Tag Archives: Mike Lee

The Week in Crazy … and a Reminder for 2014 Voters

This is a repost from June 2013 …

10 Crazy Things the Right Did … This Week

By  ThinkProgress War Room

Another week of the insane, inane, and outright offensive. Here’s your top ten:

  1. House Republicans pass plan to deport DREAMers. Just as the Senate is about to consider a bipartisan immigration reform plan, House Republicans, led by virulently anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA), passed a mean-spirited plan to deport DREAMers. Boos filled the chamber as the vote was gaveled.
  2. GOP Senator says we can’t pass immigration reform because of government spying programs. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) used the revelations regarding the NSA’s spying programs as his latest excuse for not passing immigration reform.
  3. Republican-appointed federal judge says blacks and Hispanics are “predisposed to crime.” Judge Edith Jones, a member of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a circuit overseeing a large number of death penalty cases, made her outrageous comments about minorities during a speech earlier this year. The judge, who has a long history of troubling behavior, added that the death penalty is a public service because it’s the only way an inmate can “make peace with God.”
  4. Congressman loses it on the House floor. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) lost it during a rant on the House floor during which he accused the president of “dishonesty, incompetence, vengefulness and lack of moral compass [that] lead many to suggest that he is not fit to lead.”
  5. Senator suggests porn is to blame for military sexual assaults. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), most recently known for being the chief opponent of immigration reform, suggested that porn is responsible for the epidemic of sexual assault plaguing the military.
  6. Republican governor schedules costly special election to lower Democratic turnout during the general election. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is far head in the polls in his bid for re-election, yet he appears to have scheduled a special election to fill the seat of recently deceased Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) to keep Democratic turnout low the day he and Republican state legislators will be on the ballot. The election will cost $12 MILLION or more and is taking place less than a month before the November general election.
  7. Fox Business refuses to run an ad critical of Fox contributors. After a spate of male Fox contributors made disparaging and sexist comments about female breadwinners, the group UltraViolet sought to run an ad on Fox Business critical of their comments. The network refused to air it.
  8. Anti-Obamacare states pass up billions in funds meant to help the poor get health insurance. The red states that are refusing to expand Medicaid under Obamacare are set to lose out on $8 BILLION in funding, which will cause them to leave an additional 3.6 MILLION Americans uninsured simply out of spite.
  9. Wall Street Journal editorial board member says bike share is a “totalitarian” plot. Dorothy Rabinowitz assailed the newly unveiled bike share plan being rolled out in New York City. She complained that the city’s best neighborhoods were being “begrimed” by the bikes put in place by “totalitarian” Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She also described the “bike lobby” as an “all-powerful enterprise.”
  10. Congressional inquisitor-in-chief goes overboard on CNN. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has been endlessly pursuing conspiracy theories and alleged Obama administration scandals for years, but he went more overboard than usual this week. During an appearance on CNN, Issa called White House Press Secretary Jay Carney “a paid liar.” Issa’s fellow Republicans reportedly told him to cool it following the incident.

BONUS: A Texas jury acquitted a man for the murder of a woman he hired as an escort, after his lawyers claimed he was authorized to use deadly force because she refused sex.

the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 10/3 ~~ the House


The Senate stands in adjournment until 10:30am on Thursday, October 3, 2013. 

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business until 2:00pm with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.  The first hour will be equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees with the Republicans controlling the first 30 minutes and the Majority controlling the second 30 minutes.

Floor Updates

This morning Republican senators asked unanimous consent to take up and pass several individual funding resolutions and one continuing appropriations bill. In each case, there was a Democratic counter offer to modify the request to amend the applicable continuing resolution or bill to include an amendment  that would fund the rest of the federal government. Republicans objected to each request to modify and there was an objection to the original request.

Republican unanimous consent requests

Senator Cornyn asked unanimous consent the Senate take up and pass H.J.Res.70, making continuing appropriations for National Park operations, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for fiscal year 2014. (Reid counteroffer and objection)

Senator McConnell asked unanimous consent the Senate take up and pass H.J.Res.72, making continuing appropriations for veterans benefits for fiscal year 2014. (Reid counter offer and objection)

Senator Blunt asked unanimous consent the Senate take up and pass H.J.Res.73, making continuing appropriations for the National Institute of Health for fiscal year 2014. (Durbin counter offer and objection)

Senator Thune asked unanimous consent that when the Senate receives H.R.3230, the Senate take up and pass and H.R.3230, making continuing appropriations during a Government shutdown to provide pay and allowances to members of the reserve component of the Armed Forces who perform inactive-duty training during such period. (Durbin counteroffer objection)

Democratic Counteroffer

I ask consent that the request be modified as follows:

That an amendment, which is at the desk, be agreed to; that the joint resolution, as amended, then be read a third time and passed; and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate.  This amendment is the text that passed the Senate and is a clean continuing resolution for the entire government and is something that is already over in the House and reportedly has the support of a majority of the Members of the House of Representatives.

Senator Lee asked unanimous consent the Senate take up and pass H.J.Res.72, making continuing appropriations for veterans benefits for fiscal year 2014. Senator Murphy asked that the request be modified to include a clean continuing resolution amendment. Senator Lee objected to the proposed modification  and Senator Murphy objected to the original request.

Senator Lee asked unanimous consent the Senate take up and pass H.J.Res.72, making continuing appropriations for veterans benefits for fiscal year 2014. Senator Murphy asked that the request be modified to include a clean continuing resolution amendment. Senator Lee objected to the proposed modification  and Senator Murphy objected to the original request.




Adopted S.Res.228, a resolution authorizing the reporting of committee funding resolutions for the period October 1, 2013 through February 28, 2015.

Adopted S.Res.253, a resolution authorizing expenditures by committees of the Senate for the periods October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014; and October 14, 2014 through February 28, 2015.



Last Floor Action:
9:33:32 P.M. – The House adjourned.

The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on October 3, 2013.

« Previous Day


Did GOP Sen. Mike Lee accidentally make the Democrats’ point about Obamacare and shutdowns?

Sen. Mike Lee talks budget battles, 'phony scandal'

Key Republican lawmaker on ‘Fox News Sunday
Chris Moody, Yahoo! News

                                 19 hours ago                        

        He probably didn’t mean for it to come out this way, but Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, a leader of an effort in Congress to use mandatory spending bills to defund Obamacare, may have handed over messaging ammunition to Democrats.

Surrounded by Republican House and Senate lawmakers at a Capitol Hill press conference Thursday, Lee and his colleagues called on Democrats to pass a bill that would fund the government but also defund the health care law. The federal government will temporarily shut down on Oct. 1 if Congress does not pass a bill extending funding.

While arguing that Democrats should accept the Republican path forward on Obamacare, however, Lee said that the law “is not worth causing a shutdown over.”

“A shutdown is too much. We don’t want a shutdown, we don’t need a shutdown. We should avoid a shutdown, and Obamacare is a law that’s going to harm people. It certainly is not a good idea to shut down the government in order to force through the implementation of Obamacare at a time when the president has said he’s not going to follow the law and he’s made substantial changes,” Lee said. “Shutdowns are bad, shutdowns are not worth it, this law is not worth causing a shutdown over.”

That last line will probably return to bite Lee and Republicans who continue to push to delay the 3-year-old law, even though he was trying to make the opposite point: That he thinks Obamacare is so bad that Democrats shouldn’t fight for it to the point of a shutdown. But it may prove difficult to convince the American people that the party seeking to fund a law that has been on the books for three years and has been found constitutional by the Supreme Court is responsible for a shutdown.

On Friday, the Republican-led House is planning to vote on a spending bill that would keep the government open but strip funding for the health care law, which will go on to the Democrat-led Senate. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that the Senate would approve nothing less than a government spending bill with Obamacare funding intact and he will likely return the bill to the House with the health care funding in it.

The impasse could lead to a traditional filibuster in the Senate. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday said he would be open to procedural maneuvers that would aim to block the government-funding bill.

“I will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund Obamacare,” Cruz said when asked about a filibuster. “Any procedural means necessary.”

Shutdown Meltdown

by ThinkProgress

GOP Descends Further Into Chaos

As their years-long quest to kill and undermine Obamacare demonstrates, Congressional Republicans are united in nothing if not their irrational hatred of a law which is already helping tens of millions of Americans and will give millions more the security of quality, affordable health care for the very first time in just a few short months.

Despite this apparent unity, the GOP has somehow managed to descend into an all-out civil war over the efforts of a few extremists in the Senate to shut down the government in October rather than fund Obamacare. Never mind that the Congressional Research Service reported yesterday that shutting down the government will not, in fact, stop Obamacare.

Here’s what a few Republicans have had to say about their colleagues’ efforts to shut down the government over Obamacare:

  • “Madness.” – former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Holtz-Eakin
  • A denial of reality mixed with a whole bunch of hype…intellectually dishonest…a good way for Republicans to lose the House…destroying the Republican Party.” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
  • The political equivalent of throwing a temper tantrum.” “A suicidal political tactic.” -Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
  • “Terror politics.” – Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
  • “The dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.”Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
  • “A silly effort.”Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
  • “Feckless.Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Undaunted, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and some of his party’s leading 2016 contenders, including Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rand Paul (R-KY), march on in this futile, dead-end effort. Outside groups like Heritage Action, which is launching a nationwide tour in support of the politically disastrous push, and FreedomWorks and pundits like Sarah Palin, Erick Erickson, and Sean Hannity are fanning the flames of this intra-party battle.

These outside groups have come in for criticism from fellow conservatives, with one GOP lawmaker suggesting that Heritage Action cares more about fundraising than anything else. The group, which has swung far to the right after its sister organization was taken over by former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), apparently has no plan for what to do next should the government actually shut down, something which has rankled GOP leaders.

Meanwhile, POLITICO reports that Sen. Cruz accused Republican doubters of belonging to the “surrender caucus” and “is taking his hardball tactics to a whole new level” because he relishes “intra-party warfare.”

Even as the House of Representatives is set to waste time this week on yet another pointless vote to repeal Obamacare — the chamber’s 40th, Speaker Boehner (R-OH) is privately urging his colleagues not to shut down the government over Obamacare or anything else.

This is perhaps because Boehner understands that it’s the GOP that stands to lose should this intra-party battle break out into an all-out war in Washington over shutting down the government. A new poll out this morning found that by a 2:1 margin, voters would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had voted to shut down the government in order to defund Obamacare. This echoes the result of a poll out earlier this week that found repealing Obamacare is not a very popular idea.

BOTTOM LINE: Instead of wasting time fighting with one another and trying to deny the security of quality, affordable health care to millions of Americans, the GOP should actually give governing a try. Less than two full work weeks remain before the government will run out of money and shut down unless the House GOP abandons its demands for more austerity spending cuts and deep cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

Paul Ryan says Boehner should put immigration reform up for a vote, even if a majority of Republicans don’t support it.

Fox News host has no idea how inflation works.

Top Latino journalist torches the GOP over immigration reform and intolerance.

Judge rules that the Catholic Church has a constitutional right not to compensate victims of abuse.

Republican cuts could kick 5 MILLION off food stamps.

North Carolina governor gives protesters cookies to make up for taking away abortion rights.

The Anthony Weiner scandal has devolved into an excuse for slut-shaming.

House GOP appropriations chairman denounces his party’s own strategy on the budget, sequester, and spending bills.

The sequester continues to drag down the economy.

Top 3: Elizabeth Smart, “Lazy” Millennials,and Benghazi