December 23rd, 2009
05:10 PM ET
9 years ago

Hatch: 'This is one lousy bill'

Washington (CNN) – On the eve of the Senate’s landmark health care vote, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch called the legislation a “lousy bill” that “could wreck our country.”

The Utah Republican told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux Wednesday that Democrats have an “arrogance of power” thanks to their 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority and that “they think that they can do whatever they want regardless of what's right or what's wrong.” He said he wished that there had been more bipartisanship, and that his party needed to have more say in the overall bill.

“If it's just a straight partisan bill that's this important, then you know it's a lousy bill,” Hatch said. “And I can tell you, this is one lousy bill. They can be very proud of what they've done, except that what they've done could wreck our country. And I think we've got to all stand up and start letting them hear from us.”

Hatch again accused his Democratic colleagues of getting special deals – in the form of millions of extra dollars for their states – in return for their votes for cloture. Hatch received $50 million for his amendment for abstinence-only education, but drew a distinction on that funding, because he said he “didn't do that for me. I did that for our children throughout our society.”

“I think that's what's wrong with Washington,” Hatch said. “This is what people complain about - Washington doing things that just get them reelected rather than doing things that, over the long run, are right.”

Although Hatch said there are some parts of the bill he could support – like his Elder Justice Act, which would protect elderly people from abuse in nursing homes. But overall, he said lawmakers shouldn’t “wreck the country” to get amendments that they want passed or extra money for their states.

“And if the bill is good - and it is good, we'll get it passed sooner or later,” Hatch said. And so why would we do that just because we want one thing or another thing?”

Filed under: Health care • Orrin Hatch
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Julie

    I wonder if this is an invitation to examine the "deals" that were made for getting legislation passed during the 8 years of the Republican/Bush administration? I'd like to look at all of the bills that had special considerations (like "pork barrel" spending) during that time. Do they really want that kind of scrutiny??? Journalists and investigative reporters should look into this, I'm sure there'd be a wealth of story lines available. Happy hunting.

    December 23, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  2. PAUL W

    No, a lousy bill would be the prescription drug bill that the GOP passed with tons of giveaways to the pharmaceutical companies. This bill is not great, but it is at least a step in the correct direction.

    December 23, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. Robrob

    On one hand we have Hatch begging for "bi-partisanship" and on the other hand we have Newt Gingrich saying, "When we get a majority, we're repealing the whole thing."

    December 23, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. karkri

    It is you repuglicans who made this partisan. We all know you are in the pockets of big insurance. If you can't say or do something constructive than just filibusters, keep your mouth shut and roll over.

    December 23, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  5. stillajoy

    What does he mean he wishes his party would have had more input? They didn't want to have anything to do with the passing of this bill. In fact, all they wanted was for NOTHING to be done. Republicans, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Get off your partison behinds and try to think of whats good for the country insted of what is good for your portfolio.

    December 23, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. Kevin

    Mr. Hatch thinks the Democrats have "arrogance of power"? Well, perhaps he might care to recall when the tables were turned from 1995 – 2007 in the US Congress. The Republicans acted like a bunch of sore winners all those years and of course now, they're acting like sore losers. President Obama made several overtures to Republicans to have a consensus since he was inaugurated, but they are being as partisan as ever.

    December 23, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. TOM

    Time to retire, Hatch, and leave the Republican Party to my (read younger and more relevant in the long-term) generation – how nice that you personally are already guaranteed health care…

    December 23, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. lieNoMore

    Pathetic. The retardlicans can't do anything but make political noise. Even the more reasonable ones such as Hatch and McCain sound whining babies. Well, they will be running queen retard Palin in a few years so we will at least be able enjoy Obama's second term.

    December 23, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. texas Demo

    Orrin Hatch is a bitter man. Also, he is a republican that does not want the Democractic party to do anything positive for the American people.

    December 23, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
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