A Letter from Senator Orrin Hatch
... snail-mailed to me on U.S. Senate letterhead 10 June 2011 ...

On 2 February 2011, I decided offer my voice to the political cacaphony heard from our nation's capital. Across the Utah State website, all our representatives in Washington openly state their office doors remain open to all their constituents. This includes Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and 3 Representatives, Rob Bishop, Jim Matheson, and Jason Chaffetz. The only access available was to Orrin Hatch, who sent his personal reply via snail-mail on 10 June 2011 (as written below). This is a copy of what I originally wrote.)

I am 100% Democrat, 99.9% supportive of our current Executive administration. However, obviously I live in a 99.9% Republican state, and well outside the box of its cultural majority, so I realize my voice is small - but I feel compelled to voice my opinion nonetheless. After all the childish playground drama We the People have endured over the past 3 years, now Congress is not only bickering between parties but amongst each other as well over the impending budget cuts. I think it would be highly relevant for any member of any branch of the government to take a serious look at their own 6-digit salary, health insurance, and secure retirement plan, before the first cuts take from those currently living well below the median on disability and/or social security. The behavior of our elected officials becomes more shameful every day, seen most recently in this high noon showdown which threatens to shut down the government. Facing a new electoral year in the not-too-distant future, it may speak well of any politico who puts their own money where their mouth is, and thinks more conscientiously of the citizens their actions will individually effect, than they think of how badly they want to outdo each other.

(transcribed verbatim 23 June 2011)

Dear Ms. Pearson:

       Thank you for your letter. I always appreciate hearing from constituents, and I apologize for my belated response.

       Yes, partisanship remains a problem in Washington and often poses a barrier to getting things done in the most expeditious possible manner. And there's no shortage of people willing to point fingers about who is responsible.

       But for all the partisanship bickering, things do have a way of getting done. For example, the threatened government shutdown of several months ago was averted. Another example: Sen. Patrick Leahy and I were recently able to reach agreement on patent legislation - the first major overhaul of our patent system in more than 50 years - and get it passed in the Senate.

       Moreover, the spirited debate over the issues often results in better legislation or stops bad legislation from ever being enacted into law. Thus, Utahns and other Americans are often spared the grief and pain that might otherwise result if everyone went along to get along.

       Finally, I never take a position or cast a vote without very careful consideration of just how they will affect everyday Utahns. I represent everyone in Utah, regardless of their income or socioeconomic status. I view my Senate service as a sacred obligation to keep faith with my fellow Utahans.

       Again, thank you for taking the time to write me. It is a privilege to work for you in our nation's capital.

Your Senator,
(rubber stamp signature)
Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator


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