Senator Mike Lee on Loretta Lynch, Tax Reform and 2016

One of our favorite Senators, Mike Lee (R-UT), was on NBC’s Meet the Press this past Sunday to discuss tax reform with Chuck Todd. He made some very important statements on the need for tax reform and on the best way forward with those reforms. They also discussed the Lorretta Lynch confirmation delay, and Todd wondered who Lee might be supporting for President.

I was on Meet the Press yesterday, and we had a good discussion on my tax reform plan and the Senate’s delay in approving Loretta Lynch to be the next Attorney General. I appreciate the feedback I am receiving on the tax plan, and I am curious to see if you think the Senate should confirm Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder. Let me know what you think.

 

 

CHUCK TODD:
Let’s go to the presidential race. As you’ve pointed out, three friends running. But there’s one that you’ve got a plan that is going to get debated a lot. And it’s this tax plan that you’ve done with Marco Rubio. What’s interesting about it is that it seems to– You get hit from both sides on this one.

Some conservatives aren’t happy. It lowers marginal rates only from 39 to 35. A lot of conservatives want it much lower than that. And you keep a progressive tax rate there, 15 and 35. But it also increases the deficit by a lot, by billions of dollars in the first five years. And it takes, even with dynamic scoring, and I don’t want to get into that for our viewers this morning, it could take over a decade before it rights itself. Do you think this tax plan can withstand scrutiny?

MIKE LEE:
I do. I do. Because this is a pro-growth, pro-family tax reform, one that dramatically simplifies the code at a time when Americans have just experienced their annual tax day, at a time when our tax freedom day keeps getting pushed out further and further.

The American people are tired of a tax code that, 100 years ago, was a few hundred pages long, today, is 75,000 pages long. They’re ready for reform. They’re ready for tax code simplification. My tax reform plan would get rid of the marriage tax penalty, which is a concern to many people. It gets rid of the parent tax penalty. And it would provide a new child tax credit to help get rid of that parent tax penalty.

CHUCK TODD:
Do you have a favorite among the three?

Mike LeeMIKE LEE:
You know, I really like all three of my Senate colleagues who are running for president. And I intend to be a supporter of all three of them, as I possibly can.

CHUCK TODD:
What do you say to the criticism that says, “You know what? The republicans shouldn’t nominate a senator. Senators, they can’t run things. Governors can run things.” What do you say to that critique?

MIKE LEE:
Well, the other side of that is that someone who has held federal office, you have the opportunity to do examine how they view federal issues, how they view their constitutional authority, given to the federal government, relative to the power that a governor wields in a state.

CHUCK TODD:
You and I are going to have a longer conversation about your book on Press Pass. But I’m curious. You call it Our Lost Constitution. Do you think the Constitution is a living document? Or do you believe it is sort of as written, a strict sort of document that shouldn’t be over-interpreted?

MIKE LEE:
It’s written in such a way that it can be amended with time. Over time, it can be amended. And it has been amended 27 times. But once it’s written, once its provisions are put in place, we need to follow it. And if it’s not up to date, then we need to amend it from time to time, just as we have.

CHUCK TODD:
So that’s how you would change it, amend it only, not trying to reinterpret it.

MIKE LEE:
Well, we reinterpret it for the times, certainly. I mean, for example, the founding fathers didn’t contemplate interstate air travel. But it fits comfortably within the commerce clause, as I explain in the book, to regulate channels and instrumentalities of interstate commerce, like interstate airways, even though they didn’t contemplate that specific thing.

What I explain in my book, the reason I wrote Our Lost Constitution is because we’ve drifted so far from the founding generation’s understanding that this is supposed to be a limited purpose government. And there are a number of provisions, a half dozen of which I profile in the book, that we’ve neglected entirely. We need to restore them.

CHUCK TODD:
All right. Well, maybe the country needs a constitutional convention. That would give us a nice little education on that. Senator Lee, thanks for coming on Meet the Press. Appreciate it. We’ll be back in less than a minute with End Game.