Hatch Dispatch: Fast Moving Rhetoric and Issues

Senator Orrin Hatch
2013-08-02 16:41:12
A Round-Up of Fast Moving Issues and RhetoricDear Friend:As Congress prepares to adjourn for the August Recess, many issues, proposals, and rhetoric were moving fast this week. I thought it might be helpful for you to read about some of the comments I have made and the initiatives I have either supported or opposed on issues vital to the path our nation will follow in the coming months.Democrats THUD Spending Bill Breaks Spending CapsI opposed the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill this week because it increases spending over the spending caps that were included in the Budget Control Act that President Obama signed into law over two years ago.Washington could certainly learn a lesson from Utah families who work hard, play by the rules and live within their means. The majority in the Senate tried to push through a spending bill that busts through the very spending restraints President Obama signed into law. It isn’t right. With our debt closing in on $17 trillion, it’s about time we brought some real spending restraint and it’s about time President Obama get into the game instead of threatening to shut down the government unless we spend more of the American people’s money.Administration Undermining Bi-Partisan IRS InvestigationI gave a speech this week rebuking the Obama Administration for undermining the Senate Finance Committee’s bipartisan investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative groups who filed for tax exempt status. Both the President and Secretary of Treasury in separate statements have charged Congress with creating “phony scandals.”I called on President Obama and Secretary Lew to stop closing the door on this investigation. If this is indeed a phony scandal, the burden is on them to prove it. They should have the IRS produce all the requested documents and let the documents speak for themselves. Let them show how the targeting began and why it continued for years. Let them show who was or was not involved and to what level within the IRS or elsewhere in the government these activities were discussed and directed. Until then, this is not a phony scandal; it is a legitimate bipartisan investigation being conducted in a fair and balanced way that seeks to let the facts dictate the outcome.You can read the entire text of the speech here.Newborn Screening BillThis week I joined with Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) to introduce the bipartisan Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act. The bill supports and improves critical programs to identify, diagnose, and treat medical conditions among newborn babies that, if left untreated, can cause disabilities, developmental delays, illnesses or even death. If diagnosed early, many of these conditions can be successfully managed.This common-sense bill makes sure that the states are able to improve their newborn screening programs to help pediatricians and other providers promptly diagnose and treat these conditions in order to help prevent irreversible brain damage, permanent disability and death. I’m glad to work with my colleague to reauthorize these critical programs.The bill will improve follow-up care for infants that screen positive for a condition, accelerate the review of proposed new conditions that states should screen for, and expand the role of the newborn screening information clearinghouse to better educate families on the importance of newborn screening.Please click here for a one-pager on the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act.According to the March of Dimes, newborn screening reaches each of the more than four million babies born in the U.S. every year. About one in every 300 newborns has a condition that can be detected through screening, and each year, more than 12,000 babies are diagnosed with a condition detectable by newborn screening.First enacted into law in 2008, the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act established national newborn screening guidelines and helped facilitate comprehensive newborn screening in every state. The bipartisan Hagan-Hatch bill would update that law.Republican Senators Call on White House for Details on Obamacare Implementation at 21 Federal AgenciesI joined with 38 fellow Republican Senators in calling on the White House to provide details on efforts by at least 21 federal agencies to help implement the new health care law—specifically, “agencies with no responsibilities” to implement or promote under that law.In a letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, we stated: “We write to ask for information about the activities being undertaken by twenty or more federal agencies with no responsibilities under the President’s health care law in the implementation and promotion of that law, specifically about what the agencies are doing, what funds the agencies are spending, and what authorities the agencies are using.”Additionally: “According to slides dated April 2013 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), at least 21 federal agencies were assisting in implementation efforts.”The letter included three spreadsheets which, “may have been sent to all government agencies, [and] appear to specifically require agencies to provide information and undertake activities in support of the health care law regardless of their statutory missions and responsibilities.”The letter, also pointed to additional efforts reported recently, such as Secretary Duncan’s statement in a recent interview that there is a team at the Department of Education currently helping with implementation.The letter asked: “Given that the Administration spent the last several months warning of alleged catastrophe from cutting approximately $85.3 billion out of a $3 trillion budget as part of sequestration, it is particularly surprising that unrelated resources, which previously could not be reduced, are now being used to implement or promote the health care law.”The complete text of the letter can be read here.Simplifying Tax Code Should Be President's Goal – Not More Tax & Spend ProposalsI was dismayed to hear about another call from this President to spend more taxpayer dollars this week. I found his proposal curious, contradictory and unserious.The President had previously agreed with the business community that any revenue generated from corporate tax reform would go toward tax simplification and lower rates – not more government spending. But he seems to have also forgotten that Congress’s two tax writing committees are looking at a comprehensive tax overhaul that wouldn’t leave middle-class families and small businesses out in the cold, as the President’s proposal does. Simplifying America’s bloated tax code must be the goal to ensuring lasting prosperity for middle-class families – not more spending through what can only be described as more of the same tax-and-spend proposals.Frankly, it’s curious that the President can bang the drum for more spending when Congress is living under spending caps that the President himself proposed, but now wants to ignore. With our debt creeping up on $17 trillion, it’s time we start living within our means. And with America’s lack luster economic recovery and high unemployment, we need long term solutions through a comprehensive tax overhaul for everyone – not tax hikes dressed up as so-called corporate tax reform – that helps grow the middle-class and entrepreneurship.I hope this information on a few of the vital issues we are facing currently has been helpful. Please visit my website at the link below for more information about these and other noteworthy topics.Sincerely,Orrin Hatch
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A Round-Up of Fast Moving Issues and Rhetoric

Dear Friend:

As Congress prepares to adjourn for the August Recess, many issues, proposals, and rhetoric were moving fast this week. I thought it might be helpful for you to read about some of the comments I have made and the initiatives I have either supported or opposed on issues vital to the path our nation will follow in the coming months.

Democrats THUD Spending Bill Breaks Spending Caps

I opposed the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill this week because it increases spending over the spending caps that were included in the Budget Control Act that President Obama signed into law over two years ago.

Washington could certainly learn a lesson from Utah families who work hard, play by the rules and live within their means. The majority in the Senate tried to push through a spending bill that busts through the very spending restraints President Obama signed into law. It isn’t right. With our debt closing in on $17 trillion, it’s about time we brought some real spending restraint and it’s about time President Obama get into the game instead of threatening to shut down the government unless we spend more of the American people’s money.

Administration Undermining Bi-Partisan IRS Investigation

I gave a speech this week rebuking the Obama Administration for undermining the Senate Finance Committee’s bipartisan investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative groups who filed for tax exempt status. Both the President and Secretary of Treasury in separate statements have charged Congress with creating “phony scandals.”

I called on President Obama and Secretary Lew to stop closing the door on this investigation. If this is indeed a phony scandal, the burden is on them to prove it. They should have the IRS produce all the requested documents and let the documents speak for themselves. Let them show how the targeting began and why it continued for years. Let them show who was or was not involved and to what level within the IRS or elsewhere in the government these activities were discussed and directed. Until then, this is not a phony scandal; it is a legitimate bipartisan investigation being conducted in a fair and balanced way that seeks to let the facts dictate the outcome.

You can read the entire text of the speech here.

Newborn Screening Bill

This week I joined with Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) to introduce the bipartisan Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act. The bill supports and improves critical programs to identify, diagnose, and treat medical conditions among newborn babies that, if left untreated, can cause disabilities, developmental delays, illnesses or even death. If diagnosed early, many of these conditions can be successfully managed.

This common-sense bill makes sure that the states are able to improve their newborn screening programs to help pediatricians and other providers promptly diagnose and treat these conditions in order to help prevent irreversible brain damage, permanent disability and death. I’m glad to work with my colleague to reauthorize these critical programs.

The bill will improve follow-up care for infants that screen positive for a condition, accelerate the review of proposed new conditions that states should screen for, and expand the role of the newborn screening information clearinghouse to better educate families on the importance of newborn screening.

Please click  here for a one-pager on the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act.

According to the March of Dimes, newborn screening reaches each of the more than four million babies born in the U.S. every year. About one in every 300 newborns has a condition that can be detected through screening, and each year, more than 12,000 babies are diagnosed with a condition detectable by newborn screening.

First enacted into law in 2008, the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act established national newborn screening guidelines and helped facilitate comprehensive newborn screening in every state. The bipartisan Hagan-Hatch bill would update that law.

Republican Senators Call on White House for Details on Obamacare Implementation at 21 Federal Agencies

I joined with 38 fellow Republican Senators in calling on the White House to provide details on efforts by at least 21 federal agencies to help implement the new health care law—specifically, “agencies with no responsibilities” to implement or promote under that law.

In a letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, we stated: “We write to ask for information about the activities being undertaken by twenty or more federal agencies with no responsibilities under the President’s health care law in the implementation and promotion of that law, specifically about what the agencies are doing, what funds the agencies are spending, and what authorities the agencies are using.”

Additionally: “According to slides dated April 2013 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), at least 21 federal agencies were assisting in implementation efforts.”

The letter included three spreadsheets which, “may have been sent to all government agencies, [and] appear to specifically require agencies to provide information and undertake activities in support of the health care law regardless of their statutory missions and responsibilities.”

The letter, also pointed to additional efforts reported recently, such as Secretary Duncan’s statement in a recent interview that there is a team at the Department of Education currently helping with implementation.

The letter asked: “Given that the Administration spent the last several months warning of alleged catastrophe from cutting approximately $85.3 billion out of a $3 trillion budget as part of sequestration, it is particularly surprising that unrelated resources, which previously could not be reduced, are now being used to implement or promote the health care law.”

The complete text of the letter can be read here.

Simplifying Tax Code Should Be President's Goal – Not More Tax & Spend Proposals

I was dismayed to hear about another call from this President to spend more taxpayer dollars this week. I found his proposal curious, contradictory and unserious.

The President had previously agreed with the business community that any revenue generated from corporate tax reform would go toward tax simplification and lower rates – not more government spending. But he seems to have also forgotten that Congress’s two tax writing committees are looking at a comprehensive tax overhaul that wouldn’t leave middle-class families and small businesses out in the cold, as the President’s proposal does. Simplifying America’s bloated tax code must be the goal to ensuring lasting prosperity for middle-class families – not more spending through what can only be described as more of the same tax-and-spend proposals.

Frankly, it’s curious that the President can bang the drum for more spending when Congress is living under spending caps that the President himself proposed, but now wants to ignore. With our debt creeping up on $17 trillion, it’s time we start living within our means. And with America’s lack luster economic recovery and high unemployment, we need long term solutions through a comprehensive tax overhaul for everyone – not tax hikes dressed up as so-called corporate tax reform – that helps grow the middle-class and entrepreneurship.

I hope this information on a few of the vital issues we are facing currently has been helpful. Please visit my website at the link below for more information about these and other noteworthy topics.

Sincerely,

Orrin Hatch

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