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SALT LAKE CITY — Given a chance to ask any question of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, what would you ask?
The Deseret News and KSL sought your questions on Facebook and Twitter and posed a few to the senator Friday in an interview with News Specialist John Daley. Here's what the senator had to say.
Question: “If you want to get rid of 'Obamacare,' what is the alternative that you would propose? How would your alternative help those that get insurance privately (not through employer plans or through government programs) at a reasonable cost, especially for families with children with special needs/preexisting conditions?" (Becky Nelson Smith)
Hatch: “The better way to have them work is block grant money to the state. The state is closer to the people. They’ll know their own demographics, their own problems."
Question: "With all the talk about military reductions, what are you doing to ensure that Hill Air Force Base will survive the cuts?" (Steve Larsen)
Hatch: “I can’t remember a month where I haven’t worked hard for Hill Air Force Base. If you have just two freshman senators there, you would not have the experience, you would not have the reputation that it takes years to build that can get top authorities out there at the right time and do the right things.”
Hatch: “You can look at any bill with any Democrat that I put together and it was always center right. It always was something that worked. It always was something that made sense.”
Question: "I remember when you ran for office the first time (against three-term Democrat Frank Moss). You said you didn't want to be a career politician and would stay only two terms if elected." (Ralene Anderson)
Hatch: "Well, he (Moss) was there too long because he wasn’t voting in the best interests of Utah. Once in a while he did. Most of the things he voted for are why we’re in the colossal mess we’re in today. You know when you get a good senator you ought to keep him, especially if he or she is willing to work their butts off like I do.”
Question: "Is your health good? Do you think you've got 6 more years in you?" (Sandra Peterson Powell)
Hatch: “I’m a tough old bird. I get up at quarter of five every morning back there. I usually don’t get home until eight or nine at night. Nobody outworks me.”
Question: "Why did you vote to raise the debt ceiling?" (Justin Scott)
Hatch: “It’s a matter of not letting the government go down the drain. If we didn’t raise the debt ceiling, our soldiers and sailors and Marines and others overseas would not have the moneys and support and weapons and materials that they needed to run the country.”
Question: "Someone needs to rein in the big oil companies and their greed. Oil needs to be a regulated commodity." (Tricia Gale Carlson)
Hatch: “Do you realize oil companies make less money than taxes we tax on every gallon of gas? They do provide a service that is absolutely important for our country and for the nations of the world. Without the oil companies and taking the risks that they do and finding oil all around the world, frankly, we wouldn’t have enough oil and gas to take care of our industry in this country, let alone allow people to drive the way they do today."