It's Time to Stop Delaying Democracy

Senator Mike Lee
2015-02-10 14:33:13
US Senator for Utah, Mike Lee [image = lee.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/eCard-header-sunset-silhouette.jpg] * Join my February Tele-townhall* With the Senate becoming a place where, once again, the voice of the American people can be part of the debate, I want continue the dialogue we have had over the last few years in my tele-townhalls.� I look forward to hearing from you, answering your questions, and making sure your voice is part of the debate to fix our broken government.� You can sign up for my next event here: www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/tele-townhall-meetings [link 1] [image = lee.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/Feb-2015-tth-invite.jpg] * Time to Stop Delaying Democracy* The Senate has been a much busier place these last few weeks than it was under the previous leadership.� With Republicans in charge of the Senate we have held more votes on amendments in the first few weeks of the 114th Congress than were allowed in the Democrat-led Senate during all of 2014.� And we have already seen the positive effects of restoring the American people�s voice in the Senate. �During the debate to authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, I introduced two amendments that were voted on by the Senate.� The first amendment would limit frivolous lawsuits filed under the Endangered Species Act [link 2], and the second would speed up the process for the BLM to approve leasing permits [link 3]. The Senate and the House eventually passed the Keystone XL pipeline bill, and it is now sitting on the president's desk, waiting for him to sign it into law or veto it. For the next major legislative item, Republicans are trying to keep our promise to the American people and do what we were sent here to do: keep the government funded, especially the agencies protecting our homeland security, and hold the President accountable for his abuses of power.� But standing in the way are Senate Democrats who refuse to even allow consideration of the DHS funding bill, so they won�t have to declare where they stand on the President�s illegal and unconstitutional action on executive amnesty.� This effort to try and hide from the American people is embarrassing. Republican leaders in the Senate have repeatedly signaled that they will give Democrats every opportunity to amend provisions of the bill that they don�t like.� But even this is rejected, because it would require Democrats to go on record as supporting or opposing the president�s executive amnesty. Democrats say they have an alternative bill and insist that we pass it immediately. There are two problems with that approach. First, while that may have been how the Senate worked under the previous majority � writing bills in back rooms, waiting until the last minute to make them public, blocking amendments and debate, and ramming the bill through without any input from the American people � that�s not the way the Senate is *supposed* to work, and it�s not the way the Senate is working with Republicans in control. And second, appropriations bills aren�t supposed to start in the Senate.� In fact, the House has not considered a Senate-originated appropriations bill since at least 1901 -� the period for which records are readily available. And unfortunately for them, the bill the Democrats want is not supported in the House because it�s not supported by the American people. It is time to stop delaying democracy [link 4]; it�s time to stop hiding from the American people and start debating the future of homeland security funding. [image = lee.enews.senate.gov/common/images/sn-facebook.png]Share on Facebook [link 5] [image = lee.enews.senate.gov/common/images/sn-twitter.png]Share on Twitter [link 6]
February 10, 2015

Join my February Tele-townhall

With the Senate becoming a place where, once again, the voice of the American people can be part of the debate, I want continue the dialogue we have had over the last few years in my tele-townhalls.  I look forward to hearing from you, answering your questions, and making sure your voice is part of the debate to fix our broken government.  You can sign up for my next event here:

Time to Stop Delaying Democracy

The Senate has been a much busier place these last few weeks than it was under the previous leadership.  With Republicans in charge of the Senate we have held more votes on amendments in the first few weeks of the 114th Congress than were allowed in the Democrat-led Senate during all of 2014.  And we have already seen the positive effects of restoring the American people�s voice in the Senate.  During the debate to authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, I introduced two amendments that were voted on by the Senate.  The first amendment would , and the second would .

The Senate and the House eventually passed the Keystone XL pipeline bill, and it is now sitting on the president's desk, waiting for him to sign it into law or veto it.

For the next major legislative item, Republicans are trying to keep our promise to the American people and do what we were sent here to do: keep the government funded, especially the agencies protecting our homeland security, and hold the President accountable for his abuses of power.  But standing in the way are Senate Democrats who refuse to even allow consideration of the DHS funding bill, so they won�t have to declare where they stand on the President�s illegal and unconstitutional action on executive amnesty.  This effort to try and hide from the American people is embarrassing. Republican leaders in the Senate have repeatedly signaled that they will give Democrats every opportunity to amend provisions of the bill that they don�t like.  But even this is rejected, because it would require Democrats to go on record as supporting or opposing the president�s executive amnesty.

Democrats say they have an alternative bill and insist that we pass it immediately. There are two problems with that approach.

First, while that may have been how the Senate worked under the previous majority � writing bills in back rooms, waiting until the last minute to make them public, blocking amendments and debate, and ramming the bill through without any input from the American people � that�s not the way the Senate is supposed to work, and it�s not the way the Senate is working with Republicans in control.

And second, appropriations bills aren�t supposed to start in the Senate.  In fact, the House has not considered a Senate-originated appropriations bill since at least 1901 -  the period for which records are readily available.

And unfortunately for them, the bill the Democrats want is not supported in the House because it�s not supported by the American people.

; it�s time to stop hiding from the American people and start debating the future of homeland security funding.

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