Hatch: Stopgap spending bill did not cut enough

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was one of only nine senators to vote against a stopgap spending bill designed to avoid a government shutdown that passed the Senate Wednesday.

In a statement, Hatch said that the two-week measure that cuts $4 billion from last year's spending levels does not go far enough.

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“The cuts in this bill are a start, but don’t go far enough to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington," he said in a statement. "Our national debt is more than $14 trillion and will hurt our economy and mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren unless we act now to put the brakes on this runaway spending."

Hatch, who faces reelection in 2012, is arguably the highest-profile Republican senator to vote against the legislation, which President Obama is expected to sign. 

The Utah senator is the ranking member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, but could face a tough primary challenge from the right when he is up for reelection. 

Hatch has made multiple overtures to Tea Party activists to display his conservative credentials to the grassroots activists. During a speech last week, Hatch called Obama's healthcare law a "dumb-ass program." He immediately apologized for his choice of words.

Tea Partyers helped propel Mike Lee to GOP convention victory over then-Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) last year. Lee won the general election and joined the newly formed Senate Tea Party Caucus this year. 

Lee also voted against the legislation, along with Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Carl Levin (D-Mich.) Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).