5:28 PM, Dec 15, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In one final ignominious act of parliamentary genius, outgoing Senate majority leader Harry Reid rolled Republican troublemaker Ted Cruz of Texas over the weekend, robbing the GOP of a chance to stop Democrats in the lame-duck session. That’s the consensus in most Washington political circles, and it’s how Politico, the Washington Post, and NBC News, among others, have characterized what took place in the Senate Saturday.
Here’s the Post on what the paper calls Reid’s “late punch”:
After Reid (D-Nev.) exploited a weekend rebellion on immigration by rogue Republican senators as a $1.1 trillion spending bill was up against the clock, the Senate will move ahead this week on key executive branch nominations submitted by President Obama that appeared to be stalled not long ago….
The spending bill, to fund most of the government through late summer, passed Saturday night, but only after a process riddled with complications. The most notable was a push led by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) to fight Obama on immigration after it looked as if senators were headed home for the weekend.
Reid took advantage of their protest, using the rare Saturday session to advance Obama’s nominees in the confirmation process.
On Friday, Reid and Senate Republicans were prepared to push back a vote on the long-term spending bill until Monday and adjourn the body. That’s when Cruz and Utah senator Mike Lee objected and requested a vote on an amendment to the bill that would block funding for implementing President Obama’s executive order on immigration. Cruz and Lee got their wish (the amendment failed 22-74), but with the consequence of extending the session into Saturday, where Reid was able to move forward the confirmation of more than 20 Obama nominees for federal posts like the surgeon general and the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some of those nominees have had strong GOP opposition, and Republicans had hoped to delay Reid’s actions until this week. But the Cruz-Lee gambit, Politico reported, allowed the Nevada Democrat to “exploit a procedural quirk and get the nominations rolling.” Several Republican senators expressed their frustration to Politico reporters for the supposed blunder.
That’s not how the Cruz and Lee see it. In an appearance on Fox News Monday, Lee pushed back on the idea that his push for the vote had given Reid a victory on these nominations. “That’s not true. Look, this is an outgoing Democratic Senate majority leader. It would have been political malpractice for him to adjourn for the year without getting these things through. I can guarantee you…not one person will be confirmed as a result of this that would have not otherwise been confirmed.”
Cruz’s office agrees, telling THE WEEKLY STANDARD that Harry Reid had always intended to push forward on the Obama nominees. A Cruz spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, points to a Friday evening tweet from Reid aide Adam Jentleson that the majority leader “intends to do [nominations] before we adjourn” for the year. The effort to get a vote on the immigration executive action, Frazier argues, did not make it easier for Reid to get more nominations through the Senate. It did, she added, “shine a light” on the executive order.
But by Monday, any light shined was overshadowed by the reports of acrimony within Republican ranks over the move. One Senate GOP aide says Cruz and Lee “played right into Reid’s hands by giving him an extra couple of days to play with.”
The demise of the GOP has been greatly exaggerated. Nov 24, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 11 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Ever since the Democrats were trounced in the midterm elections, they and the media have been trying to figure out how Republicans triumphed so thoroughly. Wasn’t the GOP supposed to be in permanent decline, on the wrong side of history, demography, and the issues? So far the soul searching has been almost nonexistent. National Journal’s Ron Fournier, a weathervane for centrist Beltway journalists, tried to dismiss the GOP’s triumph out of hand: “The Republican Party didn’t win the overall election—not with numbers like that.
10:31 AM, Nov 13, 2014 • By BRIAN BLAKE
As Republican euphoria over the November 4 election begins to subside and more practical considerations emerge, a looming question is whether the various factions within the Republican party will be able to work together. One recent but little-noted change in Senate leadership may have increased the likelihood of success: On September 16, Republican senators elected Senator Mike Lee of Utah as the new chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, the Senate’s conservative caucus. Replacing Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Lee will be given the reins of an organization that
9:32 AM, Apr 7, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Republican senator Mike Lee has an op-ed decrying cronyism. But first, he says, the Republicans must purge the unseemly activity from within its "own ranks."
9:20 AM, Mar 5, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Mike Lee, perhaps the United States Senate’s leading voice for a conservative reform agenda, has now endorsed Ben Sasse in Nebraska’s Senate race. Lee declared, “Nebraskans need Ben Sasse to represent their values, reformers in the Senate need his conservative vote, our country needs his voice.” Lee added that Sasse is “a strong constitutional conservative who understands the proper role of government” and who “also recognizes that we must run and win on the power of our positive ideas.”
11:31 AM, Feb 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Four United States Senators have a written a letter to FBI director James Comey about the indictment of author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza. Senators Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee are the four senators, all Republicans, to have signed the letter.
The letter quotes Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz as saying, "I can't help but think that [D'Souza's] politics have something to do with it. ... It smacks of selective prosecution."
Sep 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 04 • By YUVAL LEVIN
Republicans these days are eager to replay the Reagan revolution. It is not hard to see why: In the 1980s, the GOP was the party of ideas, and the vision that Ronald Reagan and his supporters brought to Washington proved immensely popular with voters and profoundly improved American life. But in their effort to repeat Reagan’s particular policies, rather than his more impressive feat of developing policies that applied conservative principles to the problems of his day, today’s Republicans risk becoming detached from the country’s real concerns.
Utah’s freshman senator makes his mark Sep 9, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 01 • By TERRY EASTLAND
When I asked Mike Lee, the freshman Republican senator from Utah, how he identified himself politically, he said, “A constitutional conservative.” Note the adjective “constitutional.” It’s not surprising that the senator uses it.
Mike Lee takes point against Obamacare. Aug 5, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 44 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
On Wednesday, July 17, Senator Mike Lee strode onto the Senate floor and called for Republicans to defund Obamacare. His case was simple. If the White House is calling for a yearlong delay in the implementation of two key elements of the law—the employer mandate and verification of eligibility for subsidies on health care exchanges—then Congress shouldn’t fund it.
10:52 AM, Jul 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Mike Lee criticized President Obama's and the Democrats' plan to raise taxes, saying that "their proposal would leave 94% of this year's deficit intact, which makes it an inherently unserious proposal insofar as it relates to deficit reduction."
1:45 PM, Feb 4, 2011 • By ADAM J. WHITE
Mike Lee, a former Supreme Court clerk for Justice Alito, is an experienced appellate litigator. (He’s the son of President Reagan's legendary solicitor general, Rex Lee, no less.) Lee also served the federal government as an assistant U.S. attorney, and the state government of Utah as Governor Jon Huntsman's General Counsel.
6:10 PM, Jun 18, 2010 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Last month, Utah Republicans chose two grassroots primary candidates, Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee, to run for Senate. Incumbent senator Bob Bennett didn't even qualify for the ballot. In this very Republican state, the GOP primary on Tuesday, June 22 will almost certainly determine Utah's next senator.
‹‹ More Recent