Washington (CNN) – Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch told CNN Sunday that if Democrats use the parliamentary procedure known as reconciliation to pass health care reform, “they’re going to have to live with it the rest of their lives.”
“The American people aren’t going to put up with it,” Hatch added.
The Utah Republican has long been an opponent to Democratic health care proposals. In December, Hatch called Senate health care legislation “one lousy bill” that “could wreck our country.”
Hatch also accused House Democratic leaders of taking reconciliation too far.
“There’s no question that they are basically abusing the reconciliation rules,” he said. “What they want to do is, if they can, pass the Senate bill over there [in the House], and since that would have huge reconciliation problems, they want to pass a minor reconciliation bill and then say that that had nothing to do with pushing through a bill that the American people don't want.”
Hatch cited recent polling that suggests a majority of Americans are against current health care proposals. A CNN poll released in January indicated that 48 percent of Americans wanted lawmakers to abandon current proposals and start from scatch.
“Only about 25 to 30 percent of them are for this bill and they’re generally people who want the federal government to do everything for them,” the six-term Senator said. “Their whole program is to push and push and push everything into the federal government. They think the almighty federal government is the answer to everything.”