WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following message to Utahns after meeting with President Obama today at the White House along with a group of fellow Senate Republicans to discuss the government shutdown and the debt ceiling:
The government shutdown is unfair to the millions of Utahns who rightly expect Washington to solve problems – not make problems. But what’s also not right is that up to now the President has simply refused to negotiate.
That’s thankfully starting to change.
Today, a group of Senate Republicans, including myself, met with President Obama down at the White House. We had a constructive meeting. While we may disagree on many things, there is unanimous agreement that we need to open the federal government and prevent a default.
It is with a commitment to find a solution that I’m working with a group of Senate Republicans to get the government up and running again and avoid an economy-shaking default.
One of the key components of these discussions is to get rid of the Medical Device tax that funds ObamaCare. This tax hurts many job-creating companies throughout Utah and America — and it needs to go. Repealing it is supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. In fact, last winter 79 Senators from both sides of the aisle backed an amendment to the budget to scrap this tax.
Now, as everyone in Utah knows, the government shut down has led to closure of our national parks – impacting too many businesses, rural communities and families who rely on them. That’s why I’m working to get Utah its money back for loaning the Department of Interior the money to reopen the parks. Governor Herbert did the right thing, and Utah deserves to be repaid.
When it comes to raising the debt ceiling, I want to be clear that after the President ran up the debt on America’s credit card to close to $17 trillion, it’s only fair and right that we confront our debt by enacting real reforms to our entitlement programs. This is only way to ensure our seniors, our children and grandchildren have access to a strong, healthy Medicare program for the future.
Many of you are opposed to ObamaCare – so am I. I’ve put forward many pieces of legislation to gut it – and I’ve repeatedly voted to repeal it.
With the launch of ObamaCare’s online marketplaces being what I’d call a disaster, we need to keep up the fight. This law hurts our families with higher health care costs and taxes, and more federal debt and spending. But this fight cannot be won by taking our government hostage.
The bottom line is that we have to find a way out of this crisis, and that’s what I’m working to accomplish for our state and its people.
Submitted by: The Office of Sen. Orrin Hatch
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