Congressional Republicans have “every opportunity” in September to reform how money is spent in Washington, but care must be taken not to attempt to rush through legislation out of desperation, Sen. Mike Lee said Wednesday.
“The fact is, Republican majorities were elected in the House and the Senate,” the Utah Republican told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” program. “We have now got a Republican president. We have every opportunity to reform the way we spend money in Washington to make sure that we don’t wait until 48 hours before the expiration of a spending period and just plop a piece of legislation on the floor and say ‘okay, it’s pass that or pass nothing.'”
Republicans will have just 12 legislative days in September, and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mike Meadows, R-North Carolina told Breitbart News over the weekend that those 12 days will determine whether Republicans will remain in power as the House majority.
“We need to start debating and discussing things and giving opportunities for each individual member of Congress to make improvements to the spending bill,” Lee said Wednesday.
The 12 days are vital, even though lawmakers will be in session in October and November, because those are where the spending period ends and lawmakers must decide how much will be spent in the following fiscal year.
“When we decide that we’re not going to make any changes to spending, that sends a loud signal, especially since we now have a united Republican government,” Lee said. “We need to govern differently. We need to show that we are going to prioritize spending differently than we did under a Democratic [majority].”
Tax reform legislation, on which Republicans have campaigned for at least the last seven or eight years, is also vital, said Lee, and he believes that will come up after lawmakers work on the debt ceiling and spending measures.
“One of the things that happens is that when we’re up against a deadline it tends to accelerate things,” Lee said. “I was one of the members calling for us to not take any recess at all in August . . . but there is still time for us to get something done. We have to actually do it.”