January 20,2015

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515

Hatch Statement on President Obama’s State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON—Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the senior Republican in the United States Senate, issued the following statement on the occasion of the President’s State of the Union Address:

“Tonight, the President missed a real opportunity to put forward a bold economic vision that meets the demands of the American people and puts an aggressive jobs agenda center stage. Rather than outlining pro-growth policies that would provide more opportunity for hard-working families and job creators that have been left behind in the Obama economy, the President slipped back into the role of Campaigner-In-Chief.

“From overreaching regulations to higher taxes that fuel more government spending to premature veto threats and a refusal to enforce laws he doesn’t agree with, President Obama’s unilateralism and refusal to set politics aside further demonstrates his unwillingness to work together and reach lasting solutions for the American people. Our country deserves something other and better than the President’s politics of division. It’s time for all of us—Republicans and Democrats alike—to come together and unite behind an agenda that will move America forward.”

On Taxes:

“A $320 billion tax hike to fuel more government spending is not going to promote a healthy economy or improve the standard of living for working Americans and their families. Calling for expanding the death tax and raising the rates on capital gains, like the president did tonight, makes clear this White House is more about redistribution and populist class warfare than about actual bipartisan tax reform. In fact, if anything, these misguided proposals would only further clutter up the tax code and make it more confusing for taxpayers. By putting poll-tested politics ahead of sound policy embraced by both parties, the President regrettably distanced himself from achieving tenable bipartisan results. 

“Republicans stand ready to act and implement smart policies that will allow hard-working taxpayers to keep more of the money that they earned, spur capital investment, and create a better environment for job growth. We can achieve these goals through a bipartisan remake of the code that creates a simpler, fairer, more efficient tax system that encourages savings and investment and puts American job creators at a competitive advantage. I hope the President comes to the table with a more serious proposal.”

On Trade:

 “The President’s strong call for the renewal of job-creating Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is welcome but long overdue. Swift action on TPA will jumpstart a robust trade agenda that will help America gain greater access to growing overseas markets and hold our trading partners accountable through the negotiation and enactment of strong trade agreements. To have a healthy economy, the United States must engage with other nations through trade. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. These potential customers account for 92 percent of global economic growth and 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power. American workers need fair access to those markets. Democrats in Congress can now either work with the President and Republicans to pass TPA and empower our country to compete or they can throw up more roadblocks and cast uncertainty on our country’s trade agenda.”

On Healthcare: 

“The President’s failure to acknowledge how Obamacare has restricted patient choice, wasted taxpayer dollars, and hampered job creation further illustrates how out of touch he is from working American families. Make no mistake, Obamacare is not healthy for taxpayers, patients, or the economy. I will continue to work with my colleagues on bipartisan solutions to strike away Obamacare’s provisions that both parties see as egregious and replace them with patient-centered reforms that will lower costs and increase high-quality care.”

On Social Security:

 “Despite calls for urgent action to seriously confront Social Security’s financial challenges from Social Security’s trustees, which include members of the President’s own Administration, it is disappointing that the President still refuses to engage on the issue. With Social Security facing $25 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the failure of the President to even engage with Congress in dialogue is a true disappointment.”