Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeRetreating economy creates new hurdle for Democrats in 2022 McConnell vows GOP won't help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer 'tantrum' Senate locks in deal to vote on debt ceiling hike Thursday MORE (R-Utah) stands by his decision to delay with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE (R-Texas) the final spending bill vote this past weekend, a move that many fellow Republicans have blamed for helping Democrats advance dozens of President Obama's nominees.
“It's always worth it when you stand behind the American people who want to make sure that these things are being voted on,” Lee said on Fox's “America’s Newsroom.”
“When we have a president who engages in acts of lawlessness and behaves as if he were a government of one, it's always worth it to stand up for the American people and get a vote on whether or not the president should've taken that action.”
Lee and Cruz held up the "cromnibus" budget negotiations Friday by refusing to allow unanimous consent to pass the bill, unless the Senate voted on defunding President Obama’s recent executive orders on immigration.
In order to keep the budget vote on schedule, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (D-Nev.) brought senators in for weekend votes, where he proceeded to set up procedural votes on a slew of nominees. Those included Obama’s surgeon general pick, Dr. Vivek Murthy, who had been blocked for months by the GOP, after the National Rifle Association bashed him for once calling gun violence a public health concern.
Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donating unused campaign funds to Arizona nonprofit focused on elections: report Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report MORE (R-Ariz.) told Politico that Lee and Cruz’s actions were “counterproductive” and enabled Democrats to push the nominees forward.
But Lee said the delay wasn’t a “stunt” and shot back at his critics by noting that Reid would have most likely tried to move the nominations through regardless.
“It would've been political malpractice for him to adjourn for the year without getting these things through,” he said.
“Not one person will be confirmed as a result of this that would not otherwise have been confirmed.”
The two senators ultimately got their vote, a “constitutional point of order” on the spending bill that allowed the Senate to recess late Saturday night. Twenty senators joined the pair in voting to call the executive orders unconstitutional.