Hatch Touts Tea Party Credentials
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch declared himself a committed member of the tea party during a “Fox and Friends” interview on Fox News, Politico
“The fact of the matter is I’ve been a tea party person I think since before the tea party came into existence. I was one of the earliest supporters of Reagan,” Hatch said. He also praised the influence the tea party has had on the recent debt deal, but made clear he still would not vote in favor of the deal.
“Look, I think the tea party people deserve a lot of credit,” Hatch told “Fox and Friends.” “The tea party people have helped bring about a change where they’re not going to increase taxes on this particular approach, and, yeah, the new joint committee could increase taxes but I don’t believe that any Republican on there is going to want to increase taxes.”
The debt ceiling deal passed the House Monday and is scheduled for a Senate vote Tuesday at noon. Hatch said the deal has sought to make Congress more accountable. “And I think accountability is one of the most important things we can do,” he added. But Hatch said he won’t vote for the deal because it is missing the key element: a balanced budget amendment.
“I recognize that this is a step in the right direction, I recognize that we've been able to stop the Democrats voracious demands for more and more taxes,” he said. Still, Hatch emphasized it was not enough to pass into law.
Hatch faces a steep primary challenge from Rep. Jason Chaffetz in 2012.