Press Releases

Press releases are archived according to their release date. For press releases by topic, please see the Issue Positions page.

Dec 17 2014

Sen. Orrin Hatch Responds to President’s Cuba Announcement

“The President’s decision to begin talks to normalize relations with Cuba is another example of his administration’s habit of appeasing our adversaries"

Washington, D.C., — Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Senior Republican in the United States Senate, issued the following statement following the President’s announcement that he would seek to normalize relations with Cuba:

“The President’s decision to begin talks to normalize relations with Cuba is another example of his administration’s habit of appeasing our adversaries. Time and again, President Obama has predicated his foreign policy on the notion that if we simply accommodate the demands of troublesome regimes, they will cease their disturbing behavior. 

Even more disturbing, the President’s announcement constitutes a fundamental shift from our decades old policy, reaffirmed by both Republican and Democrat administrations, to isolate the Cuban regime due to its repression of the Cuban people.  It is beyond doubt that the Cuban regime continues to stifle democracy and violate fundamental human rights.  Like many of my colleagues, I remain committed to a Cuba policy that continues to place pressure on the Castro regime until the Cuban people are free.”

 

Dec 12 2014

Sen. Orrin Hatch Introduces the Searching for and Cutting Regulations That Are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act of 2014

"The SCRUB Act will provide a commonsense and practical means to reduce the unnecessary costs of existing regulations"

Washington, D.C.—Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the senior Republican in the United States Senate and a longtime supporter of regulatory reform, issued the following statement after introducing the Searching for and Cutting Regulations That Are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act of 2014:

“One of the biggest problems we face as a nation is the massive accumulation of federal regulations. Administrative rules now impose an estimated burden of $1.86 trillion on the nation’s economy—roughly $15,000 per household. Every President since Jimmy Carter has endorsed the idea of reviewing old regulations to get rid of those that are excessively burdensome, outdated, or ineffective. But too many unjustified regulations continue to hold back job creation and economic growth. The SCRUB Act will provide a commonsense and practical means to reduce the unnecessary costs of existing regulations.”

The SCRUB Act:

  • Establishes a bipartisan, Blue-Ribbon, BRAC-style commission to review existing federal regulations and identify those that should be repealed to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens. 
  • Sets the Commission’s goal to be the reduction of at least 15 percent in the cumulative costs of federal regulation with a minimal reduction in the overall effectiveness of such regulation. 
  • Prioritizes for review regulations that are major rules, have been in effect more than 15 years, impose paperwork burdens that could be reduced substantially without significantly diminishing regulatory effectiveness, impose disproportionately high costs on small businesses, or could be strengthened in their effectiveness while reducing regulatory costs. 
  • Establishes key additional factors to be taken into account when identifying regulations for repeal (e.g., the regulations have: been rendered obsolete by technological or market changes; achieved their goals and can be repealed without target problems recurring; are ineffective; overlap, duplicate or conflict with other federal regulations or with state and local regulations; or, impose costs that are not justified by benefits produced for society within the United States). 
  • Requires that annual and final Commission recommendations of regulations for presented to Congress for approval by joint resolutions of Congress. If Congress votes to approve the Commission’s recommendations, repeal must take place. 
  • For any given regulation, the Commission is authorized to recommend either immediate repeal or repeal through “cut-go” procedures, whereby agencies, on a forward basis, would have to offset the costs of new regulations by repealing Commission-identified regulations of equal or greater cost. These procedures allow immediate repeal in the most urgent cases and staggered repeals of other regulations to assure a smoother process for agencies and affected entities. 

In the House of Representatives, the SCRUB Act is sponsored by Representative Jason Smith (R-Missouri). It passed the both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this fall. 

Senator Hatch has played a key role in every major regulatory reform effort for the past 38 years, including as an original cosponsor of the 1981 Regulatory Reform Act and as an author of the 1995 Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act while serving as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His past proposals that address the problem of regulatory accumulation include the original Regulatory Accountability Act of 1993, which included a number of mechanisms for implementing retrospective review similar to those in the SCRUB Act. In major addresses at the Reagan Ranch in October and at the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention in November, Senator Hatch named the SCRUB Act among the regulatory reform proposals that will be his top priorities in the 114th Congress.

Dec 12 2014

Senate Approves Bipartisan Bill to Protect Consumers from Steroids

“This is a commonsense bill that will protect consumers by giving DEA the tools and authority to remove dangerous steroids from the market”

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved legislation to end a loophole that allows designer anabolic steroids to easily be found online, in gyms, and even in retail stores.  The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act, sponsored by U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), will help protect consumers from these harmful products by properly classifying them as controlled substances and impose civil penalties for importing, manufacturing, or distributing them under false labels.

The bill was approved by the House of Representatives in September, and will now be sent to the President to be signed into law. 

“The world’s top athletes are subject to strict guidelines and rigorous testing to prevent the use of steroids, as they should be.  At the same time, many American citizens may be unknowingly dosing themselves with these harmful substances,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “American consumers deserve to know what is in the products they purchase.  This bill will help prevent the sale of falsely labeled steroids, and I’m glad it will become law.  I thank Senator Hatch for his support and Judiciary Chairman Leahy for enabling this bill to move forward.”

“This is a commonsense bill that will protect consumers by giving DEA the tools and authority to remove dangerous steroids from the market,” said Hatch.  “I’m pleased Senator Whitehouse and I could work together in bipartisan fashion to help make this important law a reality.” 

Designer steroids are produced by reverse engineering existing illegal steroids and then slightly modifying their chemical composition, so the resulting product is not on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) list of controlled substances.  When taken by consumers, designer steroids can cause serious medical harm, including liver injury and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.  They may also lead to aggression, hostility, and addiction.

The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act would:

  • Immediately place 25 known designer anabolic steroids on the list of controlled substances;
  • Grant the DEA authority to temporarily schedule new designer steroids on the controlled substances list, so that if bad actors develop new variations, these products can be removed from the market;
  • Create new penalties for importing, manufacturing, or distributing anabolic steroids under false labels; and
  • Authorize the Attorney General to publish a list of products containing an anabolic steroid that are not properly labeled.

The legislation was supported by a coalition of organizations, including:

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Association of Nurse Practitioners

American Pharmacists’ Association

Council for Responsible Nutrition

United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

Dec 12 2014

Senator Hatch Comments on Passage of NDAA

“I am honored to show my support for our men and women in uniform by voting for the NDAA at a time when they need our support the most"

Washington, D.C. – Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, issued the following statement on the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act:

“I am honored to show my support for our men and women in uniform by voting for the NDAA at a time when they need our support the most. This legislative package also includes important local land-use conveyances that will benefit Utah, including the Y Mountain Trail and Y Conveyance Act, which I sponsored with Rep. Chaffetz, and the Fruit Heights Land Conveyance Act, which I sponsored with Rep. Bishop. I thank both of my Utah colleagues for their leadership in chipping away at the inventory of federal lands in Utah.”  

“This NDAA bill was far from perfect. I look forward to next year, when the Senate’s Democratic leadership will no longer have the ability to force votes on massive measures at the last moment, giving the Senate little choice. My Republican colleagues and I are determined to restore regular order to the Senate.” 

Dec 11 2014

Hatch, Bennet Introduce Dormant Therapies Act

“I’m pleased Senator Bennet has joined me in this important effort to encourage the development of desperately needed treatments for some of the most troubling diseases and disabilities out there”

Washington, D.C.—Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah and Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, introduced the Dormant Therapies Act, a bill that will establish a new class of pharmaceuticals known as "dormant therapies" eligible for 15 years of data protection.  This provision will remove the “ticking patent clock” conundrum that forces companies to  prioritize research based on which compounds can be brought quickly to market. 

“I’m pleased Senator Bennet has joined me in this important effort to encourage the development of desperately needed treatments for some of the most troubling diseases and disabilities out there,” Hatch said. “We hope to create a time-certain protection to encourage innovators to capture lost opportunities and bring new and essential products to market for the patients who need them.” 

“We need to find every possible way to encourage innovation that will improve health care and save lives,” Bennet said. “This bipartisan bill will drive investment in the research and development of therapies that patients need the most.”

Millions of patients struggle with conditions such as Alpha-1, ALS, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, lupus, mesothelioma, and multiple sclerosis.  For many individuals with a long-term disease or disability, no treatments are available.  Of over 7,000 known diseases or conditions, there are only satisfactory treatments for about 500 of them.

It takes on average 14 years for a compound to make its way through the therapeutic pipeline from discovery, through clinical trials, to formal approval, and eventually to the patient. Because patents last for only 20 years, much of this time is consumed during the lengthy research and development process. The result is companies are investing in research on compounds that can be brought to market quickly, rather than new treatments that could serve people with the most complex medical needs.

The Dormant Therapies Act will help create promising opportunities to bring new drugs to market for the patients who need them most.