April 11,2011

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Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch to President: Speech Can’t Be a Substitute for Leadership to Tackle Debt Crisis

Utah Senator Says, Not Too Late for President to Lay Out Concrete Plan to Confront Runaway Debt

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee that has jurisdiction over taxes, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, issued the following statement today on the President’s forthcoming speech on the debt, entitlements and taxes: 

“With over $14 trillion in debt, we can’t afford more empty rhetoric from the White House.  The American people won’t accept a speech as a substitute for real presidential leadership to tackle Washington’s spending-fueled debt crisis.  But it’s not too late for the President to lay out a concrete plan to confront our runaway debt, fix our broken entitlement programs and reform our tax code for all Americans.  This is the kind of leadership the American people desperately want and is what the President has to deliver on Wednesday.  

“While I’m certainly going to hear him out, from what I’ve read, the Administration is already talking about raising taxes – including getting rid of the small business tax relief the White House backed last December.   With our economy just starting to recover from the worst economic downturn in a generation, this is a foolish idea that has no chance of becoming law.   The solution to a government that spends too much money is not higher taxes that will give government more money to spend.

“While Capitol Hill Democrats have attacked serious Republican ideas to reform our entitlement programs, now is the time for the President to lay on the table real solutions to fix Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  The first thing he should do is repeal the health law’s massive new entitlement and Medicaid expansion that will bust the budgets of federal and state governments alike.”