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Posted: 3:30 PM- Yet another member of the state's congressional delegation got a harsh reception back on what is normally the safest of ground. This time it was Sen. Orrin Hatch addressing the Utah Senate Wednesday.
State Sen. Howard Stephenson asked fellow Republican Hatch what he thought of a bill, SB202, that would require Utah's U.S. senators to take "counsel" from the Legislature and report back. The measure marks the Draper senator's second attempt at increasing state influence over Washington senators.
Last year, Stephenson pushed a "soft repeal" of the 10th Amendment that would require senators take direction from the Legislature.
Hatch told Stephenson he had read his bill, "I'm not a supporter of that. We get plenty of counseling from the state Legislature and I'm happy to have it." Then Hatch reversed himself and admitted he had not read Stephenson's bill. But said U.S. senators would not appreciate taking guidance from state legislatures. "Nor do we give you direction," Hatch said.
Without missing a beat, Stephenson replied, "We get a lot of mandates, though. Some of them funded; some of them unfunded." Earlier in the session, Stephenson took to task Reps. Chris Cannon and Jim Matheson for their part in what Stephenson derided as a do- nothing Congress.