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Sen. Hatch says USU receives most federal dollars per capita

Published: Monday, February 28, 2011

Updated: Monday, February 28, 2011 10:02

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UTAH SENATOR ORRIN HATCH addresses students in a Pizza and Politics event held by USU’s College Republicans. Hatch answered many questions on hot topic issues including heath care and the DREAM Act.BENJAMIN WOOD photo

    Young people will face a bleak future without Social Security benefits if Democrats continue to "overreach" their constitutional boundaries, said U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, Friday, in the Education Building.

    "I'm always happy to be at this great university. Utah State University receives more federal dollars per capita than any other university in the nation. I spend a lot of time up here in this area," Hatch said. "You have one of the best basketball coaches in the whole country. He's a good friend of mine."

    Hatch said he did not prepare a speech because he wanted to answer questions that potential voters had about current state and federal issues. Hatch is up for re-election in 2012.

    "I agree with the Tea Party people. I think it's about time we reared up in this country and said ‘Enough, we're spending way too much, we're going into debt too far,'" Hatch said. "Should President Obama be re-elected, they're sending you young people down the river."

    One audience member asked about the DREAM Act – specifically why Hatch ultimately voted against it when he was the one who originally drafted it.

    The DREAM Act would have offered in-state college tuition and citizenship to the children of undocumented workers. Current political conversation is teeming with debate over several immigration reform bills.

    "They made it into an amnesty bill. I can't support amnesty," Hatch said. "I don't think we're ever going to get this problem solved until we secure our borders. I hated to vote against it, because I really believe we should never hold it against the children of people who are undocumented."

    He said government needs to give law enforcement the "teeth" to tighten border security. The revised DREAM Act was another "Democrat overreach" that expanded amnesty coverage.

    Sage Bowman, a USU student, stood up to ask for Hatch's thoughts on the recent decision by the Obama administration not to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

    "If we start playing around with what marriage is, I think we all run into a lot of difficulty. And we in Utah understand more than most because of our former practice of plural marriage," Hatch said with a snicker. "We do believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. We basically felt we had to protect it with DOMA."

    Many of Hatch's answers were longer than the two-minute limitation he originally placed on himself. He incorporated humor in some of his replies because he said a lot of people don't realize conservatives can joke around, also.

    Hatch said his viewpoint on marriage is one of practicality, not of prejudice. The marriage debate also concerns religious freedom in the U.S. and there is a lot of angst about it.

    "If the President of the United States is unwilling to support congressional enactments in his own Justice Department, then that flies in the face of what the Justice Department is supposed to," Hatch said. "It's a very weird position to take."

    He said he disagrees with the liberal point of view because it grants power to the federal government and not the people.

    "The Constitution is the people's document, not the federal government's document," Hatch said.

    Another audience member asked Hatch about whether he thought health care needed reform before President Obama took office.

    USU College Republicans Chairman Terry Camp referred to the health care reform bill as "Obama-care," a euphemism that pundits and politicians who do not agree with the bill have adopted.

    "Every state has different demographics, every state has different problems," Hatch responded. "It's good to allow them to work out their own problems rather than a one-size-fits-all federal government dumb-ass program. It really is an awful piece of crap."

    Hatch apologized for swearing and said he does not swear often. He said he is passionate about the health care debate and would repent for using the words that he did.

    Hatch said if he wins the 2012 Senatorial race he promises to take care of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare for the young people.

    "Anybody who wants to can run against me, that's their right, but all I can say is I intend to win," Hatch said. "When people look at what I've done, what I can do and how hard I've worked, I they're going to say, ‘Hey, that experience is good for Utah and the nation as well.'"

    He said regarding the 2012 Presidential Election, any Republican candidate that runs against Obama will be better than what we have now.

    Hatch received several laughs and much applause from the audience throughout his visit. His impressions of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy were met with more laughter.

    "He was the single best Democrat legislator, head and shoulders above any other Democrat in the senate," Hatch said.

    Camp said the College Republicans aim to expose students to the political environment and its candidates. He said Hatch has championed the charge for the balanced budget amendment and has advocated for Second Amendment and Pro-Life rights.

    On Monday, Hatch will introduce a bill to create a committee to reduce federal programs that he deems as unnecessary or as wasting taxpayer dollars, Camp said.

– dan.whitney.smith@aggiemail.usu.edu

– kevin.mccutcheon@aggiemail.usu.edu

  

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