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Lee calls for balanced budget amendment

By | Posted - Jan. 3, 2011 at 7:55 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Senator-elect Mike Lee is already making waves as one of the new Republicans in Washington. On Fox News Sunday he called for a balanced budget amendment.

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Lee talked about trying to return to the 2004 budget, at least as a goal. He said he is prepared to tell Americans they will have to do without some good programs because the country can't afford them.

"It's time we stop spending money we don't have," he said.

He also said he is willing to stand up to his own Republican leaders in the Senate.

Lee will be sworn in today. That means Utah Sen. Bob Bennett now is on his way out.

Bennett, who was ousted during the state GOP convention last May, was very gracious in his farewell address last month. "I view the Senate not as the end of my career but as a preparation and education for the next stage," he said.

Bennett looked back on his 18 years as a senator and other experiences in Washington. As a staff member, he was there the day the Civil Rights Bill passed. It was in voting for that bill that his father nearly lost his Senate seat.

Bennett said it was much like his own TARP vote. "My father never regretted the civil rights vote. I don't regret my TARP vote because it's the right thing to do," he said.

Bennett now plans to do some consulting and teach at the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics.

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