Senator Lee Introduces More than 100 Amendments to Democrat Budget Bill

August 10, 2021

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced today more than 100 amendments to the Democrats’ pending budget bill. The budget without amendments sets the course for Congress to add as much as $5,500,000,000,000 to the nation’s debt over ten years.

Senator Lee’s amendments add to the process known as vote-a-rama which is one of the Senate’s few opportunities to have unlimited amendments on legislation.

Of the amendments Sen. Lee said, “Democrats are committed to spending trillions of dollars we do not have. They are foolishly adding to inflation and taxes and shoving the costs on the American people. My amendments are written to make the federal government work better for Utah and be less of an obstruction in Utahns’ lives.”

A non-comprehensive list of amendment summaries in no particular order is available below. 

1.      American Natural Gas: Spending-neutral reserve fund to decrease global GHG emissions by encouraging the extraction and export abroad of American natural gas.

2.      PILT: Spending-neutral reserve fund to study what levels would establish tax-equivalency for the PILT program.

3.      Stop Border Surges: Spending-neutral reserve fund to end illegal border crossings by implementing Save Third Country Agreements and addressing fraud in the asylum program.

4.      Independent Contractors: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation related to creating a test for the status of independent contractors and employees in federal labor and tax law. 

5.      Inflation: Point of order against any net increases to federal spending when inflation is above its target.

6.      Age Verification: Spending-neutral reserve fund to ensure pornography websites verify ages before granting access to users.

7.      Health Savings Accounts: Deficit-neutral reserve fund to make health savings accounts more accessible. 

8.      Military Spouse Occupational Licensing: Spending-neutral reserve fund to grant reciprocity for military spouse occupational licenses across state lines.

9.      Antiquities Act: Spending-neutral reserve fund to require the President to receive approval from both Congress and the Utah State Legislature prior to designating a monument within the state.

10.  PROMISE Act: Spending-neutral reserve fund to promote transparency of social media companies.

11.  Family Leave 1 (Working Families): Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to giving employers flexibility to offer employees the option of comp time or overtime pay for overtime hours worked.

12.  Jones Act Waiver: Spending-neutral reserve fund for creation of a waiver of the Jones Act for energy goods.

13.  Drone use to fight wildfires: Spending-neutral reserve fund to permit the use of more types of drones by more types of people to fight wildfires.

14.  Drone Federalism: Spending-neutral reserve fund to allow for state and local input into the regulation of commercial drone traffic.

15.  Government Spectrum Sale: Spending-neutral reserve fund to set up another spectrum auction.

16.  OCO: Point-of-order on enforcement of the definition of contingency operation in 10 USC 101(a)(13). 

17.  Drought: Spending-neutral reserve fund to include drought as an eligible adverse weather event under the livestock indemnity program.

18.  NEPA: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the passage of the UNSHACKLE Act to reform the National Environmental Policy Act.

19.  Religious Liberty: Point of order against legislation that would harm religious liberty rights.

20.  Geothermal: Spending-neutral reserve fund to allow for geothermal well development to use the same categorical exclusions as oil and gas wells.

21.  FDA Deregulation: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation decreasing Food and Drug Administration regulations to encourage competition and lower drug prices.

22.  Dietary Supplements: Deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the expansion of health savings accounts to include dietary supplements as a qualified medical expense. 

23.  Telehealth: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation related to making COVID-19 telehealth waivers permanent. 

24.  2nd Amendment: Budget point of order against any legislation that limits citizens’ rights protected by the Second Amendment. 

25.  Online Sex Trafficking: Spending-neutral reserve fund to fight the trafficking of women and children on the internet.

26.  Hyde-Amendment: Point of order against appropriations bills that do not include Hyde amendment or other pro-life protections.

27.  Universal Charitable Deduction: Deficit-neutral reserve fund for expanding and extending the charitable deduction for non-itemizers.

28.  Federal Government Directed Misinformation: Spending-neutral Reserve Fund “relating to prohibiting the White House or any Federal agency from requiring, encouraging, or suggesting an interactive computer service take down any content.”  

29.  Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit: Eliminate the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit as it discriminates against stay-at-home parents.

30.  Vaccination Requirement for Interstate Travel: Spending-neutral Reserve Fund “relating to prohibiting any Federal Agency, State Government, Local Government, Tribal Government or Common Carrier from requiring an American to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in order to engage in any interstate travel.”

31.  Debt Ceiling: Point of order against raising the debt ceiling.

32.  Kids Anti-Porn Victims: Spending-neutral reserve fund to update the communications decency act.

33.  Broadband: Spending-neutral Reserve Fund relating to streamlining rules, regulations, and requirements to more swiftly permit the deployment of broadband infrastructure on land owned or controlled by the Federal Government by the amounts provided in such legislation for those purposes.

34.  Gas Prices: Spending-neutral reserve fund to decrease the cost of gasoline by making compliance RINs available from the EPA at a designated price.

35.  Voluntary Check-off: Spending-neutral reserve fund to make commodity check-off programs voluntary.

36.  Child Tax Credit: Spending-neutral reserve fund for expanding the Child Tax Credit

37.  NFIP: Spending-neutral reserve fund to eliminate National Flood Insurance Program subsidies for millionaires.

38.  Gas Tax Increase: Point of Order against raising the gas tax.

39.  Utah Inland Port: Spending-neutral Reserve Fund relating to planning, implementation, and operation by the Department of Homeland Security of a customs facility for the processing of cargo coming through an inland port in Utah.

40.  IRS Abuse: Deficit-neutral reserve fund to task the Inspector General at the Internal Revenue Service with investigating ways in which the IRS can prevent being weaponized for political purposes.

41.  Conscience Protections: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to funding for the purpose of protecting the conscience rights of American citizens.

42.  Energy Tax reform: Deficit-neutral reserve fund to repeal tax provision that pick winners and losers in the energy industry.

43.  Federal Land Royalties: Spending-neutral reserve fund to ensure equitable distribution to states of royalties derived from activities occurring on federal land within their borders. 

44.  Woke DOD Prohibition: Point of order on the study of critical race theory as part of military training.  

45.  Creation of Generics: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to making generic drugs more widely available.

46.  Parental Leave 2 (CRADLE): Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to giving working parents paid leave benefits in exchange for postponing the activation of their Social Security benefits. 

47.  Afghanistan: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the costs of withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan by 9/11/21.

48.  Pipelines: Spending-neutral reserve fund to ease regulatory burdens for increased pipeline construction.

49.  Net Neutrality: Point Of Order against any bill that would repeal or otherwise impair the order of the Federal Communications Commission relating to “Restoring Internet Freedom” (83 Fed. Reg. 7852 (February 22, 2018)).

50.  Ending Excessive Automation: Reserve fund to ensure that workers are treated as well as capital investments under the tax code. 

51.  Interest Effects: Spending-neutral reserve fund to include interest effects in cost estimates.

52.  Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act: Point of order against provisions that preempt state and local zoning decisions.

53.  HUD program consolidation: Spending-Neutral Reserve fund to consolidate HUD housing benefits into a single voucher system.

54.  ILCs: Point of order for any bill restricting the chartering or FDIC insuring of Industrial Loan Companies.

55.  Global Trade Accountability: Point of Order on any legislation that would allow the president to restrict trade without legislative authorization from Congress.

56.  Ex-Im: Spending neutral reserve fund for limiting burdensome regulations on imports and exports.

57.  Fannie and Freddie: Point of order on any bill that would make Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac federal agencies or enterprises.

58.  Highway Trust Fund: Point of Order against any highway infrastructure that isn’t balanced or that transfers money from the general fund.

59.  PVSA: Spending-neutral reserve fund to eliminate the PVSA for large cruise ships or in its entirety.

60.  Government Spectrum Sale: Spending-neutral reserve fund to set up another spectrum auction.

61.  Government Spectrum Audit: Spending-neutral reserve fund to audit all the federal government spectrum and its use of such spectrum.

62.  Drone Federalism: Spending-neutral reserve fund to allow for state and local input into the regulation of commercial drone traffic.

63.  FTC Reforms – SNRF to ensure safeguards around 13(b) authority.

64.  Internet Based Flight Sharing: Spending-neutral reserve fund to bring air travel into the 21st century and to free it from existing airline consolidation.

65.  Regulatory Task Force: Spending-neutral reserve fund to set up a task force to suggest regulations in need of repeal.

66.  International Air Travel Restoration: Spending-neutral reserve fund to open up international air travel post COVID-19.

67.  Counter Drone Protections: Spending-neutral reserve fund to allow airports and local law enforcement to enforce proper drone use.

68.  Train and Equip: Point of order on the use or continuation of train and equip missions in the Middle East and North Africa that do not have an authorization for the use of military force by Congress.  

69.  Treaty/International Agreement Submittal to Congress: Point of order on the implementation of any international agreement signed by the President not ratified by Congress. 

70.  Nuclear Triad Preservation: Point of order on any limitation to the modernization of the nuclear triad.

71.  Voluntary Contributions to International Organizations: Point of order on any increase to voluntary contributions to international organizations.  

72.  Defense Partnerships: Point of order on increasing mutual defense obligations without adequate burden sharing arrangements.

73.  Foreign Allied Procurement: Spending-neutral reserve fund that allows for the procurement of naval vessel components by NATO or Nordic allies in secure ports. 

74.  Electronic Records for Veterans: Spending-neutral reserve fund that allows for the electronic modernization of all records at the Military Personnel Records division of the National Personnel Records Center.

75.  Metrics for Educational Programs: Spending-neutral reserve fund to develop and provide metrics on student outcomes in VA educational programs. 

76.  Veteran Gender Reassignment: Point of order on providing funding for gender reassignment surgeries through VA health benefits. 

77.  Jerusalem Embassy: Shift funds from the state department to ensure the Biden administration can’t build a US consulate in Jerusalem for Palestinians

78.  DC Child Care Reg Repeal: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to repealing portions of regulation issued by the State Superintendent of Education

79.  Healthcare: Point of order against the consideration of any reconciliation legislation of this budget resolution that would expand the Affordable Care Act.

80.  Patent Thicketing/Evergreening: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation related to addressing anti-competitive practices in drug manufacturing. 

81.  Veterans’ Health Savings Accounts: Deficit-neutral reserve fund to make health savings accounts more accessible to veterans and active duty service members.  

82.  STLDI: Deficit-neutral reserve fund to expand short-term limited duration health insurance. 

83.  Student Loans: Spending-neutral reserve fund related to the streamlining of federal student loan repayment. 

84.  Accreditation Option 1: Spending-neutral reserve fund to allow for states to create alternative accreditation systems for institutions of higher education.

85.  Multiemployer Pensions: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation related to giving multiemployer pension plan participants a buyout option and to increasing the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation’s base premium. 

86.  Pension Bailouts: Point of order against legislation that would allow federal funds to be used to bail out insolvent pension plans. 

87.  Labor Force Protections: Point of order against legislation that would allow federal funds to be administered to a union that was certified by a card-check agreement. 

88.  Anti-UI Plus Up: Point of order against legislation that would extend the federal unemployment insurance bonus.

89.  Women and Girls Sports: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to ensuring that Title IX athletics provisions treat sex as that which is recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth. 

90.  Sex Reassignment Surgeries on Minors: Point of order against legislation that would allow federal funds to go to gender reassignment surgeries on minors.

91.  Sex Reassignment Research on Minors: Point of order against legislation that would allow federal funds to go to research experimental interventions, including hormonal interventions and sex reassignment surgery, into the normal physical development of minors.  

92.  K-12: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to initiatives to help federal k-12 funds directly follow low-income or disabled students.

93.  Parental Rights: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to funding, which could include requirements on hospitals, clinics, or healthcare facilities that receive Medicaid or CHIP funds.

94.  Marriage Penalties: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to efforts to eliminate penalties within existing federal code that disincentivize marriage.  

95.  SSDI: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to funding waivers for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for those with terminal illnesses. 

96.  RECA: Spending-neutral reserve fund for the consideration of legislation relating to reparations from the federal government for atomic bomb testing in Utah and New Mexico. 

97.  American Low-Sulfur Coal: Spending-neutral reserve fund to decrease global GHG emissions by encouraging the extraction and export abroad of American low-sulfur coal. 

98.  Check-off Transparency: Spending-neutral reserve fund to increase transparency and accountability in commodity check-off programs.

99.  Wild Horses and Burros: Point of order against amendments prohibiting land management agencies from causing excess wild horses and burros to be destroyed in the most humane and cost-efficient manner possible.

100.          Meat: Spending-neutral reserve fund to give individual states the option to permit intrastate distribution of custom-slaughtered meat to consumers, restaurants, hotels, boarding houses, and grocery stores.

101.          Native Species: Spending-neutral reserve fund to prohibit the listing of species as endangered under the ESA if species resides only within a single state .

102.          Mineral Development: Spending-neutral reserve fund to prohibit the withdrawal of federal land from mineral development by the president without congressional approval.

103.          Domestic Energy: Spending-neutral reserve fund to prohibit presidential actions that increase domestic reliance on foreign energy sources by decreasing domestic energy production.

104.          Non-motorized Vehicles: Spending-neutral reserve fund to allow local land managers to determine the appropriateness and allow for non-motorized mechanized human powered traffic in wilderness areas.

105.          Critical Minerals: Spending-neutral reserve fund to study the presence of critical minerals in lands under the secretarial withdrawal from mineral development.

106.          Reserved Water Rights Spending-neutral reserve fund to prohibit the president from creating a reserved water right when designating a national monument.

107.          Park Road Access: Spending-neutral reserve fund to ensure parks rely on state law to determine what vehicles can access park roads.

108.          Uranium: Spending-neutral reserve fund to prohibit the federal down blending of highly enriched uranium.

109.          Paris Climate Agreement: Spending-neutral reserve fund to prohibit federal agencies from considering the Paris Climate Agreement when determining objectives, etc....

110.          EPA: Spending-neutral reserve fund to eliminate the EPA Administrator's authority to determine RVO's beyond 2022.

111.          Pinyon/Juniper: Spending-neutral reserve fund to allow for pinyon/juniper and salvage timber projects on Forest Service lands to use the 10,000 acre categorical exclusion applicable to BLM lands.

112.          Forest Management: Spending-neutral reserve fund to allow county and tribal governments to retain revenue generated through a Good Neighbor Agreement.