The last time many Americans saw Sen. Mike Lee (R) of Utah, he was trying to kill Obamacare. First, he was Ted Cruz’s lieutenant during the Texas senator’s 20-hour filibuster. Then, a few days later, the duo’s offensive to defund the health-care reform law led to a 16-day partial government shutdown that had even some Republicans fuming at him.
So, perhaps it is no surprise that Tuesday night Senator Lee will give the tea party response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. Yet on this biggest stage of the senator’s career so far, Lee might just take some Americans by surprise.
He is a Republican comfortable discussing ways to help America’s poor. He is a conservative’s conservative – winning perfect scores from the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and Heritage Action. But he is not afraid to work with Senate Democrats on bipartisan legislation. And he’s a tea partyer who wants to rebuild the Republican Party, not antagonize it.
PRESS RELEASE From Mike Lee’s Senate Office
Jan 28 2014
“In America, the test of any political movement is not what that movement is against, but what it is for. The founders made a point at Boston Harbor, but they made history in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.”
“Today, Americans know in their hearts that something is wrong. Much of what is wrong relates to the sense that the ‘American Dream’ is falling out of reach for far too many of us. We are facing an inequality crisis — one to which the President has paid lip-service, but seems uninterested in truly confronting or correcting.”
“But where does this new inequality come from? From government — every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats, and special interests.”
“Throughout the last five years, President Obama has promised an economy for the middle class; but all he’s delivered is an economy for the middle-men.”
“We have a new generation of leaders in Washington with positive, innovative ideas – thoughtful policy reforms to, as my friend Senator Ted Cruz says –“Make D.C. listen.” Reforms to help poor families work their way into the middle class, to help middle-class families start to get ahead, and to level the playing field and put corporate and political insiders back to work for the rest of us.”
“All of these proposals within this new conservative reform agenda, along with many more to come, mark the road to Philadelphia. These principles and these policies will work – and will put Americans back to work. Not just by cutting big government, but by fixing broken government. Not just by making government smaller but by promoting bigger citizens, stronger families and more heroic communities. Our goal should be an America where everyone has a fair chance to pursue happiness – and find it. That’s what it looks like when protest grows into reform.”