(DailyVantage.com) – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) wishes to restrain the managerial and administrative state, referred to as “draining the swamp,” identifying two trends in Congress he finds disturbing and wishes to prevent. The two trends he finds concerning across party lines are the consolidation of power in the federal government and working for the legislative party leaders in the houses of Congress over constituents. He is concerned about staffers who strictly follow the opinions of Schumer, McConnell, McCarthy, and Jeffries. Lee said he places value on the diversity of opinions that have traditionally been present throughout the political parties in Congress.
Speaking at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, Lee also said that the unelected bureaucrats plaguing Washington, D.C., are a problem, not due to the existence of these federal employees but because of the amount of power they hold. Previously, Lee cosponsored Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) legislation entitled the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. This bill would require that Congress approve any new rules that significantly impact the economy and give elected officials input on behalf of the American people to reduce burdens and excessive regulations that executive agencies can implement without approval.
Specifically, the approved rules that would need Congressional approval would have to have more than a $100 million impact on the economy. However, currently, executive agencies can make rule changes with such an impact without Congressional approval.
During the debt limit negotiations early this year, Lee eventually voted against the proposal due to the removal of REINS language, despite Republican leadership backing the bill. Lee explained that he will vote differently than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell when he believes it is right. This vote demonstrates the ideological diversity that he values and allows him to portray himself as a senator whom Utah conservatives alienated from McConnell can trust. These statements come ahead of the 2024 Utah Senate election, where incumbent Sen. Mitt Romney could face challenges within the Republican primary.
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