The Laudable Pursuit: The State of Our Union is Strong

Senator Mike Lee
2018-02-02 12:32:20
February 02, 2018 "to elevate the condition of men--to lift artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance, in the race of life." --Abraham Lincoln Chairman's Note: The State of Our Union is Strong This Tuesday President Trump delivered the first State of the Union of the 45th presidency of the United States and he was privileged to accurately report that the state of our union is strong. The United States economy grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in 2017, and growth exceeded 2016 levels in every quarter. Unemployment fell from 4.7 percent in January 2017 to 4.1 percent this month. And wages grew 2.9 percent in 2017, a level not seen since 2009. Not only are more Americans working for higher wages, but starting next month millions of Americans will also start benefiting from the tax cut Congress passed and President Trump signed this past December. According to the centrist Brookings Institute, the bill will reduce taxes for all income groups by an average of $1,600 in 2018, and according to The New York Times tax calculator, the typical Utah family with three kids making the state median income of $66,000 will see an average $1,680 tax cut. American families would not have been able to save this much money in taxes without the hard work of Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV), Tim Scott (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and First Daughter Ivanka Trump, who all worked tirelessly to increase the Child Tax Credit from $1000 to $2000 and make $1400 of that amount refundable. The Senate has also been working diligently to fill the many vacancies open throughout the federal court system. The biggest, of course, being Justice Neil Gorsuch who was confirmed to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on April 10, 2017. I had the good fortune of appearing before then-Judge Gorsuch when he was on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and can honestly report that he is one of the best judges in the country. He came to oral argument prepared with probing and fair questions that helped everyone better understand the issues before the court. The nation is lucky to have him on the highest court. In addition to Gorsuch, the Senate confirmed 18 other federal judges, the most ever in the first year of a presidency. By the end of 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee also approved another 25 judicial nominations that are now awaiting final Senate confirmation, and another 25 judicial nominations are currently waiting for Judiciary Committee approval. With the help of the Senate, President Trump is on track to fill a record number of judicial appointments, thus reshaping the federal judiciary for a generation. Our nation's rural communities also received some much needed help in 2017 as President Trump rolled back multiple restrictive regulations pushed on them by wealthy urban environmental special interests. Burdensome methane restrictions and reporting requirements were either stalled or rolled back entirely. Restrictive new planning requirements for public land use were undone as were burdensome new truck efficiency standards. For Utahns, however, no decision was bigger than President Trump's December order to shrink the Bears Ears National Monument from President Obama's oppressive 1.35 million acres to a much more sensible 200,000 acres. The rural communities around Bears Ears that rely on grazing and other uses of public lands were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing that, at least for the next four years, the federal government would not be invading their lands and upending their way of life. There still is much for Congress and the White House to do over the next three years, but 2017 was a very solid start. Sen. Lee's thoughts on the State of the Union Click here to watch video Issue in Focus: Against Nationalizing 5G 5G, or 5th Generation, is the next step in wireless spectrum. It will likely be faster, more efficient, and could lead to advancements that allow for self-driving cars, drones, and virtual reality. And the government is thinking of nationalizing it. This week, Axios gained access to a government memo and PowerPoint probing the idea that the federal government should look into financing, building, and running a national 5G network in the next 3 years, all in the name of national security. It argues that outside agents will want to hack the network, giving them access to self-driving cars, economic information, and other technologies. Without this network being run and protected by the government, we are told we at the risk of falling prey to China and other countries who have outstripped us technologically and who could take advantage of our subpar cybersecurity. While this threat is real, a government-run network is not the right answer. Only markets can provide the competition necessary to build a resilient 5G network with effective security. A company cannot survive without customers, and customers will not use a network where their information is being hacked. For private companies, the imperative for security goes beyond national security, it goes to their bottom line. On the other hand, the federal government has shown itself to be vulnerable to these kinds of security breaches. "The main lesson to draw from the wireless sector's development over the past three decades-including American leadership in 4G-is that the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment," Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said this week. "What government can and should do is to push spectrum into the commercial marketplace and set rules that encourage the private sector to develop and deploy next-generation infrastructure." While the administration has walked the memo back by saying it was written by low-level national security employees, its existence still highlights how national security has become a widely-used justification for growing federal power. It isn't new, and it's often well-intentioned. But in this instance as well as many before it, national security is best served by leaving the private sector to itself. Washington, D.C. Office 361A Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C., 20510 Phone: 202.224.5444 Fax: 202.228.1168 Salt Lake City Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building 125 South State, Suite 4225 Salt Lake City, UT 84138 Phone: 801.524.5933 Fax: 801.524.5730 St. George Office of Senator Michael S. Lee 285 West Tabernacle, Suite 200 St. George, UT 84770 Phone: 435.628.5514 SaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSave Save Save Save Save Save Save SaveSave SaveSaveSave SaveSave Save This message was intended for: xxx You were added to the system October 2, 2015. For more information please follow the URL below: newsletter.senate.gov/p/iWeKPDRoNt Follow the URL below to update your preferences or opt-out: newsletter.senate.gov/p/oWeKPDRoNt To unsubscribe from future mailings, send an email to mailto:xxx?Subject=Unsubscribe&body=Please%20remove%20me%20from%20further%20mailings with "Unsubscribe" as the subject line.
February 02, 2018

"to elevate the condition of men--to lift artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance, in the race of life." --Abraham Lincoln

Chairman's Note: The State of Our Union is Strong

This Tuesday President Trump delivered the first State of the Union of the 45th presidency of the United States and he was privileged to accurately report that the state of our union is strong.

The United States economy grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in 2017, and growth exceeded 2016 levels in every quarter. Unemployment fell from 4.7 percent in January 2017 to 4.1 percent this month. And wages grew 2.9 percent in 2017, a level not seen since 2009.

Not only are more Americans working for higher wages, but starting next month millions of Americans will also start benefiting from the tax cut Congress passed and President Trump signed this past December.

According to the centrist Brookings Institute, the bill will reduce taxes for all income groups by an average of $1,600 in 2018, and according to The New York Times tax calculator, the typical Utah family with three kids making the state median income of $66,000 will see an average $1,680 tax cut.

American families would not have been able to save this much money in taxes without the hard work of Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV), Tim Scott (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and First Daughter Ivanka Trump, who all worked tirelessly to increase the Child Tax Credit from $1000 to $2000 and make $1400 of that amount refundable.

The Senate has also been working diligently to fill the many vacancies open throughout the federal court system. The biggest, of course, being Justice Neil Gorsuch who was confirmed to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on April 10, 2017. I had the good fortune of appearing before then-Judge Gorsuch when he was on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and can honestly report that he is one of the best judges in the country. He came to oral argument prepared with probing and fair questions that helped everyone better understand the issues before the court. The nation is lucky to have him on the highest court.

In addition to Gorsuch, the Senate confirmed 18 other federal judges, the most ever in the first year of a presidency. By the end of 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee also approved another 25 judicial nominations that are now awaiting final Senate confirmation, and another 25 judicial nominations are currently waiting for Judiciary Committee approval. With the help of the Senate, President Trump is on track to fill a record number of judicial appointments, thus reshaping the federal judiciary for a generation.

Our nation’s rural communities also received some much needed help in 2017 as President Trump rolled back multiple restrictive regulations pushed on them by wealthy urban environmental special interests. Burdensome methane restrictions and reporting requirements were either stalled or rolled back entirely. Restrictive new planning requirements for public land use were undone as were burdensome new truck efficiency standards.

For Utahns, however, no decision was bigger than President Trump’s December order to shrink the Bears Ears National Monument from President Obama’s oppressive 1.35 million acres to a much more sensible 200,000 acres. The rural communities around Bears Ears that rely on grazing and other uses of public lands were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing that, at least for the next four years, the federal government would not be invading their lands and upending their way of life.

There still is much for Congress and the White House to do over the next three years, but 2017 was a very solid start. 

Sen. Lee's thoughts on the State of the Union

Click here to watch video

 

Issue in Focus: Against Nationalizing 5G

5G, or 5th Generation, is the next step in wireless spectrum. It will likely be faster, more efficient, and could lead to advancements that allow for self-driving cars, drones, and virtual reality.

And the government is thinking of nationalizing it.

This week, Axios gained access to a government memo and PowerPoint probing the idea that the federal government should look into financing, building, and running a national 5G network in the next 3 years, all in the name of national security. It argues that outside agents will want to hack the network, giving them access to self-driving cars, economic information, and other technologies. Without this network being run and protected by the government, we are told we at the risk of falling prey to China and other countries who have outstripped us technologically and who could take advantage of our subpar cybersecurity.

While this threat is real, a government-run network is not the right answer.

Only markets can provide the competition necessary to build a resilient 5G network with effective security. A company cannot survive without customers, and customers will not use a network where their information is being hacked. For private companies, the imperative for security goes beyond national security, it goes to their bottom line.

On the other hand, the federal government has shown itself to be vulnerable to these kinds of security breaches.

“The main lesson to draw from the wireless sector’s development over the past three decades—including American leadership in 4G—is that the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment,” Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said this week. “What government can and should do is to push spectrum into the commercial marketplace and set rules that encourage the private sector to develop and deploy next-generation infrastructure.”

While the administration has walked the memo back by saying it was written by low-level national security employees, its existence still highlights how national security has become a widely-used justification for growing federal power. It isn’t new, and it’s often well-intentioned. But in this instance as well as many before it, national security is best served by leaving the private sector to itself.

 

Washington, D.C. Office
361A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20510
Phone: 202.224.5444
Fax: 202.228.1168

Salt Lake City
Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building
125 South State, Suite 4225
Salt Lake City, UT 84138
Phone: 801.524.5933
Fax: 801.524.5730

St. George
Office of Senator Michael S. Lee
285 West Tabernacle, Suite 200
St. George, UT 84770
Phone: 435.628.5514




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