Ginni Thomas

Leaders with Ginni Thomas: Utah Sen. Mike Lee

Ginni Thomas Contributor
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Interview with Senator Mike Lee, freshman Republican from Utah

Last summer, at Utah’s Republican nominating convention, three-term incumbent Senator Bob Bennett warned the assembled delegates not to “take chances on a newcomer.” After 18 years, Bennett had become a reliable provider of federal dollars to his state and he was betting that voters would choose pork over the ideals of limited government. He bet wrong. On decision day, Utah Republicans rejected Bennett and instead chose a 39-year-old former prosecutor named Mike Lee, who went on to win decisively in November.

By temperament, Lee is an outsider, the youngest U.S. senator and a member of the Tea Party Caucus. As the cousin of two sitting senators, who grew up on the same street as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in suburban Washington, Lee is a constitutional law expert who knows the legislative process from the inside. TheDC’s Ginni Thomas recently sat down with Sen. Lee to ask him what he’s learned.

“What we’re doing in Libya is wrong. It’s just wrong:”

On Obama skipping Congress and going to the UN:

The greatest surprise in the Senate so far:

Why he entered politics:

What would the Founding Fathers think of this Congress?

On Congress’s consideration of continuing resolutions and raising the debt limit:

Blaming the Tea Party for the fiscal crisis?

On his relationship with Majority Leader Harry Reid:

Lee serves on the Energy and Natural Resources, Foreign Relations and Joint Economic Committees in the senate, as well as on the Judiciary Committee. He has endorsed a fellow constitutional lawyer, Ted Cruz, in the Texas Senate primary.

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For more on Senator Lee, see:

For more on the questionable process on going to war in Libya using “hotlining,” see: