December 23rd, 2009
05:10 PM ET
8 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. kd

    Who cares what Hatch thinks?!? He's a bought and paid shill for the health care industry (as well as dozens of other industries). He flip-flops and lies all the time.

    I'm from Utah – and sick of him as my rep.

    December 23, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Patsy, Texas

    Well, if Orrin Hatch thinks the bill is lousy just because Republicans
    were not included, it must a Bill. They did nothing when
    they were "in charge" for six years, they did not offer anything this
    time around, so, cry me a river, Orrin.

    December 23, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. D. Tree

    What a joke, NOW the Republicans whine about "Not being included?"

    The have been doing everything they can to kill this bill, what have they ever contributed?

    December 23, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Matthew

    They tried to. But the Republicans wanted nothing to do with any Democratic idea. Hell, Obama even invited a bunch of them to dinner at the start of his term but they all declined.

    I really think it's about time the Republicans took responsibility for their actions during Bush's 8 years in office.

    December 23, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  5. James Napoli

    No Republican submitted any bill as an alternative. They were simply obstructionists. The party of NO, has said no to health care reform. That is what's lousy. They are more interested in poltics and power than the unisured in America.

    December 23, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  6. Pragmatic

    Then what did you do, Senator Hatch, to create a better one in the past administration? You did nothing? Easier to carp and complain than to create! Republicans also failed to even attempt immigration reform ... all talk – no action.

    December 23, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. Lilarose in Bandon, OR

    Mr. Hatch, Huny, Republicans choose not to participate.

    Stop being a baby.


    December 23, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. anotherGDlefty

    Sorry Orrin, you & the other GOP knuckledraggers WERE asked.

    You said NO. Loudly. Repeatedly. You said NO.

    We moved on without you.

    December 23, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. Michael

    The avowed goal of republicans is to see Obama fail. How can you include the GOP given this position? Why would you compromise with people who want the president to fail? It makes no sense to do so. You can only compromise with a loyal opposition; one that wants govern, not with a party that doesn't offer solutions and only seeks to return to power.

    December 23, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. Reggie

    It;s a very lousy bill. That"s why 67% oppose it!

    December 23, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. Joyce in South Carolina

    Sounds like Hatch is a sore loser.

    December 23, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. Peter s

    How can you be included and your answer is NO! GOP is not a team player!. The lobyist plays the guitar and the GOP politicians dance with the tune!! time to send all of you where you belong! joblessness!!

    December 23, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. ttbala

    Hatch, you guys are such loosers, you have no agenda, no idea, of your own, and on top of that you want to bring down any good idea the other party comes up with, if you know so much, why did you sit on your behind for the last eight years and did nothing when you had all the chance, and now you just shut up and let the good people help the poor americans.

    December 23, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. michaelam

    And you're a lousy Senator!

    Hey, the Bill isn't perfect, it doesn't go far enough, but it is a huge step in the REAL right direction.

    Thank you, Orin, for being a drain on the tax payers' dollar, another do nothing but occupy space, Senator!

    December 23, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. Reggie from LA

    Well, you had 8 years to have come up with with a better one. (More than that actually. You remember...when you obstructed Clinton too). Where the ham sandwich is your "better" bill? Decades. Dang!! You have absolutely nothing to stand on for defending one reprehensible house majority after another. I do like your latest holiday season composition though.

    December 23, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    would someone please tell me how this administration is the cause of this country problem,s with our current financial position. As a Republican i know that my party is the cause of the U.S. hardships we are force to live with. Giving time, with the help of both partys we can turn this around in time.Sen. Hatch some of the people know why we are hurting and you along with the rest of the Republican gang need to stop acting like the Democrat's did this.FIX THE PROBLEM.

    December 23, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. GOPBslapper

    Coming from a lousey Senator, that doesn't say much.

    December 23, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Terry from West Texas

    The Conservative strategy is to make this administration fail. They probably realize that this will cause some suffering in the middle and lower classes, but they do not lose any sleep over that. They believe that if they stop, block, delay, prevaricate, dissemble, stall, procrastinate, exaggerate, criticize, condemn, minimize, prevent, obfuscate, and lie all day every day until 2010, they will dislodge enough "independent" and "moderate" voters (meaning those who sway with the wind) to gain a majority again.

    I don't know what Obama will be doing at 10:22 AM tomorrow morning. I do know that at 10:23 AM a Conservative politician will condemn it. At 10:24 AM, Sarah Palin will announce that there might be a death panel in it, but she's not sure. At 10:25 AM, a Republican Party official in Florida will announce that he is not letting his children watch the news any more to protect them from socialist indoctrination.

    December 23, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Maybe Hatch could write a Hanukkah song about health care.

    December 23, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. Jody

    Wow, the Republicans put up every obstacle and now are saying they did not participate in the process. It is ok as their ideas are bad for the people of this country, just look at the last eight years.

    December 23, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  21. Hendrik

    You Republican clowns. You blame everybody for a lack of bipartisanship when you are the ones that are purely partisan. Bipartisan is really when two come to the middle to work things out. You expect the Democrats to come completely to the right and you refuse to budge one inch to the center.
    You are a disgrace to our country. You are unpatriotic and disloyal. What you have done ought to be counted as treason.

    December 23, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. Leonard Crouzier

    In your vast numbers of years in the US Senate, Senator Hatch, why haven't you and your Republican colleagues been able to come up with healthcare legislation that is better than this one you are so critical of? Let me guess, it's the Democrats' fault. Everything on earth is the Democrats' fault according to you. It is very tiresome to hear you continually whine about the evil Democrats. Figure out a way to work together with them and then you'll be doing something.

    December 23, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. Hammerer

    If the healthcare bill is so good why did Reid need to bribe DEMOCRATIC SENATORS to vote for it?

    December 23, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Independent_me

    Orrin Hatch is wrong.
    This bill will help millions...MILLIONS of Americans. Democrats needed a super majority – 80 Senators, and the whole country would have had a public option. I for one intend to vote for Democrat senators because a super majority can revisit the bill and put in the public option.

    December 23, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  25. Bob Barker

    Senator Hatch you are a hack!

    December 23, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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