office on a regular basis, and asked to provide us with feedback. Town Hall meetings were held during August in Beaver, Cedar City and St. George. These were well attended and provided a great opportunity for good dialogue on various issues. November 7th marked the 70th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We presented a special Certificate of Recognition from Senator Lee to each of the 6 Pearl Harbor survivors who live in St. George. This was a very special occasion.

The Southern Utah office has spent considerable time in outreach and addressing a myriad of issues. One example is the issue of the prairie dogs, which is having a significant impact on Iron County in particular. Senator Lee personally toured the Parowan Airport to see the effects of these animals, and also spoke with the Mayor of Paragonah regarding prairie dogs at their cemetery. We are currently exploring options to solve this problem. We are also working on energy, land, mining, sawmills and other issues that are being hampered by excessive federal regulations- which in turn hurt economic development in the State of Utah.

CENTRAL UTAH REPORT 2011 Contact for Central Utah: Deputy State Director Bill Lee, Federal Building 125 South State Street, Suit 4225 Salt Lake City, Utah 84138 (801) 524-4424 office, (801) 854-8674 cell william_lee@lee.senate.gov email. There are 9 Counties in this area: Salt Lake, Utah, Juab, SanPete, Wasatch, Carbon, Emery, Duchesne, Uintah. One of the 2011 goals for this area was to reach out to all the Mayors, Commissioners, State Senators and Representatives and make a personal contact with them in their office. To also listen to the concerns and challenges that they are facing and help in the federal issues. We kept in contact by phone and emails about what Senator Lee was doing. Another goal was to reach out to the constituent in this area we had three town halls one in Draper, Provo and Fairview. With these and thousands of other emails we send out Senator Lee's press releases to keep all who want to know what he is doing involved. We have been involved with the different Associations of Governments like Wasatch Front Regional Council, Mountainland AOG, Uintah Basin AOG, Southeastern Utah AOG, Uintah Basin AOG and Six County AOG. We have met with many of the County Associations of Governments and also some of the City Councils. In these meetings we provided updates on the Senators action and agenda as well as fielding questions from the different groups on their particular issues. Outreach in 2011 included a focus on issues, projects and tours. A sampling of those we conducted over the past year include: Working with the counties on a process for the county land bills to move forward, viewing the Narrows project in SanPete county, touring a water treatment plant in Magna, visiting coal mines in Carbon county and going through the FAA facility. We have also worked with many different businesses and their leaders in addition to attending open houses for companies ranging from entrepreneurial start ups to expanding business like Nu Skin International. We participated in the grand reopening of the Dinosaur National Monument in Uintah county, which followed and long and significant remodeling project.

In light of the flooding issues during the year 2011 we worked with FEMA, Army Corp of Engineers and Natural Resources Conservation Service to help minimize the damage caused by the flooding. We have help pass legislation for federal land transfer in Alta and Mantua. We are currently working with the other congressional delegation on the land issue around Scofield Reservoir in Carbon county. We continue to work with State agencies regarding exports, land issues and transportation. Working with the National Guard and the Army Corp of Engineers we have seen the new Data Center between Salt Lake and Utah Counties rise up. We have been in briefings and worked with the cities as questions and concerns came forward. As part of our business community outreach we have been involved with the various Chamber of Commerce chapters. We regularly sit in on some of the task forces that they have dealing with both business and immigration needs. These task forces have been used to generate ideas and explore possible legislation like the DASH Act. Overall our goal has been to Listen, Communicate and work together to continue to make Utah the place to live and work.

UTAH MOBILE OFFICE REPORT 2011 Utah Mobile Office: Gary Beck Federal Building 125 South State Street, Suit 4225 Salt Lake City, Utah 84138 (801) 524-4424 office, (801) 995-5714 cell william_lee@lee.senate.gov email. The Mobile Office for U.S. Senator Mike Lee officially began its community outreach service to the State of Utah on 1 November 2011. At that time, Senator Lee said: I want my office to be open and available to all Utahns. The best way to achieve that is by going directly to them. Utahns deal with a range of federal issues from Social Security to veterans benefits to navigating the bureaucracy of the federal government and I want to be there to help them get answers. Mobile Office Activities for 2011 In what well may be the first of its kind for a member of the United States Congress from the State of Utah, Senator Lee's Mobile Office is a resource for constituents across Utah who might not otherwise be able to meet with casework officers or other staff at Senator Lees offices in Salt Lake City and St. George. The Mobile Office travels throughout the State of Utah and opens a U.S. Senate Staff Office, on behalf of Senator Lee, in all of Utah's countiesgenerally conducting "office hours" in the morning and in the afternoon at pre-arranged and pre-advertised locations (usually in Utah's cities, towns and communities at municipal or local governmental buildings). The Mobile Office essentially replaced three small senate staff offices operated by Senator Bennett. The Mobile Office hours, dates and event locations are regularly updated on Senator Lees website (please see: www.lee.senate.gov) under the topic of Mobile Office. Additionally, Utah residents may use the website to: (1) request, arrange and confirm a specific Mobile Office appointment for themselves at a previously scheduled date, time and location; (2) recommend a future Mobile Office visit, date, and time, to a location near them; [(and, in the process of development and deployment,) (3) request an educational presentation on the U.S. Constitution] by completing and submitting the Mobile Office form found on the website.

November 2011 - December 2011 Mobile Office Statistical Report:

a. Counties Visited in 2011 (2 months): 16 b. Cities, Towns, Communities Visited in 2011 (2 months): 29 c. Constituents Contacted/Served (2 months): 168 4. November 2011 December 2011 Mobile Office Detailed Summary Statistical Report: a. Counties/Cities or Towns or Communities (Constituents Contacted/Served) BoxEdler County Brigham City (6) Tremonton (5) San Juan County Monticello (4) Daggett County Manila (4) Blanding (3) Dutch John (3) Bluff (5 plus one elementary school class of students) Davis County Farmington (9) Summit County Bountiful (6) Coalville (2) Park City (3) Duchesne County Tooele County Roosevelt (10) Grantsville (8) Duchesne (4) Tooele (5) Cache County Uintah County Logan (4) Smithfield (4) Vernal (2) Fort Duchesne (2) Emery County Green River (8) Washington County Hurricane (9) Grand County Wayne County Moab (8) Hanksville (22) [Note: This is about Kane County 10% of the total population of Hanksville] Kanab (5) Orderville (5) Weber County Rich County Ogden (7) Huntsville (3) Woodruff (1) Randolph (11)

Mobile Office Plans for 2012: January March 2012: As a service to state legislators and constituents, the Mobile Office will be open and available at the State Capitol every morning of the 2012 Utah State Legislative Session (and it will also be working on enhancing public education programs concerning the U.S. Constitution). April December 2012: The Mobile Office will again be scheduling and visiting counties, cities, towns, communities, constituents, etc., throughout the State of Utah (primarily using county, city, town and community buildings and facilities) and working on enhancing public educational type programs dealing with the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. Service Academy Nominations Senator Lee has the opportunity each year to nominate outstanding Utahns to the U.S. Service Academy Nominations. Those academies include the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, Military Academy at West Point, and the Merchant Marine Academy. The Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination. Senator Lee utilizes his website at lee.senate.gov to provide information to interested applicants. Letters introducing the senators nomination process were sent to guidance counselors at each secondary school in Utah in May 2011. The office sent posters to each secondary school and ROTC program in Utah in August 2011. The 2011 application process was for applicants entering the academies in the summer of 2012. Application Available: May 10, 2011 Application Deadline: October 31, 2011 Total Applicants: 81 Counties represented: 13 of 29 Academy Interviews: November 14, 2011 (7:40 am 12:20 pm) Lee Staff: 13 Academy Liaisons: 10 Applicants attending: 70 Total number of interviews: 124 Total applicants nominated by Senator Lee: 45 Total number of Senator Lee applicants nominated from any source: 70 Final academy appointments will be determined during the first quarter of 2012.

Casework Casework is the service Senator Lee provides to constituents who request assistance. Constituents may include individuals, businesses/organizations, and state and local governments. In cases where no official federal connection exists the constituent liaisons work with the constituent to identify the next possible course of action. Sometimes that is working directly with a state agency or forwarding the case to the governors casework staff. 2011 Casework 5 Constituent Liaisons Cases Opened: 331 Cases Closed: 223 The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State (Passports & Visas), and the Veterans Administration make up close to 60% of overall casework. Casework was received from constituents in 25 of Utahs 29 counties. The primary source of casework came from letters/emails. Constituent liaisons made monthly visits to key casework related agencies, both federal and state, and non-government organizations. The focus of the outreach in 2011 centered on building relationships with agency counterparts that would help in the proficient resolution of casework. Examples of casework in 2011 include: Assisting a homeless veteran Washington County in obtaining his long-delayed military retirement and securing temporary housing through the VA. Arranging additional code training for a Box Elder County physicians clinic being audited by CMS due to the clinics unique rural medical practice. Assisting two foreign-born small business owners in Utah County correct a mistake in their USCIS paperwork allowing them to extend their investment visas and keep their business open. Working with the Department of Defense on behalf of two separate Utah Guard members in Afghanistan who were denied their promised reenlistment bonuses because their years of service included time away to serve religious missions.

Utah: Official Meetings

Counties: 11 1. Beaver 2. Box Elder 3. Cache 4. Davis 5. Iron 6. Salt Lake Cities: 27 1. American Fork 2. Alpine 3. Beaver 4. Cedar City 5. Cedar Hills 6. Clearfield 7. Draper 8. Farmington 9. Heber 10. Layton 11. Leamington 12. Logan 13. Magna 14. Midvale Mayors: 16 1. Mayor John Curtis, Provo 2. Mayor James Hadfield, American Fork 3. Mayor Jerry Washburn, Orem 4. Mayor Mia Love, Saratoga Springs 5. Mayor JoAnn Seghini, Midvale 6. Mayor Melissa Johnson, West Jordan 7. Mayor Kent Money, South Jordan 8. Mayor Rick Moore, Payson

7. Sanpete 8. Sevier 9. Utah 10. Washington 11. Weber

15. Orem 16. Payson 17. Provo 18. Richfield 19. Salina 20. Salt Lake 21. Sandy 22. Saratoga Springs 23. South Jordan 24. Spanish Fork 25. St. George 26. Tremonton 27. West Jordan

9. Mayor Dan MacArthur, St. George 10. Mayor Josh Mills, Herriman 11. Mayor Jerry Taylor, Escalante 12. Mayor Karl Wilson, LaVerkin 13. Mayor G. Wayne Anderson, Spanish Fork 14. Mayor Steve Lauritzen, Woodland Hills 15. Mayor Fred Jensen, Goshen 16. Mayor Brian Wall, Mapleton

Commissions/Council of Governments: 9 1. Commissioner Blackham, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food 2. Utah County Commission 3. Sevier County Commission 4. Cache County Council of Government School Visits: 6 1. Utah Valley University 2. Lakeview Charter School 3. Bingham High School Legislators: 4 Rep. Wayne Harper Sen. Wayne Niederhauser Sen. Curt Bramble Sen. Casey Anderson Tours: 9 1. Kenworth Sales 2. Google Small Business 3. Provo Watershed 4. Prairie Dog 5. Wilson Electronics Community Events: 5 1. Alpine Memorial Day 2. Healing Field: 9/11 Memorial 3. St. George Office Open House 4. Salt Lake City Office Open House 5. Security Metrics Ribbon Cutting

5. Box Elder County of Government 6. Wayne County Commission 7. Sevier County Commission 8. Piute County Commission 9. Washington County Commission 4. ITT Tech 5. Utah State 6. Southern Utah University

6. 7. 8. 9.

Dannon Plant Magna Water Treatment Plant Northup Grumman Sufco Mine

Groups/Associations: 26 1. American Israel Public Affairs Committee 2. Rural water Association 3. Utah Humanities Council 4. Juvenile Diabetic Research Foundation 5. The American and Chinese Promotion Society 6. American Podiatric Medical Association 7. Utah League of Cities and Towns 8. Salt Lake Chamber 9. St. George Chamber of Commerce 10. Rocky Mountain Power 11. Utah Valley Regional Medical Center 12. Overstock.com 13. Bill Barrett Corp. Town Halls: 6 1. Fairview, Sanpete County 2. Beaver City, Beaver County 3. Cedar City, Iron County 4. St. George, Washington County 5. Draper, Salt Lake County 6. Provo, Utah County

14. Red Leaf Resources 15. Utah Food Industry 16. Crohns and Colitis Foundation 17. Amendment II, LLC 18. Streamline Sales Tax 19. Dr. Sharyl Smith, Libraries 20. American Cancer Committee 21. Utah Fruit Growers Association 22. Domestic Violence Council 23. Utah Veterans Advisory Council 24. Utah Society Radiologic Technologist 25. Disability Rights Action Council 26. Utah Broadcasters Association

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Aug 24 2011

Coming to a Town Hall Near You


During the nal week of August, Senator Lee will be attending several town hall events in southern Utah. Senator Lee looks forward to meeting with Utah's citizens to discuss the important issues facing our nation. All are invited to attend. You can nd the time, date, and location of each event below:

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Sep 01 2011

Recap of Beaver and Cedar City Town Hall Meetings


Yesterday, I held two more town halls in Southern Utah to hear from residents about the issues they are having in their communities. The smaller event in Beaver turned into a great dialogue about a range of issues affecting Beaver County. We started off discussing tax reform and why it seems like the system is stacked against middle- and working-class Americans. The tax code is an abomination and any comprehensive plan to address our decit and national debt must also include xing our tax code to make it easier to comply and less burdensome on average Americans. I support both a at tax and a national sales tax. While there are different ways of implementing either of these reforms, they would both be a step in the right direction for growing our economy. Beaver County residents also discussed enforcing immigration laws, defunding ObamaCare, Social Security reform, as well as land issues like PILT and prairie dogs. At one point the mayor of Beaver stood up and said that if towns like his were required to balance their budgets each year, so should the federal government. I think thats basic common sense. From Beaver, I travelled to Cedar City for a town hall at Southern Utah University. It was standing room only in the Church auditorium on campus and I took more than two dozen questions during the 90 minute event. I was glad to see a range of attendees, From seniors concerned about spending to students afraid of our growing debt and veterans asking about our various entanglements overseas, it was a robust and rapid-re session on broad topics concerning Utah and the country.

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An SUU student asked an interesting question about bipartisanship in Washington and why there wasnt more of it. I said the best way to ensure we come to bipartisan solutions is to focus on doing what is right rather than what might be in the interest of ones particular party afliation. Neither side has a monopoly on solutions, but there is a right and a wrong way to x a problem. Some times my party gets it dead wrong. In Washington, some can become xated on compromising for the sake of compromise. But I will not compromise on doing what is right to reduce our debt, end perpetual decit spending, stabilize our economy, and reduce the burden of the federal government on the lives of Americans. Standing on principle is not the same as obstruction, and it is an important distinction to make. So far the town halls in Fairview, Beaver and Cedar City have been incredibly productive. I have heard from directly from hundreds of Utahns about the issues they care about most and I plan to take that back to Washington and work on them. I have a town hall in St. George tonight at the City Council Chambers (175 East 200 North). At 7:00 pm I hope to see you there. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/9/recapof-beaver-and-cedar-city-town-hall-meetings

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Aug 31 2011

Fairview Town Hall Recap


Last nights town hall in Fairview presented an opportunity for the citizens of Sanpete County and neighboring counties to come talk about the concerns they are having in their communities and how we might work together to solve them. Around 150 people attended and the issues ranged from spending in Washington to immigration to the Narrows project. I heard many people voice concerns that Washington was not doing its job addressing illegal immigration into our country. They said that state legislators in Utah had tried to do something about the problem but that ultimately the federal government would have to step up enforcement. I couldnt agree more, and would add that part of the problem is how difcult it is to come to this country legally. By addressing the backlog of legal immigration we can signicantly reduce the motivation to come here illegally. People are also very concerned about spending, but understand that the federal government has made many promises it wont be able to keep. Particularly regarding entitlements, there was a good discussion on how to reform programs like Medicare, which represent the bulk of our spending over the next decade. The truth is these programs are headed off a scal cliff if we dont do something now. Its not whether or not the programs will see benet reductions, but how do we go about reforming the programs responsibly so we can keep our promises to current beneciaries and make it solvent for those joining the programs in the future. I think we need to start addressing those issues now, even if they are not politically popular, because it is the right thing to do. We cannot wait until after the next election. Tonight I have two more town halls in Beaver and Cedar City, and then one tomorrow in St. George. I expect to see many of the same concerns in these communities, as well as hear about the local issues on the minds of Utahns.

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2/3/12 1:03 PM

Sampling of Constituent Letters from Across the State


February 9, 2011 Juab County Topic: Pornography Senator Lee, I am writing to ask you to co-sign the letter authored by Sen. Orrin Hatch to Attorney General Eric Holder urging that he vigorously enforce existing federal obscenity laws which prohibit the distribution of hardcore, obscene pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV (including pay-per-view) and thus on hotel/motel television, through the mail, and in retail outlets. Porn harms people. Porn harms children - and with life-long effects. Porn harms society. Addiction to obscene adult pornography is now an untreated pandemic and contributes to the breakup of marriages, to sexual violence against women, to the demand for prostitution and sex trafficking, to an increase in child pornography, to on-the-job sexual harassment and to a decline in worker productivity because of time spent viewing internet pornography. The harms from pornography are now at crisis levels in the U.S. and we deserve to have our existing obscenity laws enforced to curb this terrible harm. Sincerely, Travis

February 17, 2011 Utah County Topic: Thank You Letter Senator Lee, I would like to thank you for dedication to the constitution and the liberties of Americans. You have stuck to your guns and have done what you said you would. I was cautiously optimistic when you won the election, and you are doing a good job at convincing me that you are a true statesman rather than a politician. I especially want to thank you for standing up for the 4th Amendment and civil liberties in opposing the extension of parts of the (un) Patriot Act. I know that many modern "conservatives" believe that safety by any means is necessary, but you seem to understand that your top priority is not to keep

us safe but to keep us free. Of course, safety is the main purpose of the government but should not come at the violation of our rights. Secondly, thank you for being dead serious about our economic problems. Thank you for standing up against the establishment and doing all that is in your power to prevent the debt ceiling from being raised. I hope it doesn't get that far, but I'll look forward to watching your filibuster on CSPAN :) I have done a lot of talking up of Mike Lee recently and trust you will continue to stay true to the philosophy of liberty. I'd like to encourage you to co-sponsor Rand Paul's Audit the Fed bill to be presented in the near future. I ran into you at CPAC last week (I'm from Eagle Mountain), and listened to your speech. Great job. Keep preaching the truth and God Bless. With gratitude, Jonathan

March 4, 2011 Beaver County Topic: USDA/GIPSA Senator Lee, I am writing to express my concerns with a proposed rule from USDA's Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) that will affect my ability to run my pork operation. The proposed rule released by GIPSA last June is so vague and overreaching that I worry about how my business will operate in the future. I raised these concerns with USDA during the public comment period, but I'm not sure the agency knows the costs this rule could have on my industry. It is critical that USDA complete an economic analysis on the proposed rule. Such an analysis was not conducted prior to the rule being proposed, which I don't understand given that USDA called the regulation "the most aggressive change to the Packers and Stockyards Act since its creation in the 1920s." Recently, USDA stated that it will conduct a "cost-benefit" analysis, but it has given no details about the process, the timeline or what such an analysis will entail. I know that a "cost-benefit" analysis is not that same as an economic analysis, with the former simply looking at actual costs of implementation of a rule compared with the subjectively determined benefits of it, and the latter determining the costs throughout the economy.

I would like to see an analysis that shows the costs this rule will impose on me as a pork producer; on all those working in the pork industry, including agricultural lenders, packers, feed suppliers, etc.; and on the consumers buying pork in the grocery store. These costs must be known before this "most aggressive" proposal becomes the law of the land. Regardless of the type of examination it conducts, it is imperative that USDA make available for public comment the analysis and its results, including methodologies used and sectors and processes examined. Livestock industry analyses of the proposed rule found that if enacted as it has been proposed, it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of lost jobs. I ask you, as my elected official, to urge USDA to conduct a thorough economic analysis of the rule before it is finalized and to question the agency about the process it used for the analysis. I look forward to hearing your response. Sincerely, Dwight

March 8, 2011 Iron County Topic: The Federal Budget Senator Lee, I am writing to encourage you to let the government shut down during the current budget dispute. Sincerely, David

March 9, 2011 Tooele County Topic: Banking Senator Lee, As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to stop the debit card interchange rule before it harms debit card users like me. The only beneficiaries of this harmful rule are retailers, who will take home an additional $14 billion in profits - and consumers will be left to deal with the consequences. The rule does not require that retailers pass along even one penny of their savings to customers. Meanwhile, banks, forced to lose money on debit interchange transactions, will be forced to compensate by increasing fees for deposit customers. The fact is that retailers receive tremendous benefits when they accept debit cards for payment, including higher sales, lower costs and guaranteed payment. That's why millions of retailers have chosen to accept debit cards - and that number is growing. In effect, consumers like me will end up paying for a payments system that provides retailers with extraordinary value. I don't want to be forced to pay higher fees, give up my rewards, and lose my free checking account - just so retailers can have an extra $14 billion in profits. Congress should be in the business of protecting consumers, not forcing us to pay for the costs of giant retailers. Please repeal this harmful rule before it's too late. Sincerely, Jeanne

March 11, 2011 Weber County Topic: Thank You Letter Senator Lee, I applaud your steadfast efforts in pushing for REAL reforms and solutions to our Nation's debt problems. I read the letter you and your colleagues sent to Sen. Reid and I greatly appreciate that you have taken a firm position on solving this egregious problem. Additionally, I have observed many of your interviews on various cable TV programs and would like to thank you for representing Conservative values. Keep up the great work! Sincerely, Thomas

March 14, 2011 Carbon County Topic: Healthcare Senator Lee, As a constituent, I urge you to vote Yes on H.R. 1, the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law" Act. Voters spoke loud and clear on Nov. 2nd: No government takeover of health care. This is an unparalleled opportunity to show Americans that this Congress means business and will stick to the promises made on the campaign trail, however difficult they may be. We need to fully repeal ObamaCare because it will kill jobs, bankrupt the government, drive up everyone's health insurance costs, put bureaucrats in charge of our health care, and ruin the world's best health care system. Our government can't afford the $2.6 trillion price tag - and our families can't afford the taxes and skyhigh insurance premiums that come with this massive bill. Congress needs to focus sensible reforms like tax credit vouchers for the uninsured, and reforms to the individual market. These are reforms that are affordable, and don't grow the size of government. With 68% of Americans in opposition to ObamaCare, the time to repeal is now. Please vote Yes on H.R. 1. Sincerely, Hal

March 29, 2011 Weber County Topic: The Federal Budget Senator Lee, I'm writing to urge you to insist that both Planned Parenthood and NPR be defunded in the next continuing resolution. Planned Parenthood performed over 324,000 abortions in 2008 while receiving $349.6 million in funds from American taxpayers, many of whom find abortion morally objectionable. And NPR board member Sue Schardt has admitted that NPR's core audience is "predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite." Why should Americans who are not white, liberal, or elite be forced to subsidize an organization when it's core constituency is perfectly capable of funding it from their own wallets if they believe its message is that important? It's time for fiscal sanity in Washington, and the place to begin is by defunding Planned Parenthood and NPR in the very next CR. Sincerely, Stephen

March 31, 2011 Washington County Topic: The Federal Budget Senator Lee, As your constituent, I urge you to support full funding for public broadcasting in the budget bills currently being debated in Washington. Federal funding for public broadcasting supports 1,300 local stations, 21,000 local jobs and the 170 million Americans who rely on public media each month. My local public television and radio stations are critically important to me and my community. The small cost per person annually $1.35 per citizen - is far outweighed by the benefits we all get from having a strong public broadcasting system to address our local community needs and provide services unmet elsewhere. Public broadcasting is one of the most successful public/private partnerships in America, with $6 in local support matching every $1 invested by the federal government. Cutting off federal dollars would have a cascade effect that would be catastrophic to the millions of people like me who use public broadcasting every day. There are more than 1,300 local public television and radio stations in America, representing some of the last locally-owned, locally-staffed and locally-programmed media outlets in this country. These stations are in every community across the country and employ some 21,000 people. Public broadcasting is an essential service to the American people. Without public broadcasting, our communities would lose access to the safe-haven of children's non-commercial educational content, the indepth news and public affairs programming, access to the world of arts and cultural locally, nationally and internationally, and the local voice that weaves the diverse perspectives of our communities together. In addition to the unparalleled programming offered by local public broadcasters, local stations are maximizing digital technology and their universal reach to provide critical resources to local communities. For example, public radio stations provide reading services for the blind, public television stations partner with state and local departments of education to provide teachers with on-line educational resources aligned with state standards, and both television and radio stations provide critical and targeted emergency communications in the wake of a disaster. Without federal funding, these critical resources will disappear, disenfranchising millions of Americans who depend on these services. The minimal federal investment in public broadcasting stations ensures free and universal access to a wide array of high quality, educational, non-commercial content and services. These services are too valuable to lose! As a constituent who highly values the programming and services of my local public broadcasters, I urge you to oppose any efforts to cut funding for public broadcasting. Sincerely, Carol

April 3, 2011 Utah County Topic: The Federal Budget Mike, Thanks for the job you are doing. I just wanted to voice my opinion on the fed budget. I feel that if you can't cut several hundred billion, then let the gov't shut down. I am ok with that. Maybe it will make the Dem's look at making some serious cuts to the budget. This talk of 60 billion is a drop in the bucket. 500 billion in cuts would be more like it. Regards, Ron

April 4, 2011 Wasatch County Topic: The Internet Dear Mike Lee, The internet is amazing the way it is, and innovation continues to make It even better. Congress must act to protect the free-market, hands-off approach that has allowed the Internet to succeed. That means stopping the FCCs so-called "open Internet" or "net neutrality" rules. I urge you to support Senator Hutchisons SJ.Res.6 and Representative Waldens HJ.Res.37, efforts under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the rule. The arguments made by advocates of such regulations have been proven false by nearly a decade of experience since their concerns were first raised. The Internet is a remarkable free market success story, and the vast majority of Internet users are not clamoring for regulation. Please do not allow the FCC to distort the law and take extreme measures to seize regulatory control of the internet. I urge you to do everything necessary to stop the FCC, overturn these regulations, and protect the free-market internet. Sincerely, Lawrence

April 15, 2011 Summit County Topic: Environment Dear Senator Lee, We ask you to support Congressional action to support wolf delisting. The language in the Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1473) allows for wolf delisting for portions of the West while also protecting the important court victory of Wyoming's wolf management plan. This court decision is an important step in acknowledging the right of state's rights to manage their wildlife. It is not right that the responsible sportsmen of America who have invested so heavily to protect and recover America's wildlife are demonized for simply asking the promises of the Endangered Species Act to be fulfilled. There is no room for this type of divisive rhetoric in America. There are also many other states that have invested heavily to recover the nation's wolf populations who will not be delisted by this action. There is also serious concern that anti-sportsmen groups want to spread the destruction of unmanaged wolf populations to elk, moose and deer of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and other states across the West and Midwest without assurances that they will not end up like Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Forcing states to accept wolves without these assurances builds distrust with the federal government and hurts the ability to recover other endangered species. We strongly ask you to continue to support efforts to allow wolf populations to be managed by state wildlife managers who manage and protect other large predators so effectively. When the ESA was enacted decades ago, it was built on a foundation that common sense, judgment and responsibility would be used in its administration. It is unfortunate that a few anti-sportsmens groups have removed the common sense and responsibility from the equation. Abuse of the Endangered Species Act has become expected by many who support the need to protect truly endangered species, but who also wish that common sense and responsibility could be returned to the equation. The health and future of healthy wildlife populations are endangered by these actions. It is unfortunate that Congressional action was required to finally return wolves to state wildlife managers. This action was overdue as a result of years of over reaching and ambiguous litigation intended to stop delisting of a fully recovered and robust wolf populations in the U.S. Overreaching by a few anti-sportsmen groups, not the actions of responsible sportsmen, have led us to this day. We are hopeful that once wolf populations are delisted across all of America to provide these needed assurances, steps are taken to ensure that common sense, responsibility, science and good judgment can replace the hysteria and anti-sportsmen rhetoric which is far too prevalent in this country's wildlife dialog. We ask for your leadership and judgment in support of this important issue. Sincerely, Justin

April 18, 2011 Utah County Topic: Animal Issues Senator Lee,
With our national deficit at all-time highs, and economies around the world in disarray, I am writing to urge you to defund the Lacey Act. This mandate restricts the free flow of global commerce under the veil of helping other countries improve their environment. Moreover, the Lacey Act has been used in the past to justify all kinds of marginal prosecutions. The reality is that we all lose under the Lacey Act. If current efforts to implement the Lacey Act's declaration requirements that were enacted in 2008 go forward, not only will consumers across America be faced with higher prices, but developing nations will be forced to cut jobs and scale back investments necessary for their economic growth. Most troubling of the revised Lacey Act provisions currently under government review is Section 8204, which deals with the "prevention of illegal logging practices." Without a doubt, this provision is a blatant trade barrier against poor nations that rely on the export of wood products for the health of their economies For one, the countries of origin should be the ones determining which of its natural resource products are legal or not. Additionally, these Lacey Act import rules go beyond the legal jurisdiction of our government. The U.S. paper companies and the unions that are pressuring you to make these provisions even more stringent should be rejected. Since consumers have rejected the anti-trade agenda of these paper companies and labor unions, these interests have now joined with environmentalists and policymakers to sneak amendments into the century-old Lacey Act. These amendments mandate full declarations concerning the origin of wood products through the entire supply chain -from the ground to the shelf. What's more, we simply cannot afford the money you are earmarking for enforcement of these Lacey Act provisions. Most importantly, this effort limits the options of consumers like me for countless every day products like toilet paper and paper towels and will force me to pay more money for just about every product that may contain wood. It's not Washington's job to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. Again, I hope you will revisit the Lacey Act provisions currently being reviewed by the USDA and defund the Act altogether. If you do, you will be lending a big helping hand to struggling American consumers and those in developing nations working hard to achieve a better life for themselves and their families.

Sincerely, Rhonda

April 25, 2011 Kane County Topic: The Federal Budget Dear Senator Lee, In the strongest terms possible, I urge you to please vote AGAINST raising the US debt ceiling any further. Senator, its imperative that we get our spending under control now. The way that we can do that is to eliminate any and all programs and departments not authorized by our US constitution. We are heading full throttle ahead towards destruction of this wonderful country. I hope I can count on you to do the right thing. Sincerely, Terry

May 4, 2011 Piute County Topic: Appropriations Senator Lee, I urge, in the strongest possible terms, to vote NO on the confirmation of John McConnell for U.S. District Judge for the District of Rhode Island. It comes as no surprise that leading gun control proponents in the Senate support McConnell: he has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to liberal, anti-gun candidates over the years, including Obama and Rhode Islands two senators. In fact, it appears that McConnell's chief qualifications for this post are his generous contributions to liberal candidates and his long relationship with former Rhode Island attorney general and current Senator, Sheldon Whitehouse. However, even in a world where political backers are often selected to fill openings for judgeships and other federal jobs, the size of McConnell's contributions sets him apart from other nominees. In 2008 alone, for example, McConnell gave over $120,000 to Democrat candidates. He also served as treasurer of the Rhode Island Democratic State Committee, which raises the question of whether he could serve impartially on the federal bench. McConnell's views on the Constitution are also extremely troubling. In written questions that were part of McConnell's confirmation hearings, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) asked the nominee if he believed the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights protected fundamental rights. McConnell responded evasively and refused to declare what he considered to be fundamental, individual liberties. Of course, McConnell repeatedly insisted that he would be "bound by applicable Supreme Court and First Circuit precedent" on Second

Amendment issues. But nothing in the Heller and McDonald decisions necessarily preclude an anti-gun ideologue from ruling that almost any gun law short of a total ban on firearms including gun owner registration, purchasing limits, waiting periods, private sale background checks, and more - is consistent with the Constitution. We've heard this tune before. Recall the confirmation hearings of Sonia Sotomayor, in which the Senate, and the American people, were assured that she accepted the Court's ruling in Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. Yet, in the McDonald case, Sotomayor joined the dissent in writing that "I can find nothing in the Second Amendment's text, history, or underlying rationale that could warrant characterizing it as 'fundamental' insofar as it seeks to protect the keeping and bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes." Gun owners are sick and tired of nominees who hide behind the rhetoric of "precedent" and "settled law" during confirmation hearings, only to turn around and rule against the right to keep and bear arms once placed on the bench. While McConnell does not have a record litigating in the area of the Second Amendment, his arguments in favor of massively expanding liability for manufacturers of products such as tobacco and lead paint are eerily similar to those used in attempts to bankrupt the firearms industry through frivolous lawsuits. In fact, McConnell has not shied away from his willingness to use the courts to achieve his own version of "social justice," as when he said in a 2005 interview that "[t]here are wrongs that need to be righted, and that's how I see the law." Gun Owners of America will score all votes related to the McConnell confirmation.

Sincerely, Garrett

May 5, 2011 Uintah County Topic: Energy Dear Senator Lee,


In the coming weeks, the House of Representatives will consider three bills (H.R. 1229, H.R. 1230, and H.R. 1231) aimed at expanding the production of our offshore resources of oil and natural gas. The bills come at a time of great uncertainty for our country's energy future. Americans are ready for a serious discussion on our country's energy security and these bills provide a real path forward. By expanding production and adding certainty to the permitting process, we can address the fact that our country will need oil and natural gas for decades to come. Rather than import this energy from unstable parts of the world, we can produce it right here and create the jobs so many Americans desperately need. Your vote will send a positive signal to the solid majority of Americans 69 percent who favor more offshore drilling, showing that you are serious about our nation's energy security.

Sincerely, Robert

May 11, 2011 Duchesne County Topic: Natural Resources Senator Lee,
I write to ask that you vote to end subsidies for the oil industry. I ask you to bring an end to these subsidies, which are an unnecessary burden on American taxpayers, and which support an industry that exploits American lands. These subsidies go to the same industry that is pushing legislation which would expedite offshore development without new safety requirements. The oil industry fights safety inspections, complains about environmental safeguards critical to protecting community water supplies and wildlife refuges, pressures Congress to gut environmental laws and blocks attempts to ensure that the taxpaying public gets fair value through royalties when they exploit the lands that belong to all Americans. In a budget environment where severe cuts to environmental protection programs, education and programs like Medicare are being threatened, there's no place for the oil industry giveaways that cost taxpayers $40 billion each decade. I hope you will vote to end giveaways to big oil, and that you will lend your support to increasing renewable clean energy for the U.S. Their is much talk in the country about ending entitlements for citizens as being Socialistic. This is Socialism for Big Oil plain and simple! Sincerely,

Michael

May 12, 2011 Morgan County Topic: The Federal Budget Dear Senator Lee,
Please OPPOSE excessive Federal spending. In article 1 section 8 of our Constitution it states: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;" Providing for the common welfare does not mean inflating our country and passing bills that continue to plunge our economy into debt.

Sincerely, Chelsea

May 16, 2011 Wayne County Topic: Animal Rights Senator Lee, It is of the utmost priority that each State keep and maintain a registry of all animal abusers. These abusers have been linked to serial killing, domestic violence as well as drug related issues and so forth. This kind of crime breeds other crimes and must be stopped. If we have a national registry of these criminals, we would be able to keep them from ever adopting an animal again, we would be able to look at them first when searching for a serial killer, we would be able to protect those who are victims of domestic violence. It's a new day and our animals need our voice. Please, President Obama, get involved in animal rights and make this happen. Please support this petition. Thank you and God Bless you from all of us who care about our animals. Sincerely, Donna May 20, 2011 Rich County Topic: Health Senator Lee, Countless Americans can't afford to buy medications in the U.S., and yet cannot afford to go without them. For this reason, many rely on safe, affordable medications routinely ordered from licensed Canadian and international pharmacies. Now this source faces an imminent threat: a misguided effort by officials in the White House to abruptly take away this longstanding access to affordable medications. This would be catastrophic to the health and devastating to the finances of many. President Obama supported importation as a senator and a presidential candidate, but now the White House sides with the U.S. pharmaceutical industry--and against constituents. I need you to protect my rights, and to do the right thing for Americans suffering from the staggering cost of U.S. pharmaceuticals. Tell the White House your constituents won't support elected officials who threaten our right to obtain safe and affordable medications from Canadian and international pharmacies. I support the over a million Americans who rely on safe, reasonably priced medicines from Canadian and other international pharmacies. On behalf of all of us, thank you for your help on this urgent matter. Sincerely, Constance

June 13, 2011 Garfield County Topic: Social Security Dear Senator Lee, As your constituent and a member of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I urge you to stand with us in opposition to any deficit-reduction proposals that would cut Social Security benefits. In poll after poll, the American people have rejected cutting Social Security. We know the money in Social Security's Trust Funds belongs to the workers and retirees who've made contributions throughout their working lives. While difficult spending decisions must be made, targeting Social Security at a time when growing numbers of Americans are counting on full benefits in retirement is unfair and irresponsible. The National Committee strongly opposes all proposals that harm current and future beneficiaries. I urge you to work closely with the National Committee to protect Social Security and Medicare for all Americans. Sincerely, Anna

June 29, 2011 Utah County Topic: The Federal Budget Senator Lee, Thank you for advocating the Sound Money Promotion Act! It is very encouraging to see you take a strong stand on such a critical issue. Often congress addresses symptoms, but your are striking at the tap root with the Sound Money Promotion Act. You are leading on this issue, and I hope the rest of Utah's delegation and the delegations from other states will join with you in this crucial effort. Please contact me if I can be of assistance on this particular issue, and THANK YOU! Sincerely, Carlton

June 27, 2011 Daggett County Topic: Veterans Senator Lee, I did my part to defend this nation now you do yours, enough bickering already, get to work and earn your wages. As your constituent, I write to you today regarding my concerns about the uncertainties facing veterans and their families and survivors resulting from the National Debt and federal spending cuts debate. With federal spending cuts under consideration and the possibility that the U.S. government may not be able to meet its financial obligations in the near future, I am concerned about the priority our government is giving to veterans' benefits and services. Veterans' benefits are unique among federal spending because they are earned by the sacrifices of veterans and their families on behalf of our nation. As such, they should be given the highest priority. I am disturbed that elected officials may not give veterans' benefits and services the importance they deserve. This is why I am standing up for veterans and participating in the Disabled American Veterans' Virtual March on Washington on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. I encourage you to visit the DAV's Facebook page to observe the discussion of what veterans' disability compensation and services from the Department of Veterans Affairs mean to veterans and their families. Please participate in this conversation and let veterans know how you would prioritize their benefits and services. Sincerely, David

July 27, 2011 Salt Lake County Topic: Budget Dear Senator Lee, I want to thank you for your continuing strong support of the US House passed Cut, Cap and Balance Act, and your efforts to bring a Balanced Budget Amendment to the American people. Despite what we hear emanating from most of the popular press and from inside the Beltway, the majority of the American people clearly understand that this is the approach that will give us, and most importantly our children, the future of opportunity and prosperity that they hope for, and deserve. Please urge your fellow colleagues in the Senate to support this approach to fiscal responsibility. Please fight for our country. Thank you. Richard

July 29, 2011 Box Elder County Topic: Budget Senator Lee, Please do whatever you can to protect the much needed benefit of Social Security, medicare, and medicaid to those that depend on those benefits for daily living. They shouldn't be penalized by lack of income and health care because of what others have chosen to do with financial matters that didn't involve them. In a lot of cases these people haven't chosen to need this assistance in their lives but have come to swallowing their pride to accept help so that they can have an income and health care to take care of themselves and their families. Thank you SO Very Much! Julie

August 18, 2011 Sevier County Topic: The Food and Drug Administration Senator Lee, Introduced by Senator Dick Durbin on July 1, the Dietary Supplement Labeling Act of 2011, S. 1310, would expand the group of "conventional foods" and place the FDA in the role of defining which products are foods, and which are health aids and therefore subject to regulation as dietary supplements for FDA policing. However, there are already regulations that can be used to enforce laws already in place for truly unsafe or dangerous products. Industry leaders report it is just a matter of enforcement. But some legislators want to further regulate food additives and dietary supplements by imposing a new set of onerous rules for manufacturers that would delay or even prohibit new products from coming to market, both a loss for the economy and the consumer. Consumers can and should look after themselves; a bureaucratic agency, the legislative branch, or Big Brother have no business interfering in the decisions of consumers.

Most Americans want unrestricted access to nutritional supplements produced by manufacturers whose focus is their product, not multiple government registration and labeling forms. Keep the government out of my health aid and food choices by refusing to cosponsor, promote, or vote for S. 1310. Sincerely, Robert

September 29, 2011 Sanpete County Topic: The U.S. Constitution Senator Mike Lee: CONGRESS: JUST VOTE THE CONSTITUTION! The critical missing issue is the need to confine the federal government to its proper role to following the Constitution, which gives the House of Representatives control of the purse string. Not the president or the Senate. James Madison emphasized in the Federalist Papers No 58, "The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word hold the purse-- that powerful instrument {for reducing}..all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of government." Evidently the GOP house leadership has no intention of conforming the federal government to the Constitution or rolling back socialist inroads. Tell me why all the congressman and the Senate and the Potential candidates for president, always call our nation a DEMOCRACY? They never mention the truth that we are a REPUBLIC nation. Democratic nations have always failed. Our founding fathers knew this and that is why they founded a Republic. In other words our government is brain-washing us into believing the majority should always rule even to the detriment to others. To improve our economics we must get industry that has moved to other nations to return to the US. We need to change the climate for business to succeed without the taxes and red tape they must go through. Everyone says we must improve our economy but they never mention that can only be done by returning our industry back to our shores. I wonder how uninformed our representatives must be when our energy is in such a crises, but nothing is done to open the many potential oil fields in this nation. We would

not have to import any oil from other nations if we would just start opening our own natural resources. And guess What? Even our gas prices would come down to where our people could afford it and would help our economy tremendously. Sincerely yours, Ronald

October 2, 2011 Millard County Topic: Environment Senator Lee, If the President and you, as my representative, are really serious about protecting and growing jobs and the economy, then you need to stop the EPA's industry- and jobsdestroying rules and regulations. Cement MACT is an area where the EPA's over-reach threatens to destroy or send overseas America's cement producing facilities. The reductions for particulate matter, hydrocarbons, acid gasses, and the like, demanded by the EPA in late 2010, will cost the private sector cement industry billions of dollars and still be unachievable, forcing some facilities to close, and sending others to foreign countries while thousands of jobs will be lost to American workers and taxpayers. Does this make any sense at all? The stakes are just too high for the cement industry, jobs, the economy and for the nation's infrastructure to let the EPA's heavy-handedness wreak further destruction. Please quickly pass H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011. This is but a first step in voiding the EPA's current cement pollutant rulings. Then, you need to permanently rein in the unaccountable EPA, rather than rolling back in piecemeal fashion every set of rules it imposes on various industries and businesses that do nothing but destroy this country's jobs and economy. Pass H.R. 2681. Please do what is right. Sincerely, Rick

October 10, 2011 Utah County Topic: Boy Scout Letter Dear Senator Lee, Utah is doing a good job to build better roads and highways. This also creates more jobs and decreases the unemployment rate and the number of homeless people. I dont want Utah to go into a recession. So I think that it isnt fair to pay taxes for the prisoner who committed a foul crime. I think that it can be too expensive and risky to keep a prisoner for life. In school I learned that we are paying taxes to take care of prisoner by giving t hem food and keeping them in their own private cell. If these taxes put families in debt then we will have to pay for those families. Pretty soon our country would be broken. I suggest that we put prisoner through what they put innocent people through. It would make our environment a safer place and less crime would be committed. Thanks for reading my letter and please write back. Sincerely, Dallin

October 10, 2011 Emery County Topic: Transportation Dear Senator Lee, It has come to my attention that there is a bill being considered that will charge additional fees to airlines at airports etc. that will be passed on to passengers. From what was reported on the news, the airlines have figured this out to be about $100 per passenger. My understanding is that this fee will be charged per stop of a flight even if you do not get off of the plane. Airline travel is already difficult due to new security requirements and the cost of airline tickets. Adding this additional tax/fee will prove to be even more devastating in our ability to travel. With the information I have currently, I strongly encourage you to vote against this bill. Thank you for your time in considering my views. Sincerely, Debbie

October 11, 2011 San Juan County Topic: Healthcare Reform Dear Senator Michael Lee: As Congress tackles reducing the deficit, I am counting on you to be a voice for the Medicaid and Medicare programs. While I understand that fixing our economy and cutting the nation's debt needs to be a top priority, I feel strongly that this can't be done by putting the health of millions of Americans, particularly our seniors, children and people with disabilities, at risk. I want you to share with Senators Reid and Murray and Representatives Boehner and Hensarling that Medicaid and Medicare are critical sources of health insurance coverage for patients with heart disease and stroke, our nation's No. 1 and No. 3 leading causes of death. In fact: -Medicaid provides comprehensive insurance coverage, including nursing home and long-term care services, to 16 million low-income Americans who have a history of cardiovascular disease or stroke, including children, the elderly, and people of all ages with disabilities. -Medicare has improved the health and well-being of tens of millions of America's seniors by providing needed, affordable care. This includes 42% of beneficiaries who have a heart condition and 12% who have had a stroke. Even with the financial protection and important benefits that Medicare and Medicaid currently provide, beneficiaries, like many Americans, are still struggling to make ends meet. For example, a Medicare recipient with heart failure spends an average of onequarter of their income on health care. That's why significant cuts or changes to the Medicare and Medicare programs that would reduce patients' access to care or shift additional costs to beneficiaries or the states is not an acceptable solution to our country's economic challenges. In addition, such cuts could actually worsen the nation's economy by forcing the health care industry---one of the few industries that has been consistently adding jobs over the last several years--to lay off workers. I urge you to work with your colleagues and encourage the leadership to find a balanced approach to reducing the deficit and to keep in mind that behind all of the numbers are real people- our friends, family, and neighbors- who depend on Medicaid and Medicare to access and afford the care they need to live healthy lives. Sincerely, Carol

October 15, 2011 Cache County Topic: The Federal Budget Senator Lee, I urge you to stop wasting taxpayers money by supporting the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). A proposal will soon be coming up for debate and vote, H.R. 2059, that would defund this organization. The UNFPA needs to be defunded now to ensure that American taxpayer money is not supporting coerced abortion and abuse of women in China. On that one issue alone, the UNFPA should be defunded, which would also bring the U.S. back in line with the law under the Kemp-Kasten Amendment. Then, there is the promotion of sexual promiscuity, the breakdown of morals and values, and introduction of abortion to the continent of Africa by UNFPA and International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF). UNFPA also funds IPPF, to the tune of $1.6 million in 2010. It is shameful that tax dollars are used to encourage young people of the world as young as 10 to "experience and celebrate their sexuality," by UNFPA, an agency that provides and promotes sex education, while rampant disease and poverty are ignored. The Senate and President Obama are calling for the U.S. to fund the UNFPA in fiscal 2012 to the tune of $40 million and $47.5 million, respectively. Stop the fraud by defunding UNFPA completely!!! Support H.R. 2059. Sincerely, Chris

October 18, 2011 Davis County Topic: Healthcare Reform Dear Senator Michael Lee: I urge you to support a full repeal of the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Any serious proposal to confront the fiscal challenges facing our nation, and the Medicare program in particular, must employ honest accounting and address the massive shortfall in funding for Medicare payments for physician services.

Patients deserve more than budget tricks and temporary solutions that threaten access to care. It is time for Congress to pass a long-term solution to the SGR formula and move to a more stable Medicare physician payment system that provides security for patients and the physicians who care for them. Sincerely, Kelly

November 23, 2011 Salt Lake County Topic: Military Issues Mr. Lee, I am wondering what the heck are we doing with these 2 articles. http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2650542.ece http://www.zerohedge.com/news/aircraft-carrier-cvn-77-parks-next-door-syria-just-usurges-americans-leave-country-immediately What is the strategy? Are we intentionally looking to cause a regional conflict? Please tell me with out a form response what are the goals and objectives of this move? Thank you, Roger

December 7, 2011 Utah County Topic: Thank You Letter Dear Peter, And thank you for saying Christmas Season instead of Holiday! I appreciate what Senator Lee is doing to try and keep our constitution intact, and trying to reign in this administration. We are watching. Merry Christmas to you.. Suzanne

December 7, 2011 Cache County Topic: Thank You letter Senator Lee, You have a safe and happy Christmas season too. And thanks for calling it CHRISTMAS season. God Bless you, Mary

December 19, 2011 Grand County Topic: The Federal Budget Dear Senator Lee, I wanted to write and thank you for working with your congressional colleagues to orchestrate an Omnibus bill funding the federal budget. I, like many Americans, have been frustrated by this Congresss infighting, and I hope the passage of this bill is a harbinger of future legislative compromises that can help keep our country moving forward. Happy holidays, Rebecca

December 20, 2011 Davis County Topic: Religious/Human Rights Senator Lee, Here's the content of a blog about the NDAA. Is it essentially correct?? What could/would you do about this situation?? Do you feel it is acceptable or not? PLEASE read it: Would it really be possible to burn and circumvent basic constitutional rights without much of the American public even noticing? The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could be poised to do just that by allowing the U.S. federal government to treat its citizens as enemy combatants. But only if the government claims that those citizens are a threat to national security, so dont worry, really. The NDAA is legislation

that has been passed by the federal government for each of the past 48 fiscal years. The act establishes the budget, logistics and organization of the Department of Defense for that given year. Its nothing less than remarkable, in the most disturbing way possible, then, that a tedious, business-as-usual act could be home for loop holes in such a fundamental American right as habeas corpus. H.R. 1540: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, as passed by the House on Dec. 15, still contains the provisions that have garnered criticism, outrage and panic from citizens and groups like Oath Keepers, Infowars and Anonymous. While it is much less threatening than previous versions, the criticism falls largely on Subtitle D Detainee Matters, especially in sections 1031 and 1032. Section 1031 subsection A reaffirms the presidents authority to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force, which includes the power to detain covered persons pending disposition under the law of war.? Subsection B gives the definition of covered persons as any person (which of course would include U.S. citizens by the wording) that aided in 9/11 or supported alQaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. What disposition under law of war means is that someone accused of affiliation with a terrorist group can face detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities, or a military trial, where citizens arent guaranteed rights such as trial by a jury of peers. The only difference between being treated as a citizen and an enemy combatant becomes the accusation by the executive branch that you aided or abetted terrorists. Heres where things get confusing. Section 1031 subsection E was added, which states, Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.? But Section 1032 subsection B, Applicability to U.S. Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens is specifically included to note that the executive branch is not required to treat citizens as enemy combatants. Stripping a citizen of rights is, instead, purely optional. But the most appalling apart of the NDAA is seemingly snuck in with semantics. Section 1032 also includes subsection A, paragraph 4, Waiver for National Security, which apparently allows the Secretary of Defense to waive the requirement criteria of being terroristaffiliated. And paragraph 3 says that section 1032?s definitions apply to section 1031, the section that stated that the rights of U.S. citizens wouldnt be affected. Its enough to make heads spin. In a congress that cant stop bickering long enough to pass a budget that keeps the nation afloat, it is shocking that the U.S. senate can readily unite against liberty in a 93-7 vote in favor of such a massively unpopular bill. Theyve repeatedly said how badly we need a more flexible detention policy for national security, but at what cost? Are they supposed to listen to each other, or to us? President Obama had promised to veto the bill, but on Dec. 14 the White House announced that it would not be vetoing the bill. The good news is that provisions were added to attempt to make NDAA apply less to U.S. citizens, and language was removed from the bill in July that would have allowed the federal government to use military forces anywhere there were terrorism suspects, which wouldve authorized military operation on U.S. soil. But controversial sections 1031 and 1032 remain, and the fact that this years NDAA used to be even worse seems like little consolation. The reality is that, even as a compromise, this act is a threat to constitutional rights and a massive step in a horribly wrong direction. This is an abusive expansion of presidential power. A petition exists to lobby for the president to veto the

bill, but after the formal announcement that he no longer intends to do so, it seems in vain. Instead, concerned citizens can do their part by staying informed and alert for any further legislation and staying actively engaged in government. We can each do our part by writing to our congresspersons to make sure that our voices are heard. Sincerely, Paula

Floor Statement In Memory of Colleen Monson Bangerter - Blog...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=ab83eb74...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Aug 02 2011

Floor Statement In Memory of Colleen Monson Bangerter


Mr. President, I stand to address this body to honor the life of one of Utah's great citizens, a good friend of mine, former Utah Governor Norman Bangerter who announced on Saturday that his beloved wife of 58 years had passed away after a long-time battle with Alzheimer's disease. Colleen Monson Bangerter having been born in 1935 was the mother of six children, the mother also of one foster son, and, in many respects, was the friend to all of Utah's three million residents. She served faithfully in many capacities including as PTA president and other ofces within the PTA. She also served faithfully in a variety of positions as a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Just a few years ago, she and her husband, former Governor Bangerter presided over the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints mission in South Africa. They worked hand in hand in raising their children, in running the Governor's campaigns and in running the state throughout his time as Governor , which wasn't an easy time for our state. During Governor Bangerters two terms in ofce, the state faced nancial difculties, ooding challenges, and the Bangerters served the conditions well, serving as standing examples for all the citizens of Utah for what it means to rise to the challenge of adversity. Colleen Bangerter had many friends in many corners. And she had many talents, including the fact she was the state hopscotch champion in Utah in 1947. There are not many rst ladies who can claim that distinction and she denitely did. She was the recipient of the highest award granted by the Boy Scouts of America, which she received a few years ago.

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Floor Statement In Memory of Colleen Monson Bangerter - Blog...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=ab83eb74...

But of all the honors, including the honors that went along with being the First Lady of the state of Utah and serving with someone who in my opinion was one of the great governors ever to serve our state, her greatest honor, her greatest prize was that of her family. She loved being a mother, loved each of her six children, their 30 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Today, we as Utahans mourn the loss of this great citizen of our state. We mourn the loss of this friend and our thoughts and our prayers go out to former Governor Bangerter and his family.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/8/oorstatement-in-memory-of-colleen-monson-banerter

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Meeting Utah's Finest - Blog - Press Ofce - Mike Lee, United S...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=779e3e0a...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Oct 12 2011

Meeting Utah's Finest


Today, I had the opportunity to meet the brave men and women of the 744th Engineer Company of the Army Reserve. The company is based out of Ogden, Utah, and was mobilized in October 2010 for deployment to Afghanistan in November of that year. While there, the 744th supported the 301st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade by helping to sustain Brigade Combat Teams with maneuver support and area support operations and by carrying out engineer missions, consequence management and stability operations in support of full spectrum operations, all while protecting the force. While deployed, one of the units soldiers was killed in action, and one soldier was lost to suicide. I was honored to meet these exemplary Americans and cannot thank them enough for their service.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/10/meetingutah-s-nest

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Jell-O with the Senator

My staff and I want my Washington D.C. office to be a place where visitors from Utah feel at home. Every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., we host "Jell-O with the Senator." All are invited to come meet me and enjoy a serving of Utah's official state snack. Dates and times are subject to change, so if you are planning on visiting my office during one of these events, you are welcome to call ahead for a confirmation - 202-224-5444.

Here is the text from the bill passed by the Utah State Legislature designating Jell-O as the official state snack: This Senate resolution of the Legislature recognizes Jell-O brand gelatin as a favorite snack of Utah.

Be it resolved by the Senate of the state of Utah: WHEREAS, Jell-O brand gelatin was introduced to the country in 1897, just one year after Utah was admitted to the Union as the 45th state; WHEREAS, Utah has been the number one per capita consumer of Jell-O brand gelatin for many years; WHEREAS, Jell-O is representative of good family fun, which Utah is known for throughout the world; WHEREAS, Salt Lake Magazine proclaimed Utah "the Jell-O State" in a cover story in 1996; WHEREAS, Jell-O brand gelatin recipes, which often include bananas, apples, marshmallows, pretzels, carrots, and grapes, are a traditional favorite at family, church, and community dinners throughout the Beehive State; WHEREAS, in 1997, Salt Lake Tribune editorial cartoonist Pat Bagley drew a week-long series of political cartoons showcasing Jell-O in Utah in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Jell-O; WHEREAS, a 2002 Winter Olympic pin was designed that featured a bowl of green gelatinand has become a valuable collector's item;

WHEREAS, when Des Moines, Iowa edged out Salt Lake City as the capitol of Jell-O gelatin consumption in 1999, it sparked front page stories in Salt Lake City's newspapers; WHEREAS, Utahns rallied to "Take Back the Title" as Chef Scott Blackerby hosted a recipe contest in the Hotel Monaco's Bambara Restaurant and Pat Bagley ran a cartoon persuading Utahns to purchase more Jell-O gelatin; WHEREAS, throughout 2000, Brigham Young University students campaigned to make Utah's love of Jell-O official at festivals and fairs throughout Utah; WHEREAS, more than 14,000 signatures have been collected from the people of Utah in support of the campaign to select Jell-O as the Official Snack of Utah; and WHEREAS, due to these and many other efforts, Salt Lake City has now successfully recaptured the title: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate of the state of Utah recognize Jell-O as a favorite snack food of Utah. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to Kraft Foods, Inc.

Senator Lees 2011 Interns



Trevor Hoyt Utah Kate Cannon BYU Mitchell McBride Weber

Spring 2011

Summer 2011

Maren Bishop Weber Austin Rich Utah Sarah Jane Curtis BYU Alisha Rogers BYU Kirsten Frank USU Scott Melis Utah Danny Morris Utah (Salt Lake Office) Max Chaffetz Utah (Salt Lake Office)

Fall 2011

Suzette Swallow BYU Candice Backus UVU Jashon Bishop USU McKall Killpack USU Taylor Williams BYU Brittney Park SUU Scott Nielson - BYU Sarah Elledge Utah (Salt Lake City Office) Spring 2012 Adam Anderson - BYU Sam Bloxham - SUU Hannah Fjeldsted - USU Cassidy Florence - Utah Elyse Greiner - Weber Trevor Long - UVU Maren Sargent - BYU Lauren Sutherland - UVU Spencer Thueson Utah Kelli Young - USU

Andrea Christensen - Utah (Salt Lake Office) Jordan Linford UVU (Salt Lake Office) Rick Smith Dixie (St. George Office)

Number of Interns by University


Univeristy of Utah BYU BYU USU Weber SUU UVU Dixie 9 7 1 5 3 2 4 1

Photo Contest for Senator Lee's Website - Blog - Press Ofce -...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/blog?ID=204dc752...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Blog


Apr 29 2011

Photo Contest for Senator Lee's Website

I would like to invite everyone to submit their pictures of our beautiful state to my website photo contest. We will display the winners on the featured header area of our permanent website. I am honored to represent the most beautiful state in the nation, and I want my website to prove it. Even if your picture isn't selected to be on the featured area, there are many other places on the website where we will be using the submitted pictures. To enter, please visit my Facebook Page, and click on the contests link on the left. We are running the contest through Facebook to make it easy to share with your friends, and to allow for a public voting period. If you want to learn more, you can read our Ofcial Rules. We are looking forward to receiving a lot of great submissions!

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Utah Press Connection The Utah Press Teleconference is a weekly call held for members of the Utah press. All journalists are invited to join the call on Tuesdays at 3:30pm MST to receive an update on Senator Lees activities in the Senate, and to ask him questions on any topic of interest. The call provides weekly, open access to Senator Lee for Utah media. Members of the press from the following news outlets participated in the call during 2011: ABC 4 Daily Herald Daily Universe Davis County Clipper Deseret News Fox 13 KCPW KDXU KNRS KTKK KUER KVNU Lincoln Brown Show Mid-Utah Radio Salt Lake Tribune The Spectrum Uintah Basin Standard Utah Public Radio

Utah Senator Mike Lee updates constituency on divided Congress, jobs bill
Will spend the rest of the week in Utah visiting voters Sep 27, 2011, 4:32 pm By Mitch Staley

Sen. Lee reported on the American Jobs Act of 2011 and recent Senate voting Lee will be in Utah visiting with constituents until the end of this week

Utah Senator Mike Lee held a Utah press teleconference Tuesday to update local media on activities taking place in Washington, D.C. Sen. Lee highlighted the Senates recent vote on a continuing resolution that will keep government running through November and noted he will be in Utah the remainder of this week meeting with constituents. When asked for his thoughts on President Barack Obamas recent legislation, the American Jobs Act of 2011, he said, [The bill] hasnt moved forward, but [Senator] Harry Reid said it will get more attention next week. The U.S. Senate will be back in Washington next week. If we engage in more of the same its not reasonable to expect that a little more of the same will get better results, Lee said. The legislation proposed by Obama has yet to gain sponsorship in the House of Representatives. In response to press questioning whether or not the split divisiveness in Congress would provide any real progress in Washington, Lee said he sees some hope in compromise. There is tremendous opportunity for compromise in tax reform, he said. There is a large appetite for tax reform. There is a decent possibility that there will be proposals to reform the tax code from the Senate Super Committee. Late last week, Lee questioned Google executive chairman, Eric Schmidt at a Senate Judiciary Committee about Google ranking their own products in search results and whether or not the process limits competition. [I] was not proposing how he [Schmidt] should run his business, Lee said. I was questioning how Googles own products are ranked in search results.

Lee said in a news release, I had hoped to hear the company acknowledge the responsibilities that accompany its preeminent position in the Internet search market and address concerns many have raised about Googles possible anti-competitive activities. Unfortunately, I fear that some of the testimony in todays hearing may only encourage those who are calling for legal enforcement or government regulation.

Sen. Lee defends Huntsman from claims of disloyalty


By Jennie Christensen Story Created: May 12, 2011 at 5:24 PM MST Story Updated: May 12, 2011 at 5:24 PM MST Was former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. being disloyal when he accepted a job as Ambassador to China in the Obama administration then left the post early, reportedly to run for President on the Republican ticket? U.S. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, says no. Lee does not believe that Huntsman did anything wrong. "It didn't appear to me that the President was offended by it," Lee said in a teleconference. "I don't think the President regards it as an act of disloyalty, the fact that he might exercise his Constitutional right to run for political office or state opinions that are contrary to those of the administration." Lee says Huntsman did not announce a candidacy while he was an ambassador and, in fact, he has not yet announced that he is running for President.

Utah Prairie Dogs at the Center of Endangered Species Battle


Dan Bammes (2011-11-01) PARAGONAH, UT (kuer) - The Utah Prairie Dog is listed as a threatened species under federal law, but if you ask some people in Iron County, it's not nearly threatened enough. They'd like to see the animals disappear, especially from the airport in Parowan and the cemetery in Paragonah. There's a new proposal to take that protection away - and critics think it's a new attack on the Endangered Species Act as well as the prairie dogs. Jeff Rice recorded prairie dogs chattering in Bryce Canyon National Park, where the population is growing and people enjoy seeing them. But in Paragoonah, 25 miles north of Cedar City, Mayor Connie Robinson drives around with a stuffed prairie dog on her dashboard. It has a target on the front and back. She's been trying for years to get rid of the critters in the city cemetery, where they dig their tunnels through the grass and even into graves. Robinson sees the ongoing battle with the prairie dogs as a sign her community isn't getting the respect it deserves. "How would Arlington Cemetery accept something like this? They wouldn't," she says. "They'd get right on it, wouldn't they? And yet, every flagpole you see here's a veteran. And we don't get the same acknowledgement that we're important." Robinson met with other local officials and Congressional staffers at the Paragoonah cemetery in August, and that produced a bill that's been introduced both in the U-S House and the Senate. It's called the Protecting Public Safety and Sacred Sites from the Utah Prairie Dog Act of 2011, and it has the backing of all five members of Utah's Congressional delegation. It points out another area where the Utah Prairie Dog is unwelcome - the Parowan airport. Parowan airport manager Dave Norwood points out places where prairie dogs have dug burrows under and through the asphalt on the runway and the tarmac. He's worried a plane landing at the airport could catch a wheel in one of the spots where the pavement has collapsed on top of a burrow. He also points out areas where the prairie dogs threaten the electrical cables for the runway lights. "You can see, if you see the burrow extending out right here. That's where he's dug under there and the aircraft have pushed it down inside." The F-A-A, the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service and the city of Parowan are preparing to spend almost 400-thousand dollars to build an underground fence to protect the runway. That may be unnecessary if the bill passes Congress. It would allow the city to shoot or poison prairie dogs that remain on the property.

But the critters may not be the only target. Critics say they're also part of a broader effort to weaken the Endangered Species Act and its protection for unpopular animals in the West. "Our organization sees this move as part of a larger pattern," says Taylor Jones, the endangered species advocate for Wild Earth Guardians, which has been working to protect prairie dogs across the West. "Congressional members have sought to weaken the ESA for a decade and longer and that may have escalated in the last six months or so. It started with Republicans and Democrats delisting wolves in the northern Rockies by a controversial Congressional rider on a spending bill, and since then there have been several efforts to Congressionally prevent other species." Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson represents Iron County, and he's met frequently with county officials on the issue. That's one reason he says the Endangered Species Act is due for reform. "It's been around for decades and Congress has never really taken a look at it," he says."And there's no question that in its implementation there are inefficiencies and there are things we've learned over the last few decades about the Endangered Species Act that, in my opinion, warrant us taking a look at how to make it work better." Republican Senator Mike Lee says the prairie dog issue is typical of what happens when federal agencies exercise too much authority. "These are far from the only problems that have arisen under the Endangered Species Act, or even under the protection of the Utah Prairie Dog. So I would not expect this to be the last, the only effort I undertake in this area." The agency caught in the middle of this debate is the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. It's been responsible for implementing the federal management plan for the prairie dogs, and it's spent about 85-thousand dollars a year trapping them and moving them to safer places like Bryce Canyon National Park. Doug Messerle, the southern region supervisor for DWR, says the Congressional action could have unintended consequences, such as ending the species' eligibility for federal money to mitigate the impacts caused by prairie dog colonies. "I presume that if they're no longer a threatened species that they won't be eligible for endangered species mitigation fund money or Fish & Wildlife Service Section 6 money," he says. That's the money being used to build the fence at the Paragonah cemetery and the underground fence around the airport. Messerle thinks a better idea is a revision of something called Rule 4-D. The current version allows farmers to kill prairie dogs raiding their alfalfa fields. Laura Romin with the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service says a proposed revision would extend that to sensitive places like the Parowan airport and the Paragoonah cemetery. She says public comment on the revision focused on eliminating the prairie dogs from sensitive sites. "One of the big things that we're trying to work on now with the airport and the cemetery is getting fencing to keep the prairie dogs out of the area where we don't want them," says Romin. "Then we can move the prairie dogs out and they won't come back in." But there's no deadline for issuing the revised rule, and Paragoonah Mayor Connie Robinson is skeptical about the fences. She'd like to see Congress simply bypass the Endangered Species Act in her cemetery. And she says that's the general feeling of people in Iron County. "It's not so much the dogs, it's just the way it's being enforced and on their property. And I know a lot of people kill em. And I can't blame em." In the meantime, the prairie dogs of southern Utah keep an eye out for hawks, unaware that

Congress may pose a greater danger to them than anything they can spot when they poke their heads out of their burrows. The bill called the Protecting Public Safety and Sacred Sites from the Utah Prairie Dog Act of 2011 has been introduced in both the House and the Senate and assigned to committees, but no hearing dates have been set.

Lee: Focus on Counterrorism in Afghanistan, Draw Down Troops


05.11.2011 by Jeff Robinson (KCPW News) Freshman Utah Senator Mike Lee isnt aggressively calling for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan, like Congressman Jason Chaffetz, but the Republican does want to see a shift in the wars focus, and that means less of them. Lee told reporters yesterday its time to look at ramping up counterterrorism through special operations. Focusing on counterterrorism would allow us to undertake a very substantial troop drawdown process, said Lee. I do think thats where were headed, and thats certainly where Im inclined to go. Lee said the mission has to be focused on protecting U.S. national security, so the strategy cant be cut and run. And so thats why I say perhaps we ought to look at drawing down our troop levels so as to rely more heavily, almost exclusively on a counterterrorism effort that would rely principally on special operations, Regarding Osama bin Ladens death, however, Lee expects it will only have a subtle effect on what Congress thinks about the Afghanistan strategy. Instead, he thinks the larger factor is how long the war has been going on, and how much its contributed to the national debt.

Lee's bill would extend stay for immigrant dairy workers, sheep herders
By Amy Joi O'Donoghue , Deseret News Published: Tuesday, Oct. 18 2011 5:46 p.m. MDT

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has introduced a bill called the DASH Act, or the Dairy and Sheep H2A, which aims to help fix that problem by extending the length of time temporary foreign workers can stay in the United States on a visa. (Ravell Call, Deseret News) MIDWAY Mike Kohler says he remembers the days on the family dairy farm in this valley when the harvest was ready and local kids would line up to help bring in the hay and do other chores. Those days of abundant local labor, he said, have disappeared in the last decade, leaving the dairy industry along with sheep herding and goat herding in a lurch when it comes to a dependable labor pool.

"Back then, the locals were eager to do it," he said. "There were a large number of kids who wanted to work, help with the hay, whatever, and you just can't find it anymore. It's too laborious." Perhaps the competition has grown stiffer with the city jobs available, Kohler guesses, or maybe it is that farm work can be downright dirty, the hours long and the physical demands great. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has introduced a bill called the DASH Act, or the Dairy and Sheep H2A, which aims to help fix that problem by extending the length of time temporary foreign workers can stay in the United States on a visa. Instead of regulatory language that only allows a stay to be "seasonal," the revisions would allow permitted guest workers to continue their employment on a dairy farm or as a herder for three years. In a Washington D.C., teleconference hosted by Lee on Tuesday, the junior Utah senator said the fix is a simple one for a large problem that threatens the agricultural industry around the country. "With a seasonal visa, workers return home each year, which works fine with some truly subagricultural industries," Lee said. "It doesn't make as much sense for the dairy industry and the sheep herding industry, which is year round." Kohler, who is head of the Dairy Producers of Utah, said seasonal time frames work well for fruit and other crops but are impractical for the demands of a dairy farm. "It's many odd hours and certain types of jobs, many of them require extensive training. You keep somebody here for nine months, they really like it and are just starting to figure out how to do it, and then you send them home." The Food and Agricultural Policy Institute at Texas A&M University has been urging revisions, saying that the program is not working as it was intended and fewer than 5 percent of U.S. farms use the H2A program. Lee said what his bill would not do is establish a legal path to citizenship and a renewal would be required. "It's relatively unremarkable. It does not create a new visa where one doesn't exist," Lee said. "You can only hear about an issue so many times as a senator when you start thinking about how to remedy the problem. I decided it was time to move forward."

Senator Mike Lee responds to criticism over mission to kill Osama bin Laden
Updated: 5/04/2011 1:26 am | Published: 5/03/2011 6:18 pm Reported by: Noah Bond "If we had gone through the step of trying to get their permission. I suspect we may have lost the opportunity to take him (Osama bin Laden) out," - Sen. Mike Lee R-Utah WASHINGTON D.C. (ABC 4 News) - Rookie Utah Senator Mike Lee is responding to criticism from Pakistan about the mission to kill Osama bin Laden. The Pakistani government says it will not tolerate another secret mission within its borders, but this statement is not going over well among leaders in the United States. The U.S. has given billions of dollars to Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies, but its leaders could not tell the U.S. bin Laden was living in a mansion in less than a two hour drive from the nation's capitol. U.S. officials told Pakistan's leaders the temperature is rising in Washington over Pakistan's reaction. "If we had gone through the step of trying to get their permission. I suspect we may have lost the opportunity to take him out," said Sen. Mike Lee R-Utah. "You think there is corruption in the Pakistani Government?" asked ABC 4's Noah Bond. "There is corruption in almost every government," replied Lee. Either Pakistan's government didn't know bin Laden was in the country or knew and didn't act. Leaders in Pakistan say Osama bin Laden would have been arrested if his whereabouts were known.

Lee: It was an exciting victory for our country


Tom Busselberg May 09, 2011 WASHINGTON, D.C. It was really a big victory, an exciting thing for our country. Thats how Sen. Mike Lee characterized U.S. military operations that saw the countrys long-time Enemy Number One killed last Sunday in Pakistan. We (the Senate) voted on a resolution congratulating our troops for their operation in removing bin Laden, he said of action he was involved with at the nations Capitol just prior to Lees telephone press conference held earlier this past week (the Clipper was included). I continue to be very pleased with and proud of our troops, Utahs new junior senator said. At the same time, our thoughts are with the victims if 9-11. I commend the Obama Administration for keeping this manhunt going. It sends a strong message to the world, that if you attack the U.S., we will pursue you, and keep going until we find you and we did, he emphasized. We need to look closely at our relationship with Pakistan. It was definitely an emotional day, he said. There were speeches on both sides of the immigration reform debate, Lee said, turning to other issues raised by media representatives. There was a lot of passion, and unfortunately some booing here and there not altogether pleasant. But the interesting thing was the two sides were not quite as far apart as many of them appeared to be, Lee said. There was a fair amount of agreement on a couple of things. The present immigration system isnt working so well. The state suffers from mandates it faces, which are not always accompanied by federal funding. Amnesty is not always the answer. Theres a lot of agreement on that, he said of Utahs HB116, which would allow for a guest worker program between the U.S. and the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. There are two points of view, one which supports HB116 and one which doesnt. Ive indicated there is no provision in existing federal law that would allow for an administrative waiver to the state to allow the state to create the kind of guest worker program that HB116 appears to

contemplate. It would require a legislative change, said Lee, an attorney by training. This has started a discussion that could bring interesting developments in the future, he said. My primary emphasis is we need to fix legal immigration. For those who have opportunities for legitimate, gainful employment in the U.S., particularly where weve demonstrated a high demand for migrant labor, we ought to make it easier for people to get the visas they need, from employers and workers perspective. Im looking at a couple of options to do that. Comprehensive immigration is going to be difficult in this environment. Things are so polarized, Lee continued. As far as any lawsuit against the state by the United States Department of Justice against HB 116, Lee said it wouldnt surprise me if a suit were filed. There is no move on the part of the state to even implement HB116 yet, the senator said. The effective date is still more than two years away. Its not clear to me the state is even planning on taking any steps in the near term that would be likely to trigger a lawsuit.

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Managing the Prairie Dog in Iron County - Op-Eds - Press Ofce...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=194996...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Oct 03 2011

Managing the Prairie Dog in Iron County


During August, I had an opportunity to see up close and personal just how damaging the prairie dog has been to certain portions of southern Utah. Both public and private lands have been affected and Utahns are right to demand that local and state ofcials do something about it. Unfortunately, federal laws that are outdated, unfair, and irresponsible have hampered efforts to respond. Currently, the Endangered Species Act insists that when determining an ofcial protected species designation only prairie dogs on public land be counted. This represents a gross understatement of the actual population of prairie dogs in southern Utah, and has wrongly resulted in the designation of the animal as a threatened species. State and local ofcials are therefore prevented from properly managing the prairie dog population. In addition, the Fish and Wildlife Service is only allowed to eliminate prairie dogs on lands that are considered agricultural areas. This regulation has had a disastrous effect on Iron Countys Paragonah cemetery and Parowan airport. Recently, the Utah delegation has unied behind legislation, known as the Protecting Public Safety and Sacred Sites from the Utah Prairie Dog Act, that would address the desecration of cemeteries and the public safety hazards created by this senseless federal regulation. While much more needs to be done to address the larger problems managing the prairie dog population, I stand ready to work with our federal delegation to update our laws, protect the property rights of Utahns, and assist our state and local ofcials.

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2/3/12 1:23 PM

DASH Act: Small Piece of the Immigration Puzzle - Op-Eds - P...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=e0f6f01...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Oct 25 2011

DASH Act: Small Piece of the Immigration Puzzle


The American agricultural industry is critical to the stability of our nations economy. Unfortunately, few Americans are willing to work in many agricultural jobs, and outdated visa laws prevent business from attracting temporary foreign workers to ll the shortage. In Utah, dairies and ranches need year-round help, but many temporary farm workers are only able to obtain seasonal visas. To address this problem, I have recently introduced the Dairy and Sheep H2A Act, (or DASH Act) along with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Our bill would make dairy workers, sheep herders, and goat herders eligible to apply for year-round positions through the H2A visa program. Visas for such workers would have an initial term of three years and could be renewed for additional periods of three years without requiring workers to return to their home countries. Unlike other legislation, the DASH Act would in no way provide a legal path to citizenship and would require workers who do not obtain a proper renewal to go home. Immigration involves a complicated and difcult set of issues. Rather than attempt to fashion an all-or-nothing comprehensive approach aimed at solving every problem simultaneously, it makes more sense to address each challenge individually and make real progress towards our countrys larger objectives. For example, making certain types of legal immigration more efcient and fair diminishes the incentive for some to come here illegally or overstay their visas. This is the principle behind the DASH Act. Streamlining the process by which we identify, process, and oversee temporary workers coming to our country to do agricultural work will strengthen our nations economy.

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2/3/12 1:23 PM

DASH Act: Small Piece of the Immigration Puzzle - Op-Eds - P...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=e0f6f01...

The DASH Act is one small piece of the immigration puzzle. In the coming months, I will be pushing for further progress in other immigration related areas, such as reforming birthright citizenship and strengthening our E-Verify system.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/10/dashact-small-piece-of-the-immigration-puzzle

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2/3/12 1:23 PM

Tapping America's Energy Future - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mik...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=744267...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Oct 25 2011

Tapping America's Energy Future


published in 10/13/2011 Edition of Vernal (UT) Express
President Obama has spent weeks telling Congress to pass his awed second stimulus bill, which he erroneously believes will put Americans back to work with another round of wasteful government spending on bloated programs and failed investments. Noticeably absent from the presidents agenda, however, is a signicant push to tap more of our vast natural resources in order to expand domestic energy production and achieve energy independence for the rst time in decades. To simply ignore the potential that lies beneath American soil is to handicap the nations economic future. An aggressive domestic energy plan would create hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new jobs at a time when they are desperately needed. A recent study by consulting rm Wood Mackenzie found that over 1.4 million jobs would be created in the United States50,000 in Utah by 2020by adopting a variety of pro-energy policies, including re-opening the outer continental shelf to oil and natural gas exploration and production, approving the Keystone XL pipeline that will deliver oil from Canada, and easing excessive restrictions on hydraulic fracturing or fracking. The study supports the notion that federal bureaucracy is strangling job growth, and that the best job creation program Washington can adopt is getting the government out of the way. Unlike President Obamas plan, which borrows close to $500 billion from China and increases our national debt, cutting red tape doesnt cost a dime. In fact, making the described changes in policy could produce hundreds of billions of dollars in additional government revenue over the next twenty

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2/3/12 1:23 PM

Tapping America's Energy Future - Op-Eds - Press Ofce - Mik...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=744267...

years. If we give businesses the freedom to move the country towards energy independence, the effects will be enormous. Wood Mackenzie estimates the equivalent of nearly 60 billion barrels of oil in combined oil and natural gas would be made available. By 2030, those additional reserves would increase total U.S. oil and gas energy production by nearly 50% over current policy projections. The American Gas Association estimates that the amount of recoverable natural gas that exists in the United States would be enough to last for more than a century. We can power a renewed American economy for decades by merely taking advantage of whats sitting right under our feet. Congress is already considering legislation that would move the country towards that goal. The American Energy and Western Jobs Act (S. 1027) would streamline the oil and natural gas leasing process while encouraging the exploration of oil shale resources in the West, and require President Obama to create goals for American oil and natural gas production in the region. The Jobs and Energy Permitting Act (S. 1226/H.R. 2021) would eliminate uncertainty and confusion caused by the EPAs decision-making process for air permits. The Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy, and Decit Reduction Act (S. 706/H.R. 1287) would create a timeframe for environmental and judicial review of energy projects, require the Interior Department to move forward with offshore energy exploration, and open the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for oil and natural gas exploration. The good ideas are not limited to fossil fuels. The Utilizing Americas Federal Lands for Wind Energy Act (H.R. 2172) would streamline the application process for renewable energy projects on federal property. The Exploring for Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act (S. 1470/H.R. 2171) would do the same for various proposed geothermal projects. These bills, and others, can be part of a permanent solution to our nations energy dependence problems. There is no better time for Americans to begin the process of fullling the potential created by our bountiful energy resources. President Obama may want to stretch the national credit card to benet favored political groups, but such a plan is fundamentally irresponsible when there are simple, straightforward ways to take advantage of proven methods of energy production that will actually help to shrink the decit as they expand American payrolls. Congress should support the policies that will truly win the future.

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2/3/12 1:23 PM

Sen. Lee: Avoiding the Trojan horse BBA - Op-Eds - Press Ofc...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=85048e...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Op-Eds


Nov 15 2011

Sen. Lee: Avoiding the Trojan horse BBA


Not all balanced-budget amendments are created equal, as the American people are about to nd out. The recent deal that raised the debt limit and created the so-called supercommittee mandates that both houses of Congress vote on a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to balance the federal budget. Several versions have been proposed in recent months, and others will surface as the deadline to vote nears. The most important task for Congress is to determine which version will actually serve to restrain government spending and prevent the American economy from collapsing under the weight of its own debt. Washington has a long and unhappy history of well-intentioned but ultimately unsuccessful attempts at spending reform. In the 1980s, the so-called Gramm-Rudman reforms called for automatic spending cuts if annual decits exceeded specied targets. Yet budget decits surpassed the Gramm-Rudman targets every year the law was in effect because Congress simply circumvented the automatic cuts. The overall framework was discarded after only a few years. Next came pay-go (pay as you go) rules, which required spending cuts or tax increases to offset any new spending. For the next decade, however, clever politicians used accounting gimmicks to avoid these rules and continue decit spending. In recent years, congressional Democrats passed new pay-go rules but waived or simply ignored them on no fewer than 26 spending bills between 2007 and 2010. With mounting decits at record levels and a national debt now larger than our entire economy, Americans have a renewed interest in imposing a strict, structural and enforceable spending restraint on Congress. But not all

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2/3/12 1:23 PM

Sen. Lee: Avoiding the Trojan horse BBA - Op-Eds - Press Ofc...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/op-eds?ID=85048e...

balanced-budget amendments are alike. Congress can pass and the states can ratify language that amends the Constitution to require the federal government to balance its budget. But if the amendment, like a Trojan horse, is lled with loopholes and avenues to circumvent the balanced-budget requirement, it will do little to rein in out-of-control spending. At a minimum, a meaningful balanced-budget amendment must include four essential provisions. First, it must apply to all spending. Some have already suggested taking Social Security and other entitlement spending off budget, but doing so would allow Congress to ignore the greatest drivers of our nations decit. Second, the amendment must cap spending at the average historical level of federal revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product. Over the last 40 years, revenue has averaged just above 18 percent of GDP, while spending now approaches 25 percent a trend that, if not reversed, will bankrupt the country with mathematical certainty. Third, it must require a supermajority vote in both houses of Congress to raise taxes. Maintaining an easy path to extract new revenue from the productive sector of the economy diminishes Congresss incentive to prioritize spending and use taxpayer dollars wisely. Finally, the amendment must require a supermajority vote in Congress to raise the debt limit. Over the past two decades, both parties have eagerly borrowed trillions of dollars from foreign countries rather than reforming government spending habits. A strong, enforceable spending restraint will make borrowing a measure of last resort. All 47 Republican senators have co-sponsored legislation, SJ Res 10, which contains all four of these protections. A similar measure has been introduced in the House. If Congress is serious about dealing with our scal crisis, it will oppose efforts to pass a phony, watered-down version of the balancedbudget amendment and will instead send a strong spending restraint to the states for ratication. Originally published in The Hill Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11/sen-leeavoiding-the-trojan-horse-bba

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Senator Lee calls on Secretary Salazar for disclosure of key do...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jan 06 2011

Senator Lee calls on Secretary Salazar for disclosure of key documents, meeting
A new Department of Interior policy may hinder economic growth for Utah economy
WASHINGTON, DCSenator Mike Lee (R-UT) today sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to request that all communications relating to Secretarial Order 3310 be disclosed to the public. The Senator also asked for a personal meeting to discuss this major policy that will detrimentally impact Utah communities. The policies set forth by Secretary Salazar will increase uncertainty for Utah businesses that involve federal lands, and also hinder energy production at a time when developing domestic energy sources is so critical, said Senator Lee. This order will result in lost jobs, investment and revenues at a time when we can least afford it. I will not sit idly by while the federal government puts a chokehold on our most valuable resources. The order allows the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to designate areas with wilderness characteristics as Wild Lands and to retain their wilderness characteristics. This designation imposes the most restrictive land use policies available, placing severe limitations on public access, inhibiting energy producing activities, and forbidding motorized and mechanized recreation. In addition to the negative impact this policy will have on Utahs economy, Interiors action undercuts previous assurances given to Utahs elected ofcials. Simply relabeling these lands as Wild Lands seems to be a game of

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2/3/12 12:18 PM

Senator Lee calls on Secretary Salazar for disclosure of key do...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

semantics, said Senator Lee, and is an unacceptable departure from Secretary Salazars previous assurances.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/1/senatorlee-calls-on-secretary-salazar-for-disclosure-of-key-documents-meeting

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Senator Lee receives committee assignments - Press Releases - ...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jan 26 2011

Senator Lee receives committee assignments


Positions will allow Senator to focus on issues important to the State of Utah
WASHINGTON, DCSenator Mike Lee (R-UT) today received committee assignments for his rst term, which include seats on the Judiciary; Energy and Natural Resources; Foreign Relations; and Joint Economic committees. Im thrilled about these committee assignments and look forward to having an active role in each. These seats will allow me to work on issues that are crucial to the Utah delegation, as well as the country as a whole. Its time for the real work to begin. Serving on the Energy and Natural Resources committee has been of particular interest to Senator Lee, Energy and Natural Resources committee, which will enable him to focus on freeing up federal lands for economic uses to create jobs, encourage economic growth and lead the U.S. towards energy independence. The Senator also plans to work towards creating greater certainty for regulations and bringing the lands under more local control. The Senate Judiciary Committee is chaired by Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VA), and is responsible for holding hearings prior to the Senate votes on conrmation of federal judges. Senator Lees background in Constitutional law and his time serving as Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alitos law clerk have well-prepared him for this assignment. The Foreign Relations Committee is chaired by Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and addresses issues of national security, U.S. boundaries, as well as foreign, economic, military, technical and humanitarian assistance.

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Senator Lee receives committee assignments - Press Releases - ...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

The Joint Economic Committee is lead by Congresswoman Maloney (D-NY), and is a bicameral committee composed of 10 members from the Senate, and ten from the House of Representatives. The committee provides continuous attention to matters relating to the U.S. economy. The Senate is divided into twenty committees to accommodate for the high volume and complexity of the legislation at hand. Committee assignments are made by senior party members.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/1/senatorlee-receives-committee-assignments

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2/3/12 12:18 PM

Lee Calls for Antitrust Oversight Hearings on Google - Press Re...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Mar 11 2011

Lee Calls for Antitrust Oversight Hearings on Google


Senator emphasizes importance of a competitive Internet economy, cites concerns about Google's possible abuse of its predominant position and the need for vigorous antitrust oversight.
Washington, DC - Senator Michael S. Lee (R-UT) today called for the Senate Judiciary Committees Antitrust Subcommittee to conduct an oversight hearing on Google Inc. Lee joins Chairman Herb Kohl in encouraging hearings on the business practices of the dominant search rm. Lee is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee. In a letter to Kohl, Lee noted that those who follow the tech industry, as well as those responsible for enforcing antitrust laws, have concerns that Google could be acting to harm competition. The powerful position Google occupies in the general search arena creates myriad opportunities for anticompetitive behavior, Lee writes. The Deputy Director for Antitrust within the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission, Howard Shelanski, recently observed that a hypothetical search engine with various scale and network economies might become a must have for consumers and thereby more effectively engage in anticompetitive discrimination. Given its prominent position in the search and search-advertising markets, Google in some ways acts as a gatekeeper over a variety of Internet businesses. In particular, Lees letter points to Googles proposed acquisition of ITA

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2/3/12 12:22 PM

Lee Calls for Antitrust Oversight Hearings on Google - Press Re...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

software, which could potentially provide Google with the ability to control the travel search vertical market, currently populated by sites like Kayak, Travelocity, and Orbitz. Googles position as the preeminent search engine may be abused so as to disadvantage competing vertical search sites to the detriment of advertisers and internet users, Lee writes. Lee adds that Googles acquisition of personal data through searches and its many products, such as Gmail, Google Checkout, Google Books, and Google Web History, couldpresent serious privacy issues. Googles powerful position as an Internet gatekeeper reduces the companys incentive to compete with other search engines by providing enhanced privacy protection for consumers. The combination of behavioral and personal information enables Google to generate consumer data that is unprecedented in scale and scope. These activities raise serious privacy concerns and may be indicative of an important market that is largely unconstrained by competition. Antitrust enforcement may unlock benecial competition for the protection of user privacy and avert the need for additional privacy regulation. Utah has a growing tech sector with several large companies set to expand their businesses in the state, and was awarded Forbes Best State for Businesses in 2010. As an increasing number of companies with an online presence expand and create jobs, we want to make to maintain and competitive and businessfriendly environment, Lee said. The full text of Senator Lees letter to Subcommittee Chairman Herb Kohl is included below:

March 10, 2011

The Honorable Herb Kohl Chairman Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee 224 Dirksen Senate Ofce Building

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2/3/12 12:22 PM

Lee Calls for Antitrust Oversight Hearings on Google - Press Re...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Kohl:

I write to express my strong concerns relating to Google Inc.s possible abuse of its predominant position in the general internet search arena and the need for vigorous antitrust oversight and enforcement in this area. As the new ranking member of the Antitrust Subcommittee, I look forward to working with you to hold a hearing on this important issue. I recognize and applaud your efforts in this area of vital importance. The proper functioning of our nations free-enterprise system is critical during the current economic downturn. Enforcement of the antitrust laws is especially important for sectors in which the United States has been a leader, such as the e-commerce and online advertising industries. Antitrust enforcement is far preferable to the creation of inefcient government regulation and bureaucracy that could hamper innovation in these crucial industries. Internet search is of particular concern to me because Utah recently labeled by Newsweek as the new economic Zion due to its growing number of high tech businesses has a signicant interest in preserving open competition in this importantarea of our economy. Many commentators, as well as those responsible for enforcing antitrust laws, have voiced serious questions concerning whether Google has acted to harm competition. Given its prominent position in the search and search advertising markets, Google in some ways acts as a gatekeeper over a variety of internet businesses. Among other things, commentators have expressed concern that Google may be using its position to harm specialized (or so-called vertical) search sites. If allowed to compete free of restraints, vertical search sites such as travel, mapping, and shopping sites could attract users and advertisers from Googles search platforms. Some vertical search sites have accused Google of using its power to deprive those websites of internet trafc by biasing the display of its search-advertising and search results. Likewise, some claim that Google may disadvantage rivals in subtle, potentially undetectable, ways. Indeed, Googles founders recognized as early as 1998 that a search engine could add a small factor to search results from friendly companies, and subtract a factor from results from competitors and that [t]his type of bias is very difcult to detect but could still have a signicant effect on the market.[1] Whether this type of
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Lee Calls for Antitrust Oversight Hearings on Google - Press Re...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

behavior is occurring is a question of great practical signicance. The powerful position Google occupies in the general search arena creates myriad opportunities for anticompetitive behavior. The Deputy Director for Antitrust within the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission, Howard Shelanski, recently observed that a hypothetical search engine with various scale and network economies might become a must have for consumers and thereby more effectively engage in anticompetitive discrimination. According to Shelanski, once one realizes there could be an application . . . that is more essential to consumers than any particular downstream network, then the locus of possible bottleneck discrimination . . . shifts upstream.[2] The DOJ has extensively analyzed bias in the display of airfares to travel agents on airline-owned computerized reservation systems (CRSs) and concluded that [p]erhaps the most effective and insidious method by which an airline can use a CRS with market power to punish other carriers for competing with it is secretly to bias the system in favor of the host carrier. The DOJ went on to point out that [b]ias inuences, and may mislead, the travel agent who uses CRS in such a way as to cause airline ticket revenues to shift from competing carriers to the host.[3] In a similar way, Googles position as the preeminent search engine may be abused so as to disadvantage competing horizontal and vertical search sites to the detriment of advertisers and internet users. As you know, the DOJ is in the process of determining whether to approve Googles proposed acquisition of ITA Software a deal that could potentially provide Google with the ability to control the travel search vertical market. In addition to its consideration of the contemplated ITA acquisition, I believe the DOJ should also investigate whether Googles powerful position as an internet gatekeeper reduces the companys incentive to compete with other search engines by providing enhanced privacy protection for consumers. Google collects an unequaled amount of information about consumers through its search platform, including data about web searches, reactions to online advertising, and precise geographic location for both mobile devices and personal computers. Google also gathers an enormous amount of consumer information through its related products and services, including Gmail, Google Checkout, Google Books, and Google Web History. Google has admitted that for nearly three years it used its Street View mapping service without notice or consent to access unprotected Wi-Fi networks and amass extensive information about theinternet activities of American consumers in all 50 states. The combination of behavioral and personal information enables Google to generate consumer data that is unprecedented in scale and scope. These activities raise serious privacy concerns and may be indicative of an important market that is largely unconstrained by competition. Antitrust enforcement may unlock benecial competition for

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Lee Calls for Antitrust Oversight Hearings on Google - Press Re...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

the protection of user privacy and avert the need for additional privacy regulation. Oversight by our Subcommittee is essential in helping free markets ourish in this important area of our economy. Ensuring robust competition will benet consumers, spur innovation, and lead to job creation in our nations high-tech internet economy. Utah, ranked by Forbes magazine as the Best State for Business in 2010, will likewise benet from the preservation of competition in this area. Vigorous antitrust enforcement is almost always preferable to a system of government regulations, which will inevitably be more costly and less efcient than a free market unencumbered by anticompetitive restrictions. I very much appreciate your efforts in this regard and look forward to our work together. Sincerely, Michael S. Lee Ranking Member Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/3/lee-callsfor-antitrust-oversight-hearings-on-google

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Bipartisan Coalition of Senators: Stop and Study Proposed Debi...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Mar 15 2011

Bipartisan Coalition of Senators: Stop and Study Proposed Debit Card Rule
Proposed Fed rule will have unintended consequences for consumers, community banks, credit unions
(U.S. SENATE) Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Bob Corker (R-TN), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Tom Carper (D-DE), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chris Coons (D-DE), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) today introduced legislation to protect consumers, small businesses and rural and small community banks and credit unions from a proposed rule regarding transaction fees on debit cards. Price controls are almost always problematic, said Lee, who is Ranking Member on the Judiciarys Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. If the rule remains in place, retailers, banks and consumers will lose out in the long run through higher costs and limited choices. I believe we can form a better solution that does not unnecessarily burden small businesses and local nancial institutions or pass fees on to the customer. The delay in implementing the rule will allow us to nd options that benet everyone. The bipartisan coalition of Senators today introduced the Debit Interchange Fee Study Act in response to concerns of the impact of a proposed rule from the Federal Reserve on consumers and small businesses. The Federal Reserve is proposing a rule that will cap the interchange fee per debit card transaction at 12 cents, regardless of the size of the transaction. Consumer advocacy organizations have raised concerns that this proposed rule will signicantly impact consumers because small banks may limit the

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2/3/12 12:24 PM

Bipartisan Coalition of Senators: Stop and Study Proposed Debi...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

size of a debit card transaction or end free checking services. The Debit Interchange Fee Study Act suspends implementation of the proposed rule and calls for a two year study of debit interchange fees. The stakes are simply too high to move forward with this rule without a closer look at the impact on consumers, credit unions, community banks, and the small businesses and jobs they sustain said Tester, a member of the Senate Banking Committee. That is why we need to make sure we stop and study these proposed rules before implementing anything. The federal government shouldnt be telling private companies what they can charge for goods and services; thats price xing, and thats exactly what the Durbin amendment does, said Corker, a member of the Senate Banking Committee. The hastily passed Durbin amendment will have numerous unintended consequences for debit card users, including reduced access and increased fees. Im sympathetic to retailers concerns and am open to a better solution, but the Durbin amendment isnt the answer. Im concerned that the proposed rule dictating debit card interchange fees willhave a harmful effect on consumers, small banks and credit unions, Carper said. This legislation will allow Congress and federal regulators to take a thoughtful pause and avoid unintended consequences. The government should not be in the business of setting price controls on any product and implementing this rule would set a precedent for that, said Roberts. We need more time to sufciently review this regulation, because failing to get it right ultimately means it will fall on the backs of consumers, merchants and nancial institutions, including our small community banks. And at a time when Americans are watching every penny, we cannot afford to let that happen. "The concerns raised by Fed Chairman Bernanke and FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair about the potential harm to credit unions and community banks require further study of the unintended consequences of this rule," Coons said. "Any government regulation of interchange fees should yield some tangible consumer benet, but the Fed's current cap offers no such guarantee. Further study will help yield a more thoughtful, long-term solution." A copy of the S. 575 can be found online HERE.

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2/3/12 12:24 PM

Lee, McCain Submit Bill to Reduce Ownership of Federal Lands...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Mar 17 2011

Lee, McCain Submit Bill to Reduce Ownership of Federal Lands


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Senator John McCain of Arizona introduced legislation to reduce federal ownership of certain public lands and allow the land to be sold for more productive purposes. The bill directs the Secretary of Interior to dispose of federal lands identied in a 1997 Clinton Administration report deemed suitable for sale. Under this legislation, the amount of land sold would be equal to roughly 1% of all land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and less than one half of one percent of all federal land. Representative Jason Chaffetz, also of Utah, recently introduced a similar bill in the House. Its been more than a decade since the land was deemed suitable for disposal and there is no critical need for the federal government to hold on to it, said Senator Lee. The sale of the land alone could generate more than a $1 billion, and there is further economic benet of putting the land to good use. That will mean jobs, future growth, and better prosperity for the surrounding areas. Its good for the state of Utah and I am happy to work with Senator McCain and my fellow Utahn Representative Chaffetz in the House in supporting the move. The federal budget, much like the household budgets of millions of American families, is stretched alarmingly thin in todays scal climate, said Senator McCain. Congress must explore all possible avenues for reducing our $1.4 trillion decit and ballooning $14 trillion national debt. Our legislation aims to reduce the federal estate in a way thats mindful of how we currently manage our public lands and seeks to dispose land that the federal government simply does not want.

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2/3/12 12:25 PM

Lee Condemns Cowardly Act in Jerusalem - Press Releases - Pr...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Mar 24 2011

Lee Condemns Cowardly Act in Jerusalem


WASHINGTONSenator Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement today on the bombing in Jerusalem: The senseless murder of an innocent woman and the harm done to more than twenty bystanders is reprehensible andshould be condemned as a cowardly act. It is a reminder that our allies remain targets and, as much as our attention has been directed at domestic affairs, we should stay vigilant in the war against terrorism. The thoughts and prayers of millions of Americans are with the families of those struggling to survive this attack, and our support is rmly behind Israel as they root out those responsible and bring them to justice.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/3 /lee-condemns-cowardly-act-in-jerusalem

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2/3/12 12:25 PM

Sen. Lee and Rep. Bishop Introduce Land Conveyance Legislati...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Mar 30 2011

Sen. Lee and Rep. Bishop Introduce Land Conveyance Legislation for Mantua, Utah
Bill Transfers Three Parcels from Federal Government to Town of Mantua
WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced legislation to transfer three parcels of federally owned land in Box Elder County to the town of Mantua, Utah. Specically, The Box Elder Utah Land Conveyance Act would convey nearly 32 acres of land that could be used by the community for multiple purposes, including the potential development of a new city cemetery, a new town hall, re station, park or elementary school. The parcels of land included in this legislation are located on the south end of town below 100 South and west of Main Street and Willard Peak Road. They are part of a larger tract originally owned by Hans Rasmussen, an early settler of Mantua, whose family deeded the land to the U.S. Forest Service in 1941 for $1.00. Under this legislation, the city of Mantua would not be required to pay for the land, but would assume all costs associated with surveying and development. It is a testament to the growth of our state and cities like Mantua that this bill is necessary, said Senator Lee, who sits on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The city can use the land productively and the federal government has no pressing need for it. With the help of Rep. Bishop, I hope we can move this bill quickly through Congress. There is absolutely no valid reason why the federal government should maintain ownership of this land, which has sat vacant and virtually unused for decades, when it could otherwise be utilized by the town of

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2/3/12 12:25 PM

Sen. Lee and Rep. Bishop Introduce Land Conveyance Legislati...

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Mantua to meet the current challenges associated with its growth and expansion, said Congressman Bishop, whose district encompasses all of Box Elder County. The parcels of land were asking to have conveyed are relatively small in size but would have a signicant impact on the future of this community. In addition, Senator Lee is also introducing legislation to return forest service land to the town of Alta for a community center and re station.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/3/sen-leeand-rep-bishop-introduce-land-conveyance-legislation-for-mantua-utah

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2/3/12 12:25 PM

Lee: Lack of Libya Debate "Shameful and Discouraging" - Pres...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Apr 05 2011

Lee: Lack of Libya Debate "Shameful and Discouraging"


Along with Senator Rand Paul, Senator Lee recently cosponsored a resolution that stipulated: The President does not have the power to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve an actual or imminent threat to the nation. The quote comes from remarks then-Senator Barack Obama made in 2007. Today, Senator Paul offered the resolution as a motion to the pending business on the oor and requested just 30 minutes for debate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid denied the request and only allowed 10 minutes for debate, then sought to table the motion to avoid a vote on it. The vote to table the motion passed. We channel the war power in the Constitution so as to make sure these discussions always come to the forefront, always be brought up by the elected representatives of the people in Congress, Lee said on the Senate oor just before the vote. And for that reason, although we give power to the President to be the Commander in Chief in Article Two of the Constitution, in Article One of the Constitution we reserve that power that power to declare war to Congress. This is how we guarantee the peoples voice will be heard and that peoples sons and daughters wont be sent off to war without some public debate and discussion by those who have been duly elected by the people and stand accountable to the people. Lees remarks were cut short as time expired.

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2/3/12 12:26 PM

Lee Expresses Comments on DoJ Decision Regarding Google-I...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Apr 08 2011

Lee Expresses Comments on DoJ Decision Regarding Google-ITA


Washington, DC Today, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Ranking Member of the Antitrust Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, commented on the Department of Justices decision to impose stringent conditions on Googles acquisition of ITA Software and reiterated his call for antitrust oversight of Googles search-related businesses. Todays announcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ) outlining rigorous conditions for Googles proposed acquisition of ITA Software is an important step in applying antitrust laws to the companys predominant position in the realm of Internet search, said Senator Lee. As the DOJ recognized, Googles unique presence as an Internet gatekeeper raises serious concerns about activities that may limit competition, reduce consumer choice, and thwart innovation. Continued scrutiny is essential as Google extends its reach into a variety of vertical search markets and online services. As a member of the Antitrust Subcommittee, I will continue to work to ensure vibrant competition in this and other areas of our economy. On March 10, 2011, Senator Lee sent a letter to the Subcommittee Chairman Senator Herb Kohl calling for oversight hearings into Googles practices that could harm competition, and specically pointed to the acquisition of ITA Software, which powers sites like Kayak, Travelocity, and Orbitz. As you know, the DOJ is in the process of determining whether to approve Googles proposed acquisition of ITA Software a deal that could potentially provide Google with the ability to control the travel search vertical market, Senator Lee wrote. Oversight by our Subcommittee is essential in helping free markets ourish in this important area of our economy. Ensuring robust competition will
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Lee Expresses Comments on DoJ Decision Regarding Google-I...

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benet consumers, spur innovation, and lead to job creation in our nations high-tech Internet economy, Senator Lee added. Vigorous antitrust enforcement is almost always preferable to a system of government regulations, which will inevitably be more costly and less efcient than a free market unencumbered by anticompetitive restrictions.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/4 /lee-expresses-comments-on-doj-decision-regarding-google-ita

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2/3/12 12:27 PM

LEE: Merger Should be Guided by What is Best for Consumers ...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


May 11 2011

LEE: Merger Should be Guided by What is Best for Consumers


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee said the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile to create the largest wireless carrier in the country should be reviewed carefully to ensure the best outcome for consumers. Lee, the Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committees Antitrust Subcommittee, said that he favors market approaches to developing mobile networks, but that care should be taken to ensure the merger preserves robust competition nationally and from smaller regional carriers, promotes consumer choices, and encourages innovation. An important question before our Subcommittee today is whether the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile is a positive step along the path to world-class wireless broadband throughout the United States, Senator Lee said during his opening remarks this morning. A merger between the two companies may provide signicant and immediate efciencies that will enable enhanced service quality, fewer blocked or dropped calls, and increasing data speeds. At the same time, I share some of the concerns expressed by my colleague, Senator Kohl, and believe it is our responsibilityalong with the Department of Justices Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications Commissionto ensure that the proposed merger would not produce damaging anticompetitive effects, he added. A critical question, therefore, is whether the smaller regional carriers can effectively compete in a post-merger market, Lee said, citing potential conicts regarding the smaller carriers access to data roaming networks and the most popular devices, like iPhones. Lee concluded: Our analysis of the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile should be guided by what will be best for consumersin the form

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2/3/12 12:28 PM

LEE: Merger Should be Guided by What is Best for Consumers ...

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of prices, service quality, and range of choice. See Senator Lees full remarks here>>

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/5/lee-mergershould-be-guided-by-what-s-best-for-consumers

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2/3/12 12:28 PM

Lee Condemns President's Statement on Israel's borders - Press ...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


May 19 2011

Lee Condemns President's Statement on Israel's borders


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee criticized President Obamas call for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders. He released the following statement: "I condemn in the strongest possible terms the President's irresponsible suggestion that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders. I agree with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that this move would leave Israel in a militarily indefensible position.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/5 /lee-condemns-president-s-statement-on-israel-s-borders

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2/3/12 12:29 PM

Lee Opposes Appellate Court Nomination - Press Releases - Pre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


May 19 2011

Lee Opposes Appellate Court Nomination


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee expressed his profound objection to the nomination of Goodwin Liu as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In a speech on the Senate oor, Senator Lee articulated two primary reasons for opposing the nomination. First, I am truly dismayed by the lack of judgment displayed in Professor Lius 2006 testimony regarding the conrmation of Samuel Alito as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, said Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former Assistant U.S. Attorney. During the conrmation hearing of Justice Alito, Liu made controversial and inammatory remarks misrepresenting Justice Alitos judicial record. His comments about Justice Alito were offensive not simply because they were unhelpful in his conrmation process, but because they were a misleading and unwarranted personal attack on a dedicated public servant. Professor Lius treatment of Justice Alito, and his last minute and incomplete handling of the concerns raised by his remarks, lead me to believe that he lacks the judgment and discretion to be conrmed to a life-tenured position in the judiciary. Senator Lee also explained that the judicial philosophy espoused by Professor Liu is fundamentally inconsistent with the judicial mandate to be a neutral arbiter of the Constitution and to uphold the rule of law. Throughout the course of numerous speeches, articles, and books, Professor Liu has championed a philosophy that in my judgment is incompatible with faithfully discharging the duties of an appellate court judge in our constitutional republic, he added.

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2/3/12 12:28 PM

Lee Opposes Appellate Court Nomination - Press Releases - Pre...

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Lee concluded: Professor Lius appalling treatment of Justice Alito leaves grave doubt in my mind as to whether he possesses the requisite judgment to serve as a life-tenured judge. And I have come to the conclusion that Professor Lius extreme judicial philosophy is simply incompatible with the proper role of a judge in our constitutional republic. For these reasons, as well as those articulated by many of my colleagues, I am compelled to oppose this nomination. Click Here for Senator Lee's Full Remarks

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/5/lee-opposesappellate-court-nomination

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2/3/12 12:28 PM

Lee Applauds Salazar's Decision to Abandon 'Wild Lands' Policy...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jun 01 2011

Lee Applauds Salazar's Decision to Abandon 'Wild Lands' Policy


SALT LAKE CITY Today, Senator Mike Lee applauded the decision by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to not designate any lands as Wild Lands in accordance with the 2011 Continuing Resolution. Senator Lee also indicated he stands ready to work with the Utah state legislature and other state and local ofcials to evaluate current wilderness study areas. Secretary Salazar has rightly recognized that Congress, and not the Department of the Interior, has the authority to designate wilderness areas; he has also recognized the importance of working with federal, state and local representatives in managing federal land, said Senator Lee, who sits on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. With nearly 70 percent of Utah lands under federal control, it is critical that we have a say early in the process to protect the rights of Utahns and all Americans to access and use federal lands. Last December, Secretary Salazar issued a controversial order directing the Bureau of Land Management to designate areas with wilderness characteristics as wild lands, a move that was widely seen as an end run around Congresss authority to designate wilderness areas. Within weeks, Senator Lee sent a letter to Secretary Salazar requesting all documents regarding the formation of the new policy, including meeting notes, electronic and hard-copy correspondence, and any maps that include Utah lands affected by the order. Salazars failure to respond to the request forced Senator Lee to take other measures in order to encourage compliance. He indicated he would put a hold on the nomination of Dan Ashe as Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service until all documents pertaining to the formulation of the wild lands policy had been turned over. After more than four months, the Secretarys

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2/3/12 12:29 PM

Lee Applauds Salazar's Decision to Abandon 'Wild Lands' Policy...

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ofce is expected to comply with the document request this week. Todays news was welcomed by Senator Lee as an acknowledgment that the Interior Department cannot and should not act unilaterally to impose a highly restrictive land use policy. The wild lands policy that was abandoned by the Secretary today would have harmed the Utah economy, prevented job growth, blocked domestic energy development, and resulted in less revenue for our state, Lee added. I appreciate that the Secretary has shifted his position and we can now work together with state and local ofcials to determine the future designation of our current wilderness study areas. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/6/lee-applaudssalazar-s-decision-to-abandon-wild-lands-policy

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2/3/12 12:29 PM

Bishop, Chaffetz, Hatch, Lee Introduce Bill to Protect Utah fro...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jun 14 2011

Bishop, Chaffetz, Hatch, Lee Introduce Bill to Protect Utah from Presidential Monument Designations
WASHINGTON Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01), Chairman of the House Natural Resources National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee, today introduced the Utah Lands Sovereignty Act, which would protect Utah from future national monument designations made by Presidential executive order. Congressman Jason Chaffetz (UT-03) co-sponsored the bill and Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced companion legislation in the Senate. In 1950, Congress passed a law that prohibited the future establishment of national monuments in Wyoming except as authorized by Congress. This legislation would provide Utah with the same level of protection. Last year, Congressman Bishop obtained the internal Treasured Landscapes memo created by the Department of Interior that lists as many as 14 possible new national monuments, two of which are located in Utah. In total, the memo, which has since generated a groundswell of opposition across the West, identies as many as 13 million acres of federally owned land and approximately 26 million acres of private land as areas that could potentially be subject to national monument designations. We have seen far too many attempts by this Administration to circumvent the open congressional process in order to execute their political agenda the Treasured Landscapes memo is just one of the many examples. While Im not necessarily opposed to national monuments, I do not support efforts to create new designations, locking up thousands of acres of land, without the support of our local communities, residents and stakeholders, said Congressman Bishop. Last weeks remarks made by former DOI Secretary Bruce Babbitt are a reminder that the Antiquities Act is still being

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2/3/12 12:30 PM

Bishop, Chaffetz, Hatch, Lee Introduce Bill to Protect Utah fro...

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considered as an avenue to lock up millions of acres of public lands. It is clear that former Secretary Babbitt isnt in the business of protecting hard-working Utahns, and is instead looking to fulll the agendas of a handful of radical special interest groups. This legislation provides a necessary safeguard to protect Utah from future national monument designations made through executive at. During a press conference held on June 08, 2011, former Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Bruce Babbitt suggested that the President use the Antiquities Act as executive at to pressure Congress into implementing restrictive new land management policies. Babbitt stated that, By voicing his willingness to use the Antiquities Act as an alternative to Wilderness designation, the president can bring Congress to the table to work out conservation measures acceptable to reasonable stakeholders. He went on to say that, the best way to defend the Antiquities Act is for the president to use it. [read the entire transcript here] Utahns are all too familiar with the consequences of presidential administrations creating national monuments without public input or congressional approval. We have been living with lost jobs, economic inactivity and other fallout from the creation of the Grand StaircaseEscalante National Monument since 1996. National monuments should not be created in secrecy and without the consent of Congress, this bill will ensure that they wont here in Utah, said Senator Hatch. The Antiquities Act is a misguided and outdated law that lends itself to abuse by the Executive Branch. The Utah Lands Sovereignty Act improves the law to ensure local input is considered. Decisions regarding control of our public lands rightfully belong to those closest to the situation and those most likely to be impacted. Management of our public lands must reside in the hands of elected ofcials who are accountable to their local constituencies. Congressional, state, and local leaders are the ones best equipped to manage these precious resources, and to make decisions regarding their future, said Congressman Chaffetz. Proponents who have abused the system suggest Utah is being honored with national monument designations. Frankly, Utah has been honored enough. We lost nearly 2 million acres when the Clinton Administration created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument without any input from Congress or state ofcials. This bill will prevent that from happening again, said Senator Lee. The 1906 Antiquities Act allows the President to unilaterally designate new national monuments through executive order. This legislation would ensure that all future national monument designations in Utah are subject to the

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2/3/12 12:30 PM

Bishop, Chaffetz, Hatch, Lee Introduce Bill to Protect Utah fro...

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open Congressional process, which would provide Utahns and other westerners with the opportunity to have their voices heard. Former President Bill Clinton used the Antiquities Act in 1996 to unilaterally designate the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah without ever consulting the public or state, local and federal ofcials. The total number of acres targeted as possible new national monuments in the Treasured Landscapes memo is more than the states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Connecticut: New Jersey: Delaware: Rhode Island: Total: 3, 548,160 5, 582,080 1, 250,560 988, 800 11, 369, 600 acres acres acres acres acres

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/6/bishopchaffetz-hatch-lee-introduce-bill-to-protect-utah-from-presidentialmonument-designations

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2/3/12 12:30 PM

Senators Call on President to Shift Strategy in Afghanistan - Pre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jun 15 2011

Senators Call on President to Shift Strategy in Afghanistan


WASHINGTON U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Tom Udall (D-NM) and 24 other senators sent a letter to President Obama today calling for a shift in strategy in Afghanistan ahead of next month's announced deadline to begin an accelerated transition to Afghan security forces. In the letter, the senators urge the President to use the deadline as an opportunity to begin a sizable and sustained drawdown of troops that puts the U.S. on a path toward removing all regular combat troops from the country. Along with Merkley, Lee and Udall, the following senators have signed on to the letter: Max Baucus (D-MT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand(D-NY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), FrankLautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). In their letter, the senators noted that the primary objectives for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan have been largely met including the removal of the Taliban government that sheltered al Qaeda, the killing of Osama bin Laden and the disruption of terrorist networks allied with Al Qaeda and those who planned the Sept. 11th attacks on the United States. Noting those successes and the ability to pursue counter-terrorism and humanitarian goals without a massive nation-building effort, the senators wrote, the costs of prolonging the war far outweigh the benets. It is time for the United States to shift course in Afghanistan. We urge you to follow through on the pledge you made to the American

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2/3/12 12:30 PM

Senators Call on President to Shift Strategy in Afghanistan - Pre...

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people to begin redeployment of U.S. forces from Afghanistan this summer, and to do so in amanner that is sizable and sustained, and includes combat troops as well as logistical and support forces. We look forward to working with you to pursue a strategy in Afghanistan that makes our nation stronger and more secure, the letter says. The full text of the letter is below: June 15, 2011 The President The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President: We write to express our strong support for a shift in strategy and the beginning of a sizable and sustained reduction of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, beginning in July 2011. In 2001 the United States rightfully and successfully intervened in Afghanistan with the goals of destroying al Qaeda's safe haven, removing the Taliban government that sheltered al Qaeda, and pursuing those who planned the September 11 attacks on the United States. Those original goals have been largely met and today, as CIA Director Leon Panetta noted last June, "I think at most, we're looking at maybe 50 to 100, maybe less" al Qaeda members remaining in Afghanistan. In addition, over the past few years, U.S. forces have killed or captured dozens of signicant al Qaeda leaders. Then, on May 2, 2011, American Special Forces acting under your direction located and killed Osama bin Laden. The death of the founder of al Qaeda is a major blow that further weakens the terrorist organization. From the initial authorization of military force through your most recent State of the Union speech, combating al Qaeda has always been the rationale for our military presence in Afghanistan. Given our successes, it is the right moment to initiate a sizable and sustained reduction in forces, with the goal of steadily redeploying all regular combat troops. There are those who argue that rather than reduce our forces, we should maintain a signicant number of troops in order to support a lengthy counter-insurgency and nation building effort. This is misguided. We will never be able to secure and police every town and village in Afghanistan.

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2/3/12 12:30 PM

Senators Call on President to Shift Strategy in Afghanistan - Pre...

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Nor will we be able to build Afghanistan from the ground up into a Western-style democracy. Endemic corruption in Afghanistan diverts resources intended to build roads, schools, and clinics, and some of these funds end up in the hands of the insurgents. Appointments of provincial and local ofcials on the basis of personal alliances and graft leads to deep mistrust by the Afghan population. While it is a laudable objective to attempt to build new civic institutions in Afghanistan, this goal does not justify the loss of American lives or the investment of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. Instead of continuing to be embroiled in ancient local and regional conicts in Afghanistan, we must accelerate the transfer of responsibility for Afghanistan's development to the Afghan people and their government. We should maintain our capacity to eliminate any new terrorist threats, continue to train the Afghan National Security Forces, and maintain our diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. However, these objectives do not require the presence of over 100,000 American troops engaged in intensive combat operations. Mr. President, according to our own intelligence ofcials, al Qaeda no longer has a large presence in Afghanistan, and, as the strike against bin Laden demonstrated, we have the capacity to confront our terrorist enemies with a dramatically smaller footprint. The costs of prolonging the war far outweigh the benets. It is time for the United States to shift course in Afghanistan. We urge you to follow through on the pledge you made to the American people to begin the redeployment of U.S. forces from Afghanistan this summer, and to do so in a manner that is sizable and sustained, and includes combat troops as well as logistical and support forces. We look forward to working with you to pursue a strategy in Afghanistan that makes our nation stronger and more secure. Sincerely, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

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2/3/12 12:30 PM

Senators Call on President to Shift Strategy in Afghanistan - Pre...

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Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Sen. RonWyden (D-OR) Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/6/senatorscall-on-president-to-shift-strategy-in-afghanistan

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2/3/12 12:30 PM

Lee Disappointed with Google Response - Press Releases - Pres...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jun 22 2011

Lee Disappointed with Google Response


WASHINGTON After Google ofcially declined the request from the Senate Judiciarys Anti-trust Subcommittee to have the companys Chairman Eric Schmidt or CEO Larry Page testify before the committee, Ranking Member Senator Mike Lee released the following statement: I'm very disappointed in Google's response to the request to have Larry Page or Eric Schmidt testify at our subcommittee hearing. I'm committed to work with Senator Kohl and others on the committee to ensure we have the opportunity to investigate these issues thoroughly and receive adequate responses from Google.

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Link to full text of original letter found below


Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/6 /lee-disappointed-with-google-response Related Files Letter to Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt - Google Kohl Lee LT 61011.pdf (66.7 KBs)

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2/3/12 12:31 PM

DeMint, Lee, Paul Offer Bill to Begin Restoring Sound Money -...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jun 28 2011

DeMint, Lee, Paul Offer Bill to Begin Restoring Sound Money


WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) introduced the Sound Money Promotion Act, legislation that would remove the tax burden on gold and silver coins that have been declared legal tender by the federal government or state governments. On May 9, the State of Utah became the rst state to recognize such gold and silver coins as legal tender for use within the state, and similar legislation has been introduced in 12 other states, including South Carolina. Thanks to the governments reckless over-spending, continued bailouts, and the Federal Reserves easy money policy, this year the purchasing power of the dollar hit an all-time low in the several decades since we went off the gold standard, said Senator DeMint. In order to rebuild strength and condence in our economy, we need both the scal discipline to cut wasteful spending and the monetary discipline to restrain further destructive monetizing of our debt. This legislation would encourage wider adoption of sound money measures, and thats a step in the right direction. Good monetary policy is an important part of a healthy and prosperous economy, said Senator Lee. Since the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the dollar has lost approximately 98 percent of its value. This bill is an important step towards a stable and sound currency whose value is protected from the Fed's printing press." Senator Paul added, "As the government runs massive decits, uncontrolled spending, and an increasingly unsustainable debt, governments and the bureaucrats in charge are often forced to take an easier approach: to monetize the debt, inating the currency. These implications can be devastating, leading to higher interest rates, which lead to higher borrowing costs and slower economic growth, but most importantly, destroying the savings and standard-of-living of all Americans. This bill will hold

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2/3/12 12:31 PM

DeMint, Lee, Paul Offer Bill to Begin Restoring Sound Money -...

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politicians and the Federal Reserve accountable; acknowledging that states are serious about an alternative to a weakening dollar. The warning signs for our economic problems can no longer be ignored:

While the value of a dollar is at historic lows, the value of gold is at historic highs Recently Standard & Poors downgraded the U.S. outlook from stable to negative, meaning there is a 1 in 3 chance of an actual credit downgrade in the next two years The worlds largest bond fund has dumped its U.S. debt-related holdings, over concerns that we will not get our scal house in order The Federal Reserve is now buying 70 percent of U.S. Treasuries, set to surpass the holdings of both China and Japan combined

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/6/demintlee-paul-offer-bill-to-begin-restoring-sound-money

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2/3/12 12:31 PM

Lee Calls on Salazar for Clarication on Leasing Process - Pres...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jul 11 2011

Lee Calls on Salazar for Clarication on Leasing Process


WASHINGTON Today Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar requesting clarication on new restrictions that serve to further prevent the development of America's abundant domestic resources. Lee expressed concern that the Master Leasing Plan (MLP) process currently used by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reform oil and gas leasing could be obstructingresponsible exploration for oil and gas. The MLP is viewed by Lee as an unnecessary obstacle to an already thorough and public process. The letter states: We understand that the BLM professionals have defended the land use plans written pursuant to the established Resource Management Plan (RMP) process and so it remains unclear why the land use plans were deemed to be insufcient to address any new issues. Joining Senator Lee on the letter are Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Hoeven (R-ND) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT). The letter includes a list of 12 questions and requests written responses in order to provide clarication of the intent of the MLP policy. The full text of the letter is attached below.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/7/lee-callson-salazar-for-clarication-on-leasing-process

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2/3/12 12:33 PM

Lee Demands President to Explain Social Security Threat - Pres...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jul 14 2011

Lee Demands President to Explain Social Security Threat


WASHINGTON- Today, Senator Mike Lee demanded President Barack Obama explain to the American people why he is threatening to withhold Social Security benets from seniors, rather than seek budget alternatives. [W]e're bringing in about $200 billion a month in tax revenue. So there's more than enough tax revenue there to cover not only Social Security benets but also interest on debt and a number of other things as well, Senator Lee said from the oor of the Senate. That begs the question, why are Social Security beneciaries the rst to be threatened? Why is it their checks that the President is threatening to withhold rst? There is no explanation to this that he's offered, and I hereby demand one. I think our current retirees deserve more than to be used as pawns in a high-stakes political game; one that uses fear and uncertainty and doubt rather than reason and discussion and debate and willingness to compromise I urge my colleagues and I urge all Americans to work together to nd a solution to this; a solution that need not involve and should not involve threatening America's most vulnerable, including our retirees who rely each month on Social Security. Earlier today, Senator Lee posted to his website a list of alternatives he said the President should consider before cutting benets for Social Security recipients. The list can be found here. Are there no programs in the Energy Department, or Interior, or at HUD which we could suspend in order to ensure that our seniors receive the

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2/3/12 12:33 PM

Lee Demands President to Explain Social Security Threat - Pres...

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income they are expecting, Lee added.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/7/lee-demandspresident-to-explain-social-security-threat

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2/3/12 12:33 PM

Lee: Merger Deserves Careful Review - Press Releases - Press O...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Jul 20 2011

Lee: Merger Deserves Careful Review


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee released the following statement regarding the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger: The mobile phone market is a critical component of our nations economy and the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile deserves careful review. In my view, the merger has the potential to provide signicant network efciencies that may help alleviate capacity constraints, enable enhanced service quality, and facilitate expansion of a 4G LTE nationwide network, which would in turn create opportunities for handset innovation and continued development of data-rich applications. I have condence that the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission will take steps to ensure that the market remains competitive and that regional carriers continue to enjoy access to popular handsets and roaming arrangements on the nationwide networks.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/7/lee-mergerdeserves-careful-review

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2/3/12 12:34 PM

Lee Congratulates Barlow on Nomination - Press Releases - Pre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Aug 03 2011

Lee Congratulates Barlow on Nomination


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Lee congratulated David Barlow on his nomination as U.S. Attorney for the State of Utah. David is a rst-rate lawyer who will serve the people of Utah with distinction, said Senator Lee. He graduated top of his class from BYU, won the prestigious Truman Scholar award, earned his law degree from Yale Law, and became a partner at one of the countrys top law rms. His willingness to leave his rms partnership, serve in the Senate, and continue to serve in Utah, speaks volumes about his character. Barlow responded, I am grateful for the condence of President Obama in nominating me to be United States Attorney, and for the support of Senators Lee and Hatch.

David Barlows Bio: David Barlow obtained his B.A. in Political Science from BYU, where he graduated rst in his class and was one of sixty students nationwide to receive the USA Today All-USA Award. At BYU, David worked as a research assistant for Professors David Magleby and Bud Scruggs. After BYU, David attended Yale Law School as a Harry S. Truman Scholar, a national award presented to eighty students each year. At Yale Law, David served as the Submissions Editor for the Yale Law and Policy Review and externed at the U.S. Attorney's Ofce in New Haven, as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. For most of his career, David has worked in private practice at Sidley Austin

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2/3/12 12:36 PM

Lee Congratulates Barlow on Nomination - Press Releases - Pre...

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LLP, one of the country's most highly-regard law rms. David has served as national, regional, and case-specic counsel in pre-trial, trial, and appellate matters scattered throughout the United States. He has litigated a variety of cases, including pharmaceutical, contract, insurance, defamation, medical device, consumer and industrial product, eminent domain, and First Amendment cases. His cases have run the gamut of size and amount in controversy from modest, two-party, single jurisdiction cases to billion dollar mass tort litigation with cases in a majority of state courts and many federal courts throughout United States. He has played roles as varied as sole counsel on a case to one of a few national counsel leading a multi-rm team of hundreds of attorneys. David has been honored nationally by clients for his legal work and is a prior recipient of Pro Bono Advocates' Lawyer of the Year Award for work done on behalf of victims of domestic violence. David currently serves as Chief Counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee for Senator Mike Lee. David advises Senator Lee on all legal issues involved in the business before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the United States Senate.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/8 /lee-congratulates-barlow-on-nomination

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2/3/12 12:36 PM

Senator Lee Responds to Justice Department's Decision to Bloc...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Sep 01 2011

Senator Lee Responds to Justice Department's Decision to Block AT&T and T-Mobile Merger
WASHINGTON I am disappointed in the Justice Departments decision to seek to block the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. The Senate Antitrust Subcommittee received signicant evidence that the transaction could benet consumers through enhanced service quality, expanded network capacity, increased data speeds, and continued innovation of data-rich handset devices and applications. I look forward to reviewing the Departments analysis and trust that the merger review process will be directed towards maximization of consumer welfare. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/9/senatorlee-responds-to-justice-department-s-decision-to-block-at-t-and-t-mobilemerger

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2/3/12 12:37 PM

Utah Congressional Delegation Introduces Legislation to Addre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Sep 20 2011

Utah Congressional Delegation Introduces Legislation to Address Growing Threat From Prairie Dogs
WASHINGTON Members of Utahs Congressional Delegation today joined together to introduce legislation to address the damage being done by prairie dogs. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Reps. Jim Matheson, Jason Chaffetz, and Rob Bishop joined together to introduce the Protecting Public Safety and Sacred Sites from the Utah Prairie Dog Act, which will permit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take much-needed steps to protect Utahns from the hazards posed to public safety from prairie dogs. Currently, the Fish and Wildlife Service is permitted to remove prairie dogs only from agricultural areas. However, the animals have done extensive damage to areas not designated as agricultural, such as the Parowan Airports runway and the Paragonah Cemetery in Iron County. The legislation introduced by the delegation grants the Fish and Wildlife Service the ability to remove prairie dogs from airports and cemeteries that are located within the range of the Utah Prairie Dog. The legislation is the product of cooperation between the delegation, the City of Paragonah, the City of Parowan, the Iron County Commission, the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Sen. Lee: "While protecting the Paragonah cemetery and Parowan airport are important, this issue goes beyond the desecration at one burial site or the public safety hazard of one airport. The very rules that surround the protection of certain species are outdated, unfair, and have disastrous consequences. They have an unproportionally negative effect on the economies of states like Utah, which have large segments of federally owned land, and often violate basic property rights. This legislation is a small,

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2/3/12 12:38 PM

Utah Congressional Delegation Introduces Legislation to Addre...

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important step toward properly managing the prairie dog population in Southern Utah, but much work remains to be done on this issue." Sen. Hatch: Just this August, I met with Iron County ofcials and saw rsthand the damage prairie dogs have caused across the county. The countys hands were tied in dealing with this problem, and this bill will ensure that the proper resources are dedicated to addressing this public safety concern. Im pleased the delegation has been able to quickly come together and introduce this meaningful legislation to protect the safety and sanctity of sites across our state. Rep. Matheson: I have heard consistent reports from Iron County ofcials including during my recent visitabout their frustration over efforts to manage prairie dogs at the cemetery and the airport. Together with the other members of the Utah delegation, I am working to address Iron Countys public health and safety concerns. Rep. Chaffetz: The Endangered Species Act is indefensible in this situation. Utah prairie dogs should not be elevated above the health and welfare of Utah citizens. I promise to use whatever means necessary to stop bureaucrats or environmentalist who care more about prairie dogs than people. Rep. Bishop: The policies initially intended to regulate and manage the Utah Prairie Dog population have become woefully outdated and are creating a costly and dangerous situation for the state and counties. It is unfair that Utah must shoulder the costly burden of these irrelevant policies that no longer reect the needs of the state. It is far too common these days that policies created by Washington bureaucrats are causing more harm than good- the issue regarding the Utah Prairie Dog is no exception. I am glad to be a part of the delegation efforts to limit the federal governments ability to impose and enforce policies that are not in the interest of our state.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/9/utahcongressional-delegation-introduces-legislation-to-address-growing-threatfrom-prairie-dogs

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2/3/12 12:38 PM

Lee Statement on Schmidt Testimony - Press Releases - Press Of...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Sep 21 2011

Lee Statement on Schmidt Testimony


Today, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) questioned Google CEO Eric Schmidt at a Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill. He issued the following statement at the conclusion of the hearing: As a strong supporter of free markets, competition, and innovation, I was disappointed by the testimony of Google chairman Eric Schmidt. I had hoped to hear the company acknowledge the responsibilities that accompany its preeminent position in the Internet search market and address concerns many have raised about Googles possible anti-competitive activities. Unfortunately, I fear that some of the testimony in todays hearing may only encourage those who are calling for legal enforcement or government regulation. I am hopeful that we can avoid those outcomes, and encourage Google to take appropriate voluntary action to resolve these concerns. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/9 /lee-statement-on-schmidt-testimony

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2/3/12 12:38 PM

Senator Lee's Google Antitrust Hearing Opening Statement - Pre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Sep 21 2011

Senator Lee's Google Antitrust Hearing Opening Statement


WASHINGTONSenator Mike Lee (R-UT) today delivered the following opening statement at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. Lee, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committees Antitrust Subcommittee, called for the oversight hearing on Google to review the company's fair competition practices.

Opening Statement

Senator Mike Lee

The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition? September 21, 2011

Internet Gatekeeper Internet search is critical to economic growth in the United States and Google has long been a dominant force in this arena. Indeed, Americans Google so frequently and ubiquitously that the companys name has become a generic verb that means to search the Internet. In the United States, Google controls somewhere between 65 and 70 percent of general Internet search, more than 75 percent of paid search advertising, and 95 percent of mobile search. Given its dominant position, most Internet-based businesses rely on Google for a substantial share of their trafc and revenues. As a result, last year Google generated nearly $30 billion in search advertising revenues.
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Senator Lee's Google Antitrust Hearing Opening Statement - Pre...

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Studies show what most of us know from experience: that the rst few Google search results attract nearly 90 percent of all user clicks. Googles search ranking therefore has enormous power over the information users nd, whichwebsites receive trafc, and the amount businesses must pay to be found on the Internet. A former Reagan administration antitrust chief recently suggested that this market power has essentially made Google a monopoly gatekeeper to the Internet.[1] <#_ftn1> Whether or not Google formally qualies as a monopoly under our antitrust laws, one thing is clear: given its signicant ability to steer e-commerce and the ow of online information, Google is in a position to help determine who will succeed and who will fail on the Internet. In the words of the head of Googles search ranking team, Google is the biggest kingmaker on the Earth.[2] <#_ftn2> General Antitrust Concerns Google has used its substantial advertising revenues to branch out into a multitude of secondary Internet businesses. Largely by acquiring more than 100 different companies, Google now offers YouTube video, Gmail, Chrome internet browser,Google Plus social networking, the Android mobile smartphone operating system, and a host of services including Google maps, news, books, shopping, places, and ight search. And with its recent purchase of Motorola Mobility, Google is now poised to get into the business of mobile handset manufacturing. With Googles expansion into so many areas, a large number of businesses, advertisers, and consumer groups have raised concernsregarding Googles activities, suggesting the company may be acting indeceptive and anticompetitive ways. As a result, Google is under investigation by antitrust authorities both in the United States and abroad. This Subcommittee has oversight of antitrust enforcement and competition policy, and I appreciate Chairman Kohls leadership in calling a hearing to address this important topic. Search and Advertising Manipulation From its inception Googles stated goal was to have users leave its website as quickly as possible.[3] <#_ftn3> But over time the company appears to have changed its approach: to steer users not to other businesses and sources of information but to its own growing complement of competing services. Google has worked hard to cultivate the public perception that its searches
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Senator Lee's Google Antitrust Hearing Opening Statement - Pre...

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are comprehensive and unbiased. But there is growing concern that Google employs different search ranking algorithms and more attractive visual displays to advantage its own secondary sites and products, to the detriment of competing specialized search sites and other disadvantaged businesses. There is also evidence that Google has taken information and reviews from competing specialized search sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, used that data as part of its own services, and in the processdemoted the search result rankings of the sites from which Google acquired the information. In addition, some reports suggest that Google has taken steps to impede competing search engines from crawling, indexing, andreturning search results to its YouTube content and book scans. Access to these popular stores of content is critical to enabling other search engines to compete. Exclusive Dealing There are also allegations that Google has achieved and sought to maintain its dominance in search by imposing exclusivity restrictions in dealings with advertising partners, perhaps in an effort toblock competing search tools. This includes a broad network of exclusive search syndication deals with websites like AOL and eBay, exclusive arrangements for Googles search box to appear on browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Safari, and agreements that Google be theexclusive default search provider on the iPhone and many Android models. Similarly, Googles contracts with advertisers apparently impose limits on the advertisers ability to transfer data associated with Googles advertising platform to any other advertising platform using third party tools that would make the process simple or even automatic. Studies by a Harvard Business School professor concluded that the net effect of these restrictions is to reinforce the tendency of small to medium-sized advertisers to . . . use only Google AdWords to the exclusion of competing platforms.[4] <#_ftn4> Many observers are also concerned that Google may be seeking to prevent smartphone manufacturers and customers who wish to use its Android platform from using competitors servicesfor example, by tying Android to Googles location program in order to exclude competing geolocation services. Consumer Welfare In assessing each of these concerns, the primary focus of our antitrust analysis should be consumer welfare. Growing complaints that Google is using its search dominance to favor its own offerings at the expense of competition deserve serious attention, especially if consumers are misled by Googles self-rankings and preferential display. Such bias would deny user

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2/3/12 12:38 PM

Senator Lee's Google Antitrust Hearing Opening Statement - Pre...

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trafc and revenue to competing sites, depriving those sites of resources needed to develop more innovative content and offer better services to customers. When competing websites lose trafc, they are forced to increase paid search advertising on Google, ultimately leading to increased prices for consumers. As a conservative Republican who favors free markets, I believe that ensuring robust competition in this critical area of our nations economy will benet consumers, spur innovation, and lead to job creation. In this instance, I believe that preserving competitive markets through antitrust principles can help forestall the imposition of burdensome government regulation.

[1] <#_ftnref1> Charles F. Rule, Is Google a Monopolist?, Wall Street Journal (Sept. 11, 2010) (Mr. Rule was head of the Justice Departments Antitrust Division in the Reagan Administration). [2] <#_ftnref2> Matt Warner, Google, Caffeine, and the Future of Search, The Telegraph (June 17, 2010) (quoting Amit Singhal, whoheads Googles search ranking team). [3] <#_ftnref3> Google Philosophy, item 3, prior to September 2009. (After September 2009 it was edited to read: We may be the only people in the world who can say our goal is to have people leave our homepage as quickly as possible.). Available at: http://www.google.com/about/corporate /company/tenthings.html. [4] <#_ftnref4> Professor Ben Edelman, PPC Platform Competition and Google's "May Not Copy" Restriction, June 27, 2008. http://www.benedelman.org/news/062708-1.html

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/9/senator-lee-sgoogle-antitrust-hearing-opening-statement

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2/3/12 12:38 PM

Sen. Lee Submits Jobs and Economic Stimulus Legislation - Pre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Oct 05 2011

Sen. Lee Submits Jobs and Economic Stimulus Legislation


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee submitted legislation that would create millions of new jobs and inject $1 trillion into the American economy by signicantly reducing the excessive tax on repatriated assets. Sen. Lees proposal would permanently lower the tax rate for businesses from 35% to 5% on money earned overseas and brought back to this country. American companies want to bring their earnings back here, build out their infrastructure, and invest in their domestic workforce, but current law makes it punitive to do so. We should be lowering those barriers and encouraging American companies to invest in this country, increase wages, and create new jobs. My bill is a common sense reform that helps businesses, workers, investors, and American industries across our economy without using mandates and regulation, or having the federal government pick winners and losers. Unlike recent repatriation holidays, which last a short period of time, Senator Lees bill would make the repatriation rate permanent and give American businesses the condence they need to bring their earnings home and the stability they require to invest in jobs rather than one-time capital investments. Previous one-time holidays, such as the one in 2004, have been used to minimal effect because the short-term duration of the benet does not incentivize companies to invest in long-term business infrastructure or new employment. The President is currently traveling the country trying to convince Americans to borrow another half-trillion dollars from the Chinese to stimulate the economy. My amendment would stimulate our economy by more than twice his proposal without saddling future generations with more debt. Studies, such as one conducted this summer by J.P. Morgan, reveal

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2/3/12 12:39 PM

Sen. Lee Submits Jobs and Economic Stimulus Legislation - Pre...

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undistributed earnings from American companies foreign operations could be closer to $1.4 trillion, which sits on the sidelines as a result of the 35% tax rate. Research by a former Congressional Budget Ofce director predicted repatriation could create close to 3 million new jobs. Senator Lees legislation is Amendment 691 to S. 1619, which is currently being considered by the Senate. In the case that Majority Leader Harry Reid would prevent amendments from being added to S. 1619, Sen. Lee would offer the amendment as stand alone legislation. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/10/sen-leesubmits-jobs-and-economic-stimulus-legislation

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2/3/12 12:39 PM

Lee Statement on China Currency Bill - Press Releases - Press O...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Oct 06 2011

Lee Statement on China Currency Bill


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee released the following statement in opposition to the China currency legislation: There are better, more productive ways to create jobs than to threaten a trade war with our largest trading partner. Tariffs only serve to increase costs for American businesses and consumers. Instead, we should be looking at ways to grow the economy by reducing excessive regulation, fundamentally reforming the tax code, getting our scal house in order, and increasing our domestic energy supply. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/10 /lee-statement-on-china-currency-bill

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2/3/12 12:39 PM

Senators and Congressmen Introduce the Northern Arizona Min...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Oct 12 2011

Senators and Congressmen Introduce the Northern Arizona Mining Continuity Act
Washington, D.C. U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) and U.S. Congressmen Trent Franks (AZ-02), Rob Bishop (UT-01), Jeff Flake (AZ-06), Paul Gosar (AZ-01), David Schweikert (AZ-05) and Ben Quayle (AZ-03) today introduced the Northern Arizona Mining Continuity Act of 2011. This legislation will stop the U.S. Department of the Interior from banning mining in a vast area of Arizona, and killing jobs in the uranium mining industry. In a recent letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, several members of Congress wrote in protest of the Secretarys proposed one million acre withdrawal of mining rights. The members stated the withdrawal has nothing to do with protecting the Grand Canyon environment but is actually de facto wilderness for a region that conservationists previously agreed would remain accessible to the mining industry. The Interior Departments own environmental study on the proposed withdrawal found no conclusive evidence that modern-day mining operations in this area are harming the Grand Canyon watershed. The Northern Arizona Mining Continuity Act of 2011 would uphold the historic agreement embodied by the Arizona Wilderness Act of 1984 (AWA) that designated parts of the Arizona Strip as Wilderness and restored other lands to reasonable and safe uranium mining uses. The letter points out that the AWA expressly refrained from banning mining on the Arizona Strip. The Departments proposed mining withdrawal would kill hundreds of potential jobs to save the Grand Canyon from the same form of uranium mining that conservation groups once supported, said Senator McCain. It also threatens to unravel the spirit of the Arizona Wilderness Act and will raise signicant questions for future Wilderness bills if agreements to

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2/3/12 12:40 PM

Senators and Congressmen Introduce the Northern Arizona Min...

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accommodate responsible land uses are neither genuine nor enduring. "Despite the fact that uranium mining efforts have for decades operated without impacting the environment or the beauty of our national parks, President Obama is nonetheless seeking to make 326-375 million pounds of the best quality uranium in the entire country off-limits, thus putting the desires of a handful of rabid environmentalists above America's long-term energy independence and national security," said Congressman Franks. The Obama Administration continues to push policies that stie American energy exploration and job creation, Senator Hatch said. Through Utah and the West, theres an abundance of energy that would help fuel the economic recovery we so desperately need. This legislation ensures that these vital public lands are accessible to domestic energy producers so we can harness the nations second largest domestic source of uranium ore. This Department of Interiors decision to halt mining in this region is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to circumvent congress in order to create new de-facto wilderness areas. Blocking access to more than a third of the known U.S. uranium deposits would have a devastating impact on job creation and would increase our reliance on foreign sources of uranium. As it stands, we already depend on other countries for more than 90% of our uranium needs, said Congressman Rob Bishop. This legislation will block yet another federal land grab and help ensure that we have access to our abundant domestic energy resources, which are essential to the future of this country. After having his 'wild lands' policy resoundingly rejected by Utahns and other state and local ofcials, Secretary Salazar appears intent upon using whatever authority he can claim to lock up lands in the western states, said Senator Lee. The withdrawal of one million acres of mining rights also reneges on a compromise between the federal government and the mining industry negotiated in good faith almost thirty years ago, setting an unwelcome precedent that could have future negative consequences. This legislation will stand as yet another rebuke of the administration's relentless pursuit of federal land grabs and reinforce the message that the people, not federal bureaucrats, should be the nal authority on what happens to land within their state's borders. Uranium mining in northern Arizona can create jobs and stimulate the regions economy without jeopardizing the splendor and natural beauty of the area, and thats why Arizonas federal, state, and local ofcials oppose a moratorium on such mining, said Congressman Flake. It is important we focus on the facts surrounding mining in the Northern

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2/3/12 12:40 PM

Senators and Congressmen Introduce the Northern Arizona Min...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

Arizona Mining district, said Congressman Gosar. It is simply false and misleading to assert that if the Administrations withdrawal is not enacted, uranium mining will take place in the canyon or in the park. However without a doubt, if the Administrations proposed withdrawal is enacted, the potential for nearly $30 billion dollars of economic growth opportunities nearly $700 million annually and over a thousand well paying jobs will be eliminated. I am proud to cosponsor this important legislation, and I strongly support environmentally responsible development of our countrys vast energy and mineral resources that will expand our domestic energy supply, create new American jobs, and lessen our dependence on foreign sources of energy and minerals. At a time when we are desperate for jobs and economic growth, this Administration continues to do everything in its power to implement the job-killing policies of fringe environmental groups. This withdrawal is not so much a protection of the Grand Canyon, but a government land grab of economically fertile mining land, said Congressman Schweikert. It is remarkable that we need legislation to force the Administration to stop such an unwarranted ban, said Congressman Quayle. A study conducted by the same department that is proposing the mining withdrawal found no conclusive evidence that modern-day mining will cause any harm to the Grand Canyon region. Despite these ndings, the Department of Interior is still pushing forward even though the ban will prevent the creation of thousands of potential Arizona jobs and economic growth for the state. The Administration is once again putting special interests ahead of job creation. Letter and bill attached. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/10/senatorsand-congressmen-introduce-the-northern-arizona-mining-continuity-act Related Files Letter to Secretary Salazar - Uranium - 10 12 11 LETTER TO SEC SALAZAR.pdf (866.9 KBs) Northern Arizona Mining Continuity Act - 10 12 11 Northern Arizona Continuity Act.pdf (27.8 KBs)

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2/3/12 12:40 PM

Lee Introduces the DASH Act - Press Releases - Press Ofce - ...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Oct 13 2011

Lee Introduces the DASH Act


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee introduced a bill to help dairy and ranch owners maintain the foreign workers they need to keep their businesses operating year-round, without creating a legal path to citizenship for workers. The Dairy and Sheep H2A (DASH) Act would make dairy workers, sheep herders, and goat herders eligible to apply for year-round positions through the H2A visa program. Currently, temporary farm workers are only able to obtain seasonal visas. Immigration involves a complicated and difcult set of issues, particularly regarding Americas agricultural industry, said Senator Lee. Few Americans are willing to work in many of these jobs, and outdated visa laws prevent business from attracting temporary foreign workers to ll the shortage. Making certain types of legal immigration more efcient diminishes the incentive for some to come here illegally or overstay their visas. The DASH Act streamlines the system by which we identify, process, and oversee temporary workers coming to our country to do agricultural work, thereby strengthening our economy. Under the legislation, visas for such workers would have an initial term of three years and could be renewed for additional periods of three years without requiring workers to return to their home countries. The DASH Act would in no way provide a legal path to citizenship and would require workers who do not obtain a proper renewal to go home. The legislation is also sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Read the Salt Lake Chamber's release on the DASH Act

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/10

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2/3/12 12:40 PM

Lee, Schumer Introduce Immigration Reform Bill - Press Releas...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Oct 20 2011

Lee, Schumer Introduce Immigration Reform Bill


WASHINGTON, DCWith an excess of supply stalling a recovery in the U.S. housing market, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) announced today that they will offer a bipartisan proposal to boost demand for homes by luring foreign investors to purchase residences and live in the U.S. The concept is part of a broad immigration package aimed at boosting foreign travel and investment in the United States. The Visa Improvements to Stimulate International Tourism to the United States of America Act (VISIT-USA Act) would remove bureaucratic red tape that sties travel and investment in the U.S. For instance, the bill would reduce barriers for Canadian and Chinese visitors whose consumer spending provides a lift to the U.S. economy. The bill would also expedite priority visa applicants, introduce videoconferencing as a means to screening foreign nationals, and make major changes to visa procedures for U.S. allies in the ght against al Qaeda. To confront the housing crisis, the legislation would provide, for the rst time, a three-year residential visa for foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 in residential real estate in the United States. At least $250,000 must be spent on a primary residence where the visa holder will reside for at least 180 days out of the year while paying taxes to the U.S. Applicants would still be subject to standard criminal and national security background checks and, once approved, would not be able to receive government benets such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The program would not serve as a path to citizenship for foreign nationals. Real estate analysts have said this proposal could lift demand for U.S. homes and help ease the housing crisis. Famed investor Warren Buffett has also supported the concept of enticing foreign homebuyers previously. Schumer said: This concept has the potential to lift demand for the nations excess homes. Our housing market will never begin a true recovery as long

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2/3/12 12:41 PM

Lee, Schumer Introduce Immigration Reform Bill - Press Releas...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

as our housing stock so greatly exceeds demand. This is not a cure-all, but it could be part of the solution to the housing crisis and wont cost the government a nickel." Lee said: This bill supports a free market method for increasing demand for housing at a time when so many working-class Americans are underwater on their homes, are desperate for prices to rise again, and big-government programs have failed to work. I am sponsoring this bill because I know that it makes economic sense while protecting American citizens. The Schumer-Lee bill has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Travel Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the U.S. Olympic Committee. A breakdown of the main provisions in the VISIT-USA Act, beyond the homebuyer visa provision, appears below: Encourage Chinese Nationals to Travel to the U.S: Currently, Chinese nationals must apply for a new U.S. visa every year while travelers from other countries can receive up to 10-year multiple entry visas. The bill would allow Chinese tourists access to 5-year multiple-entry visitor visas, in order to eliminate this signicant disincentive to travel to the United States. To ensure maximum security, stop terrorism, and address fraud concerns, Chinese tourists with 5-year visas will also be required to use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). A recent report showed that the average Chinese visitor to the U.S. spends $6,000. Expedite Priority Visitors: Currently, many people of means do not travel to the United States because of the waiting times for visas. The VISIT-USA Act will allow the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to charge an extra fee to expedite the processing of a nonimmigrant visa just like the State Department to charges an extra fee to expedite the processing of a U.S. Passport. Introduce Technology Into the U.S. Visa System: Applicants for a U.S. visa are often forced to make signicant investments of time and money. The VISIT-USA Act authorizes the Secretary of State to conduct a videoconference pilot program as a method for conducting visa interviews of foreign national applicants. This would ensure that U.S. visitors spend their money inside the U.S. on our goods and not on going through red tape. Encourage Canadian Tourism to the United States: Under current law, without a visa, Canadian citizens are not permitted to remain in the United States for longer than 180 days. Many Canadians would remain in the United States for a longer period of time during periods where the weather is

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2/3/12 12:41 PM

Lee, Schumer Introduce Immigration Reform Bill - Press Releas...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

still cold if they had a legal ability to do so. In addition, Canadians who currently return to Canada after 180 days are unable to take day-trips across the border to northern-border-states in America. The VISIT-USA Act creates a new Canadian retiree visa (non-immigrant visa) that allows Canadians who are: (1) over age 50 (with derivative benets to a spouse and minor children); (2) who can show that they own a residence in the United States or have purchased rental or hotel accommodations in the United States for the duration of their stay; and (3) are not otherwise inadmissible to have a visa that lasts 240 days, and is renewable every 3 years Encourage U.S. Travel During Low Peak Season: One of the greatest contributing factors to high visa demand is the summer travel season. Given that visa interview wait times typically lengthen during the summer months, this bill permits the State Department to lower visa application fees during off-peak seasons to give travelers the incentive to apply for visas when demand is lower. Expedite Visa for Countries Aiding the U.S. in Fight Against Al Qaeda: The Visa Waiver program gives citizens of selected countries the ability to travel to the US more easily, rather than go through the more lengthy and complicated US Tourist Visa application process, but its not available to all U.S. allies. The VISIT-USA Act amends the Immigration and Nationality Act regarding the visa waiver program to: (1) authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Secretary of State, to designate program countries; (2) adjust the criteria for visa refusal rates to permit entry into the program if a country has a low visa overstay rate; (3) set a maximum 3% visa overstay rate for program countries; and (4) revise probationary status and program termination provisions Expediting Entry for Priority Visitors: The global entry program is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. At the moment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection lacks the ability to add specic foreign nationals to the global-entry prescreening system if they are not nationals of one of the participating countries that the United States has a reciprocal agreement with. This creates problems for certain high-priority visitors with decision-making capacity to bring important international eventssuch as the Olympics, the World Cup, conventions, etc.to the United States. This section would permit Customs and Border Protection to add important foreign dignitaries to the global entry program on a case-by-case basis if they are employed by an organization that maintains a strong working relationship with the United States and do not pose security risks. The VISIT-USA Act represents the most signicant reform of the U.S.

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2/3/12 12:41 PM

Lee, Schumer Introduce Immigration Reform Bill - Press Releas...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

immigration system in a generation, all the while adding a signicant boost to our economy through increased foreign investment and tourism. Although a budget analysis of the proposal is not yet available, the senators said it was highly likely the package would signicantly reduce the decit through the increased tax revenues collected from new visa holders living in the U.S.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/10 /lee-schumer-introduce-immigration-reform-bill

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2/3/12 12:41 PM

Lee Troubled By Proposed Rule Allowing Agencies to Mislead...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Oct 27 2011

Lee Troubled By Proposed Rule Allowing Agencies to Mislead Public


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee reacted to reports that the Department of Justice may be attempting to allow federal agencies to provide misinformation about the existence of certain government documents. Senator Lee cautioned that the proposed rule could be a slippery slope toward making government unaccountable to the people. Although the government has a legitimate interest in keeping certain matters of national security from becoming public, I am concerned that this proposed rule may represent a slippery slope that would ultimately limit the public's ability to hold the federal government accountable for its actions. There is already in place a process by which courts may assess whether or not documents qualify for FOIA exclusions, and I am unaware of any compelling reason to depart from that process. I will continue to investigate this matter and work with my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to ensure it is properly resolved." Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/10 /lee-troubled-by-proposed-rule-allowing-agencies-to-mislead-public

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2/3/12 12:42 PM

Governor Herbert, Utah Congressional Delegation React to An...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 02 2011

Governor Herbert, Utah Congressional Delegation React to Announcement on Hill Air Force Base
In Letter to Air Force Today, Members Write that the Proposal is Most Disappointing and Irresponsible
WASHINGTON Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Utahs entire congressional delegation, including Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Congressmen Rob Bishop, Jim Matheson and Jason Chaffetz, today expressed deep concerns with the Air Forces decision to eliminate jobs at Hill Air Force Base. The Governor and Utahs delegation sent a letter today to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley detailing their disappointment with the decision. Currently, there are approximately 24,000 employees that work at Hill Air Force Base in various roles. In the letter, the elected ofcials write that, the Air Forces decisions jeopardizes the future modernization of Hill AFB facilities and infrastructure. They also note that the Air Force either cant, or wont, provide us with the needed answers as the analytical process seems to have been circumvented. HERBERT : "Utah's Hill Air Force Base is unquestionably a critical component of our nation's modern defense system. This state is deeply disappointed with today's announcement, particularly given the lack of public process and absence of local input. With so much other waste in Washington, this hasty decision appears to be short-sighted and even counter-productive, jeopardizing the modernization of the country's defense. While some are saying this is a done deal, this is not over--we will exhaust

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2/3/12 12:43 PM

Governor Herbert, Utah Congressional Delegation React to An...

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every option to keep Hill as one of nation's premier defense installations and preserve valuable jobs for Utahns." HATCH : The Air Forces decision ignores the basic fact that the men and women at Hill Air Force Base are among the hardest-working and most efcient workers in our armed forces. Its simply the wrong decision as anyone whos visited Hill well knows. I rmly believe that the command at Hill and the Ogden Air Logistics Center would be able to work with the Air Force to meet the services and Utahns goal of saving taxpayer dollars and maintaining the strongest military in the world. Im going to continue to press the Air Force on maintaining the current logistics center infrastructure and do everything I can to ensure the 24,000 jobs at Hill remain in northern Utah. LEE: The planned reorganization of the Air Force Materiel Command, which will signicantly affect Hill Air Force Base, should be shelved immediately. The announcement came with very little coordination or communication with Utahs representatives and many important questions remain. The Air Force has pursued this plan with an unsettling amount of secrecy and during the process failed to provide adequate details regarding personnel reductions and possible relocation sites, despite assurances that those would be made in a fair and open manner. It has failed to perform a business-case analysis, which is necessary to determine whether the reorganization will even accomplish its stated goal. I repeatedly and specically asked the Air Force to postpone its announcement until these issues had been resolved, but it was unwilling to change its plans. As a result, I plan to ght this plan on all fronts. BISHOP: In light of the fact that many questions remain unanswered and no Business Case Analysis has been conducted, I remain deeply concerned that the Air Force has chosen to proceed with the announcement of this proposal. A BCA is an essential step that must be taken to determine whether these decisions will be benecial or detrimental to Utah and air logistics capabilities as a whole. This necessary analysis would provide evidence as to whether or not this would actually benet taxpayers or end up costing more in the long run as many suspect. The Air Force has remained elusive about the details of this plan, including their refusal to conduct a BCA. They have been less than forthcoming about what personnel reductions may occur and where, as well as the overall impact this will have on jobs, Utah, Hill AFB and efciency amongst all Air Logistics Centers. Subsequently, I have requested on several occasions, in writing and in person, that Air Force Secretary Michael Donley immediately halt the implementation of this plan. I want to do what is best for the Air Force and for the nation but so far the Air Force has yet to prove that this proposal is in the best

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2/3/12 12:43 PM

Governor Herbert, Utah Congressional Delegation React to An...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

interest of the country. MATHESON: There is a process in place for how these workforce decisions are made. I have concerns that in this case, the Department of Defenses own rules and regulations were not followed. That raises questions about how appropriate the job reductions are, given the importance of Hills mission and the excellence and efciency shown by Hills employees in our national defense. Hill Air Force Base is composed of two major components: the Fighter Wings and Ogden Air Logistics Center. Under the Air Forces plan, Ogdens commander will no longer be a Major General but a Brigadier General. Ogdens name will also be changed from an Air Logistics Center to an Air Logistics Complex. The Governor and the delegation are concerned that the Air Forces plan could disrupt the integrated management of Ogdens life-cycle managers, who plan and engineer modications to aircraft, and depot maintainers, who are responsible for performing the actual work on the aircraft. According to the Air Force, Ogden will not lose any of its current functions and missions, and the F-22 program managers previously scheduled to move to Ogden are in fact coming. In addition, the Secretary of the Air Force has said that Hill Air Force Base is on track to receive the rst three operational squadrons of F-35s. The text of the letter Governor Herbert and Utahs congressional delegation sent to Sen. Donley is below, and can also be viewed HERE :

November 2, 2011 The Honorable Michael Donley Secretary - United States Air Force 1670 Air Force Pentagon Washington, DC 20330-1670 Dear Mr. Secretary: As a united delegation of Utah elected ofcials, we are writing to express dismay following your meeting yesterday afternoon with selected Congressional leaders regarding your anticipated announcement which will outline a major reorganization of the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), signicant downgrading of the Air Logistics Centers (ALCs), and the

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2/3/12 12:43 PM

Governor Herbert, Utah Congressional Delegation React to An...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

establishment of new centralized bureaucracies in Ohio and Oklahoma. As things stand, we cannot support your proposal due to the lack of analysis which prohibits us from judging the efcacy of the proposed changes and the impacts on sustainment. Sadly, the Air Force either cant, or wont, provide us with the needed answers as the analytical process seems to have been circumvented. For months, our delegations attempts at dialogue and partnership have largely been rebuffed by you, and other Air Force leaders, even as AFMCs reorganization plans were being drafted in haste and behind the cloak of non-disclosure agreements. It is regrettable that you would proceed to move forward to approve and implement such a major reorganization in this effusive manner while ignoring Air Force regulations (AF165-509) which require that a formal Business Case Analysis (BCA) to be conducted on any proposed action which would result in a $500 million or greater impact across the ve-year defense plan (FYDP). Lt. General Janet Wolfenbarger admitted, in writing, that no BCA had been completed, even though the $500 million threshold is reached. Therefore, your action appears to be in violation of Air Force and Department of Defense (DoD) regulations. Even without a regulatory mandate, principles of responsible government would dictate that a BCA be conducted to demonstrate to taxpayers that such a major reorganization creating two new three-star bureaucracies makes scal sense. The secretive and subjective process used by you and the Air Force to determine the locations for the two new 3-star bureaucracies inherent in your plan is highly suspect, and offends the very notions of fairness and open government. To have determined these locations in secret violates the precedents used previously by the Air Force in making basing decisions. While we continue to have various other unanswered questions regarding your plans impact on sustainment for the war ghter, due mainly to the lack of specics from you, one of our most signicant concerns is that the plan could severely undercut the long-term viability of the Falcon Hill Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) project at Hill Air Force Base. As you well know, the taxpayers of Utah have invested over $20 million in state funds into the Falcon Hill EUL partnership. That investment now stands at risk through what appears to be an impetuous Air Force reorganization scheme that could reduce demand for Falcon Hill, thereby jeopardizing the future modernization of Hill AFB facilities and infrastructure. To announce your plan, and not to have considered these potential negative impacts on Falcon Hill and Hill AFB modernization, is most disappointing and irresponsible. Once again, we strongly urge you to defer the AFMC reorganization implementation until greater dialogue and disclosure is achieved with

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2/3/12 12:43 PM

Governor Herbert, Utah Congressional Delegation React to An...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

stakeholders, and a formal BCA is completed in compliance with Air Force and DoD regulations, including a detailed review of how the Falcon Hill EUL and Hill AFB future modernization could be negatively impacted. Sincerely, HATCH HERBERT LEE MATHESON BISHOP CHAFFETZ

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11/governorherbert-utah-congressional-delegation-react-to-announcement-on-hillair-force-base

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2/3/12 12:43 PM

Lees Land Conveyance Bills Pass Senate - Press Releases - Pre...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 03 2011

Lees Land Conveyance Bills Pass Senate


WASHINGTON - Last night, the Senate approved legislation introduced by Senator Mike Lee to authorize the transfer of vacant and virtually unused federal land in Utah to the growing cities of Mantua and Alta. The bills were approved by unanimous consent and represent the rst pieces of legislation authored by Senator Lee to pass the full Senate. Under the passed legislation, Mantua will gain control of nearly 32 acres of land in Box Elder County that was originally owned by Hans Rasmussen, an early settler of Mantua. His family eventually deeded the land to the U.S. Forest Service in 1941 for $1.00. Mantua will not be required to pay for the land. If passed by the House and signed by President Obama, Senator Lees bill will allow Alta to assume control over Forest Service land that will be used for a community center and re station. It is a testament to the success of our state and cities like Mantua and Alta that these bills are necessary, said Senator Lee, who sits on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. These cities can use the land productively and the federal government has no pressing need for it. I hope that the House will move quickly on Congressman Rob Bishops version of this legislation.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11/lee-sland-conveyance-bills-pass-senate

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2/3/12 12:43 PM

Lee Introduces Bill to Repatriate Overseas Earnings - Press Rel...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 09 2011

Lee Introduces Bill to Repatriate Overseas Earnings


WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Mike Lee introduced the Rebuilding America Act, legislation that will permanently increase incentives for American companies to invest overseas earnings back in to the U.S. economy. Under Lees legislation the effective repatriation tax rate would be set at 5% down from 35%, which is currently the highest in the developed world. American companies have over $1.4 trillion sitting overseas because its too expensive to bring it back home, said Senator Lee. Thats money that could be used to build new infrastructure and invest in the domestic workforce. My legislation reduces the rate permanently, rather than granting a short-term holiday, which lasts only a short period of time and fails to give business owners the certainty they need to make long-term investments, such as expanding their payrolls. Making the repatriation rate permanent gives American companies condence in a stable revenue stream that they will be able to count on to fund long-term expansion. Most importantly, the Rebuilding America Act will free up this major new source of capital, which will help the economy grow and generate new revenue. Even a former Clinton economist estimates that corporate tax revenues would increase by $36 billion with this lower repatriation tax rate. Rather than borrowing additional billions from China, as President Obama would have us do, my plan will provide those billions to American businesses while reducing the decit. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Jim Risch (R-ID) are co-sponsoring the bill.

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2/3/12 12:43 PM

Lee Cosponsors Legislation to Reverse Rule on 'Mini-Unions' - ...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=f...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 10 2011

Lee Cosponsors Legislation to Reverse Rule on 'Mini-Unions'


Bill Has Support of 28 Original Cosponsors in the Senate
WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today introduced legislation that would reverse the National Labor Relation Boards recent decision allowing as few as two or three employees to form micro bargaining units, or mini-unions, to engage in collective bargaining with employers. Isaksons legislation, the Representation Fairness Restoration Act, has 28 cosponsors. Isaksons legislation comes in response to the Aug. 26, 2011, decision by the federal labor board in the Specialty Healthcare case, which set a new precedent allowing unions to target small numbers of employees within a company for the purpose of organizing them into micro bargaining units. For example, in one grocery store, the cashiers could form one mini union, the baggers could form another, the produce stockers could form yet another, and so on. This could potentially create several different unions within the same store location, making it easier for unions to gain access to employees and nearly impossible for employers to manage such fragmentation of the workforce. Isaksons legislation would reinstate the traditional standard for determining which employees will constitute an appropriate bargaining unit, a standard that has been developed through years of careful consideration and Congressional guidance. The administrations decision to allow micro bargaining units recklessly disregards the long-standing principles of collective bargaining. This action is yet another example of how President Obamas appointees at this agency are tipping the scales in favor of unions, said Isakson. This decision is

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2/3/12 12:43 PM

Lee Cosponsors Legislation to Reverse Rule on 'Mini-Unions' - ...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=f...

adding to the pressure and uncertainty facing employers today and threatening the creation of private-sector jobs at a time when unemployment is over 9 percent. In March 2011, while the National Labor Relations Board was in the process of making its nal decision on the Specialty Healthcare case, Isakson joined Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) in sending a letter warning the agency that its legal reasoning could be used to apply new rules for unionization for all U.S. industries and businesses under its jurisdiction. The senators further expressed concern about the Boards practice of trying to make labor policy through adjudication instead of the established rulemaking process. The legislation has garnered the support of 28 original cosponsors in the Senate, including Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Daniel Coats (R-Ind.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), John Thune (R-S.D.), and David Vitter (R-La.). Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11 /lee-cosponsors-legislation-to-reverse-rule-on-mini-unions

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2/3/12 12:43 PM

Lee Statement on New Wilderness Recommendations - Press Re...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 14 2011

Lee Statement on New Wilderness Recommendations


Last week, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recommended to Congress that three areas in UtahDesolation Canyon, Westwater Canyon, and Mill Creek Canyonbe federally designated as wilderness areas. In response, Senator Mike Lee is reiterating his position on federal land use: Like every other state, Utah knows what is best for Utahs land, said Senator Lee. I will not support any new wilderness designations unless they are rst considered and approved by the Utah state legislature. Roughly two thirds of Utah is already owned by some part of the federal government. While any other owner would pay property taxes on this land to the state, the federal government does not, depriving Utah of an enormous source of income. In addition, Washingtons pervasive overreach also affects countless groups that want to put a small portion of land to some sort of use. Utahns must go to the federal government, hat in hand, and ask permission to merely dig a well, or to build a road, or to bury cable, or indeed to do virtually anything. "As a result, I believe the Utah legislature must rst consider and approve proposed wilderness designations before any nal determination is made at the federal level." Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11 /lee-statement-on-new-wilderness-recommendations

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2/3/12 12:44 PM

Republicans Announce Welfare Reform Act of 2011 - Press Rel...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 16 2011

Republicans Announce Welfare Reform Act of 2011


Saves $2.43 trillion, ensures food stamps used for essential items, ends budget gimmicks, prevents taxpayer funding of abortion
WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) announced that he would soon introduce the Welfare Reform Act of 2011 with original cosponsors including U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), and David Vitter (R-Louisiana). Companion legislation has been offered in the U.S. House by U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Over the past two decades the growth in means-tested welfare spending (292%) has outpaced the combined growth of Medicare and Social Security spending (213%) as well as the growth in education (143%) and defense spending (126%). The Welfare Reform Act of 2011 would save $2.43 trillion by 2021 by gradually reducing the costs of the 77 existing welfare programs as unemployment decreases. Senator DeMint said: With record levels of federal spending and record levels of Americans in poverty and using food stamps, its hard not to conclude that federal welfare programs are failing, said Senator DeMint. We dont help Americans by making them dependent on Washington for a handout, we need more Americans empowered to stand on their own with a job in a vibrant economy. We need to reform our welfare programs to encourage self-sufciency. We can also save taxpayers trillions of dollars that they can use to invest in our economy to create jobs and donate to local

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2/3/12 12:44 PM

Republicans Announce Welfare Reform Act of 2011 - Press Rel...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

charities that have better success at lifting Americans out of poverty. Senator Vitter said: One of the most signicant substantive accomplishments coming out of the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress was welfare reform. But as signicant as this reform was, we are overdue to renew welfare reform efforts and make additional gains because the welfare state has grown enormously since then even factoring out recessions. Senator Lee said: "Failure to reform these programs puts them at risk. The spending is unsustainable and it will affect our ability to afford other national priorities. Making reasonable changes today will allow us to avoid much more painful decisions in the future." Senator Inhofe said: Our nations welfare programs are in desperate need of reform, and this measure provides a good approach. Welfare programs are costing American taxpayers far too much while providing little benet beyond keeping individuals and families dependent. These reforms will empower individuals to improve their situation by encouraging and promoting greater self sufciency. It also holds the federal government accountable for how it spends taxpayer dollars. I am pleased to join my colleagues in this effort to improve the situation many Americans have found themselves in during a difcult economy. In scal year 2011, total government spending on means-tested welfare spending will reach $909 billion per year. Federal spending comprises about three-quarters of this spending at $701 billion, with states contributing an additional $208 billion. This spending spans more than 70 means-tested programs for the poor including health programs like Medicaid and CHIP, housing programs, TANF, food stamps, and education programs, including HEAD Start.

The Welfare Reform Act of 2011 would:

Place an aggregate spending cap on all means-tested welfare spending at pre-stimulus 2007 levels (indexed for ination) effective by 2015 or when unemployment falls below 7.5%. Enforce a spending cap through the budget resolution, and saves $2.43 trillion over 10 years relative to President Obamas Budget according to the Heritage Foundation.

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Republicans Announce Welfare Reform Act of 2011 - Press Rel...

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Provide for transparency in our welfare state by requiring the Presidents budget to disclose the total means-tested welfare expenditures contained in the 77 existing programs. Require the Secretary of Agriculture to ensure that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) limits the use of food stamps to essential foods, ending the use of food stamps at fast food restaurants. Remove the 13.6% increase in food stamp benets created by the Presidents 2009 Stimulus law. Reallocate $300 million of current welfare spending towards grants to states that successfully reduce poverty and increase self-sufciency. Prevent federal funding of abortion in any of the 77 means-tested welfare programs. Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11/republicansannounce-welfare-reform-act-of-2011

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Senators Demand Details On Kagans Health Law Role - Pres...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 18 2011

Senators Demand Details On Kagans Health Law Role


Letter to Attorney General Holder: It appears that former Solicitor General Kagans participation in the Obama Administrations defense of the PPACA may satisfy both requirements for recusal
WASHINGTON, D.C. Key Senate Republicans sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday urging him to comply with Congressional oversight requests regarding former Solicitor General Elena Kagans role in the administrations defense of the health care law. Their letter states: when a former member of the Administration is in a position to rule on litigation in which she apparently had some involvement and which concerns legislation she herself supports, public condence in the administration of justice is undermined. Your Departments refusal to provide information to the Congress that could eliminate this apparent conict of interest only undermines that condence further. The letter is signed by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican Whip Jon Kyl, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley and Senator Mike Lee. Full text of the letter is pasted below and a PDF of the original is attached. November 18, 2011 The Honorable Eric Holder Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20530-0001 Dear Mr. Attorney General:

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Senators Demand Details On Kagans Health Law Role - Pres...

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Members of Congress have been trying to determine whether Justice Elena Kagan has a conict of interest with respect to participating in litigation in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) due to her involvement with and support for this legislation while a member of the Justice Department. Unfortunately, your Department has rejected all Congressional oversight requests for information about her role in the Obama Administrations defense of this law. You recently told the Senate, incredibly, that you were not even aware of Congressional requests on this topic, and that your Department handled her duties as it relates to such matters in a way that is belied by the facts, namely that you physically removed her from all meetings discussing the litigation. Because of the highly questionable manner in which your Department is handling this important issue, we write to underscore the importance to the rule of law of an informed resolution of this question, and to apprise you of the legal and factual bases for our concerns. Federal law requires recusal from a case if a judicial ofcer of the United States has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case or controversy. 28 U.S.C. 455(b)(3). In addition, a federal judge must disqualify herself from participating in a matter if her impartiality might reasonably be questioned. Id. at 455(a). It appears that former Solicitor General Kagans participation in the Obama Administrations defense of the PPACA may satisfy both requirements for recusal. Then-Solicitor General Kagan acknowledged to the Senate Judiciary Committee last year that, in fact, she played a role in the Obama Administrations defense of the PPACA, including attending at least one meeting that discussed the litigation. But she minimized her degree of involvement in the litigation, characterizing it as not substantial. Federal law, however, requires recusal if a government ofcial participated in a matter that is the subject of litigation; it does not require the government ofcials past participation in that same matter to be substantial (as determined by the self-same government ofcial). Moreover, emails nally produced by your Department in response to lawsuits to enforce the Freedom of Information Act suggest involvement by then-Solicitor General Kagan in the Administrations preparations for defending the PPACA. In January 2010two months before then-General Kagan was even aware she was being considered as a potential nominee to the Supreme Courtyour Department began planning to defend this law against legal challenges. Neil Katyal, Ms. Kagans principal deputy, stated he would speak with Elena about her ofce participating in a Department

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Senators Demand Details On Kagans Health Law Role - Pres...

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working group that would plan the Administrations litigation strategy, exclaiming that he wanted the Administration to crush those challenging the PPACA. A few hours later, Mr. Katyal indicated that he had spoken with Ms. Kagan about the legal working group, and said she denitely wanted her ofce to participate in it. (Elena would denitely like OSG [Ofce of the Solicitor General] to be involved in this set of issues.) He said the working group would bring Elena in as needed. A few days later another member of your Department made clear that the working group would discuss the legal claims that will be asserted and how [the Obama Administration] will defend against them. This email then listed the major legal issues that likely would arise in legal challenges to the PPACA over which the working group would deliberate. (Your Department has redacted that part of the email: The big areas of possible litigation are [redacted].) Mr. Katyal then underscored that Ms. Kagans ofce was to be heavily involved in planning the Administrations legal strategy even in the d[istrict court]. In Marchtwo months before then-Solicitor General Kagan was nominated to the Supreme Courtshe was party to a discussion involving the head of the PPACA litigation defense working group (Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli) and Mr. Katyal. Specically, Mr. Katyal added Ms. Kagan to an email discussion with Mr. Perrelli so Mr. Katyal could advise her of a draft litigation complaint challenging the PPACA. Mr. Katyal raised particular parts of the complaint with Ms. Kagan and Mr. Perrelli, including his analysis of the plaintiffs litigation strategy. He also provided a link to a website so Ms. Kagan and Mr. Perrelli could review the document themselves. Mr. Katyal then recommended to them the next steps the Justice Department should take to respond to this upcoming legal challenge. He specically noted that he was now including then-Solicitor General Kagan to apprise her of his recommendation, presumably so she could express any disagreement with it (I havent discussed this with Elena, but am ccing her here). It should be noted that according to then-General Kagans own testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, during the time of this discussion of a particular legal challenge to the PPACA, she was still performing her duties as Solicitor General as normal. Just three days later, then-Solicitor General Kagan expressed her glee to another member of your Department, Legal Advisor and Law Professor Larry Tribe, about the PPACAs likely passage in the Congress. In an email entitled, ngers and toes crossed today!, Ms. Kagan happily says to Professor Tribe, I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing. Professor Tribe then gives Ms. Kagan his view of a recent modication to the legislation. (So health care is basically done! Remarkable. And with the Stupak group accepting the magic of what amounts to a signing statement on steroids!)

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Senators Demand Details On Kagans Health Law Role - Pres...

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=...

President Obama chose to nominate a member of his Administration to the Supreme Court knowing it was likely that, if conrmed, she would be in a position to rule on his signature domestic policy achievementlitigation, Mr. Katyal noted to former Solicitor General Kagan, of singular importance to the Administration. Among other involvement in this matter, it appears that she was privy to discussions of legal claims and litigation strategy concerning court challenges to the PPACA. And it is apparent that she herself enthusiastically supported this legislation as a member of the Administration which is now defending it. When a former member of the Administration is in a position to rule on litigation in which she apparently had some involvement and which concerns legislation she herself supports, public condence in the administration of justice is undermined. Your Departments refusal to provide information to the Congress that could eliminate this apparent conict of interest only undermines that condence further. The Justice Department noted at the time the Congress was considering the current mandatory recusal law for federal judges that a purpose of its stricter standards was to avoid the possibility that public condence in the federal judicial system may be weakened. We urge you to reconsider your Departments decision not to respond to Congresss oversight requests so that the public can have condence in the resolution of this important litigation. Sincerely, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell Republican Whip Jon Kyl Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, Senator Charles Grassley Senator Mike Lee Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11/senatorsdemand-details-on-kagan-s-health-law-role

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Lee Supports Detainee Protections for American Citizens - Pres...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Nov 30 2011

Lee Supports Detainee Protections for American Citizens


WASHINGTON Today, Senator Mike Lee announced his support for legislation that would prevent any American citizen from being held indenitely by the military without trial. The provision is an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which is currently being considered by the U.S. Senate. Congress should make absolutely clear that the U.S. government does not have authority to detain an American citizen indenitely without trial and proper constitutional process, said Senator Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This amendment ensures the proper balance between individual liberty and national security, and maintains that we are both a free and a secure nation. Amendment #1126 to the NDAA states: The authority described in this section for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain a person does not include the authority to detain a citizen of the United States without trial until the end of hostilities. Senator Lee strongly disapproves of any policy that would allow for the indenite detention of American citizens. Congress expects to vote on the amendment this week as a part of the NDAA package.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/11 /lee-supports-detainee-protections-for-american-citizens

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Lee cosponsors the North American Energy Security Act - Pres...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Dec 01 2011

Lee cosponsors the North American Energy Security Act


Today, Senator Mike Lee cosponsored the North American Energy Security Act, which would authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Not only is this an important energy project, its a job-creating project that is truly shovel-ready, said Senator Lee. Authorizing the Keystone pipeline will create 20,000 direct jobs. We cant wait to give the private sector the freedom to put more Americans to work. Moreover, this pipeline will be the next step in reducing dependence on oil imported from nations that are unstable, undemocratic, and often outright hostile to the United States. It is innitely preferable to buy more from our neighbors to the north and less from dangerous regimes. This is the sort of intelligent energy decision that we need to consistently make.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/12 /lee-cosponsors-the-north-american-energy-security-act

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Lee Calls for Iran Sanctions - Press Releases - Press Ofce - Mi...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Dec 02 2011

Lee Calls for Iran Sanctions


WASHINGTON Last night, all 100 U.S. Senators voted in favor of S.A.1414, an amendment to S.1867, to sanction the Central Bank of Iran. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) cosponsored this amendment that was introduced by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). Under this legislation, foreign nancial institutions that conduct nancial transactions with the Central Bank of Iran will be prohibited from opening or maintaining correspondent bank accounts in the United States. This bill is a response to the illicit activities of the Government of Iran, including its pursuit of nuclear weapons, support for international terrorism, and efforts to deceive responsible nancial institutions and evade sanctions. The United States needs to send a clear message to the government of Iran that we will not tolerate the threats posed by the Iranian regimes actions, said Senator Lee, who sits on the Foreign Relations committee. Their pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a serious threat to the United States, Israel, and other allies. This amendment sends a clear signal to the Iranian regime that they will not be allowed to participate in the global economic system if they continue to destabilize the region. "I call upon the Administration to take immediate action to implement these sanctions and explain President Obama's strategy for halting Iran's charge toward obtaining nuclear weapons. The United States cannot afford to lead from behind on this issue."

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/12/lee-callsfor-iran-sanctions

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Lee Land Bill Clears Congress - Press Releases - Press Ofce -...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Dec 08 2011

Lee Land Bill Clears Congress


Yesterday, legislation introduced by Senator Mike Lee passed both chambers of Congress for the rst time. The House voted unanimously in approval of its version of a bill that authorizes the transfer of vacant and virtually unused federal land in Utah to the growing city of Mantua. The Senate version has already been passed, also unanimously. Under the new law, Mantua will gain control of nearly 32 acres of land in Box Elder County that was originally owned by Hans Rasmussen, an early settler of Mantua. His family eventually deeded the land to the U.S. Forest Service in 1941 for $1.00. Mantua will not be required to pay for the land. It is a testament to the success of our state and cities like Mantua that this bill was necessary, said Senator Lee, who sits on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Mantua can use the land productively and the federal government has no pressing need for it. I am glad that the House passed Congressman Rob Bishops version of this legislation.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/12/lee-landbill-clears-congress

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Lee Sponsors Bill to Protect American Civil Liberties - Press Re...

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Mike Lee, United States Senator for Utah Press Releases


Dec 15 2011

Lee Sponsors Bill to Protect American Civil Liberties


Today, Senator Mike Lee co-sponsored the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011, which claries that a declaration of war or authorization for the use of military force by Congress does not authorize the indenite detention of American citizens or legal residents who are apprehended in the United States. The governments most basic responsibility is to protect the civil liberties of its citizens, said Senator Lee. Our nation has fought wars on American soil and around the world in defense of individual liberty, and we must not sacrice this most fundamental right in the pursuit of greater security. Without freedom there is no security." Americans who commit treason, or plot treasonous acts, should and will be punished for their crimes. But granting the United States government the power to deprive its own citizens of life, liberty, or property without full due process of law goes against the very nature of our nation's constitutional values. The full list of original cosponsors includes: Senators Feinstein, Leahy, Lee, Udall (CO), Kirk, Gillibrand, Paul, Coons, Durbin, Nelson (NE), Shaheen, Franken, Udall (NM), McCaskill.

Permalink: http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/12 /lee-sponsors-bill-to-protect-american-civil-liberties

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Sampling of 2011 Facebook Posts

Find more at: http://facebook.com/senatormikelee