Press Releases

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

Mar 02 2015

RELEASE: Hatch Speaks on Netanyahu Visit, Iran Threat

"Now more than ever, Congress and the American people must stand with our Israeli allies to ensure the safety and security not only of our two nations, but the Middle East as a whole."

Washington, D.C.—Senator Orrin G. Hatch, President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, spoke on the Senate Floor today about the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the need to recognize the serious threat Iran presents to the security of both Israel and the United States.

An excerpt:

To demonstrate our solidarity with Israel, Congress should complement the Prime Minister’s address with the threat of sanctions that properly secure both of our countries against the Iranian threat.

We must achieve three common sense objectives:

First, we must prevent Iran from developing or otherwise acquiring nuclear weapons.

Second, we should reaffirm that Iran does not have an inherent right to enrichment and reprocessing capabilities and technologies under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Third, we must seek to reverse the development of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure and bring Iran into compliance with all United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

The full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below 

MR.HATCH. Mme. President, Israel—our strongest and most loyal ally in the Middle East—faces a growing existential threat under the specter of a nuclear Iran. I am deeply troubled that our President’s solution won’t work. Rather than enforcing punitive measures that would stem Iran’s nuclear progress, this Administration has opted for a policy of conciliation that does nothing to curb this growing threat. All the while, the threat to Israel grows stronger every day. 

Now more than ever, the Congress and the American people must stand with our Israeli allies to ensure the safety and security not only of our two nations, but the Middle East as a whole. Far from being a political stunt, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a Joint Session of Congress provides our nation with a vital opportunity to demonstrate our unyielding resolve to stand with Israel and oppose Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. 

To demonstrate our solidarity with Israel, Congress should complement the Prime Minister’s address with the threat of sanctions that properly secure both of our countries against the Iranian threat. We must achieve three common sense objectives: First, we must prevent Iran from developing or otherwise acquiring nuclear weapons. 

Second, we should reaffirm that Iran does not have an inherent right to enrichment and reprocessing capabilities and technologies under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Third, we must seek to reverse the development of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure and bring Iran into compliance with all United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

President Obama has failed to realize that Iran poses a serious threat to the West, and our response to that threat must be equally serious. Prime Minister Netanyahu understands the precariousness of the current situation, and he is doing his best to help us here in the United States understand. As the Prime Minister stated: “I am going to the United States not because I seek a confrontation with the president, but because I must fulfill my obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country.” 

The Prime Minister has good reason to be concerned.  According to the Heritage Foundation, since the Obama Administration began to relax sanctions after an interim agreement, was implemented, the Iranian economy grew by an estimated 4.6 percent in the first quarter of Iran’s calendar year, the first time it has grown after shrinking for the last two years under sanctions.

As we lose leverage by relaxing sanctions, we must not forget the most likely reason Iran agreed to negotiations in the first place was economic restrictions.  When the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, is reported to have said after the announcement of the Joint Plan of Action that “the centrifuges are spinning and will never stop” should we curtail our efforts in the one area which appears to give Iran pause?     

Times such as these require strength of purpose, which is why we should clearly lay out a series of sanctions that will be imposed on Iran if negotiations fail. We should provide for short but reasonable periods of time for Congress, and, therefore, the American people, to consider if the Obama Administration has succeeded in accomplishing the three objectives necessary to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. 

Tomorrow, the Congress will hear from Prime Minister Netanyahu. In his message, he will tell us how we, together, can confront the growing Iranian threat. This is the time to rally as one nation with one of our strongest allies to ensure a safe and secure world. 

    Mme. President I yield the floor.  

 

Mar 02 2015

Analysis Shows Patient CARE Act Better for Patients and Taxpayers Than Obamacare

Independent Economic Analysis Finds Plan Decreases Premiums, Lowers Deficit, and Increases Access to Providers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the release of the independent Center for Health and Economy analysis of the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act. The Center for Health and Economy found that the Patient CARE Act would lower premiums, improve access to providers, increase medical productivity, and reduce the nation’s deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. 

“Better access, higher quality, and more affordability – these are the central tenets that any health care reform should strive for, and they are precisely what the Patient CARE Act would achieve. Americans continue to grapple with the messy fallout and broken promises of the president’s health care law – including higher costs, inaccurate tax forms, reduced choices, and increased difficulty finding a doctor. There is a better way. This analysis confirms that empowering patients, not Washington, leads to a stronger, more accountable and responsive health care system,” said Burr, Hatch, and Upton. “We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues on advancing health reforms that will protect Americans who are suffering from Obamacare’s costly consequences as we move toward a system that puts health care back in the hands of patients, families, and their doctors, not Washington.”      

Burr, Hatch, and Upton recently unveiled the Patient CARE Act, a legislative plan that repeals Obamacare and replaces it with common-sense, patient-focused reforms that reduce health care costs and increase access to affordable, high-quality care. In contrast with Obamacare and its government-centered mandates and regulations, this bicameral proposal empowers the American people to make the best health care choices for themselves and their families. The leaders will continue to work with their Senate and House colleagues, states, and experts in the health care community to improve this blueprint and help Americans suffering under Obamcare. 

The Center for Health and Economy (H&E) found that the Patient CARE Act would:

  • Reduce Premiums. H&E “estimates that the Patient CARE Act will lead to lower health insurance premiums in all plan categories for both single and family coverage.” In fact, H&E estimates the proposal would decrease average insurance premiums in some coverage categories by up to 17 percent. 
  • Increase Access to Providers. According to H&E, the Patient CARE Act “is projected to result in greater patient access to providers...access will increase by 5 percent for the insured population.” 
  • Expand Private Coverage. H&E found that the Patient CARE Act would result in 10 million more Americans receiving private coverage in the individual market than under current law. 
  • Reduce the Deficit. H&E determined that the Patient CARE Act “will decrease the federal deficit by $534 billion between 2016 and 2025.”
  • Increase Medical Productivity. H&E’s analysis found that the Patient CARE Act “is expected to lead to greater productivity than under current law.”

Learn more about the Patient CARE Act HERE

Read a two-page summary of the Patient CARE Act HERE.

Washington D.C.— Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the longest serving Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the Republican High-Tech Task Force, issued the following statement following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s unanimous vote to confirm Michelle Lee as head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  

“I am pleased that the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to advance the nomination of Michelle Lee, but I remain disappointed that she was not more forthcoming during the confirmation process. I expect her to take seriously the issues and concerns that were raised by numerous senators, particularly those related to patent troll legislation. This is a critical problem that demands an effective legislative solution, and the USPTO Director must be actively involved in that process.”

Washington D.C.—Senator Orrin G. Hatch, member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement following the FCC’s passage of new internet regulations.

“The administration’s decision to subject the Internet  a constantly changing, crucially important sector of our economy — to outdated regulations designed for the age of the rotary telephone will serve only to stifle innovation and discourage growth. The Internet has been the source of success in recent years because government has largely stayed out of the way. The FCC’s power grab, which will mean government regulation dictating how Internet providers can and cannot serve their customers, is a recipe for stagnation, not innovation.

"Existing law provides all the tools necessary to ensure that Internet companies treat customers fairly and honestly. The right way to promote a free and open Internet is to vigorously enforce our nation’s antitrust laws, not to shoehorn a great powerhouse of modern innovation into a ninety-year-old framework.” 

Feb 26 2015

RELEASE: Senator Hatch Statement on Judiciary Markup of Lynch Nomination

"I supported advancing Loretta Lynch’s nomination to the floor today because her record of service over several decades shows that she is well qualified to be Attorney General"

Washington D.C.— Senator Orrin G. Hatch, former chairman and longest-serving member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement prior to the Judiciary Committee’s vote to confirm Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch.

“I supported advancing Loretta Lynch’s nomination to the floor today because her record of service over several decades shows that she is well qualified to be Attorney General. There is good reason to believe that Ms. Lynch will be more independent than the current Attorney General and make strides toward recommitting the Department to the rule of law.  For example, she has committed to me that, as Attorney General, she will abide by the injunction issued by a federal district court to halt the President’s recent executive actions on immigration. I am committed to working with Ms. Lynch to help reform the Department of Justice and uphold the rule of law.”

Senator Hatch’s full statement, as prepared for delivery in the Judiciary Committee markup, is below.

I want to offer a few comments on Loretta Lynch, nominee for Attorney General.

Her record includes a legal career that spans 30 years, including more than two decades as a prosecutor and two unanimous confirmations by the Senate. 

I will support advancing her nomination to the floor today because her record shows that she is well qualified to be Attorney General and does not include anything sufficient to overcome the presumption in favor of confirmation. 

The case against her nomination, as far as I can tell, essentially ignores her professional career and focuses solely on about six hours that she spent before this committee on January 28.

I do not believe that is a proper way to evaluate any nominee’s fitness for any position.

I have been around this block many times, having spent 38 years serving on this committee and having chaired it for nearly eight years. 

Senators have different views about how to participate in a confirmation hearing and how to evaluate a nominee’s answers. 

There have, for example, been Senators on both sides of the aisle who ask questions designed to elicit non-answers from a nominee so that they can oppose the nominee for providing non-answers. 

I reject three insinuations about this nomination. 

First, some Democrats insinuate that voting against the Lynch nomination would be applying a “double standard,” suggesting that her race or gender would be the real reasons for opposition. 

I hope that my friends on that side can do better supporting this nomination than such an offensive and patently false innuendo.

Second, it has been suggested by some on the Republican side that voting for the Lynch nomination shows that a Senator does not take his oath of office seriously. 

It could just as readily be argued that ignoring a nominee’s entire professional career gives short shrift to the Senate’s role of advice and consent and, therefore, does not take the oath seriously. 

Neither of those suggestions would be legitimate.

Third, a letter from some House members claims that a vote for the Lynch nomination “should fairly be considered a vote in favor of the President’s lawlessness and against the will of the American people.” 

That is ridiculous on its face. 

No Senator has opposed the President’s series of lawless and overreaching actions more than I have in this committee, in the Finance Committee, on the Senate floor, in the courts, in the media, and any other venue I could find. 

Mr. Chairman, I have concluded that Ms. Lynch’s full record, including but hardly limited to her hearing testimony, shows that she is qualified to serve as Attorney General and does not include anything sufficient to overcome the presumption in favor of confirmation.

If confirmed, Ms. Lynch faces a daunting task. 

I join my Senate colleagues who decry what has happened to the Justice Department. 

It has been politicized and compromised, it has been weakened and even corrupted. 

She will have a significant job ahead to restore the integrity and independence of both the Attorney General’s office and the entire Department of Justice.

There is good reason to believe that Ms. Lynch will be more independent than the current Attorney General and make strides toward recommitting the Department to the rule of law.

For example, she has committed to me that, as Attorney General, she will abide by the injunction issued by a federal district court to halt the President’s recent executive actions on immigration.

I will do everything I can to help her restore both the rule of law in our nation and the integrity of the Justice Department.  

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.