Saturday evening, in Salt Lake City (Utah), was the passing of the longest-serving Republican senator. He was 88.
Orrin Hatch, who was once the representative of Utah in the Senate, served as Senate president protempore. The seat was held for more than 50 years, starting in 1976 and ending in January 2019.
The Hatch Foundation released a press release confirmating the news.
“Born the son of a carpenter and plaster lather, he overcame the poverty of his youth to become a United States Senator. With the hardships of his upbringing always fresh in his mind, he made it his life’s mission to expand freedom and opportunity for others — and the results speak for themselves. From tax and trade to religious liberty and healthcare, few legislators have had a greater impact on American life than Orrin Hatch,”The statement is in part.
Hatch was a conservative who stood firm in his support for limited government, military spending, and deregulation. Hatch voted against LGBTQ+ rights and for abortion restrictions.
Hatch collaborated with his Democratic counterparts on legislation regarding stem cells research and the failed DREAM Act.
In 2000, he briefly ran to be president but decided to end his bid after the Iowa caucuses. He then endorsed George W. Bush.
For three decades, President Biden was a congressman with Hatch and participated in his funeral. He made the following statement about Hatch: “When I cast my 10,000th vote in the Senate, Orrin came to the Senate floor and we had a chance to speak. I said that the greatest perk one has as a Senator was access to people with serious minds, a serious sense of purpose, and who cared about something. That was Orrin.”
Elaine Hatch and their six children are his survivors.