What the President Told Me Behind Closed Doors

Senator Orrin Hatch
2017-04-28 15:34:33
Dear Friend, This week, we celebrate a major victory for Utah: After countless hours of hard work and close coordination with the White House, I convinced the President to sign an executive order calling for a comprehensive review of Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. The President’s action is a meaningful first step in scaling back the federal overreach that has broken the backs of Utah’s small businesses and left our rural communities reeling.

Dear Friend,

This week, we celebrate a major victory for Utah: After countless hours of hard work and close coordination with the White House, I convinced the President to sign an executive order calling for a comprehensive review of Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. The President’s action is a meaningful first step in scaling back the federal overreach that has broken the backs of Utah’s small businesses and left our rural communities reeling.

You'll never guess what President Trump said

With the White House on our side in the fight for local control, Utahns will finally have a voice in the management of our public lands. The President’s executive order, which he signed on Wednesday, initiates a process to examine past abuses of presidential authority under the Antiquities Act—a century-old law that previous administrations have repeatedly hijacked to carry out the most ambitious federal land grabs of modern times. Once completed, this review should provide us with a blueprint to repair the damage caused by overbearing monument designations in Utah. 

When I first spoke with President Trump in the Oval Office during his first week on the job, I asked for his help in addressing the Bears Ears debacle. After learning of the devastation brought about by Obama’s overreach, the President said he would work with me to fix this disaster—and I didn’t let him forget it. 

 

Fox News reported on my efforts to enlist the President's help on behalf of the people of Utah

In every meeting, phone call, and formal event thereafter, I constantly reminded our President of the families, farmers, and small business owners who have personally suffered from Obama’s last-minute monument designation. Just before signing the executive order, the President credited my dogged determination for his decision to act on Bears Ears. On live television, he said, “Believe me, [Orrin Hatch] is tough. He would call me and call me and say, ‘You’ve got to do this!’…[He] didn’t stop. He doesn’t give up.”  

The President was right: I don’t give up. And I never will give up so long as there’s a battle to be fought on behalf of Utah’s families.

I was humbled when the President formally recognized my leadership on the public lands issue by giving me the same pen he used to sign the executive order. After the signing ceremony, I met privately with President Trump and Vice President Pence to discuss next steps on Bears Ears. In our discussion, the President again reiterated that it was because of my persistence that he decided to issue this executive order. He also emphasized his commitment to continue working with us to clean up this mess. 

 

Meeting privately with President Trump and Vice President Pence after the signing ceremony

In the months to come, I look forward to working in partnership with the White House give voice to the Utahns who have been ignored in the debate over public lands.   

Sincerely,

Orrin

 

 

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Senator Orrin Hatch
104 Hart Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5251
Fax: (202) 224-6331