U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement after voting in support of legislation crafted by Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that would prevent massive tax increases on nearly every single tax-paying American:
"This isn't legislation I would have written and it is far from perfect. But given the stakes for the people of Utah and the nation, I reluctantly supported it because it sets in stone lower tax rates for roughly 99 percent of American taxpayers.
"With millions of Americans watching Washington with anger, frustration and anxiety that their taxes will skyrocket, this is the best course of action we can take to protect as many people as possible from massive tax hikes.
"As I've said, this legislation is far from perfect -- it is merely a band aid for the tremendous challenges facing our country. For one, this legislation does not reduce federal spending to cut our more than $16 trillion debt. We must confront that challenge and make those difficult decisions in the coming months ahead.
"Furthermore, this legislation does not reform our broken entitlement programs that are fueling our debt. It does not overhaul our arcane tax code that is a burden to both middle-class families and our job creators. Finally, it does not permanently repeal the death tax as I would have liked.
"Frankly, I'm disappointed that there was not enough courage to seize this moment to bring about the kind of lasting reforms our government so desperately needs, and tackle our debt so America can be as strong in this century as it has been in the last.
"One of my greatest concerns with higher tax rates is the impact on small businesses who file as individuals. This has to be resolved. We have to find a way to spare those job creators from higher taxes and I will be looking into ways to accomplish that goal in the next Congress.
"I'm also extremely disappointed in what I see as a failure of leadership from the President. The political calculus from the White House is not what the American people deserve and I hope that we see a change of approach with the President deciding to put the politicking aside and begin the art of governing.
"To the people of Utah, this is not the end. I will not stop fighting to strengthen our economy, create good-paying jobs, and get our country out of the fiscal mess we're in. While the 112th Congress is set to close, the next Congress is set to begin in just a few days and in this next Congress, we need to be bold; we need to act to reform government once and for all. There is too much at stake to put this off any longer."