Leader McConnell Recognizes Senator Hatch, Longest-Serving Republican Senator
‘Senator Hatch remains as much of a key player as ever in advancing the Senate’s agenda. His guidance will be crucial as we continue to move forward with repealing and replacing Obamacare, as we turn to tax reform, and as we consider the President's Supreme Court nominee. The tasks before us are as diverse as they are challenging. But I know our colleague from Utah is up to the charge.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor recognizing Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) as the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history:
“If I might, I’d like to begin this morning by directing some remarks to the Chair. I’d like to recognize an important milestone of his. But let me start off this way: The President Pro Tempore is something of a legend in the Beehive State.
“He’s a published author. He’s got gold and platinum albums hanging on the wall. And he’s a real fighter for his home state. It’s not hard to see why Utahans keep sending him back here. It’s not hard to see why they chose to make him the longest serving Senator in Utah history.
“Senator Hatch has come a long way from the grinding poverty of his childhood. And, just recently, he passed yet another significant milestone: He became the longest serving Republican Senator in American history. Now that’s impressive. And yet, given what we all know about our colleague, it isn’t all that surprising.
“Senator Hatch is almost always in the mix on the most consequential issues of the day. He’s been a leading voice on everything from labor law to judicial nominations, religious freedom to tax reform. This expansive policy expertise helps explain why his colleagues chose him to serve as Chairman of three major committees: HELP, Judiciary, and — today — the powerful Finance Committee.
“Senator Hatch remains as much of a key player as ever in advancing the Senate’s agenda. His guidance will be crucial as we continue to move forward with repealing and replacing Obamacare, as we turn to tax reform, and as we consider the President's Supreme Court nominee. The tasks before us are as diverse as they are challenging. But I know our colleague from Utah is up to the charge.
“The man known as ‘Honest Orrin’ is one of the kindest and most gracious guys you'll meet. And he’s a man of deep faith and principled conviction. But Senator Hatch is anything but a pushover. He’s a fighter for Utah and the nation. He’s a proud conservative. He's simply learned the art of disagreeing — sometimes strongly — without being disagreeable. That’s how you build friendships with both Robert Bork and Ted Kennedy.
“That’s how you establish yourself as one of the most productive legislators in modern history, as Senator Hatch has — and he isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He’s actually getting more done than ever. He just passed dozens of bills out of the Senate last Congress, and many of them became law. And now, our friend the Finance Chairman is in a unique position to continue having an impact on a range of issues. I’m sure that he will.
“I hope he still finds some time to keep up his songwriting career. You should listen to his stuff. It’s good. He’s penned everything from a love song on the Oceans Twelve soundtrack to his world-famous Hanukkah Song. Senator Hatch would want me to remind you that it ranked somewhere between the Black-eyed Peas and Lady Gaga on the hit charts. ‘Everyone,’ he says, ‘loves my music.’ Everyone. You’ve got to admire that confidence.
“We look forward to seeing the great things he’ll be able to achieve for Utahans, for the country, and for the music industry in the years to come. It’s my distinct privilege to recognize our colleague in the chair today. I’d ask colleagues to join with Senator Hatch's family — his wife of nearly 60 years Elaine, their six children, 23 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren — in marking this important milestone.”
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