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Orrin Hatch

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Senator Orrin Hatch, a member of the Mormon Church. Photograph by Music First Coalition. CC License.

Orrin Hatch is a senator for Utah and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Born Orrin Grant Hatch on March 22, 1934, to Jesse and Helen Hatch in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Senator Hatch has a proud heritage. His great-grandfather Jeremiah Hatch founded the area of Vernal, Utah. Hatch was taught early the value of work and learned the metal lathing trade from his father.

He did well in school and attended Brigham Young University. He worked hard to pay his expenses and graduated in 1959 with a history degree. He received a full scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh Law School. By this point Senator Hatch had already married Elaine Hansen and their family was growing. He worked hard to support his family while he attended school, working as a janitor, metal lather, and all-night desk attendant for a dormitory. Senator Hatch graduated in 1962 with a Juris Doctorate and honors. The small family continued to grow and Elaine and Senator Hatch eventually had six children.

Senator Hatch then practiced law, until 1976, when he was nominated by the Utah Republican Party to run for the Senate against three-term incumbent Frank E. Moss. Before this nomination, senator Hatch had not held any public offices, and many thought he could not beat Senator Moss, but he won the election with fifty-four percent of the vote.

Senator Hatch is the most senior Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and supports civil justice reform to get backlogged courts up and running smoothly. He is also the second-ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Finance. In this position he has been a key player in the welfare reform bill, and is especially involved in child care initiatives. Senator Hatch is now serving in his fifth term and has been an essential part of FDA reform, Job Partnership Act, designation of the Mormon Trail, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and many other projects. His other duties involve serving on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Joint Committee on Taxation; and on the Board of Directors for the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. He is nicknamed by others “Mr. Free Enterprise,” “Guardian of Small Business” and “Mr. Constitution.”

On January 6, 2015, Senator Hatch was sworn in as President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, which puts him third in line for the presidency.

Along with his political service, Senator Hatch is also known as a talented singer, composer, and lyricist. He has written over 300 LDS songs with singer and songwriter Janice Kapp Perry. He has written the songs found on two CD’s: "My God is Love" and "Whispers of My Heart." He also has composed many patriotic songs and CD’s. Senator Hatch’s music can be found on: www.hatchmusic.com.

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