‘The president’s comments and behavior shows he clearly favors Senator Lee over Romney…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has positioned himself as the Senate’s most vocal ‘NeverTrump‘ Republican, but he votes with the president much more than Mike Lee, Utah’s senior Republican senator, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Trump joked about Lee’s opposition to the president at the post-acquittal celebration at the White House.
“Whenever I sign bills—-you know, we do sign a lot of legislation that’s big and … powerful,” Trump said. “Everybody has to approve it. And I see 99 to one. I say, ‘Don’t tell me who’s the one.’”
Trump knows that it’s Lee, a stalwart constitutional conservative who believes that Congress has ceded far too much authority to the executive branch and administrative agencies.
FiveThirtyEight conducted an analysis that found that Romney voted with the president’s policy agenda nearly 80 percent of the time, whereas Lee has voted with the president only 63.6 percent of the time.
He frequently criticizes the executive branch’s war-making powers, citing the constitutional provision that Congress, not the president, has the sole authority to start and end wars.
He recently voted for a resolution that said the president does not have power to authorize military strikes against Iran.
But he didn’t vote for the measure to spite the president. He pushed for similar resolutions when President Barack Obama controlled the executive branch.
Lee also hates the omnibus budget process, in which Congress throws together a massive spending bill without giving senators and representatives any time to debate the bill or amend the provisions.
Despite Lee’s principled opposition to the omnibus budget process and presidential war-making authority, he has remained in good standing with the president, even serving as a co-chairman on Trump’s reelection committee in Utah.
“Based on their voting history, both Romney and Lee clearly back President Trump’s policy agenda and their Republican credentials are not really in doubt even if they sometimes disagree with the president,” said Jason Perry, the head of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. “Even so, the president’s comments and behavior shows he clearly favors Sen. Lee over Romney.”