Press Releases

Lee Condemns President's Statement on Israel's borders

May 19, 2011

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Mike Lee criticized President Obama’s 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.”

Lee Opposes Appellate Court Nomination

May 19, 2011

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 floor, Senator Lee articulated two primary reasons for opposing the nomination.

“First, I am truly dismayed by the lack of judgment displayed in Professor Liu’s 2006 testimony regarding the confirmation 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 confirmation hearing of Justice Alito, Liu made controversial and inflammatory remarks misrepresenting Justice Alito’s judicial record.

“His comments about Justice Alito were offensive not simply because they were unhelpful in his confirmation process, but because they were a misleading and unwarranted personal attack on a dedicated public servant.”

“Professor Liu’s 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 confirmed 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.

Lee concluded: “Professor Liu’s 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 Liu’s 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

Senator Lee's Office Now Accepting Academy Nominations

May 16, 2011

The office of Senator Mike Lee is now accepting applications from Utah students seeking anomination to the United States Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, or the Military Academy at West Point for the class entering in July of 2012.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to nominate Utah students for consideration to these prestigious Academies,” said Senator Lee. “I applaud those men and women who aspire to dedicate their lives to serving our country, and am confident that Utah is home to some of the best and brightest in our nation that will fillthese institutions proudly.”

To be considered for an appointment to a service academy, an applicant must meet the eligibility requirements set by law and each respective academy and be nominated from an authorized person, including a member of the United States Senate or House of Representatives.

Students interested a nomination should contact Senator Lee’s Salt Lake City office in the spring of their junior year of high school to begin the application process.  Interviews will be held in November in my Salt Lake City office.

For more information on the application process, please visit Senator Lee’s website here.

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

May 11, 2011

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 Committee’s 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.

Lee Backs Balanced Budget Proposal

May 10, 2011

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 fiscally 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 fiscal 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 deficits and debt as far as the eye can see, Senator Toomey’s proposal moves the country in a fiscally responsible direction, balances the budget over a reasonable amount of time, simplifies and reforms our complex tax code, and significantly 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.”

Lee Statement on President's Deficit Reduction Speech

Apr 13, 2011

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Mike Lee responded to the President’s speech on deficit reduction:

“While it is encouraging the President has finally decided to participate in the deficit 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’ won’t scratch the surface of our annual deficit 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 deficit approaching $1.7 trillion.  The President completely ignores Social Security’s contribution to the deficit 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 five months later, the President’s 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 flip-flop.  It’s a reversal that will create greater instability in our economy and threaten to turn around the small gains we’ve made in employment. 

“Republicans in Congress have submitted dozens of ideas to reduce our deficit, balance our budget, restrain spending, and create jobs.  Many of us stand willing to work with the President and together make the difficult choices to put the country on a fiscally 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 deficit reduction.”

Lee Expresses Comments on DoJ Decision Regarding Google-ITA

Apr 8, 2011

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 Justice’s decision to impose stringent conditions on Google’s acquisition of ITA Software and reiterated his call for antitrust oversight of Google’s search-related businesses. 

“Today’s announcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ) outlining rigorous conditions for Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA Software is an important step in applying antitrust laws to the company’s predominant position in the realm of Internet search,” said Senator Lee.  “As the DOJ recognized, Google’s 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 Google’s practices that could harm competition, and specifically 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 Google’s 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 flourish in this important area of our economy.  Ensuring robust competition will benefit consumers, spur innovation, and lead to job creation in our nation’s 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 efficient than a free market unencumbered by anticompetitive restrictions.”

Lee: Lack of Libya Debate "Shameful and Discouraging"

Apr 5, 2011

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 floor 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 floor 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 people’s voice will be heard and that people’s sons and daughters won’t 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.”

Lee’s remarks were cut short as time expired.  

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

Mar 31, 2011

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 significant pieces of legislation introduced this year aimed at putting the country on a path to fiscal sustainability.

The central component of the bill states that total spending for the fiscal 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 deficit for a “specific excess” or raise taxes. Additionally, the amendment stipulates that a three-fifths 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-fifths of Congress would be required to vote for a specific excess during a military conflict 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 five years after ratification.

“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 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.”

Once the bill is voted on and approved by two-thirds of Congress, it must then be ratified 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.

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Brian Phillips
(202) 224-5444

Press Secretary
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Sen. Lee and Rep. Bishop Introduce Land Conveyance Legislation for Mantua, Utah

Mar 30, 2011

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. Specifically, 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, fire 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 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 we’re asking to have conveyed are relatively small in size but would have a significant 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 fire station.