Statement on the President's Afghanistan Announcement

Jun 23, 2011

Last night, the President outlined his plan to reduce our military footprint in Afghanistan. It includes a reduction of 5000 troops starting this summer and an additional 5000 troops by the end of the year. The President expects to redeploy the 33,000 troops that were sent over as a result of the Afghan “surge” by the end of next year.

Lee Disappointed with Google Response

Jun 22, 2011

“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.”

Day Lee Briefing -- 6/22/2011

Jun 22, 2011

Today’s Agenda

Senator Lee will participate in a press conference today at 4:00 pm in the Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon House Office Building) announcing the “Cut, Cap, and Balance Pledge”.  The pledge signifies members support for a plan to cut the deficit, cap federal spending, and pass the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment before voting to increase the nation’s debt limit.  Senator Lee will give remarks along with Senators Hatch, DeMint, Rubio, among others, as well as members of several coalition groups.

 

From the Senator’s Desk

THE PLEDGE

 

I pledge to urge my Senators and Member of the House of Representatives to oppose any debt limit increase unless all three of the following conditions have been met:

Cut - Substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter.

Cap - Enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget.

Balance - Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses.

 

Recent Votes

On the cloture vote to amend the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 to reauthorize that Act, Senator Lee voted NAY.

On the nomination of Leon E. Panetta to be Secretary of Defense, Senator Lee voted YEA.

 

More votes

 

Around the Water Cooler

Cut, Cap, Balance: I think it works well when people have definite convictions about which way it should go, express those ideas, and make it known what their conditions are."

Land Use: “Ken Salazar is attempting to make an end run around the law and close down all present and future uranium mining operations on the Arizona Strip.”

Afghanistan: “Obama is expected to announce in a televised address a plan that may include the withdrawal by year's end of up to a third of the 30,000 'surge' troops he sent to Afghanistan in 2010, possibly followed by the removal of the rest of those extra forces by the end of 2012.”

 

A Look Ahead

Tomorrow, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a witness at the Foreign Relations Committee discussing Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

Lee Signs Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge

Jun 22, 2011

"Cut, Cap, and Balance is the single most significant reform package Congress has seen in decades," said Senator Lee. "It forces Washington to balance its books with strict, enforceable fiscal restraints and will cut spending significantly and immediately to improve our economy and create jobs."

Day Lee Briefing -- 6/21/2011

Jun 21, 2011

Today’s Agenda

Senator Lee meets with members of the uranium mining industry from Southern Utah.  He’ll attend a Foreign Relations Committee meeting to look at several high profile nominations, and holds his weekly tele-press conference for Utah press this evening.  

 

From the Senator’s Desk

Each week, dozens of constituents call the office to register their opinions on a range of issues.  Last week we received several calls from those who oppose raising the debt ceiling, as well as many who are concerned about a particular judicial nomination the Senate will be voting on this week.  Other issues include U.S. involvement in Libya, with the majority being opposed, and entitlement reform. 

 

Around the Water Cooler

Land Use: “Our country's energy future remains in limbo because Secretary Salazar has chosen to placate his anti-energy special interest cronies.”

Cut, Cap, Balance: “By signing the pledge, lawmakers essentially promise not to vote to raise the debt ceiling unless it comes with the three-tiered package of spending cuts, caps, and a balanced budget amendment.”

Afghanistan: “President Obama is putting the finishing touches on his proposal for beginning to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, not two years after he surged 30,000 troops into the country in a bid to arrest the advances of the insurgency.”

 

A Look Ahead

Senator Lee will participate in a press conference tomorrow at 4:00 pm in the Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon House Office Building) announcing the “Cut, Cap, and Balance Pledge”.  The pledge signifies members support a plan to cut the deficit, cap federal spending, and pass the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment before voting to increase the nation’s debt limit.  Senator Lee will give remarks along with Senators Hatch, DeMint, Rubio, among others, as well as members of several coalition groups.

 

Senator Lee Test Driving an Electric Truck from Utah Company Via Motors

VIA Motors

Day Lee Briefing -- 6/20/2011

Jun 20, 2011

Today’s Agenda

Senator Lee meets with staff in preparation for this week’s committee hearings and possible votes.   He will also test drive an electric truck made by Orem-based VIA motors.

VIA Motors

 

From the Senator’s Desk

“Late on Friday, the Administration released its latest list of waivers granted from some of Obamacare’s onerous mandates.  In the past month, another 62 plans covering 117,001 individuals received waivers, bringing to more than 3.2 million Americans who have received exemptions from some – but certainly not all – of the law’s mandates.  Of those, over 1.58 million participants were in union-affiliated plans that received waivers – raising questions about why so many union members are being exempted from the law.”  -- Memo from the Republican Policy Committee

The number of individuals who have received waivers from ObamaCare’s mandates is widely interpreted as the same number of those who will be pushed out of their current insurance plans and on to a government plan unless ObamaCare is repealed.

 

Recent Votes

On Senator McCain’s amendment to prohibit the use of Federal funds to construct ethanol blender pumps or ethanol storage facilities, Senator Lee voted YEA

See more votes

 

Around the Water Cooler

Privacy: “The bill is exactly the kind of thing that Congress should be about, updating laws to make them conform at once to changing technologies and eternal standards of privacy and individual rights.”

Debt Limit: “If we can’t do something really significant about the debt ceiling, then we’ll probably end up with a very short- term proposal over a few months”.

The Week Ahead: “Deadlines will be looming over lawmakers’ heads this week as they continue debt limit talks as well as debate whether to continue supporting the mission in Libya.”

 

A Look Ahead

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit the Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday to discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Senator Lee will also oversee a Water and Power Subcommittee meeting that day.  Tomorrow, he meets with members of the uranium mining industry from Southern Utah and has a Joint Economic Committee meeting on federal spending.  His weekly tele-press conference with Utah press is also tomorrow. 

Day Lee Briefing -- 6/16/2011

Jun 16, 2011

Today’s Agenda

Senator Lee sits down with the Associated Builders and Contractors of Utah tomorrow and attends Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committee Meetings.  He also meets with the nominee for Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli.

 

From the Senator’s Desk

Senator Lee cosponsored the “Achieving Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act’’ which requires employers to us the E-Verify program to ensure all workers are in the country legally:

Upon enactment, all federal agencies and contractors would be required to use the program. The Secretary of Homeland Security (within 7 days of enactment and annually thereafter) would conduct an assessment and designate employers as “critical,” and these designated employers, or class of employers, will be required to use E-Verify within 30 days of being designated.  All employers would be required to use E-Verify within one year of date of enactment.

 

Around the Water Cooler

Land Use: “I expressed to him the fact that we have a lot of Utahans who are concerned about the prairie dog issue.”

Wilderness: “[A] committee of lawmakers is unwilling at this point to endorse any county efforts to have Congress set aside wilderness protections.”

Jobs: “Obama Blames ATMs for High Unemployment”

 

A Look Ahead

Senator Lee will be on Fox & Friends tomorrow at 7:45 am, and attend the Utah State Organizing Convention on Saturday. 

Senators Call on President to Shift Strategy in Afghanistan

Jun 15, 2011

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.

Day Lee Briefing -- 6/15/2011

Jun 15, 2011

Today’s Agenda

 Senator Lee meets with Dan Ashe, the nominee for Administrator of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, to discuss a number of issues including the inclusion of the prairie dog on the endangered species list.  He is also meeting with Utah Jr. High History Fair winners and hosts his weekly “Jell-O” constituent open house. 

 

From the Senator’s Desk

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.

From the letter:

“Mr. President, according to our own intelligence officials, 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 benefits. 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.”

Read more

 

Recent Votes

Senator Lee voted FOR a motion to proceed to an amendment that would repeal the ethanol tax credit.

See more votes

 

Around the Water Cooler

Jobs: “[Obama] joked about the wildly mistaken predictions he and others at the White House made a couple of years back about the job-creating potential of the stimulus.”

Accountability: “The White House is more or less conceding that it doesn't have a chance of winning a second term unless his major policies go on hiatus.”

Pakistan: “Their families don’t have any idea where they have been taken. Nobody knows what they have done.”

 

A Look Ahead

Senator Lee sits down with the Associated Builders and Contractors of Utah tomorrow and attends Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committee Meetings.  He also meets with the nominee for Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli.

Day Lee Briefing -- 6/14/2011

Jun 14, 2011

Today’s Agenda

Senator Lee meets with the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake & Sandy, the Utah Technology Council, and the nominees for ambassadorships from Jordan and Turkey.

 

From the Senator’s Desk

Last week Senator Lee received dozens of calls from constituents on a number of issues.  The top issue was the vote on the Debit Interchange Fee Act, which Senator Lee supported.  Other calls included the debt ceiling, entitlement reform, requests to reduce US presence in the Middle East, and support and opposition for certain judicial nominees.  

 

Around the Water Cooler

Social Security: “Rather than ducking a tough problem, the three Senators recognize that delaying Social Security reforms will cause deeper cuts in benefits or greater tax increases down the road.”

Land Grab: “Utah has been ‘honored’ enough.”

 

A Look Ahead

The Senate debates ethanol subsidies today.  On Thursday, the Foreign Relations Committee will discuss the continued US presence in Libya.

Yesterday's Appearance on Freedom Watch: