January 28,2014

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Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

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

Utah Senator Says, “What we heard from the President was a retread of the same failed economic policies of the last 5 years that haven’t brought the economic recovery and job creation that the President promised.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement after President Obama delivered his 2014 State of the Union address:

“I’d hoped that in his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama would offer a real path to greater prosperity to the millions of Americans looking for a better future – a good-paying job, access to affordable education and health care, and greater economic security for their children.   

“Unfortunately, this speech was designed more as a political tool than an opportunity to bring the country together. What we heard from the President was a retread of the same failed economic policies and ideas of the last 5 years that haven’t brought the economic recovery and job creation that he promised.   In fact what the President outlined would make things worse – with higher taxes, more regulations, and more debt-fueled spending – that would lead to greater income inequality.  What’s more, the President said that he won’t even respect the legislative branch, which is a coequal branch of government under the Constitution, having his Administration instead act unilaterally by legislative fiat on controversial policies.  This is a grave disappointment.

“The fact is the President could take several immediate steps to jump-start the economy, get more Americans back to work and provide the tools hard-working families need for greater economic opportunity. The President takes credit for the energy boom in America, but he never says that the boom is happening on private, not public land. He has also refused to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline for five years. Despite the progress Congress has made to advance bipartisan trade legislation to open up new markets overseas for American-made products, the President is leading from behind, hoping others will fight to get it done.  Our nation’s burdensome tax code is a lead weight around America’s ability to compete in an increasingly competitive world, but that reality doesn’t seem to have reached the White House. And this is all on top of the President’s health law causing Americans to have their work hours cut or, even worse, their jobs eliminated from the higher taxes and fees placed on those fighting to grow the economy.

“Despite the President’s glowing assessment, the simple fact is that ObamaCare is a disaster that’s holding down our entire economy. I’ve heard from many Utahns about the troubles they’ve faced with the law – the cancellation letters they received for the health coverage the President said they’d be able to keep, the nightmares they’ve had signing up for new coverage, and the higher costs they must now pay.  

“There is a better way on health care.  After repealing this disaster of a law, we should move forward with real reforms that bring down costs and expand access – all while empowering the American people to make the best decisions for themselves.  Furthermore, the health of America’s safety net – Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security – grows worse by the day.  For the sake of our seniors and for tomorrow’s seniors, we have to get serious about real reforms that will put these programs and our debt on a more stable path.

“Some states, such as Utah, are having economic success, and they’re doing so with a tried and true formula of lower taxes, fewer and smarter regulations, and more energy development. It is my hope that over the remaining time of his presidency, President Obama will look outward toward states like Utah rather than continuing to look inward at the same failed ideas from Washington in order to get our country back on track.”