U.S. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, voted “No” on the debt ceiling bill that was signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday. During a news conference after the Senate vote, Sen. Lee said he could not support a bill that did not require a balanced budget amendment.Lee also expressed concern about how the new bill creates what some are calling a Super Congress, three Democrats from the House and three from the Senate plus three Republicans from the House and three from the Senate. This group of six is charged with a responsibility of finding areas to cut and then giving those recommendations to the House and Senate.”Unlike most legislation in the senate which would require a 60 vote threshold, this would only require a 51 vote threshold in the Senate,” Lee said. “It’s non-filibuster-able, it’s non-amendable in either house. I think that troubles me a little bit because the robust debate and discussion as I understand it is behind closed doors.”Meanwhile, the stock market was on the longest losing losing streak Tuesday since the financial meltdown of 2008.Congressman Jim Matheson, R-District 2, was the only one of Utah’s delegation who voted in favor of the Budget Control Act that kept the federal government from entering into default on Tuesday. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-District 1, said he voted against it because he was concerned with last minute changes to the bill that he thought could lead to devastating defense cuts.Sen. Lee agrees.”Only the federal government can provide defense,” Lee explained. “Nobody else can do that. You can’t rely on state and local government to provide that. You can’t rely on civil society or private, non-profit foundations to do that. That is of some concern.”
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