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Orrin Hatch to Retire from Senate, Opening Path for Mitt Romney

03 January, 2018, 01:52 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Speaker of the House Paul Ryan R-Wis. left accompanied by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch R-Utah signs the final version of the GOP tax bill during an enrollment ceremony at the

During an event last month at the Utah Capitol where Trump celebrated the administration's decision to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, Trump called Hatch "a true fighter" and said he hoped the Republican would continue to serve "in the Senate for a very long time to come".

Senator Orrin Hatch abruptly announced his retirement Tuesday, which immediately had people speculating about his replacement. Three-quarters of Utahans said it was time for someone else to serve in the Senate, according to a poll late a year ago by the Hinckley Institute at the University of Utah. Ive always been a fighter. Although I will miss serving you in the Senate, I look forward to spending more time with family, especially my sweet wife Elaine, whose unwavering love and support made all of this possible.

"It would be good for Utah if Hatch, having finally caught the Great White Whale of tax reform, were to call it a career", the editorial board wrote.

During the tumultuous special election for Senate in Alabama, Romney also took sides against Trump and his endorsement of the highly controversial Roy Moore.

Mitt Romney, former MA governor and GOP presidential nominee, is expected to run for Hatch's seat.

He is the longest-serving Republican in the Senate and chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee, making him a major force in getting a tax overhaul approved in December.

In the statement announcing his decision not to run again, Hatch cited work with the disadvantaged among his accomplishments, including helping create the Americans with Disabilities Act, expanding children's health insurance and expanding use of generic drugs.

Sanders would not say if Trump would back Romney. During his time on the committee, the Senate has confirmed almost 1,900 federal judges, a majority of all federal judges that have served.

For months, Hatch's political future has been on the minds of Republican strategists and officials, many of whom expected him to step down at some at some point soon after the tax bill was completed.

Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney thanked Hatch for his service in a statement posted to his Facebook page.

Mr. Romney was unaware of Mr. Hatch's decision and of late had been operating under the assumption that the senator would run again, not even bringing up the possibility of a campaign while skiing Monday with friends in Utah.

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