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Mike Lee on Homeland Security

 

 


Don't let important PATRIOT Act provisions expire

More than four years ago, Congress passed the Patriot Sunsets Extension Act of 2011: key provisions of our nation's counterterrorism surveillance programs are set to expire this June 1.

That is why I worked diligently on a bipartisan and bicameral basis to produce the USA Freedom Act. As with any legislation, the USA Freedom Act is not perfect. It does end the bulk collection of phone records and other data by our nation's intelligence agencies, but it also represents compromises by the intelligence community and civil libertarians.

These programs are set to expire on June 1. I do understand that many of my colleagues, especially on the Republican side of the aisle, have very honest and substantive problems with the USA Freedom Act. Unfortunately, that debate may no longer be possible before these programs expire. The best way forward now is for the Senate to quickly pass the USA Freedom Act as-is and go back later to make any changes.

Source: Mike Lee editorial in Wash. Post for 2016 Utah Senate race , May 29, 2015

Keep "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for troop morale

The military's policy is a lumbering dinosaur being kept alive by Senate members who support Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Sadly, two of those dinosaurs are Utah Senate hopefuls, Scott Bradley and Mike Lee. During a recent debate with Democratic candidate Sam Granato, Lee said that his campaign's "panel of military advisors" said DADT was necessary for troop morale. Who these advisors are or why they think homophobia makes the military run smoother is anyone's guess.
Source: Q-Salt-Lake (GLBT news) coverage of 2010 Utah Senate debate , Sep 30, 2010

Oppose START (nuclear reduction) and CTBT (test ban)

Republican Mike Lee and Democrat Sam Granato have staked out positions on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, which the Senate is in the midst of debating, as well as President Barack Obama's ultimate goal--passing a new Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Lee opposes the passage of START and the CTBT; Granato supports passing both.

Lee opposes passing the CTBT because, he said, it's better for the U.S. to decide whether to test its nuclear weapons rather than signing on to a treaty that would tie its hands in the future. And after looking seriously at the issues, Lee said the treaty could limit the nation's ability to develop weapons it might need in the future. "No one that I'm aware of is calling for any kind of detonation testing right now, but it doesn't seem like it's a good option to take that off the table," Lee said. Lee also opposes ratification of START, which the Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans to mark up in September after the congressional recess.

Source: By Jen Dimascio in Politico, "Nukes a Hot Topic" , Aug 5, 2010

Continue to develop cutting-edge weaponry

We maintain peace and freedom when our national defense is strong. We must continue to develop sophisticated, cutting-edge tools and weaponry to defend our citizens from threats of terrorism. We must have clear objectives when we place our brave men and women of the Armed Forces in harm's way. Once engaged, we cannot tie the hands of our military with unnecessary rules of engagement. When our objectives are achieved, we must bring our troops home.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.mikelee2010.com, "Issues" , Jul 19, 2010

Voted NO on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps.

Congressional Summary: A bill to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Smith, R-TX]: America is safe today not because terrorists and spies have given up their goal to destroy our freedoms and our way of life. We are safe today because the men and women of our Armed Forces, our intelligence community, and our law enforcement agencies work every single day to protect us. And Congress must ensure that they are equipped with the resources they need to counteract continuing terrorist threats. On Feb. 28, three important provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire. These provisions give investigators in national security cases the authority to conduct "roving" wiretaps, to seek certain business records, and to gather intelligence on lone terrorists who are not affiliated with a known terrorist group. The Patriot Act works. It has proved effective in preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Americans. To let these provisions expire would leave every American less safe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Conyers, D-MI]: Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows a secret FISA court to authorize our government to collect business records or anything else, requiring that a person or business produce virtually any type record. We didn't think that that was right then. We don't think it's right now. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and seizure which require the government to show reasonable suspicion or probable cause before undertaking an investigation that infringes upon a person's privacy. And so I urge a "no" vote on the extension of these expiring provisions.
Status: Passed 86-12

Reference: FISA Sunsets Extension Act; Bill H.514 ; vote number 11-SV019 on Feb 17, 2011

Sponsored opposing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

Lee co-sponsored Resolution on UN

Congressional Summary:Expressing the conditions for the US becoming a signatory to the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

  1. the President should not sign the Arms Trade Treaty, and that the Senate should not ratify the ATT; and
  2. that no Federal funds should be authorized to implement the ATT.

Opponent's argument against bill:(United Nations press release, June 3, 2013):

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon str

Source: S.CON.RES.7 & H.CON.RES.23 : 13-SC007 on Mar 13, 2013

End bulk data collection under USA PATRIOT Act.

Lee co-sponsored USA FREEDOM Act

Congressional summary:: Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring Act or the USA FREEDOM Act: