Lee tackles 'inequality crisis' in response

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) took on President Obama's recent focus on income inequality in his Tea Party response to the State of the Union address, seeking to lay out a positive conservative agenda for "those Americans who may feel they have been forgotten by both political parties."

The Utah senator, who along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) led the fight against ObamaCare that culminated in the government shutdown last fall, said conservatives need to offer clear alternatives to Obama's programs rather than just fight against them. 

ADVERTISEMENT
"In America, the test of any political movement is not what that movement is against, but what it is for.  The Founders made a point at Boston Harbor, but they made history in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall," Lee said.

That includes ObamaCare, he said, opening the door to reforms while still supporting repeal. 

"When it comes to healthcare, we know the best way to repeal ObamaCare is to deliver better solutions. We can’t just return to the old system. Healthcare policy used to give too much power to insurance companies; ObamaCare now gives far too much power to government. We know that real reform will put healthcare dollars and decisions where they belong: in the hands of patients and families and their doctors and nurses," Lee said. 

Lee also addressed Obama's recent emphasis on income inequality, agreeing with the problem but disagreeing with its cause.

"Today, Americans know in their hearts that something is wrong.  Much of what is wrong relates to the sense that the American Dream is falling out of reach for far too many of us. We are facing an inequality crisis — one to which the president has paid lip-service but seems uninterested in truly confronting or correcting," Lee said in the speech taped for the Tea Party Express, which streamed online.

Updated at 10:55 p.m.

More in Finance

Income inequality is an issue that cuts across party lines

Read more »