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Former Senator Orrin Hatch died at the age of 88

“A man of wisdom, kindness, character, and compassion, Orrin G. Hatch was all that a U.S. senator should be,” said A. Scott Anderson, president of the Hatch Foundation. “He was an example of a generation of lawmakers raised on the principles of courtesy and compromise, and he embodied those principles better than anyone else. In a divided nation, Orrin Hatch helped us show a better way by making meaningful friendships on both sides of the alley.” ”

The release did not include the cause of death.

Hatch, a former Senate Tempore chairman, served in the chamber for 42 years from 1977 to 2019. In January 2018, he announced that he would not seek re-election, paving the way for Mitt Romney to return to the elected office by running. and get his place.

The late former lawmaker spoke of growing partisanship in Congress as he retired.

“My heart is hard because it hurts from the days when we really got our reputation as the largest advisory body in the world. They long for days when Democrats and Republicans meet in the middle, rather than withdrawing into guerrilla trenches,” Hatch said. in a farewell speech at the Senate in December 2018.

Hatch was the Chairman Emeritus of the Hatch Foundation, which focuses on civic engagement and political discourse and is home to its legislative records. The Utah Republican is the author and co-author of several historic pieces of legislation, such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Pricing Competition and the Renewal of Patent Terms, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Senator Orrin G. Hatch embodied the American dream,” said Matt Sandgren, executive director of the Hatch Foundation.

“Born as the son of a carpenter and plaster, he overcame the poverty of his youth to become a United States Senator. —And the results speak for themselves. “From taxes and trade to religious freedom and health care, few lawmakers have had a greater impact on American life than Orrin Hatch,” Sandgren said.

Hatch served in the administrations of seven US presidents and worked with nine Senate majority leaders. During his time in the Office, he served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, the Senate Judicial Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

Elected officials and fellow Republicans responded to the news of Hatch’s death on Saturday.

“It breaks my heart,” Utah Governor Spencer Cox, a Republican, said on a tweet. “Abby and I are so grateful for the opportunity we had to spend time with this incredible government official. He has always been so kind and generous in devoting time and wisdom. Utah mourns the Hatch family.”

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called Hatch a “respected friend.”

“Overwhelmed when I learned of the loss of Senator Orrin Hatch,” McDaniel said. “I met my husband while he worked for the senator. We will miss him very much. He was a statesman who represented the best our country has to offer. Please pray for his family.”

Speaking to Hatch, Republican Speaker Brad Wilson, a Republican, said: “There are few examples of greater devotion to public service than Senator Orrin G. Hatch. , and the friendship he showed to those around him. “

After Hatch, his wife Elaine and their six children remained.

This story has been updated with more information.