Congressional Profile: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
Currently tied for 1st place on our Legislative Scorecard, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is a fitting choice for the premier of our new blog segment: Member of the Week. Sen. Lee currently has a 99% rating on our scorecard, tied only with Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC). He is a staunch defender of conservative principles and does not shy away from bucking party leadership.
Senator Lee was born in Mesa, Arizona in 1971. At the age of 40, he is the youngest current U.S. Senator. His father, Rex Lee, served as the Assistant U.S. Attorney General between 1975 and 1976 during the Ford Administration and the U.S. Solicitor General between 1981 and 1985 during the Reagan Administration.
Sen. Lee’s father would discuss constitutional doctrine around the kitchen table, and Sen. Lee attended all of his father’s arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. This gave him unique insight into how the judicial branch of the government operated and helped cement his love of politics and the law.
Sen. Lee graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Brigham Young University. He was elected Student Body President his senior year. In 1997, he graduated from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School and served as law clerk to Judge Dee Benson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. He then clerked for then-Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court in Newark, New Jersey.
Following these clerkships, Sen. Lee worked for the D.C. office of Sidley Austin, specializing in appellate and Supreme Court litigation. Several years later, he returned to Utah to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Salt Lake City, and then as then-Governor Jon Huntsman’s General Counsel. He then had the chance to reunite with now-Justice Alito for a one-year clerkship. In 2007, he returned to private practice.
Sen. Lee ran for the Senate in 2010, defeating three-term incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT) in a primary. He won the general election 62% to 33%. He is one of of the Tea Party backed candidates who have continued to fight for the beliefs that got him into office in the first place.
He currently sits on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Foreign Relations, Judiciary and the Joint Economic Committee.
In April of this year, Sen. Lee joined Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rand Paul (R-KY) to propose legislation that would reform Social Security without raising taxes.
He’s also voted against party leadership by opposing “kick the can down the road” spending measures like the CR and the final debt limit deal.
Sen. Lee got his start in politics as a Senate page, delivering correspondence and legislative material inside the Congressional complex.
Now, as a member of the Senate, he supports “constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and economic prosperity.”
He currently resides in Alpine, Utah with his wife, Sharon and their three children.
Stay tuned tomorrow for a questionnaire with Senator Lee.