|U.S. Senate, Utah|
|January 3, 2017|
|Years in position||3|
|Predecessor||Robert Bennett (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|First elected||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 2016|
|Bachelor's||Brigham Young University|
|J.D.||Brigham Young University School of Law|
|Birthday||June 4, 1971|
|Place of birth||Mesa, AZ|
|Religion||Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Key votes
- 4.1 113th Congress
- 4.1.1 National security
- 4.1.2 Economy
- 4.1.3 Immigration
- 4.1.4 Social issues
- 4.1.5 Previous congressional sessions
- 4.2 Presidential preference
- 4.3 Endorsement from Ted Cruz
- 4.4 Anti-Obamacare rally
- 4.1 113th Congress
- 5 Issues
- 6 Elections
- 7 Campaign donors
- 8 Personal Gain Index
- 9 Analysis
- 10 Recent news
- 11 Personal
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
- 14 References
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Lee is one of the most reliable Republican votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Republican Party in Congress.
After earning his J.D., Lee was a law clerk to 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Justice Samuel Alito. He the became an assistant U.S. attorney and a law clerk to Alito again as Supreme Court Justice.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Lee's professional and political career:
- 2011-present: U.S. Senate
- 2005-2006: Counsel to Utah Governor John Huntsman
Lee serves on the following Senate committees:
- Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
- Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
- Subcommittee on Personnel
- Energy and Natural Resources Committee
- Subcommittee on Water and Power
- Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
- Subcommittee on National Parks
- Joint Economic Committee
- United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
- Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law
- Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Ranking Member
- Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism
- Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law
Lee was a member of the following Senate committees:
- Judiciary Committee
- Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee Ranking member
- Energy and Natural Resources Committee
- Water and Power Subcommittee
- Foreign Relations Committee
- Joint Economic Committee
The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session. The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8%). For more information pertaining to Lee's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
John Brennan CIA nomination
Lee voted against the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.
On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists were critical of President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.
The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."
On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill. It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states. Lee voted with 22 other Republican senators against the bill.
On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014. The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill. The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations. It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Lee voted with 25 other Republican members against the bill.
Paul Ryan Budget Proposal
In March 2013 the U.S. Senate soundly rejected a balanced budget plan by House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan (R). Five Republicans joined every Democrat present to kill the measure, which failed on a 40-59 vote.
The proposed budget would have cut about $5 trillion over the next decade and aimed to balance the budget by the end of the 10-year period.
Some tea party members of the GOP opposed the measure because of its reliance on $600 billion-plus in tax revenues on the wealthy enacted in January 2013, in order to balance the budget. Others in the Senate opposed the Ryan plan because of cuts from safety net programs for the poor and the inclusion of a plan to turn the Medicare program for the elderly into a voucher-like system for future beneficiaries born in 1959 or later.
No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
Lee voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies. The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Lee voted with the Republican Party against the bill.
Lee voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.
Violence Against Women (2013)
Lee voted against S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.
Previous congressional sessions
Lee voted against the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of five Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.
Endorsement from Ted Cruz
Despite a pledge to steer clear of endorsing incumbents, Ted Cruz financially backed a handful of Senate Republicans. Cruz’s leadership political action committee, Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund, made only five donations in the first six months of its existence, and all of those dollars went to incumbents. On May 10, 2013, according to Federal Election Commission records, Cruz wrote a $2,500 check to the campaign of Cornyn. Cruz also handed out out four other $2,500 donations to incumbents that same day: Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, Jim Risch and Tim Scott, who was appointed to the Senate after Jim DeMint resigned and is running in 2014 for the remaining years of DeMint’s term.
Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee, who lead calls in the Senate to defund Obamacare in any spending bills, headlined a September 10, 2013 "Exempt America from Obamacare" event, organized by Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica, along with other conservative groups.
“Democrats will stop at nothing to protect the president’s signature legislation, and too many Republicans are afraid to fight,” rally organizers wrote. They also took a shot at the Office of Personnel Management rule allowing the federal government to continue subsidizing health plans for lawmakers and their aides. “Even Big Government is getting a carve out now,” they wrote.
On The Issues Vote Match
- See also: On The Issues Vote Match
On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Lee is a Hard-Core Conservative. Lee received a score of 17 percent on social issues and 90 percent on economic issues.
The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.
|On The Issues Vote Quiz|
|Economic Issues||Social Issues|
|Legally require hiring women & minorities||Opposes||Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right||Strongly Opposes|
|Expand ObamaCare||Strongly Opposes||Comfortable with same-sex marriage||Strongly Opposes|
|Vouchers for school choice||Favors||Keep God in the public sphere||Strongly Favors|
|Absolute right to gun ownership||Favors||Human needs over animal rights||Favors|
|Higher taxes on the wealthy||Strongly Opposes||Stricter punishment reduces crime||Favors|
|Support & expand free trade||Favors||Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens||Strongly Opposes|
|Stricter limits on political campaign funds||Favors||Maintain US sovereignty from UN||Strongly Favors|
|Prioritize green energy||Strongly Opposes||Expand the military||Strongly Favors|
|Stimulus better than market-led recovery||Strongly Opposes||Stay out of Iran||Strongly Opposes|
|Privatize Social Security||Favors||Never legalize marijuana||Unknown|
|Note: Information last updated: 2014.|
On November 2, 2010, Lee won election to the U.S. Senate, defeating Sam F. Granato (D) and Scott N. Bradley (Constitution).
|U.S. Senate, Utah, 2010|
|Democratic||Sam F. Granato||32.8%||191,732|
|Constitution||Scott N. Bradley||5.7%||33,095|
Comprehensive donor information for Lee is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Lee raised a total of $1,710,429 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.
|Mike Lee's Campaign Contribution History|
|2010||U.S. Senate (Utah)||$1,710,429|
|Grand Total Raised||$1,710,429|
Lee won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Lee's campaign committee raised a total of $1,710,429 and spent $1,650,993.
|U.S. Senate, Utah, 2010 - Mike Lee Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$291,522|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$290,629|
|Top contributors to Mike Lee's campaign committee|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
Personal Gain Index
- See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)
- See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)
The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:
- Changes in Net Worth
- The K-Street Metric
- The Donation Concentration Metric
- The Stock Oversight and Trades Metric
PGI: Change in net worth
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Lee's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $52,004 to $170,000. That averages to $111,002, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senate members in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Lee ranked as the 95th most wealthy senator in 2012. Between 2009 and 2012, Lee‘s calculated net worth increased by an average of 10 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.
|Mike Lee Yearly Net Worth|
|Year||Average Net Worth|
|Growth from 2009 to 2012:||29%|
|Average annual growth:||10%|
|Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.|
Ideology and leadership
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Lee missed 13 of 580 roll call votes from January 2011 to April 2013. This amounts to 2.2 percent, which is worse than the median of 1.7 percent among current senators as of April 2013.
Congressional staff salaries
The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Lee paid his congressional staff a total of $1,693,693 in 2011. He ranks 8th on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranks 8th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Utah ranks 43rd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.
National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Lee ranked 7th in the conservative rankings in 2012.
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Lee ranked 22nd in the conservative rankings in 2011.
Voting with party
Lee voted with the Republican Party 80 percent of the time, which ranked 41st among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Mike + Lee + Utah + Senate
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
Lee and his wife, Sharon, have three children.
- United States Senate
- United States congressional delegations from Utah
- Judgepedia: Utah Senator Lee votes against all of Obama judicial nominees, February 28, 2012
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Financial (state level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Mike Lee," accessed July 3, 2013
- Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
- USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
- ABC News, "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
- The Blaze, "Here Are All the GOP Senators That Participated in Rand Paul’s 12+ Hour Filibuster… and the Ones Who Didn’t," March 7, 2013
- Los Angeles Times, "Sen. Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster of John Brennan," March 7, 2013
- Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
- Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
- Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
- New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
- Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
- U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
- Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
- CBS News, "Senate Rejects Paul Ryan Budget," accessed March 22, 2013
- Washington Post, "10 House Republicans Vote Against Ryan Budget," accessed March 22, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
- The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee urges GOP to back Romney," March 25, 2012
- Washington Post, "Cruz backed Cornyn, other incumbents, despite no-endorsement pledge," accessed August 26, 2013
- Politico, "Rand Paul, Ted Cruz plan anti-Obamacare rally," accessed August 27, 2013
- On The Issues, "Lee Vote Match," accessed July 7, 2014
- The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
- Open Secrets, "Donor history for Mike Lee," accessed April 25, 2013
- Open Secrets, "2010 Race: Utah Senate," accessed November 23, 2011
- OpenSecrets, "Lee, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
- This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
- This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
- This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
- This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
- GovTrack, "Mike Lee," accessed July 3, 2013
- GovTrack, "Lee," accessed April 11, 2013
- LegiStorm, "Mike Lee," accessed August 6, 2012
- National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
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