July 29,2011

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

In Speech, Hatch Denounces Reid Debt Ceiling Plan; Attacks Treasury for Failing to Outline Government’s Fiscal State

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, denounced the Reid debt ceiling plan as another budget-gimmick and blasted the Obama Administration for failing to sufficiently provide lawmakers and the American people with information about the resources available to avoid default and detailed contingency plan if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2.

“The United States cannot support the level of spending President Obama has given us, and that Democrats from the New Deal onward have bequeathed to the nation in the form of ever expanding entitlement spending programs,” said Hatch. “That is the real issue.  And the Majority Leader’s proposal does not address this, any more than the President’s White House bromides about a balanced solution address it.”

Under the Reid plan, the President would get a $2.7 trillion debt limit increase, but less than $1 trillion in cuts. Hatch dubbed the cuts in the Reid proposal as “gimmicks,” noting most of them assume savings from war spending that the President has not requested. A strong advocate of the Cut, Cap, and Balance Pledge, Hatch denounced the bill for lacking a Balanced Budget Amendment and its failure to prevent American families and job creators from getting hit with a $3.5 trillion tax hike in 2013.

“Any increase in the debt limit needs to be accompanied by serious spending reductions, but the bill of the Majority Leader does not get us there, “continued Hatch. “All it does is provide President Obama with an opportunity to borrow more money to pay for more spending,”

While on the Senate floor, Hatch criticized the executive branch agency, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), for failing to sufficiently meet his Thursday deadline to provide information on the nation’s cash and liquid assets. Today, Hatch, again, wrote to eight members of the FSOC, the group charged with monitoring the financial stability of the nation, requesting answers on the nation’s fiscal state.

“As Congress considers options for raising the debt ceiling, it needs to know precisely how Treasury plans to pay its bills, and when it is going to fall short of cash to do so,” said Hatch. “I asked that the Secretary respond to this reasonable request by yesterday afternoon. The Secretary chose not to respond. I want to be clear that this unresponsiveness by his Treasury Secretary is unacceptable.”