Biography


Senator Hatch holds the record of having passed more legislation than any other senator alive today authoring 112 bills, and co-sponsoring 638 bills, that have become law.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch was sworn in as the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate on January 6, 2015. As a member of the Senate for nearly 40 years, he is the longest-serving officeholder in Utah history. He has served during the administrations of six Presidents and alongside nine Senate Majority Leaders. Senator Hatch is currently the 9th longest-serving U.S. Senator in history, and at the end of his current term, he will have served as a Republican Senator longer than anyone else in American history.

Senator Hatch holds the record of having passed more legislation than any other Senator alive today. In doing so, he has earned a reputation as one of the most effective and bipartisan lawmakers of all time authoring 112 bills, and co-sponsoring 638 bills, that have become law.

Beyond the sheer volume of his legislative successes, Senator Hatch has authored many of the most consequential laws of the past four decades, including:

  • The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act (known as “Hatch-Waxman”), which created the modern generic drug industry
  • The State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health care for uninsured children from low-income families who do not qualify for Medicaid; the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against and requires accommodations for persons with disabilities
  • The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, which makes responsible tax relief provisions permanent for both businesses and individuals
  • The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which holds the government accountable for ensuring the free exercise of religion

Senator Hatch has also helped enact laws of particular importance to fellow Utahns, including the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, the Central Utah Water Project, and the Utah Schools and Lands Improvement Act.

Throughout his service, Senator Hatch has had held numerous distinctive leadership positions. He is one of only a few senators in history to have served as Chairman of three major Senate Committees: the Labor and Human Resources Committee (now called the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, 1981 to 1987), the Judiciary Committee (1995 to 2001 and 2003 to 2005), and the Finance Committee (2015 to present). Senator Hatch has thus far spent 29 of 39 years in Congress as either Chairman or Ranking Member of a major committee—an unparalleled record.

Senator Hatch has used these leadership positions to advance measures that protect our nation’s free-market economy, individual liberty, and America’s Constitutionally-limited government. As Chairman of the Finance Committee, his priorities have included pro-growth tax reform, opening up foreign markets to American exports, entitlement reform to ensure the long-term sustainability of Social Security and Medicare, and repealing and replacing Obamacare. His record of fiscal responsibility earned him the nickname “Mr. Balanced Budget” from President Reagan. 

On the Judiciary Committee, Senator Hatch has been instrumental in fighting judicial activism and reshaping the federal courts. He has worked tirelessly for effective criminal laws, civil justice reform, property rights protections, fighting obscenity and child pornography, high-skilled immigration reform and numerous measures related to technological innovation and intellectual property.

On the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Hatch has been instrumental in passing laws related to health innovation, cancer and HIV/AIDS research, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, mental health, disability rights, national service, education innovation and children’s welfare. 

In addition to his formal leadership positions, Senator Hatch has long been regarded as one of our nation’s most distinguished statesmen who—even before election by his colleagues as President Pro Tempore of the Senate—played a prominent role in revitalizing the Senate’s historic traditions, safeguarding its rules and precedents and defending its institutional prerogatives.

Senator Hatch has received numerous awards and honors, including 14 honorary degrees from institutions such as the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Maryland, Pepperdine University, the University of Utah, and Utah State University. In addition to honorary degrees, he has received the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Director of National Intelligence, an honorary Grammy award, and Gold and Platinum Records from the Recording Industry Association of America.

Senator Hatch credits his family as instrumental to his success. He and his wife, Elaine, have been married  for more than fifty years. Together, they are the proud parents of six children, 23 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.