Press Conference Announcing Republican-backed Balanced Budget Amendment

Apr 1, 2011

This is the entire press conference where Republican senators took a stand to rein in out of control spending and deficits by introducing a balanced budget amendment that they all support.

Senator's comments from BBA Press Conference

Apr 1, 2011

Senator Lee answers questions from reporters after announcing the Republican-backed balanced budget amendment at a press conference. He explains why he thinks this amendment will garner support from democrats and ultimately pass.

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.

Communications Director
Brian Phillips
(202) 224-5444

Press Secretary
Emily Bennion
(202) 224-3904



Who is Extreme? Senator Lee Defends the Tea Party to Greta Van Susteren

Mar 30, 2011

Senator Lee tells Greta that both parties fear the Tea Party, because they are both in love with spending. He also clarifies that those who want to spend trillions of dollars a year that we don't have are the ones who are extreme.

Senator Lee and Solicitor General Nominee Donald Verrilli

Mar 30, 2011

Senator Lee asks Solicitor General Nominee, Donald Verrilli, about the importance of maintaining a separation between the duties of the Solicitor General and the political ideology of the presiding administration. In this context, Senator Lee asks Verrilli to defend the Obama administration's decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

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.

Senator Lee's Reaction to President's Speech on Libya - Judge Napolitano

Mar 28, 2011

The President's speech did little to ease Senator Lee's mind on Libya. Many important questions remain unanswered.

Failing to Lead on Libya: Response to President Obama's Speech

Mar 28, 2011

As I listened carefully to the President defend his decision to send our men and women into harm’s way in Libya, I came away disappointed that he has still failed to specifically outline America’s national security interest in the conflict, or the strategic military objectives he plans to achieve by our continued involvement.

Lee Condemns Cowardly Act in Jerusalem

Mar 24, 2011

WASHINGTON—Senator 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 firmly behind Israel as they root out those responsible and bring them to justice.”

Senator Lee Questions Obama's War in Libya with Judge Napolitano

Mar 23, 2011

President Obama's actions in LIbya betray his words. He has an obligation to explain why he left Congress and the American people out of his decision to go to war.