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Orrin Hatch

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Orrin Hatch

Orrin Hatch
President pro tempore of the
United States Senate
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Patrick Leahy
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Ron Wyden
United States Senator
from Utah
Assumed office
January 3, 1977
Serving with Mike Lee
Preceded by Frank Moss
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Patrick Leahy
Succeeded by Arlen Specter
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by Patrick Leahy
Succeeded by Patrick Leahy
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Joe Biden
Succeeded by Patrick Leahy
Chairman of the Senate Health Committee
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by Harrison Williams
Succeeded by Ted Kennedy
Personal details
Born Orrin Grant Hatch
(1934-03-22) March 22, 1934
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Elaine Hansen (1957–present)
Children 6
Alma mater Brigham Young University, Utah
University of Pittsburgh
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Website Senate website

Orrin Grant Hatch (born March 22, 1934) is an American politician who is the President pro tempore of the United States Senate, serving since January 2015. A member of the Republican Party, he serves as the senior United States Senator for Utah. In office since 1977, Hatch is the most-senior Republican Senator.

Hatch has served as either the chairman or ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1993 to 2005. He previously served as chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee from 1981 to 1987 and currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

After the Republicans won control of the Senate during the 2014 midterms, Hatch became President pro tempore on January 6, 2015 after the 114th United States Congress was sworn in.[1]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Political career 2
    • 1976 Senate election 2.1
    • Subsequent Senate elections 2.2
      • 2012 Senate election 2.2.1
    • 2000 presidential campaign 2.3
    • Possible Supreme Court nomination 2.4
  • Political positions and votes 3
    • Anti-terrorism 3.1
    • Bailouts 3.2
    • Balanced Budget Amendment 3.3
    • Confirmation of judges 3.4
    • Health care reform 3.5
    • Immigration 3.6
    • LGBT Issues 3.7
    • Intellectual property 3.8
    • Nuclear testing 3.9
    • Religious freedom 3.10
    • State sovereignty 3.11
    • Other issues 3.12
  • Committee assignments 4
  • Controversy 5
    • Lobbying ties 5.1
  • Electoral history 6
  • Personal life 7
    • Musical career and film appearances 7.1
  • Writing 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Early life and education

Orrin Grant Hatch was born to Jesse Hatch (1904, Vernal, Utah – 1992, Salt Lake City, Utah)[2] and his wife Helen Frances Hatch (née Kamm; 1906, Pekin, Illinois – 1995, Murray, Utah).[3] His great-grandfather Jeremiah Hatch (1823, Lincoln, Vermont – 1903, Vernal, Utah)[4] was the founder of Vernal, Utah. Hatch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in the suburb of Baldwin.[5]

Hatch, the first in his family to attend college, attended Brigham Young University and in 1959 received a degree in history. In 1962, he received a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh Law School. While he was a law student, he worked as a janitor, a construction worker in the Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers Union (putting plaster on walls over various kinds of lath), and as a dormitory desk attendant. Hatch worked as an attorney in Pittsburgh and in Utah.

Political career

1976 Senate election

Hatch during his first term in the Senate

In 1976, in his first run for public office, Hatch was elected to the United States Senate, defeating Democrat Frank Moss, a three-term incumbent. Among other issues, Hatch criticized Moss' 18-year tenure in the Senate, saying "What do you call a Senator who's served in office for 18 years? You call him home."[6] Hatch argued that many Senators, including Moss, had lost touch with their constituents.[7]

Subsequent Senate elections

In 1982 he defeated Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson by 17 points. He has not faced substantive opposition since, and has been reelected four times, including defeating Brian Moss, Frank Moss' son, by 35 points in 1988.[8]

In 2007 he became the longest-serving Senator in Utah history, eclipsing previous record-holder Reed Smoot.[9] He was among the first to rally conservative Christians and Mormons to the Republican Party, most notably on the right to life platform which he has supported for 35 years.[10]

2012 Senate election

After the defeat of Utah's Senator Bob Bennett in 2010, conjecture began as to whether six-term Senator Hatch would retire. It was also speculated that Congressman Jason Chaffetz would run against Hatch, though Chaffetz would later decline. In January 2011, Hatch announced his campaign for re-election.[11] Later, nine other Republicans, including former State Senator Dan Liljenquist and current State Legislator Chris Herrod, declared campaigns for U.S. Senator.[12][13]

Having elected state delegates in mid-March, both the Democratic and Republican parties held conventions on April 21, with the possibilities to determine their nominees for the November general election. At the Republican convention, Hatch failed to get the 60% vote needed to clinch the Republican nomination, so he faced Liljenquist (the second-place winner) in the primary June 26.[14] Hatch won the primary easily.[15] It was Hatch's first primary competition since his election in 1976. The Democratic convention chose former state Senator and IBM executive, Scott Howell as the Democratic candidate. Hatch eventually retained his position with 65.2% of the vote to Howell's 30.2%.[14]

2000 presidential campaign

In 2000, Hatch made a failed bid for the web usability a campaign issue, a first for a presidential candidate. He claimed his website was more user-friendly than Bush's. At least one web usability expert agreed.[16]

Possible Supreme Court nomination

Hatch has long expressed interest in serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.[17] It was reported that he was on Ronald Reagan's short list of candidates to succeed Lewis F. Powell, Jr. on the United States Supreme Court, but was passed over at least in part because of the Ineligibility Clause.[18] Despite that, he vocally supported Robert Bork, who was chosen instead.[19] After Bork's and Douglas H. Ginsburg's nominations to the seat faltered, Anthony Kennedy was confirmed to fill the vacancy.

Hatch was also mentioned as a possible nominee after John Roberts and Samuel Alito, a potential appointment became unlikely. Hatch's advanced age now make him a very unlikely Supreme Court nominee.

Political positions and votes


Sen. Hatch visits at the White House with Pres. Bush following the September 11 attacks.

In 1995 Hatch was the leading figure behind the senate's anti-terrorism bill, to a large extent a response to the Oklahoma City Bombing. Elements of the bill were criticised by the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee on civil liberties grounds, especially the new limits imposed on habeas corpus in capital cases.[20]

As a senior member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, Hatch was also instrumental in the 2008 extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He said, "This bipartisan bill will help defeat terrorism and keep America safe. No, the legislation is not perfect, but it ensures that the increased expansion of the judiciary into foreign intelligence gathering doesn’t unnecessarily hamper our intelligence community.”[21]


Senator Hatch voted in favor of the 2008 legislation known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).[22] In 2011, Hatch said that he "probably made a mistake voting for it", and also claimed "at the time, we were in real trouble and it looked like we were ready for a depression. I believe we would have gone into a depression."[23] He voted against the renewal of TARP in 2009, and the renewal was voted down by 10 votes in the Senate.

Hatch voted in favor of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.[24] The bill authorized $300 billion to guarantee mortgages and restore confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.[25]

Balanced Budget Amendment

Hatch has been a longtime advocate of amending the United States Constitution to require that total spending of the federal government for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts.[26][27]

During his time in the Senate, Hatch has sponsored a Balanced Budget Amendment 17 times—4 times as lead sponsor and 13 times as a co-sponsor.[26] He also voted in favor of passing a Balanced Budget Amendment on at least 9 occasions.[28][29] Hatch's proposed amendment passed the House of Representatives in 1997, but failed to pass the Senate by the required two-thirds majority by one vote to move on the States for ratification.[26][30]

On January 26, 2011, during the current session of Congress, Hatch introduced S.J. Res. 3—a Balanced Budget Amendment that:[31]

  • Mandates that total budgetary outlays for any fiscal year not exceed total revenues.
  • Caps federal spending at 20 percent of GDP.
  • Requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress every fiscal year.
  • Requires two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate on any measure that raises taxes.
  • Includes provisions that can be waived if there is a formal declaration of war, if the U.S. is engaged in a military conflict constituting a threat to national security, or if two-thirds of both the House and Senate approve.[32]

Confirmation of judges

As ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hatch fought hard to get conservative judges nominated to the Supreme Court. He took a leading role in the Senate confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas in October 1991. He was also a strong supporter of Jay Bybee during Bybee's confirmation hearings for a U.S. Federal judgeship stating "I've seen a lot of people around and a lot of judges and I don't know of anybody who has any greater qualifications or any greater ability in the law than you have."[33][34]

With regards to the Senate filibuster being used to stall President Obama's judicial appointments, Hatch voted against the November 2013 reforms, which eliminated the use of the filibuster on executive branch nominees and judicial nominees other than to the Supreme Court.[35] In September 2014, Hatch argued that the filibuster should be restored, saying: "We should get it back to where it was. You can see the destruction that has happened around here."[36] However, in November 2014, after the Republicans retook control of the Senate following the 2014 elections, Hatch wrote in The Wall Street Journal that "if Republicans re-establish the judicial-nomination filibuster, it would remain in place only until the moment that a new Democratic majority decided that discarding the rule again would be useful" and called for "the next Republican president to counteract President Obama’s aggressive efforts to stack the federal courts in favor of his party’s ideological agenda" by nominating conservative judges.[37]

Health care reform

Hatch opposed President Barack Obama's health reform legislation; he voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009,[38] and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[39] Senator Hatch has argued that the insurance mandate found in the legislation is not in the category that can be covered by the interstate commerce clause since it regulates the decision to engage in commercial activity rather than regulating the activity itself. He therefore regards the Act as unconstitutional.[40] NPR called Senator Hatch a "flip-flopper" on this issue since in 1993 Hatch supported a bill with all Senate Republicans that included an individual insurance mandate as a means to combat healthcare legislation proposed by Hillary Clinton.[41] Senator Hatch was one of the first Senators to suggest that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and has promised to work on dismantling it when he becomes the Finance Committee Chairman.[42]

Hatch also Introduced the American Liberty Restoration Act (S. 19 112th Congress). This act would repeal the provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that require individuals to keep minimum essential health care coverage.[43] He also co-sponsored the Save Our States Act (S. 281, 112th Congress), which would delay the implementation of the health care reform law until there is a final resolution of the lawsuits against it.[44]

In 2003, Hatch supported the Medicare prescription drug benefit plan known as Medicare Part D.[45][46] Responding to criticism of the legislation during the 2009 debate on health care reform, Hatch said that in 2003 "it was standard practice not to pay for things" and that although there was concern at the time about increasing the deficit, supporting the bill was justified because it "has done a lot of good".[47]

On March 25, 2014, Hatch cosponsored the Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2154; 113th Congress) into the Senate. The bill that would amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program through FY2019.[48] The bill would authorize appropriations of about $20 million in 2015 and $101 million over the 2015–2019 period.[49] Hatch argued that "children require specialized medical care, and that specialized care comes with unique challenges. The EMSC program helps ensure that some of our country's most vulnerable have access to the care they need, and I've been proud to support it all these years."[50]


Hatch was one of the architects and advocates of the expansion of H-1B visas and has generally been an advocate of tougher enforcement immigration policy including voting for 1,500 new law enforcement agents to patrol the border. His 2010 Immigration Bill titled Strengthening Our Commitment to Legal Immigration and America’s Security Act has received the support of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).[51] He also proposed the DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants, who were children when their parents came to the United States.[52]

LGBT Issues

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that in 1977, Hatch told students from the University of Utah, "I wouldn't want to see homosexuals teaching school anymore than I'd want to see members of the American Nazi Party teaching school."[53]

Hatch recommended and supported Judge Robert Shelby, an Obama appointee, who would later overturn Utah's Amendment 3 defining marriage as between a man and a woman.[54][55]

In April 2013, Hatch stated that he viewed same-sex marriage as "undermining the very basis of marital law", but declined to support a Federal Marriage Amendment and endorsed same-sex couples' right to form a civil union, stating that the law should "give gay people the same rights as married people".[56] Later that same year, Hatch voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation creating protected classes for those identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.[57][58]

Intellectual property

Hatch has long been a proponent of expanding intellectual property rights, and introduced the Senate version of the Copyright Term Extension Act in 1997.[59] Hatch believes intellectual property laws should, in general, more closely mirror real property laws, and offer greater protections to authors and creators.[59]

Hatch caused an overnight controversy on June 17, 2003 by proposing that copyright owners should be able to destroy the computer equipment and information of those suspected of copyright infringement, including file sharing, he stated that "This may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights."[60] In the face of criticism, especially from technology and privacy advocates, Hatch withdrew his suggestion days later, after it was discovered that Sen. Hatch's official website was using an unlicensed JavaScript menu from United Kingdom based software developer Milonic Solutions. Milonic founder Andy Woolley stated that "We've had no contact with them. They are in breach of our licensing terms." Shortly after the publication of that story in Wired magazine, the company that runs Hatch's website contacted Milonic to start registration.[61][62]

One year later, he proposed the controversial INDUCE Act that attempted to make illegal all tools that could be used for copyright infringement if said tools were intentionally used for illegal copyright infringement.

On September 20, 2010, Hatch once again attempted to make illegal websites that could be used for trademark and copyright infringement through the controversial Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). This bill would allow the Department of Justice to blacklist and censor all websites the department deemed to be dedicated to "infringing activities".[63]

Nuclear testing

Senator Orrin Hatch holds a press conference with Congressman Wayne Owens in March 1989 as part of their successful charge to win passage of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) which provides for ongoing compensation to Southern Utahns and others damaged by nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s.

During Hatch's first year in the Senate in 1977, reporter Gordon Eliot White of the Deseret News published the first of what would be a lengthy series of articles detailing government malfeasance in atmospheric testing of nuclear bombs at the Nevada Test Site. Over the next 13 years White's articles detailed how the government determined to proceed with the tests, and with mining and refining, without adequate safeguards for innocent citizens whose health would be damaged. Though Hatch feared an investigation would endanger the nation's nuclear deterrence versus the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, by 1979 he was pushing for hearings on the issue before the Senate Labor Committee. Hatch prevailed on Committee Chairman Ted Kennedy to hold field hearings in Utah in 1980. At the end of 1980, Hatch was positioned to chair the committee himself.

By 1984, Hatch had held a dozen hearings, passed legislation requiring scientific investigation of the injuries and had enlisted the aid of the National Science Foundation and National Cancer Institute, but still could not muster the votes to get a bill. When a vote was obtained in the Senate in 1985 (as an amendment to a bill to compensate Pacific Islanders for nuclear tests in the 1950s), it failed by a handful of votes.[64] Hatch discovered a clause in the proposed Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Kiribati and Tuvalu to pay at least $100 million to residents of the Marshall Islands for injuries similar to those of Utahns, and Hatch took the treaty hostage. His hold on consideration of the treaty eventually got agreement from the Reagan administration to agree not to oppose radiation compensation for Utah citizens, but it still took another five years to get the bill through. The Radiation Compensation Act of 1990 provided compensation for citizens injured by radioactive fallout from the tests.[64]

Religious freedom

Hatch was the main author of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which protected all religions' right to build church facilities on private property.[65] In 2010 Senator Hatch defended the right of a private organization to build a mosque on private property in downtown Manhattan, citing this law and defense of the freedom of religion.

State sovereignty

Senator Hatch co-sponsored the Restoring the 10th Amendment Act (S. 4020 111th Congress), which would strengthen state rights under the 10th Amendment. The bill would provide special standing for state officials in challenging proposed regulations.[66]

Senator Hatch has opposed the power of the Federal government to designate land in the states national monuments, believing that the states should be able to determine what the land within their borders is used for. Hatch co-sponsored the National Monument Designation Transparency and Accountability Act of 2010 (S. 3660 111th Congress), which increases the requirements that must be met before national monuments can be designated.[67]

Other issues

Equal Opportunity to Govern

He has also pushed legislation for the Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment, which would amend Article 2, Section I, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution. This amendment would allow anyone who has been a U.S. citizen for twenty years to seek the presidency or vice-presidency.

Supporting new technology

A vocal supporter of

Party political offices
Preceded by
Laurence Burton
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Utah
(Class 1)

1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006, 2012
Most recent
United States Senate
Preceded by
Frank Moss
United States Senator (Class 1) from Utah
Served alongside: Jake Garn, Bob Bennett, Mike Lee
Preceded by
Harrison Williams
Chairman of the Senate Health Committee
Succeeded by
Ted Kennedy
Preceded by
Joe Biden
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
Succeeded by
Patrick Leahy
Preceded by
Patrick Leahy
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
Succeeded by
Arlen Specter
Preceded by
Ron Wyden
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Richard Lugar
Most Senior Republican in the United States Senate
Political offices
Preceded by
Patrick Leahy
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Samantha Power
as Ambassador to the United Nations
Order of Precedence of the United States
as President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate
Succeeded by
Patrick Leahy
Preceded by
Patrick Leahy
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Thad Cochran
United States presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Paul Ryan
as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
3rd in line
as President pro tempore of the Senate
Succeeded by
John Kerry
as Secretary of State

External links

  1. ^ Hatch named President pro tempore-designate – Salt Lake Tribune
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  9. ^ “Hatch Will Become Utah's Longest-Serving Senator,” “The Associated Press,” November 8, 2006
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  16. ^ Don't Make Me Think, by Steve Krug; Que Publishing, 2000; ISBN 0-7897-2310-7
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  25. ^ Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008
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  59. ^ Senator takes aim at illegal downloads, USA Today, (June 19, 2003).
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  61. ^ * Leonard Pitts, Computer-destroying idea might have some merit, Chicago Tribune, (June 24, 2003). "Orrin Hatch wants to blow up your computer. Well, OK, he didn't say "blow up" exactly. The actual verb was "destroy." So I guess he'd be just as happy to see it melted into a steaming plastic heap or dropped from the top of a very tall building. The main point is that your computer ceases to exist."
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  81. ^ Meridian MagazineRon Simpson, "Utah's Songwriting Senator: Orrin Hatch Blends Politics and Music",
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See also

Senator Hatch also is the author of several law review articles.

  • Orrin Hatch, Orrin Hatch, the L.D.S. Mormon Politician as Songwriter, text of an interview of Orrin Hatch by Phillip K. Bimstein, in Washington, D.C., August 14, 2003, transcribed by Jonathan Murphy, New York City, American Music Center, 2003, without ISBN.

Hatch's autobiography describes the challenges of balancing home and professional life as a Senator, and recounts anecdotes from his campaign experience and some of his higher-profile assignments in the Senate, such as the Confirmation Hearings of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.

  • Orrin Hatch, The Equal Rights Amendment: Myths and Realities, Savant Press (1983)
  • Orrin Hatch, Higher Laws: Understanding the Doctrines of Christ , Shadow Mountain (June 1995) ISBN 978-0-87579-896-7
  • Orrin Hatch, Square Peg: Confessions of a Citizen Senator, Basic Books (October 15, 2002) ISBN 978-0-465-02867-2


Hatch appeared in a scene in the Parks and Recreation episode "Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington" alongside Cory Booker.

Despite their political differences, Hatch was a longtime friend of fellow senator Ted Kennedy, speaking at his memorial service and publicly suggesting Kennedy's widow as a replacement for Kennedy in the Senate.

In 2009, at the request of The Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg, Hatch authored the lyrics to "Eight Days of Hanukkah",[84] described by Goldberg as "a hip hop Hannukah song written by the senior senator from Utah."[88]

Hatch's likeness was featured in the 30 Rock episode "Jack Gets in the Game" as one of Dr. Leo Spaceman's famous clients.[87]

Hatch appeared as himself in Steven Soderbergh's Oscar-winning drama Traffic, in a brief cameo in a scene set during a Washington D.C. cocktail party.[85] Soderbergh later featured one of Hatch's songs, Souls Along The Way, in his film Ocean's 12 as background music for a scene in Hatch's home state Utah.[86]

[84][83] Hatch and Janice Kapp Perry co-wrote the song "Heal Our Land", which was performed at

In March 1997 Orrin Hatch and Janice Kapp Perry jointly recorded an album of music with Tree Music entitled "My God Is Love".[82] Later albums with Perry included "Come to the Manger".

Rock musician Frank Zappa composed a guitar instrumental entitled "Orrin Hatch On Skis," which appears on his 1988 album, Guitar.[81]

Hatch also has a history in arts management. In the early 1970s he was the band manager for a Mormon-themed folk group called the Free Agency. The Free Agency was made up of members of an earlier Mormon group called the Sons of Mosiah, that was formed when guitarist David Zandonatti and vocalist Ron McNeeley relocated to Utah after their San Francisco based psychedelic group Tripsichord music box disbanded in 1971. The group also included Lynn Bryson and Alan Cherry.

Orrin Hatch plays the poetry, Hatch has written songs for many. He co-authored "Everything And More," sung by Billy Gilman. In addition to his job as a United States Senator, Hatch has earned over $10,000 as an LDS music recording artist.[80]

Musical career and film appearances

Hatch gave Benny Zippel, an Italian immigrant who was serving as the head of the Chabad-Lubavicher Synagogue in Utah a letter to send to the Immigration and Naturalization Services in 1992 to recommend he be given permanent residence status as a rabbi in Utah. This was not enough, and it took Gordon B. Hinckley linking Zippel up with lawyer Oscar McConkie III to prevent his loss of legal status in the U.S.[79]

Hatch serves as a member of the board of directors of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.[78]

[77] Hatch is a founder and co-chair of the

Hatch is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although he was born in Pennsylvania, his parents had been raised in Utah and he had ancestors who were members of the LDS Church in Nauvoo, Illinois. Hatch served as a Mormon missionary in what was called the "Great Lakes States Mission" essentially covering large parts of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Hatch has since served in various positions in the LDS Church including as a bishop.[75][76]

Hatch married Elaine Hansen on August 28, 1957. They are the parents of six children.[74]

Personal life

Candidate Percent Year Candidate Percent
Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.) 67% 2012 Scott Howell (D) 33%
Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.) 62% 2006 Pete Ashdown (D) 31%
Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.) 66% 2000 Scott Howell (D) 31%
Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.) 69% 1994 Pat Shea (D) 28%
Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.) 67% 1988 Brian Moss (D) 32%
Orrin Hatch (R) (inc.) 58% 1982 Ted Wilson (D) 41%
Orrin Hatch (R) 54% 1976 Frank Moss (D) (inc.) 45%

Electoral history

In March 2009, the Washington Times reported that the pharmaceutical industry, which has benefited from Hatch's legislative efforts, had previously unreported connections to Hatch. In 2007, five pharmaceutical companies and the industry's main trade association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), donated $172,500 to the Utah Families Foundation—a charitable foundation which Hatch helped start in the 1990s and has continued to support since. Walker, Martin & Hatch LLC was paid $120,000 by PhRMA in 2007 to lobby Congress on pending U.S. Food and Drug Administration legislation.[72]

Hatch's son Scott is a partner and registered lobbyist at Walker, Martin & Hatch LLC, a Washington lobbying firm. The firm was formed in 2001 with Jack Martin, a staff aide to Senator Hatch for six years, and H. Laird Walker, described as a close associate of the senator.[72] In March 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported that the firm was formed with Hatch's personal encouragement and that he saw no conflict of interest in working on issues that involved his son's clients.[73] In 2009, the Washington Times reported that Hatch said "My son, Scott, does not lobby me or anyone in my office".[72]

Lobbying ties


The retirement of Senator Judd Gregg in 2011 created a domino effect among high profile Republicans: Senator Jeff Sessions took his spot as Ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, so Senator Chuck Grassley took his spot on the Judiciary Committee, and Hatch took the top Republican spot on the Finance Committee.

Committee assignments

In June 2013, Hatch commented on a G8 proposal that tax authorities in the world's largest economies openly share information among themselves in order to fight tax evasion. The proposal has strong suggestions about ways to make companies more transparent and governments more accountable for their tax policies. Hatch stated that transparency is always a good thing, but he would like to see a bill before giving any support.[70]

The G8

In 1980, Hatch spoke in favor of rolling back provisions of the Fair Housing Act enforced by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Acting on his motion in 1988, Congress eventually voted to weaken the ability of plaintiffs to prosecute cases of discriminatory treatment in housing. At the time the 1988 Fair Housing Amendments were being debated, he introduced a bill endorsed by the National Association of Realtors to severely limit who can file anti-discrimination suits and to make the proceedings a private affair.

Fair Housing Act

He was criticized for comments he made suggesting that the rich have an unfair financial burden in the current tax system.[69]



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