Senator Orrin Hatch campaigned for office on the Utah conservative principles of limited government, lower taxes, personal responsibility, and a firm resolve to preserve the western way of life including responsible land management. The same principles guide the Senator today.
Preserving our Western Way of Life
- Lands: Since the first day Senator Hatch took office he has fought for Utah’s right to control our resources and develop our lands without federal meddling. Just over a year ago the Obama Administration announced the controversial “Wild Lands” policy, which was designed to allow environmentalists and East coast liberals to lock up more federal lands in the west. Senator Hatch went to bat, fought back, and helped kill this program.
- Energy: Utah has more natural gas than almost any place on earth. Senator Hatch knows we must develop energy resources here at home instead of relying on foreign sources. The Senator played a key role in affecting a compromise with the BLM and the EPA that allowed for the development of 3,675 natural gas wells in Utah. This helped pave the way for the creation of more than 2,500 private-sector jobs in the Uintah Basin.
- Because of his deep commitment to the needs of rural states, the Senator was just named as the Chair of the Western Caucus Subcommittee on Public Lands, which is an important subcommittee that brings together Members of Congress who understand our rural issues. The Senator will be shortly introducing the Western Land Distribution and Regional Equalization Act as a way to give states ownership and control of federal lands within their borders.
Supporting Utah’s Economy
Senator Hatch understands that economic success must be found in our own backyard and has been a champion of Utah industries and economic development.
- Hill Air Force Base – Senator Hatch has fought time and again to keep Hill Air Force Base open and operating in northern Utah. Hill, with 24,000 employees, is the single largest employer in Utah and the economic benefits it provides to our state cannot be overstated. The Department of Defense recently announced defense spending reductions, including a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission, which could greatly affect the workload of, or even close Hill. This is a critical time for Utah, and we need a Senator with the clout, personal contacts, respect, and political strength needed to keep Hill thriving. In addition, Senator Hatch recently helped Hill get the F-35 squadrons and the depot maintenance needed for these squadrons.
- Falcon Hill – The Senator led the charge to make the Falcon Hill project a reality, which provides the Davis and Weber County communities with additional resources and jobs. Once completed there will be more than 8 million feet of office space, taxpayers will save more than $136 million, and it will create 15,000 jobs over the next several decades.
- Data Center – A new, top of the line data center, which will be utilized by the National Security Administration will be located at Utah’s Camp Williams – thanks to the efforts of Senator Hatch. This will put Utah in the forefront to support our Intelligence Community and provide information assurance to the Department of the Defense while creating 5,000 to 10,000 jobs.
- RECA – Senator Hatch sponsored and passed the first Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which has helped more than 5,000 Utahns who became ill after the nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s by the federal government. He has continued to support RECA and work hard to ensure that Utahns who have been harmed get the help they need through this program.
- Dietary Supplement Industry: Utah has multi-million dollar dietary supplement industry, which is one of the largest business sectors of our state. Senator Hatch’s record shows he has constantly worked on behalf of the more than 150 million Americans who use dietary supplements. In 1994 Senator Hatch authored and passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). This established a regulatory structure that balanced the need for safe and affordable products with a system of accountability.
Since that time he has worked tirelessly to ensure that this legislation is working in the best interests of consumers. He entered the fray once again as he recently voiced concerns to the FDA regarding new requirements for the industry that could impose a burden resulting in reduced consumer access to the dietary supplements they currently enjoy.
- Second Amendment: A strong commitment to Second Amendment rights has always been a guiding principle of Senator Hatch. He has consistently opposed anti-gun bills and supported legislation that reaffirmed the rights of gun owners. In 1982, he was the author of an important Senate Report, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms” which confirmed the Second Amendment as an individual right. He led the fight to pass the McClure VOlkmer Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, something very important to gun owners across America; and he has been a strong opponent of a United Nations global gun ban treaty.
- Religious Liberty: The Senator brought together people of all religions and political backgrounds and successfully passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Supreme Court ruled a portion of this legislation unconstitutional in 1997, so Hatch responded and successfully passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Personas Act that helps religious institutions avoid state interference in their property through zoning laws. In addition, Senator Hatch was instrumental in helping protect the tax-status of charitable donations to religious institutions by passing the Religious Liberty and Charitable Donation Protection Act.
- The Supreme Court: Senator Hatch led the confirmations of several Supreme Court Justices, including Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Chief Justice John Roberts. He was also one of the principal defenders of Robert Bork and fought the filibuster of President Bush’s appellate court nominees.
- ObamaCare: The Senator was the first member of Congress to raise constitutional concerns with the individual mandate in ObamaCare. He has authored amicus briefs and given dozens of speeches on the subjects, as well as introduced legislation to repeal the individual mandate.