Hatch calls for restart on health care reform
Washington » Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Sunday that Congress needs to hit the reset button on health care reform and that Republicans will work with their counterparts on new legislation -- if Democrats allow it.
"I don't know one Republican who does not want health care reform," Hatch said on CNN's State of the Union. "I don't know one Republican who wouldn't try to work together with the Democrats. We weren't even involved in this process. We weren't even asked."
On Tuesday, Massachusetts voters handed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat to Republican Scott Brown in what was widely seen as a slap against the Democrats' effort to draft new health care laws. The House and Senate have passed separate health care measures with only a single GOP vote -- Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana.
Hatch, the vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, says Americans have rejected the Democrats' health care bill.
"They thought they could put through anything they wanted to and they found out that they couldn't," Hatch said, telling CNN's John King that, "You bet you're life we have to start over."
But Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Democrats tried working with the GOP on health care but hit a solid wall of opposition.
Menendez said Republicans are only saying they want start over on health care because they want to kill the current bills and stall reform.
"When we hear about slow down and start over it really means don't do anything," Menendez said.
» Hatch said he would back Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke although he has concerns with some of Bernanke's past actions. "I'd be terrified of having him replaced by this administration," Hatch said.
» Hatch said he opposed a proposal for a blue-ribbon commission to look at decreasing the deficit because he says the "main thing" that will come out of it will be tax increases. Hatch added that President Barack Obama should have to deal with the issue and not be "pushing it off to another commission."
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