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After A Year In Washington Vortex, Lee Still Strikes Bipartisan Tone

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Associated Press

Rep. Susie Lee started her Congressional career in 2019 by being sworn in during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

At the end of the year, the first-term Democrat voted to impeach the president.

“I did not get elected with the intention of wanting to impeach the president," Lee told KNPR's State of Nevada, "And outside the decision to send men and women to war to protect our freedom, making the decision to proceed with impeachment for this president is one of the most grave decisions I make as a member of Congress.”

Lee said she did not support impeachment until the whistleblower complaint was revealed. 

“The bottom line is: is I felt that this president abused his power by using congressionally appropriated funds $400 million that was intended to support Ukraine in its on-going war with Russia and that he was willing to do that in order to get a favor that had intended consequences on our elections,” she said, “Democracies live and die by the integrity of their elections.”

Besides what she views as abuse of power by President Donald Trump, Lee said she believes the president is obstructing Congress. 

“The thing that really was the tipping point for me and continues to be the center of what is going on in the Senate now is the obstruction of Congress. The clear burying of the first whistleblower complaint and then not complying with subpoenas, over and over again,“ she said.

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Lee also believes that if the president is not found guilty by the Senate the consequences will be long term.

“If he does not get found guilty by the Senate, I think that it will have consequences on this country," she said, "To me, it is not just about this president, it’s about future presidents as well and abuse of power.”

Lee, who represents suburban Las Vegas, told State of Nevada that the people’s business still gets done amid the noise. She points to the bipartisan efforts to pass the recent trade agreement among the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

The congresswoman talked to a group of constituents from the Sun City Anthem community the other day. She said they asked her about health care, Medicare and Social Security.

“People are concerned about quality of life issues. Clearly, people have [impeachment] top of mind as well, but student debt is another important issue that I’m hearing about and so, I think that people want Congress to work together and to solve some of our problems facing our country,” she said.

Lee dismissed political ads currently running in Nevada criticizing her and claiming she's beholden to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“The constituent in this ad must be the same constituent that’s in 11 other targeted districts across the country because it’s the exact same actor,” she said.

Lee said the money behind the ad is "dark money" from sources outside of Nevada. "Dark money" is money funneled into nonprofit organizations that do not need to report to the federal government and can be spent for political purposes.

“I’m happy to stand by my record of what I’ve been working for in Washington, and I think most importantly the constituents in this district. I’ve returned almost a million dollars to constituents who have filed casework with my office. We’ve opened and closed 80 percent of 415 cases,” she said.

Lee said she has been part of passing hundreds of bi-partisan bills but most are sitting on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's desk and he is refusing to allow a hearing in the Senate.

The congresswoman said when she was elected she made a goal to be bi-partisan, establish relationships with people on the other side of the aisle and work with them to find common ground.

“People in our communities are suffering. And we need leaders who are going to put their political baggage aside, roll-up their sleeves and work for a common solution,” she said.

Lee said she is honored to serve Nevada in Washington, D.C. and she believes a majority of the country wants Congress to work together to solve problems.

Guests

Susie Lee, congresswoman, Nevada's third district

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