The big play.

Senator Orrin Hatch
2017-05-12 17:40:37
Friend,  This week, we saw a promise fulfilled.  Five months ago, I held a private meeting with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in which I enlisted his help in addressing the devastation caused by President Obama’s federal overreach at Bears Ears. After I conveyed the fears and frustrations of thousands of Utahns who had been personally hurt by Obama’s reckless monument designation, Secretary Zinke promised to make a personal visit to the Beehive State so that he could see the damage for himself.    Fox News Recap: President Trump signing the Antiquities Act Executive Order On Sunday, Secretary Zinke came through on his word when he kicked off a listening tour to review the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase National Monuments. On the first day of his Utah tour, Secretary Zinke and I met to discuss how best to resolve the public lands issue. Our conversation left me confident that Utahns will finally have a seat at the table in major decisions regarding federal lands. The Interior Secretary’s visit to Utah was the culmination of months of hard work that began when I first met with President Trump in the Oval Office to discuss the debacle at Bears Ears. From our very first conversation at the White House, President Trump has been steadfastly committed to helping us fix this disaster. Our state scored another victory when, just last month, I convinced the President to sign an executive order calling for a review of Utah’s national monuments.  The President’s executive order and Secretary Zinke’s visit bring us one step closer to achieving our ultimate goal: To give Utahns a greater voice in the management of public lands.  Take a moment to learn more about the leading role I have played to rein in federal overreach by reading the Deseret News front-page story below. 

Friend, 

This week, we saw a promise fulfilled. 

Five months ago, I held a private meeting with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in which I enlisted his help in addressing the devastation caused by President Obama’s federal overreach at Bears Ears. After I conveyed the fears and frustrations of thousands of Utahns who had been personally hurt by Obama’s reckless monument designation, Secretary Zinke promised to make a personal visit to the Beehive State so that he could see the damage for himself. 

 

Fox News Recap: President Trump signing the Antiquities Act Executive Order

On Sunday, Secretary Zinke came through on his word when he kicked off a listening tour to review the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase National Monuments. On the first day of his Utah tour, Secretary Zinke and I met to discuss how best to resolve the public lands issue. Our conversation left me confident that Utahns will finally have a seat at the table in major decisions regarding federal lands.

The Interior Secretary’s visit to Utah was the culmination of months of hard work that began when I first met with President Trump in the Oval Office to discuss the debacle at Bears Ears. From our very first conversation at the White House, President Trump has been steadfastly committed to helping us fix this disaster. Our state scored another victory when, just last month, I convinced the President to sign an executive order calling for a review of Utah’s national monuments. 

The President’s executive order and Secretary Zinke’s visit bring us one step closer to achieving our ultimate goal: To give Utahns a greater voice in the management of public lands. 

Take a moment to learn more about the leading role I have played to rein in federal overreach by reading the Deseret News  front-page story  below. 

Sincerely,

   

Orrin 

 

 

 

Trump's Big Play

Behind the scenes: How Hatch's loyalty pushed Trump to undo Bears Ears

 

 

President Donald Trump hands a pen to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, after signing an Antiquities Executive Order during a ceremony at the Interior Department in Washington, Wednesday, April, 26, 2017.

 

WASHINGTON — Five days after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was summoned to the Oval Office.

Hatch and Trump had been talking for weeks on the phone about the Supreme Court and who Trump should nominate. Driving around Salt Lake City, Hatch’s phone would suddenly ring, a staffer says, and it would be the president.

The two had become unlikely friends and allies. Trump ran an anti-Washington campaign, and after he was elected he promised to “drain the swamp,” ridding D.C. of career bureaucrats and the elite political establishment. 

Few in Washington typify the establishment more than Hatch, a member of the Senate for nearly 42 years, and yet Trump had found he could count on the 83-year-old — more than that, he needed him. During the Republican National Convention in July, when it looked like the Utah delegation might revolt in a moonshot bid to stop Trump’s nomination, Republican power brokers had leaned on Hatch and his chief of staff to quell the rebellion and bring Utah back into the fold. It had worked.

In the time since, Hatch had proved to be a reliable sounding board on nominees to the president’s Cabinet. And as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Hatch is one of the most powerful people in Washington, and the president will need his support on anything affecting the budget, from tax reform to infrastructure. Now, five days in, the president wanted to meet with Hatch for their first face-to-face since the inauguration.

After about 30 minutes discussing the Supreme Court (Hatch staffers say he pitched eventual nominee and now-Justice Neil Gorsuch), Hatch brought up something not on the agenda: Bears Ears.

It wasn’t clear to Hatch if Trump even knew what that meant, or how, in the final weeks of his presidency, President Barack Obama had used something called the Antiquities Act to declare 1.35 million acres of red rock canyons and juniper-studded bluffs in southern Utah a national monument. The designation, one in what Hatch saw as a long history of federal land grabs throughout the West, would greatly restrict the way cattle ranchers, Native Americans and others in San Juan and surrounding counties could use the land, possibly cutting them off from grazing rights, coal extraction or simply gathering firewood.

Hatch said he was sick of his home state “getting picked on.”

According to Hatch, they spoke for 20 to 30 minutes about Bears Ears. Trump was intrigued. The Bears Ears National Monument covered a swath of land four times the size of Los Angeles.

“It sounds like the largest real estate deal I could ever be involved in,” Trump said, according to one source with knowledge of the conversation.

Hatch left the meeting with a pledge from the president that he would return the land to state control if possible. Over the next several months, the Utah delegation kept up the pressure to rescind the national monument designation. Internally, the White House started referring to the effort as the “Hatch E.O.” (executive order).

Last week, on April 26, Trump made good on his promise to Hatch. Nearing his first 100 days in office, a historic benchmark by which modern presidents have been measured, Trump arrived at the office of the Interior Department to announce an executive order that would require Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the size and scope of national monuments larger than 100,000 acres created since 1996. This would not only include Bears Ears but also the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument created under then-President Bill Clinton.

“It’s time to end these abuses and return control to the people, the people of Utah,” Trump said, standing at a lectern in Zinke’s office, which Zinke had decorated with heads of buffalo and antelope mounted on the wall. Several members of the Utah congressional delegation stood beside Trump, along with Gov. Gary Herbert, who’d flown in for the ceremony.

“I also want to recognize Senator Orrin Hatch,” Trump said. “Who, believe me, he’s tough. He would call me and say, ‘You gotta do this.’ Is that right Orrin?”

Trump turned from the lectern and grinned at Hatch.

“He doesn’t stop. He doesn’t give up. And he’s shocked I’m doing it, but I’m doing it because it’s the right thing.”

Trump sat down to sign the order, flanked by Herbert, Hatch, and Utah Sen. Mike Lee. He uncapped his pen with a flourish.

“This is a big one,” he said.

“Sure is,” said Hatch.

Trump paused, turning to Hatch and tapping him with the pen. 

“Think I might have to give him the pen?” he said, swiveling in his chair to look up at Lee. “What do you think?”

“I would treasure it,” Hatch said. “I’ll tell you that.”

Trump turned back to the executive order, laid out before him. The sound of the pen scratching across the paper filled the room. 

“That’s a great signature,” someone said.

When Trump was done, he turned to Hatch and handed him the pen.

“It’s my honor,” Trump said.

Hatch bent down to accept the pen from a seated Trump, holding it carefully in his hands in a motion that looked like a bow.

It was a moment heavy with meaning, Hatch would later say, the culmination of months of behind-the-scenes work by the entire Utah delegation that had resulted in what Republicans in Utah saw as one of their most significant victories in recent memory on public lands.

But it hardly represents the end of the battle over Bears Ears. In fact, with Interior Secretary Zinke arriving in Utah this weekend to review the monument, it may only be the beginning of a tale three years in the making.

Read more at DeseretNews.com

 

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