Published January 2, 2018
SALT LAKE CITY – Senator Orrin Hatch, the longest serving Republican will not seek reelection this coming November. First elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976, Hatch has not been a strong supporter of Indian rights.
Last May, Hatch caused ire among Utah tribes when he made the following paternalistic statement about the designation of Bears Ear National Monument:
“The Indians, they don’t fully understand that a lot of the things that they currently take for granted on those lands, they won’t be able to do if it’s made clearly into a monument or a wilderness,” Hatch said on Sunday. “Once you put a monument there, you do restrict a lot of things that could be done, and that includes use of the land… Just take my word for it.”
“Utah’s senior senator put his foot very firmly into his mouth Monday by attacking the intelligence and the integrity of the five Native American nations whose elected leaders joined together to work for and, in the final days of the Obama administration, win national monument status for 1.35 million acres in southeast Utah known as Bears Ears,” The Salt Lake Tribune said in an editorial.
In December, Hatch was all smiles when President Donald Trump announced he was reducing the national monument designation of Bears Ears by 85 percent.
After the tax bill was passed last month, Hatch went to the White House with his fellow GOP senators where he praised Trump.
“Mr. President, I have to say that you’re living up to everything I thought you would,” Hatch said at the White House gathering. “You’re one heck of a leader, and we’re all benefiting from it.”
This BBSNews article originally appeared on Native News Online.