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. Susan

    What wrecked our country, Senator, was the Bush open checkbook for war. What wrecked our country was the Bush tax cuts that did not 'trickle down" to anyone, but went to the wealthy who sent the bucks offshore somewhere. What wrecked our country is the insistence on maintaining these idiotic wars in places that will never, by their choice, be democracies, and where we are doing more harm than good. One year of war spending will pay for this health care bill. One year, sir.

    December 23, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. johnrj08

    Hatch one lousy senator. If he didn't like the bill, he should have participated in writing it, rather than whining now.

    December 23, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. Adalbert

    How would he know?

    December 23, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  4. Marc, Canada home of the best single payer healthcare money can buy

    Perhaps if Senator Hatch and his buddies showed some leadership and offered some solutions the Senate could have avoided having to pay off Senators for votes. This Filibuster rule promotes corruption and it sucks. The GOP Party of NO and backseat driving is sickening.

    December 23, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  5. JimS.

    Well gee, Orrin, maybe if your party had done a little more negotiating instead of digging in and just saying "NO" to everything, and trying to kill everything, there would be more to your liking in the bill. It's not like you guys are FOR anything......just AGAINST. You had plenty of opportunity to be involved in the bill, you just didn't really want it to happen at all.

    As for your concessions, the $50 million you "didn't do that for me...."– how is that different from anyone else's? They did those for their constituencies too, just like you did. But when you do it, it's OK? Uh-huh, right.....

    December 23, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. C Spurgeon

    It takes both sides for bipartisanship and you thugs..republicans have ruled out any cooperation. the old white haired men need to go.

    December 23, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  7. Bill

    With all the BRIBES being paid for votes in our country's Congress, and we have the gall to say Afganistan's government is corrupt?

    December 23, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. Chas

    "The Dems didn't include the Republicans"????? This guy and his cronies in the Repuboican party are "OUT TO LUNCH".

    December 23, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    Does anyone believe this smelly concoction, put together by unethical politicians is really constitutional? Forcing people to buy healthcare or be fined is not in the constitution.

    December 23, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  10. Cindy

    ~~ 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.” ~~

    Unbelievable... He got a $50 million amendment, and what, he's voting No cause he didn't get anything for himself?

    December 23, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. Squigman

    The truth is, there has been no positive input from the Republicans, and no ideas for a fix to any of their concerns. All I've heard could be placed in the column of sour grapes and mindless crying because their party lost power of the executive branch, as well as the legislative and judicial houses.

    December 23, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. Tanbiker2

    After the Senate votes tomorrow morning to approve their health care reform bill, let's all hope that some of the planes flying out of Washington, DC carrying Republican Senators and Joe Liebermann crash before reaching their destinations.

    December 23, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  13. Mickey

    Hey Orrin...NEWSFLASH...

    The only thing this bill is going to wreck is your political career...might as well pack your bags and quit now. You have consistently been a "No" man for the past year...this includes "No" new ideas, and "No" cooperation in one of this countrys' biggest voes in history.

    Republicans had their chance, and blew it big time!

    GOP: Evolve or die...

    December 23, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. Leo

    And like the reublicans didn't get everything they wanted when they were in charge under King George....Waaaaaa!!

    December 23, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  15. Spookman

    They delay, they loose their change to shape the bill. They got what they had coming.

    December 23, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. B

    Term Limits on old hacks that contribute zero to the cause !

    December 23, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. Joe Fattal

    Yes the bill is full of briberies and payoffs. But my question is why anyone would bribe or payoff someone to go along with a bill that is ment for the American people. That is too good, and when is too good it is not for the American people, but for some special interest group, like the insurance companies for example.

    December 23, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  18. Paul - Seattle

    Once again, sour grapes from the minority. I have kept tabs on this issue since it began up and have purposely sought out competing views. All I see though are caustic remarks from the Republican leadership, not solutions. If all you offer up is NO, is it any wonder why no one cares to listen anymore?

    For a start, how about producing sound bites that have a positive tone instead of using every opportunity to cut down your opponent or offer wild speculation. Maybe citizens ON BOTH SIDES would start to tune in again to politics.

    Collectively the government and citizens can scale mountains; but first we all need to get on the same team...

    I for one am staying on the sidelines until our elected officials start acting like adults.

    December 23, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  19. Jim

    Republicans are just plain and simple jealous that the Democrats are actually going to get something accomplished for the American pople in Obama's first year. You guys had 8 years and produced nothing except job loss and debt.

    December 23, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Erick

    Senator Orrin is dead wrong about the health care reform. He and the Republicans keep the Democrats debate slowly. They played game with us. That is ENOUGH! I don't trust the Republicans. I hope in 2012 will have all the Democrats get the seats. No Republicans. So the Democrats can focus on the people in the USA what they need mostly. I believe in Obama. Period

    December 23, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. Cat

    Now come on Orin, you're the pot calling the kettle black when you say that the lawmakers "shouldn't wreck the country." Hell, what have all of you lawmakers done to us? Wreck the country is right and you are one of the many who sat back and allowed it to happen.

    The public option was the ultimate weapon in making this bill work. You and your cronies, (both parties) insisted it be stricken and that, sir, will still allow us to be at the mercy of the billion dollar insurance companies.

    As a self-employed contractor, who has no work I might add, my wife and I pay over $1000 per month in premiums to Anthem. We have no work, we now have no employees, but we must pay that premium before we shop for food. You and that bunch are responsible for this mess and come election time, every one of you should replaced with a new face.

    December 23, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  22. ralph esposito

    The fact that a bill would be over 2,000 pages long should worry all Americans. Congress always seems to have ways of hiding things and getting away with it. The President promised not to sign a bill with "pork." He will of course redefine "pork" and sign it anyway thus assuring that he will be a one term president.

    December 23, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. Nick

    "(...)bill” that “could wreck our country.”

    If you listen to what Republicans say, everything the Democrats do is going to "wreck the country", "steal our freedom" and "bankrupt us all" because Al Gore and Obama are the antichrist.

    Listen up Mr. Hatch, what really threatens to wreck this country is the people like you, the special interest crooks who have deregulated the mortgage, energy and financial sectors to help yourself and your buddies...not to mention a catastrophic Irak war based on 900 p on fabricated "evidence" that still costs billions and thousands of wasted lives.

    Shame on you.

    December 23, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  24. sharon

    "Sooner or later" no longer works. We have a crisis in healthcare in which republicans did nothing for 8 years. Now is the time for change. Better a bad bill, than no bill. Who's going to get hurt? The CEO's of the healthcare companies? Or maybe the very rich from all over the world who come to the US for specialized healthcare will have to compete with the middle class US citizens for services? People have been dying over this issue.

    December 23, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  25. Dan P.

    Of course Republicans never thought they had an “arrogance of power” back when they had a 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority. They also pushed through anything they wanted now deal with it.

    December 23, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
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