Dec 04 2014
Washington, D.C. — Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the most senior Republican in the United States Senate, issued the following statement regarding the title transfer of the Strawberry Valley Project electric distribution system from the federal government to the South Utah Valley Electric Service District:
“I am pleased we have reached the final step in transferring this important piece of land from the federal government to the SESD. I commend my colleagues in the Utah delegation, particularly Representative Chaffetz, for their efforts throughout the long process on this project. This title transfer will grant authority to local leaders that are already managing these assets, rather than federal bureaucrats. Those on the ground will be able to run the system in a way that’s best for local power users. This is an important victory for South Utah County and for the State of Utah."
Senator Hatch has been actively involved with the South Utah Valley Electric Service District issue, having sponsored the Senate version of the bill in 2010 and 2012, and seen it through to President Obama’s desk to sign last July.
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) today introduced a bill to cut red tape at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and help boost innovation in health IT.
The Medical Electronic Data Technology Enhancement for Consumers’ Health (MEDTECH) Act would exempt low-risk medical software and mobile apps from FDA regulation and provide greater certainty regarding what software will be regulated by the agency to protect consumers.
“New and innovative technology is helping our health care providers better take care of their patients, and it’s putting tools into the hands of families that help them manage their own health,” Bennet said. “Some of these tools, whether a new app to track your calorie intake or an activity tracker to help you while you exercise, are low risk and don’t require in-depth oversight by the government. This bill provides certainty for innovators in the life sciences and the FDA as to which devices and software should be monitored to keep consumers safe.”
“Advances in technology have allowed us to continuously improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare,” Hatch added. “This bill will give innovators the certainty they need about health IT regulation to continue pioneering medical software for consumers and health care professionals. I’m proud to offer this important piece of legislation alongside Senator Bennet."
The MEDTECH Act takes a risk-based approach and builds upon a Food and Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act Workgroup report released earlier this year. The report was commissioned by Bennet and Hatch through an amendment to the 2012 FDA reform law.
Specifically, the bill limits and clarifies the FDA’s role regarding regulation of administrative and financial software, wellness and lifestyle products, certain aspects of electronic health records, and software that aids health care providers in developing treatment recommendations for their patients. As the rate of innovation rapidly increases in the medical technology field, this bill provides greater clarity to ensure that businesses understand the rules of the road and safe and effective products reach consumers as soon as possible.
Dec 03 2014
Washington, D.C. — Senator Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the United States Senate, issued the following statement after co-sponsoring the Regulatory Accountability Act:
“Regulatory reform has been a priority since my early days in the Senate, and I’m pleased to add my support to the Regulatory Accountability Act. This legislation provides much-needed relief to individuals and businesses by restoring regulatory transparency, requiring evidence-based rulemaking, and ensuring that agencies conduct cost-benefit analysis for the new burdens they seek to impose. This bill represents exactly the sort of commonsense, bipartisan legislation that we should pursue in the next Congress. I applaud the work of Senator Rob Portman and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte on this bill. For too long we have simply talked about regulatory reform — the time for action is now.”
Senator Hatch has played a key role in every major regulatory reform effort in the past 38 years, including as an original cosponsor of the 1981 Regulatory Reform Act and an author of the 1995 Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act, while serving as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In major addresses at the Reagan Ranch in October and at the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention in November, Senator Hatch discussed his regulatory reform agenda and identified the Regulatory Accountability Act as a top priority for the incoming 114th Congress.
Nov 26 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the United States Senate, issued the following statement on the EPA’s release of new regulations on the eve of Thanksgiving:
“The EPA's plan to implement this costly regulation comes at a time when Americans are already suffering under the weight of nearly $2 trillion in regulatory burdens, the highest in our nation’s history. Rather than pile on additional, unwarranted regulations like this one, we ought to focus instead on reducing outdated and unnecessary rules, as well as ensuring that the benefits of future regulations outweigh their costs. I’m committed to advancing such reforms in the next Congress, which will allow America’s economy to thrive once again.”
Washington, D.C.— Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force and former chairman and current member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke to Steven Levy, editor in chief of Backchannel, the tech hub at Medium. Senator Hatch discussed his tech and innovation priorities for the 114th Congress, including taking on patent trolls, protecting Americans’ privacy through the LEADS Act, and high-skilled immigration reform.
The article can be found here.
A few select quotes are below:
On Patent Trolls:
You take the patent troll legislation—we had that done. But the Democrats threw the high-tech community under the bus because the trial lawyers raised such a fuss with them. [The lawyers] hated my provision, because if they put my provision in on that particular bill, they couldn’t get away with what they wanted to get away with.
To have an effective bill you have to include mandatory fee-shifting [meaning that if a patent troll loses a case, it must pay legal fees], heightened discovery standards, and a mechanism to enable recovery of fees against shell companies. It won’t work without having all of those provisions in.
It’s inexcusable to have these patent trolls that bring this litigation against small companies, let alone big companies, and they do it with shell corporations—if they lose, they never have to pay anything, anyway. It costs up to two million bucks to defend one of these things. There is so much momentum behind this bill. Obama claims that he wants it and he wants a win in this. I think we can give it to him but it’s going to be hard.
On Protecting Data Privacy through the LEADS Act:
I want to give credit to Chris Coons and Dean Heller who are with me on this. The LEADS Act begins a discussion on the complex and important issue surrounding data privacy in the digital age. The confidentiality of business data and electronic communications and their protection from arbitrary government seizure are really of the upmost importance. In order for our U.S. companies to achieve their full potential, for our nation to maintain its position at the pinnacle of innovation and competitiveness, our data business records and other electronic information just have to be protected from arbitrary government intrusion. I mean we just have to. The LEADS Act is a must-pass bill next congress. It would promote trust in U.S. IT technologies worldwide and it would enable law enforcement to fulfill its public safety mission. I don’t see how anybody could be against it.
On High-Skilled Immigration:
The President’s executive order cannot provide a permanent solution to our country’s inadequate and outdated employment-based immigration laws. But I’m going to work really hard on getting a good immigration bill that covers the whole area. We should start with areas of widespread agreement?—?like high-skilled immigration. The I-Squared Act, which is a bipartisan immigration innovation act, addresses most if not all of the tech industry’s immigration needs. We need to increase the H1-B visas. Currently the cap is 85,000 a year. This year alone we had 172,500 submissions. That means American companies were unable to hire nearly 90,000 high-skilled workers that we’ve educated.