- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Often viewed as divided between establishment Republicans and tea partyers, Sen. Orrin Hatch issued a call Wednesday to revamp the party’s image and unite the party behind the banner of “Constitutional conservatism” — restoring traditional faith and morality and limiting government overreach.

In a policy speech at the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, the Utah Republican highlighted principals that can unite the tea party and the Republican establishment, and pressed the GOP to offer America a strong set of policy proposals to guide the nation.

“As conservatives, we must continue to fight all of these attempts to expand government at the expense of our constitutional ideals. But we must not be defined only by what we are against,” Mr. Hatch said. “We must offer an alternative, affirmative agenda that can capture the public’s attention and demonstrate that we are the party, not of shutdowns, but solutions.”

To that end, Mr. Hatch went on to lay out five policy areas — health care, tax reform, regulatory relief, innovation and tech policy, and a social mobility agenda.

Mr. Hatch shot down Obamacare as unconstitutional, and offered a plan he co-authored with Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma call The Patient Care Act, saying it achieved many of the goals of President Obama’s plan while keeping government’s role in health care limited.

He also pushed a simplified tax code; “prudent, incremental” regulatory reforms; an innovation agenda to drive economic growth; and strategies to fight the war on poverty.

The government’s role, said Mr. Hatch, should be “that of supporter, not director.”

“By keeping the Constitution as our guide and working to conserve our founding principles, we can offer a hopeful, reform-oriented agenda that will unite the conservative movement and win the hearts and minds of a broad majority of Americans looking for change,” he said.

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