March 7th, 2010
11:45 AM ET
13 years ago

Hatch: Dems will live with reconciliation vote for ‘the rest of their lives’

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Orrin Hatch said Sunday that if Democrats use reconciliation to pass health care reform, ‘they’re going to have to live with it the rest of their lives.’"] 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.”

Filed under: Health care • Orrin Hatch
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. J.C. - Independent 4 Public Option

    Senator Hatch and all other GOP will live with allowing the insurance-medical industrial complex to continue robbing the American people for the rest of his life.

    Thanks to President Obama to take his stand for the people!

    March 7, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. Stallion

    Hatch speaks the truth.....what is extremely disturbing is how BAD this bill does not address the actual causes of rising healthcare costs....and it definitely OBSTRUCTS true healthcare reform.....I consider a yes vote by any member of congress to be a definite sign of extremely low intelligence.....

    March 7, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Scott Kenan

    I'd be proud to live with such a decision the rest of MY life. I'm pro-life! (not to be confused with anti-abortion)

    March 7, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. John in Brooklyn

    And, Mr. Senator....not unlike those who went on record to do anything to stop the Civil Rights Act of 1964....those who have jackbooted against healthcare reform will be ridiculed by history.

    I think the senators who push for reconciliation on healthcare will fare better than you.

    March 7, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Florence

    Hatch is the reason we need term limits in congress. I don't think that these politicians should be in office until they die or retire because of a scandal. We need term limits to bring new ideas and fresh thoughts about the topic of the day. Hatch and some of his long time colleagues (Dems & Repubs) should be allowed to serve only 2 terms. We elect a president no more than 2 terms and we should do the same for congress. Doing this would stop the showmanship we watch during election years and we make them focus on working for the people who sent them to congress in the first place.

    I hope Hatch is right that the healthcare vote will be with Democrats forever in history because they are the only party thinking about what is right for this country. I believe Republicans will go down in history as obstructionists in the healthcare debate and that is not a favorable position. I know they hope in Nov. they will overturn healthcare by campaigning on repealling it. But I doubt the American people are that stupid to fall for this. Just look at Medicare, no senior can think about losing or eliminating any of the benefits. So, we just have to see what happens in Nov and 2012 but I have a feeling Republicans will lose on this issue.

    March 7, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Michael

    If, repuglicans can live with using the parlimentary procedure called reconciliation 22 times, on major legislation, Repuglicans used it, to push through 2.7 trillion dollars in tax cuts, Child disability act, medicare part D reform, and many other legislation.I think democrats can live with using this procedure on Heathcare reform, even one or more timesin the future! REPUGLICANS ARE HYPOCRITES!

    March 7, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Hannah

    The republicans will have to live with their obstructionist behavior for the rest of their life, not wanting to do what is best for everyone, but allowing the insurance companies to gain the upper hand, rob from the poor and give to the rich.
    Jim Bunning was right up there with him last week voting against unemployment benefits and John Kyle was filibustering that same bill while promoting his estate tax bill that would continue to not tax the wealthiest of Americans. That's who the republicans are, never forget.

    March 7, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Librarian

    Coming from a representative of the party of NO which has used and abused of reconciliation for so many years (under Bush in order to give tax cuts to the wealthy for instance) this is really top. Aren't these guys ever embarrassed or just taking us for idiots like them ?

    March 7, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. if I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    If the republicans really thought that passing reform was going to hurt democrats at the voting booth, they would keep their mouths shut. They know that with passage, they will be on the wrong side of history again, and pay for it at the polls for the next 20 years.

    March 7, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. if I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    Ever notice that the right wingnuts only cite the poll numbers from Rasmussen/Fox?

    March 7, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. insightful

    Hatch and the Republicants will be haunted for the next 20 to 30 years is the fact that they let this one slip away. All the credit will belong to the Democrats and the Indepents with the American masses benefitting.

    March 7, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. Nosey Canadians should mind their own business

    This creep must have a lot of stock in their industry and bag money from them to boot.

    March 7, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. rdepontb

    Dear Senator Hatch,

    As a Mormon, how do you live with your conscience working in politics, and with the Republicans of all places??


    March 7, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. j

    The Republicans have used reconciliation 16 out of the 22 times it's been used. They used it to pass the tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the rest of the country. Their deficit spending created the current GLOBAL financial disaster. The Republicans/Conservatives follow a failed ideology – proven – why does anyone believe them.

    The Republicans/Conservatives will take whatever the opposing view is, no matter what. If Obama was against health care reform, they'd have to have it NOW. I think it's more than the fact that Obama is a Democrat.

    The Republicans/Conservatives are putting their political ambitions ahead of the needs of the country. Whatever the proposal is, they're going to be against it.

    March 7, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. Marc

    Hatch has been against ANYTHING that the current administration wants to do since the inauguration of President Obama's term, as much as he was for ANYTHING that the previous president wanted to do.
    So what else is news here?

    March 7, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Chris

    The utter hypocrisy of the Republicans is staggering! The GOP forced through bills using Reconciliation mulitples times before and far more than the Democrats ever did. Yet now they are outraged- simply outraged – that the Dems are even considering it! Of course, the GOP offers all sorts of lame excuses that when *they* used Reconciliation it was compltely different – that the type of bills weren't the same, or all of America wanted them to pass the bills, or the stars were in alignment. Give me a break!

    March 7, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Dee Dee Lynn

    Hmmm seems to me that the last time reconciliation was used it was by the last Republican-controlled congress.

    It also seems to me that there would be no need for reconciliation if the Republicans followed their own insistence (when they were in the majority) that the filibuster not be used to obstruct legislation.

    I seem to remember them saying it was not the intent of the founders for bills to require a 2/3 vote, that they should be passed on a simple majority.

    They must have no sense of irony (let alone principle) since only a few years later, they have turned into the group that has used the filibuster more than any other congressional minority in history.

    March 7, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Phil

    It's beyond belief how stupid Republicans think the average American is. Where's your guilt about using reconciliation to cram through Bush's ridiculous tax cuts to the top 1% of the country, which did absolutely NOTHING except line the pockets of fat cats and swallow the country up into debt? By the way, that still only managed to pass after your corrupt Vice Presideny Cheney had to break a 50-50 gridlock in the Senate.

    Again, how stupid does the GOP think we are?

    March 7, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    Does this mean that all the times that Sen. Hatch himself voted for reconciliation are weighing heavily on his conscience?

    Of course not, because he is a hypocrite of the highest order.

    March 7, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. leonardofru

    Hatch is correct. If the Obamists shove this thing down our throats the political relationships that have held this country together for over 200 years will be destroyed. But radical socialists like Mr. Obama and Nancy Pelosi don't care. Better to destroy the country in an attempt to seize total and absolute control over the populace than to let the Americans be free. It is insane.

    March 7, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. valwayne

    Arrogance and Corruption like we've never seen. The Democrats have total contempt for Average Americans. Its incredible?

    March 7, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Emma

    He acts like a supreme judge of his fellow legislators. Living with the reconciliation vote will be a historic plus. Americans want something done about the high cost of for-profit health insurance plans. They just think the Republicans interfered too much with the regulation of the insurance companies. Why is Hatch not listening to his constituents? He is an opportunist to use a single poll to amplify his stance.

    March 7, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. Andy from NYC

    "Regrets, I've had a few". It's good to see that the chairman of the board is alive and well in all of our hearts, especially those of the GOP.

    March 7, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Bob B

    Thanks to Obama???? Thanks to Obama??? You must be kidding! It's amazing to me that within every other industry in this country, what brings down prices is competition. So why not start with allowing insurance companies compete across state lines? It doesn't cost the public anything. If that still doesn't work, then you review other options.

    Look at most other government enterprises: The Post Office, AmTrack, Fannie and Freddie. All of which are inefficient and lose money!!!

    Thanks to Obama....Please!

    March 7, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Bob (Illinois)

    Dear Senator Hatch:

    You, sir, are a hypocrite with a very short memory. I suggest you check the number of times the Republicans have used reconciliation, including the passage of the UNFUNDED tax cuts during the Bush administration. Where were you?

    March 7, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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