October 29

Lee Answers What’s Next For Conservatives

Senator Mike Lee from Utah grabbed national attention this past month as Senator Ted Cruz’s conservative ally amidst the government shutdown. Lee has now joined Cruz as a tea party favorite, and as a lawmaker who is committed to the far right and fighting for conservative ideals. This performance probably initiated his invitation to the Heritage Foundation, where he spoke today on “what’s next for conservatives?” In his hour speech, he laid out what the goals of the Republican party should be, and what the party is really founded on. First and foremost, he restated that Republicans should continue to do everything possible to defund Obamacare, and that the fight did not end with the CR that passed.

He began his speech with why the government shutdown started to begin with, and that Americans and lawmakers are not paying attention to what the CR really means, which is a continuing resolution as the Democrats fail to pass a budget. Lee said that he first decided to join the effort in defunding Obamacare in July after the President exempted big businesses from the disastrous effects of the healthcare law. Lee felt that as big governments do not have to bear the weight of the law, the American people should also be afforded the same right. He continued that the aftermath of Obamacare has been proof in itself that although the law has the best intentions, it is clearly not realistic. The senator then called on all Republicans to continue to draft a healthcare law based off the free market economy, and that also complies with the constitution. 

Lee then addressed the ongoing criticism that the Republican party is out of touch, and evoked history to prove that this is not the case. He said that the Republican party is in the same position as 1977, as the conservative grassroots began to form to express their ideals and change the country needed. This change cumulated through the emergence of President Reagan. He pointed out that Reagan and the conservatives at this time were open to conversation and debate, and this helped them retouch with the American people. Lee said that America right now needs to help the low confidence of the middle class, and the immobility of the poor. For these reasons, the Republicans need to focus on immigration, education, welfare reform, tax reform, and above all, defunding Obamacare. Lee said that Republicans need to tell this message to Americans, and that this is being thwarted by media attention who shows them as unreasonable and obstinate.

According to the Senator, the Democrats unwillingness to compromise should have been negative for that party, and that they refused to pass piecemeal bills in there all or nothing debate over the CR. He said that Democrats, despite popular belief, have been the party of handouts, big business tax exemption, and K Street lobbying firms. Lee called on Republicans to be the party for main street, and that the party needs to focus on building America back into an economic powerhouse where people can capitalize on their dreams.

Lee summarized bills that he is working on to allow for affordable education and also infrastructure, and said that frustration should not be the party’s platform. The GOP has three years until they can choose a new conservative leader to be the face of the conservative movement, and it is up to lawmakers right now to change the rhetoric to show that Republicans have their best interests in order to preserve individual freedom and economic opportunity. Through various grassroots movements, the factions within the party can come together to continue to let the American dream prosper in the United States.