Rep. Bishop and Sen. Hatch warn about federalism in Utah speeches


Cassidy Hansen
Capital West News

SALT LAKE CITY — Federalism and powers at the state level was the main topic of the speeches given recently in the Senate Chamber by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop and Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Bishop, R-Utah, complimented the Senate by saying “I do appreciate what you are doing here. This is not an easy task, the decisions you have to make are not simple. If they were simple, somebody else would have dome them somewhere else.”

Bishop continued his address by talking about how the Utah Legislature should remember that they have five representatives in Washington who hope to keep Utah’s 10th Amendment rights as an essential character of federalism. According to Bishop, there are several people within the national government who believe that higher bodies of governments may make better decisions or that state decisions are not important; however, Bishop feels that this belief is not effective in accomplishing state and federal goals.

“Federalism is neither liberal, it is not conservative, it’s not Republican, it’s not Democrat. Federalism simply means that people get to make choices for themselves,” Bishop said.

The Representative held true to his statement that states should make their own decisions when giving answers to questions posed by state senators regarding current pending legislation. Specifically, Bishop did not comment as to whether the legislative body should expand Medicaid. Bishop did warn the body not to except too much federal money if the state did not need the funds, because the conditions to receive these funds in the future may change and alter Utah’s independence state economically.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, also spoke about the potential for more powers being given back to the states, explicitly regarding healthcare. Explaining that he believes that states would be more efficient economically running their own healthcare systems. The power to have greater control over healthcare would be given through the bill Hatch is drafting with Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina. However, the bill is dependent upon the Congress pending the King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision regarding unambiguous language in the bill that stipulates Obamacare.

When referencing his bill, Hatch said that his bill “is receiving quite an acclaim all over the country, because it would bring the states into more activity and more control into our healthcare system, than what the federal government does.”

Another major topic of concern between Utah and the national government according to Hatch is Hill Air Force Base. Hatch encouraged the Utah senators to strengthen the Test and Training Range in Utah’s west desert, so the base may accommodate modern requirements, in addition to the new F35s that are currently being produced. The senator also hopes to continue to bring more jobs to the base and to increase the efficiency of the base.

“It’s crucial to our state, and more important, it’s crucial to our country,” Hatch said.

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