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U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding Senator Orrin Hatch.
Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, on Saturday we lost a remarkable former colleague, Senator Orrin Hatch.
“Orrin rose from poverty to become one of the longest-serving senators in U.S. history and the longest-serving Republican senator ever.
“During his more than 40-year Senate career, he built a record of accomplishment that included landmark legislation like the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which he authored with his close friend from across the aisle, Senator Ted Kennedy.
“At the time of Orrin’s retirement, no senator alive had had as many pieces of legislation signed into law.
“I was privileged to serve under Orrin’s leadership at the Senate Finance Committee – one of three influential Senate committees that he chaired during his tenure in the Senate.
“In addition to being an outstanding legislator and a principled conservative, Orrin Hatch was also a cherished and good-humored colleague and a deeply kind man.
“It’s no surprise that his friendships spanned both sides of the aisle, or that both the Democrat and Republican leaders paid tribute to him yesterday.
“I know I speak for more than myself when I say that I have missed his presence in the Senate.
“And his death is a loss for our country and especially for his beloved state of Utah, which he served so faithfully and so well during his long career.
“My thoughts and prayers this week are with Orrin’s wife of more than 64 years, Elaine; with Orrin’s six children; and with his dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”