Sen. Mike Lee is defending the weekend’s acrimony-inducing Senate session, explaining that it was important to get a vote on the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive amnesty.
“It’s always worth it when you stand behind the American people, who want to make sure these that things are being voted on,” Lee said during an appearance Monday on Fox News. “When we have a president who engages in acts of lawlessness and behaves as if he were a government of one. It’s always worth it to stand up for the American people and get a vote on whether or not the president should have taken that action”
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Lee forced a vote on Obama’s executive action on immigration over the weekend, after refusing to allow a quick vote on the must-pass government funding bill until their measure was allowed on the floor.
Lee explained that he opposed the secretive process of the creation of the so-called cromnibus, a $1.1 trillion government-funding bill. He takes issue with the lack of transparency and amendment process both in committee and on the floors of the House and Senate.
“So we felt that we should have at least one vote on some amendment, on some option somewhere to allow senators to signal their opposition to what the president was doing,” he said.
The Lee/Cruz effort was ultimately defeated on a 22-74 vote. They were able to get senators on the record about amnesty. On the other hand, by keeping the Senate in session, they gave Majority Leader Harry Reid time to advance a number of Obama’s nominations.
Cruz and Lee took heat from both sides of the aisle for the strategy, which forced senators to cancel plans and stay in session on the weekend.
“This isn’t a stunt and when we’re being asked to fund a $4 trillion government it’s not too much to ask to expect senators to work for the weekend or rather than recessing for 72 hours before getting back to their jobs,” the Utah Republican said.
Lee also denies that their strategy allowed Obama nominees to advance.
“That’s not true. Look, this is an outgoing, Democratic Senate majority leader. It would have been political malpractice for him to adjourn for the year without getting these things through,” Lee said, adding he can “guarantee” that “not one person will be confirmed as a result of this that would not otherwise have been confirmed.”