Press Releases

Sen. Lee Reintroduces Global Trade Accountability Act

Mar 11, 2021

WASHINGTON – Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) reintroduced the Global Trade Accountability Act Wednesday, a bill that would subject unilateral actions by the president to increase trade barriers to congressional approval. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) joined as cosponsors of the bill. “Congress has ceded far too much of its lawmaking power to the executive branch, including the power to unilaterally raise tariffs,” Sen. Lee said. “Sudden hikes in trade barriers can have real and devastating impacts on American small businesses, farmers, and families, including in my home state of Utah. As the deliberative body and the people’s representatives, Congress must be involved in any decision that would increase barriers to trade, especially as global supply lines continue to be disrupted from the pandemic.”

Sen. Lee Reintroduces UNSHACKLE Act

Mar 11, 2021

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today reintroduced the Undoing NEPA’s Substantial Harm by Advancing Concepts that Kickstart the Liberation of the Economy (UNSHACKLE) Act, legislation that would comprehensively reform the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The bill is cosponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). “Environmental planning is essential to sustainable growth, but unfortunately NEPA has become a weapon used by special interests to make much-needed infrastructure and maintenance projects throughout our country prohibitively expensive,” Sen. Lee said. “The UNSHACKLE Act will reform the NEPA process so that federal agencies, state, and local governments are better empowered to carry out NEPA’s original goal, while also making our nation’s infrastructure and maintenance project affordable again.”

Utah Delegation Meets with Interior Officials on Bears Ears, Grand Staircase Monument Concerns

Mar 11, 2021

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Representatives Chris Stewart (R-UT), John Curtis (R-UT), Burgess Owens (R-UT), and Blake Moore (R-UT), today met with senior officials at the Department of Interior to encourage the Biden administration to work with Congress toward a permanent legislative solution that resolves the boundaries for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Following their meeting, they released the following joint statement: “We appreciated the opportunity to express our desire for a permanent legislative solution that reflects state, local, and tribal input, resolves the status of these iconic national monuments, and brings certainty to land management in our state. During the meeting, we reiterated our concerns that the Biden administration’s review may result in further unilateral executive action, which will not resolve longstanding boundary or access issues. We urged the administration to instead engage state, local, and tribal leaders to develop a solution which is supported by the State of Utah and tribal governments, and codified by Congress. Because the state and delegation are willing to collaborate on an inclusive legislative solution, we believe it would be inappropriate for the administration to proceed with a unilateral executive action until there is sufficient time to negotiate broadly supported compromise legislation. The Utah Congressional Delegation looks forward to speaking with President Biden about a legislative approach that puts an end to the political back-and forth of Utah’s monuments.” Background: Last week, the entire Utah congressional delegation sent a letter to President Biden requesting the administration’s support in finding a permanent legislative solution for determining appropriate boundaries for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, as well as statutory protections to prevent abuses under the Antiquities Act. It also requests that President Biden extend the 60-day review period timeline in order to allow the Secretary of the Interior time to travel to Utah, tour the monuments in question, and receive input from local stakeholders. After President Biden issued the January Executive Order, the delegation urged the administration to work with Congress toward a permanent legislative solution to the boundaries.

Lee, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Continue to Protect Faith-Based Child Welfare Providers

Mar 10, 2021

WASHINGTON – Senator Mike Lee today joined Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and 21 of their colleagues in introducing the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, a bill to protect organizations that provide adoption and foster care services from discrimination based on their religious or moral beliefs. “Religious institutions and faith-based groups have long provided some of the best adoption services in the country,” said Sen. Lee. “This bill will protect their right to keep doing so in accordance with their beliefs, and ensure that children are not unnecessarily prevented from being adopted into loving homes.”

Utah Congressional Delegation Sends National Monuments Letter to President Biden

Mar 9, 2021

We write to ask you for two things: (1) your administration's support and cooperation in seeking a permanent, legislative solution to the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah, supported by a broad group of stakeholders, including elected officials, tribal governments, and other groups with interest in the management of these lands; and (2) an extension on the 60-day timeline you outlined in your Executive Order calling for a review of the monuments so as to allow the Secretary of the Interior to travel to Utah, tour the monuments in question, and get meaningful input from the local elected officials and residents who may otherwise be unheard. In our letter to you, dated February 17, 2021, we indicated our readiness to engage as your Administration considers actions on the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. We again write to you today to reaffirm that readiness and request to meet with you directly, to discuss a legislative solution to codify appropriate boundaries to these national monuments and statutory protections from abuses under the Antiquities Act in the State of Utah. As demonstrated by the aforementioned letter, which was also signed by Utah’s Governor, Lieutenant Governor, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and Attorney General, there is widespread support for congressional action. We call upon you, and your administration, to support and engage in finding a long-term legislative solution and stop the vacillation of national monument boundaries in Utah. Various tribal leaders, environmental organizations, and Democratic members of Congress have expressed the need for permanent congressional legislation to protect this area. We remain prepared to work in good faith and hope you do as well. A solution enacted by Congress could yield better results for all interested parties. The executive actions creating the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments did not effectively protect sensitive cultural resources or provide certainty in management of the lands. Further unilateral, executive action under the Antiquities Act will result in the same shortcomings. We would much prefer a legislative solution. A legislative approach – if pursued with the support of the Utah delegation – would serve both the nation and our constituents. If successful, such an effort could help us end this historic cycle of disputes. During the hearing regarding her pending nomination to be Secretary of the Interior, Representative Haaland committed to Senator Lee to come to Utah to meet and speak with those who are impacted by the monument designations and who understand the issue best. Unfortunately, time is running short to fulfil this commitment. In your executive order, dated January 20, 2021, referred to as Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, you directed your Secretary of the Interior to conduct a review of “the monument boundaries and conditions that were established by Proclamation 9681 of December 4, 2017 (Modifying the Bears Ears National Monument),” and “Proclamation 9682 of December 4, 2017 (Modifying the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument),” as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, including the Antiquities Act, 54 U.S.C. 320301 et seq. This review is to be conducted within 60 days of the date of your order. That date is quickly approaching, and we believe it would be premature to have the Department of the Interior make a recommendation on the scope of these monuments without the process being overseen by a Senate-confirmed Secretary. If the timeline is not extended, Representative Haaland, if confirmed, may have only days to consider the recommendations of the Department of the Interior, which she would then transmit to you, almost certainly eliminating the possibility for her to travel to Utah and meet with stakeholders who may otherwise be unheard. This recommendation, which could change the fate of millions of acres of land in Utah and uproot entire economies, is hardly a matter that can be decided in such a short period of time. This is especially true if the Secretary is unable to fulfil her commitment prior to issuing the review containing recommendations for action. In summary, we ask to meet with you to begin the process of finding a legislative solution and to extend the date by which this review is to be completed in order to appropriately engage with those impacted. We are confident that your administration can achieve a better, and possibly historic result, with substantive input and engagement from Utah’s stakeholders. Furthermore, if a review is transmitted to you by the Department of the Interior prior to the confirmation of a Senate-confirmed Secretary, our state could be deprived of meaningful opportunities to engage with the Department’s senior-most official on this most pressing issue. Thank you for your consideration. We appreciate and await your prompt response.

Sen. Lee Reintroduces One Agency Act to Streamline and Improve Antitrust Enforcement

Mar 9, 2021

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) reintroduced the One Agency Act Tuesday, legislation that would improve antitrust enforcement by putting all antitrust enforcement under one roof, at the Department of Justice. The updated bill will also prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from undertaking duplicative competitive analyses of deals under its purview. It is co-sponsored by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and supported by several outside groups.

Sen. Lee Statement on Lina Khan Nomination

Mar 9, 2021

WASHINGTON – Sen. Lee (R-Utah) issued the following statement this morning in response to news reports that President Biden plans to nominate Lina Khan to the Federal Trade Commission: “If these reports are true, it is deeply concerning. Ms. Khan no doubt has a promising career ahead of her, but being less than four years out of law school, she lacks the experience necessary for such an important role as FTC Commissioner. Her views on antitrust enforcement are also wildly out of step with a prudent approach to the law. Nominating Ms. Khan would signal that President Biden intends to put ideology and politics ahead of competent antitrust enforcement, which would be gravely disappointing at a time when it is absolutely critical that we have strong and effective leadership at the enforcement agencies. This moment is too important for our antitrust enforcers to be learning on the job.”

Lee and Bipartisan Coalition Continue to Push for Larger Universal Charitable Deduction

Mar 9, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced the Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act, a bipartisan proposal to extend and expand the universal charitable deduction. The bill would ensure that Americans who donate to non-profits such as charitable and religious organizations are able to deduct their giving from their federal tax liability at a higher level than the $300 deduction instituted temporarily through two of the COVID-19 relief packages.

Sen. Lee Statement on Passage of COVID Package

Mar 6, 2021

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) issued the following statement on the passage of the COVID spending package today in the Senate: “For more than a year now, Congress has fought back against the COVID pandemic the same way the American people have: together. “Five times, we crafted major COVID relief bills in a bipartisan process, and passed them with overwhelming bipartisan support. Today, Democrats abandoned that approach and instead passed a partisan grab bag of special interest handouts in the name of fighting a disease. This bloated, wasteful bill was not written for patients or businesses or workers suffering from COVID; it was written for the Democratic Party. It’s a shame and a sham. “Throughout this difficult time, the American people have bravely held up their end. Today congressional Democrats dropped theirs.”

Sen. Lee Announces Hiring of Lee Lonsberry as Communications Director

Mar 5, 2021

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today issued the following statement announcing the hiring of Lee Lonsberry of KSL Radio, who will assume his new role in early April. “I am pleased to announce that Lee Lonsberry will be joining my staff as Communications Director. Lee is one of the most respected members of the Utah media, fair and honest, and a consummate professional. His experience in Utah, and on Capitol Hill working for Rep. Rob Bishop, makes him the ideal messenger for my team as he works to serve the people of Utah.”