Press Releases

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Washington – Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) today issued the following statement after President George W. Bush’s final State of the Union address:

“Tonight President Bush outlined his plan for the last year of his Presidency. He said he’s going to ‘sprint to the finish,’ and I’m confident that he’ll be able to reach that goal.

“He called on Congress to complete important unfinished business to protect Americans and ensure that our country continues to prosper. I look forward to working with the Administration and members of both parties in Congress so that we can get a lot accomplished this year, despite the heavy campaigning going on for the November election.

“He addressed some of the problems that we are beginning to experience in the economy, and the need for the Federal government to step it up and do what we can to help keep the economy on track. There are many different ideas out there as how to best stimulate the economy. It seems clear that the Senate Finance Committee, where I’m a senior member, move quickly to pass the most effective stimulus bill possible. I think there are reasonable ideas on both sides that should be considered, and I look forward to working with Republican and Democratic colleagues to pass a stimulus bill as soon as possible.

“I thought he did an excellent job outlining the realities of the ongoing global war on terror. While we still have a long road ahead of us, I appreciated hearing the good news that the surge is working. Violence is down. We’re strengthening our relationships with the Iraqis and the Afghanis. We’re making progress. We have to win in those countries, because if we fail there, the terrorists will take every advantage of our failure.

“He addressed the need for Congress to quickly pass legislation to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. I sit on the Intelligence Committee, which approved the bipartisan plan for FISA modernization months ago by an overwhelming vote of 13-2. But some Senate Democrats have bogged that legislation down with partisanship. I hope they listen to the President and help us get that bill to his desk as soon as we can before the current law expires to ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted and our intelligence personnel can go on protecting the American people.

“I appreciate that he again emphasized the importance of reducing our dependency on foreign oil. That’s something I’ve been working on for some time. In recent years, I’ve made headway on legislation to tap into the vast oil shale and tar sand resources that we have in Utah. There’s a tremendous amount of oil to be found in the West, and the sooner we’re able to access it, the more we can become an energy independent nation.”