Former U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, the oldest Republican in Senate history and the longest-serving senator from Utah, died on Saturday. He was 88 years old.
Hatch served 42 years in the Senate, from 1977 to 2019, including some time as speaker pro tempore of the chamber, a ceremonial leadership position usually reserved for senior members. He was known to work across the aisle.
“At the time of his retirement, Senator Hatch had the distinction of having passed more laws than any other senator then alive,” a statement from the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation said Saturday. “Through his relentless work ethic, Hatch earned a reputation as one of the most effective and bipartisan legislators of all time.”
The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are among his major bipartisan achievements.
In his 2018 retirement announcement, Hatch said he had “drafted more bills that became law than any member of Congress alive today.”
One of his greatest legislative accomplishments came late in his career when he worked with the Trump administration to pass a major tax bill in December 2017.
Shortly thereafter, on January 2, 2018, Hatch announced that he would be retiring from the Senate in lieu of seeking re-election. He retired on January 3, 2019.
Hatch’s retirement paved the way for Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, to run and win.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Candy Woodall is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Pennsylvania Capital Bureau. She can be reached at 717-480-1783 or on Twitter at @candynotcandace.
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