Sen. Mike Lee calling colleagues back to DC
WASHINGTON DC — Utah Sen. Mike Lee says the Senate is essential, and they need to get back to work.
He made a speech on the Senate floor in a mostly empty chamber saying, “Congress has chosen to prioritize its own convenience” by being in recess since March.
It’s time for the Senate to get back to work. https://t.co/GTl63j3aq3
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) April 21, 2020
“We’re being paid. We have a crisis to continue to work through. Our services are necessary. And in order to perform those services, we have to perform them here in Washington,” Lee said in the speech.
Sen. Mike Lee said the Senate can convene safely. They and their staffers can do a lot of work over the phone or video conferencing. But he says they cannot do the job for which they were elected without actually being in Washington.
He says major legislation needs congress members there to debate and discuss and vote on it, because “the crisis is too big to leave up to a small handful of people.”
“We should not be passing major legislation, especially legislation providing nearly a half-trillion dollars in new spending without Congress actually being in session, without members actually being here to debate, discuss, amend and consider legislation and vote on it individually rather than on an absentee basis,” Lee said.
Lee joined KSL’s Dave and Dujanovic Show Wednesday morning where he spoke more about this.
They asked him how the Senate could convene safely. He said many people are working around America right now, and they can do the same in Congress.
“There are ways we can minimize those risks. Wearing masks, social distancing – those are all things we can do while in the United States Senate. But the one thing we can’t do, is legislate while in recess.”
Lee also said basically that the Senate rules right now don’t allow for voting or debating via video conferencing.
You can hear the full conversation between Sen. Lee and Dave and Dujanovic below.
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