|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 Issues
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 4.1.1 113th Congress
- 4.1.2 National security
- 4.1.3 Economy
- 4.1.4 Immigration
- 4.1.5 Social Issues
- 4.1.6 Previous congressional sessions
- 4.2 Presidential preference
- 4.3 Endorsement from Ted Cruz
- 4.4 Anti-Obamacare rally
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 5 Elections
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Analysis
- 8 Recent news
- 9 Personal
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Lee served as counsel to Utah Governor John Huntsman.
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 went on to be an assistant U.S. attorney and then law clerk to Alito again as Supreme Court Justice.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Lee's academic, 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 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent 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 percent). 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."
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 suspended 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 funds 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 a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.
Endorsement from Ted Cruz
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 have been leading calls in the Senate to defund Obamacare in any spending bills, will headline 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.
|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|
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%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% 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.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Lee's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $52,004 and $170,000. That averages to $111,002, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2011 of $6,358,668. His average net worth increased by 593.72% from 2010.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Lee's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $-117,995 and $149,997. That averages to $16,001, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.
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.
Voting with party
Lee voted with the Republican Party 80% 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.
- Judgepedia: Utah Senator Lee votes against all of Obama judicial nominees, February 28, 2012
Lee and his wife, Sharon, have three children.
- 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
- 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
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
- Open Secrets "Donor history for Mike Lee" Accessed April 25, 2013
- Open Secrets "2010 Race: Utah Senate," Accessed November 23, 2011
- Gov Track "Mike Lee," Accessed July 3, 2013
- GovTrack, "Lee," Accessed April 11, 2013
- LegiStorm "Mike Lee"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Lee, (R-Utah), 2011"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Lee, (R-Utah), 2010"
- National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
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