Iron County Democrats

President has delivered for Utah in first 100 days

Republished From: Utah Democratic Party

May 27, 2009, 10:11 am
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In the May 5 issue of The Spectrum, Sen. Orrin Hatch demonstrated one thing: He has never heard the phrase "It takes two to tango." Republican leadership in the House and Senate, Sen. Hatch included, clearly feel not negotiating with the other side and consistently voting "no" on legislation and then blaming the other side for failing to "work with Republicans" is a winning strategy.

This is not Sen. Hatch's first trip around this particular rhetorical block. Elect a Democratic president and Sen. Hatch's response is as predictable as spring rain.

Time will tell whether having it both ways will work for the Republican Party in future elections. With health care, climate change and a variety of other issues, the door is always open for Republicans interested in working to build consensus just as it was prior to the recovery package vote. Just ask Republican Sens. Olympia Snow and Susan Collins.

However, neither President Obama nor Democratic leadership can make Republicans like Sen. Hatch show up for the meetings.

Sen. Hatch also clearly feels a number of investments being made in Utah as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's passage amount to little more than a Democratic "wish list." The senator is silent on exactly which investments these include. Does he consider accelerated removal of the uranium tailings from the banks of the Colorado River near Moab a Democratic wish best left ignored or underfunded for years as it was under a Republican Congress and the Bush administration? How about the rebuilding of the long-neglected and eventually condemned visitors center in Dinosaur National Monument or the estimated 6,000 private sector jobs the Utah Department of Transportation states are being created repairing and expanding our transportation infrastructure?

Sen. Hatch also falsely argues President Obama's budget contains the "largest tax increase in American history." After voting against the president's tax cut for 900,000 Utah working families totaling more than $500 million, it is remarkable Sen. Hatch would accuse the president of raising taxes. The president's budget does not propose tax increases on any American making less than $250,000 and only proposes returning to the tax rates of the prosperous and fiscally responsible 1990s for those making more.

Finally, Sen. Hatch expresses concern congressional Democrats might actually get something done on health care reform at a time when 50 million Americans and more than 300,000 Utahns are going without health insurance. Implicit in his criticism of using what is known as "reconciliation" to avoid a filibuster on this issue is Sen. Hatch's support for using the filibuster to avoid providing insurance for Utah working families. I could take Sen. Hatch's allegations that Democrats are "forcing" health care reform on the public by using the reconciliation process much more seriously if he had been equally critical of Republican use of this process when they were in control.

Contrary to Sen. Hatch's allegations of a more polarized electorate under President Obama, polls consistently show approximately two thirds of Americans support the president. Even in Utah, a majority support the president according to the most recent polling data.

When it comes to bipartisanship, it takes two to tango, and there is nothing Democrats can do to force Orrin Hatch or other Republicans to join us on the dance floor.

Wayne Holland Jr. is chairman of the Utah State Democratic Committee. He can be contacted at whol land@utdemocrats.org.

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Citation

Taylor, T. (2009). President has delivered for Utah in first 100 days. Retrieved from http://iron.utdem.org/view/article/51cbeb257896bb431f6875df

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