Orrin Hatch



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Orrin Hatch

Orrin Hatch
United States Senator
from Utah
Assumed office
January 3, 1977
Serving with Mike Lee
Preceded by Frank Moss
President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate
Assumed office
January 6, 2015
Preceded by Patrick Leahy
Chair of the Senate Finance Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Ron Wyden
Chair 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
Chair of the Senate Labour and Human Resources Committee
In office
January 3, 1981  January 3, 1987
Preceded by Harrison A. 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 (m. 1957)
Children 6
Education Brigham Young University, Utah (BA)
University of Pittsburgh (JD)
Signature
Website Senate website

Orrin Grant Hatch (born March 22, 1934) is an American politician who has been the President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 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, the second-most senior Senator overall, after Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who has served since 1975. Having served for 7004148270000000000♠40 years, 217 days, Hatch is the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history.

Hatch 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 Labour and Human Resources 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.

Early life and education

Orrin Grant Hatch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in the suburb of Baldwin. He is the son of Jesse Hatch and his wife Helen Frances Hatch.

Hatch, the first in his family to attend college, attended Brigham Young University and in 1959 received a B.A. degree in history. In 1962, he received a J.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Hatch worked as an attorney in Pittsburgh and in Utah.

Political career

1976 Senate election

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's 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." Hatch argued that many Senators, including Moss, had lost touch with their constituents.

Subsequent Senate elections

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

In 2007, he became the longest-serving Senator in Utah history, eclipsing previous record-holder Reed Smoot. 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.

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. Later, nine other Republicans, including former State Senator Dan Liljenquist and current State Legislator Chris Herrod, declared campaigns for U.S. Senator.

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. Hatch won the primary easily. 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%.

2000 presidential campaign

In 2000, Hatch made a failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, losing to then-Texas Governor George W. Bush. During the first Republican debate, Hatch made 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.

Possible Supreme Court nomination

Hatch has long expressed interest in serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. 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. Despite that, he vocally supported Robert Bork, who was chosen instead. 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 George W. Bush became president. Following the appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, a potential appointment became unlikely. Hatch's advanced age now makes him a very unlikely Supreme Court nominee. However, after the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had suggested him as a nominee. The nomination instead went to Neil Gorsuch.

2016 presidential election

Hatch originally supported former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and then endorsed Florida Senator Marco Rubio once Bush ended his campaign. On May 12, 2016, after Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Hatch endorsed him.

On May 27, 2016, after Trump suggested that a federal judge Gonzalo P. Curiel was biased against Trump because of his Mexican heritage, Hatch said: "From what I know about Trump, he's not a racist but he does make a lot of outrageous statements...I think you can criticize a judge but it ought to be done in a formal way" and said that Trump's statements were not so inappropriate that he would rescind his support.

On October 7, 2016, following the Donald Trump Access Hollywood controversy, Hatch described Trump's comments as "offensive and disgusting" and said that "There is no excuse for such degrading behavior. All women deserve to be treated with respect." Hatch maintained his endorsement of Trump's candidacy.

On January 20, 2017, Hatch was absent from the Inauguration Day Festivities. Hatch´s website comments “Today, we observe a time-honored tradition of the world’s oldest democracy: the peaceful transition of power. This changing of the guard from one president to another is a defining feature of our Republic. At the request of President Donald Trump, I am honored to fulfill the role of designated presidential successor during the inauguration. As much as I would have liked to participate in the ceremony and festivities, I am honored to perform this important constitutional duty, which ensures the continuity of government.” Hatch was kept at a secure, undisclosed location for the duration of Inauguration Day.

Political positions and votes




This article is issued from Wikipedia. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.

Anti-terrorism

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.

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.”

Bailouts

Senator Hatch voted in favor of the 2008 legislation that established the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). 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." 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. The bill authorized $300 billion to guarantee mortgages and restore confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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.

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. He also voted in favor of passing a Balanced Budget Amendment on at least 9 occasions. 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.

On January 26, 2011, Hatch introduced S.J. Res. 3—a balanced budget amendment that:

  • 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.

Bank of Credit and Commerce International

In January 1990, the federal judge in a case against the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) accepted a 1989 plea bargain offered to the bank by the U.S. Department of Justice. The bank was to pay $15 million in fines and only admit that it had laundered drug money. Afterward, Hatch presented an impassioned defense of the bank in a speech on the Senate floor. It had been largely written for him by the bank's attorney Robert Altman. Hatch said, "The case arose from the conduct of a small number of B.C.C.I.'s more than 14,000 employees." Since 1989, Hatch and his aide, Michael Pillsbury, had been involved in efforts to counter the negative publicity that surrounded the bank. Hatch had also solicited the bank to approve a $10 million loan to a close friend, Mazur Hourani. In 1991, B.C.C.I. was shut down after regulators accused it of one of the biggest international financial frauds in history. Law enforcement officials accused the bank of making bribes throughout the third world to arrange government deposits. Clark Clifford, a former presidential advisor and Defense Secretary, and Altman, his law partner, were charged with taking bribes from B.C.C.I., in exchange for concealing its illegal ownership of First American Bankshares, a Washington holding company which Clifford chaired. Both had denied the charges, which were filed in New York State and Federal courts. In 1992, in a "Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate," prepared by committee members, U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Hank Brown (R-CO), noted that a key strategy of "BCCI's successful secret acquisitions of U.S. banks in the face of regulatory suspicion was its aggressive use of a series of prominent Americans," Clifford amongst them. The relationship with Hourani included the receipt of campaign contributions laundered through his employees, for which Hourani was fined $10,000, as well as his purchase of 1,200 CDs of Hatch's songs, for which Hatch received $3 to $7 each, and the management of a blind trust for Hatch. These led to a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, by which Hatch was eventually cleared.

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."

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. 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." 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.

As an opponent of the confirmation of Merrick Garland, Hatch submitted to the Deseret News an opinion piece stating that, after meeting with Garland, his opinion on blocking Garland had not changed; the piece was published prior to Hatch's meeting with Garland. On March 13, 2016, regarding the nomination of Supreme court candidates by President Barack Obama, Orrin Hatch states "a number of factors have led me to conclude that under current circumstances the Senate should defer the confirmation process until the next president is sworn in".

Recommendations for Nominees to the Supreme Court

In 1993, Republican Senator Hatch recommended Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Bill Clinton to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Clinton had not previously considered Ginsburg and Hatch, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, assured him that a Ginsburg confirmation would go smoothly. Hatch knew Ginsburg and knew she was liberal.

Energy

As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Hatch has investigated the use of what are known as Section 1603 grants and tax credits. The Section 1603 program was created in President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package with the intention of subsidizing green energy production. Since 2009, the federal government has given out $25 billion in cash grants on behalf of the program. Hatch has investigated the program on several occasions. On June 9, 2016, his office requested from Department of Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) details about how companies use the program. In March 2016, Hatch asked the IRS and Treasury Department to demonstrate that the agencies use safeguards and coordinate with each other when reviewing applications for Section 1603 grants. Per his June letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the agencies have cooperated with Hatch’s investigation.

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, and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. 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. NPR called Senator Hatch a "flip-flopper" on this issue since in 1993 Hatch co-sponsored a bill along with 19 other Senate Republicans that included an individual insurance mandate as a means to combat healthcare legislation proposed by Hillary Clinton. 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. Hatch is part of the group of 13 Senators drafting the Senate version of the AHCA behind closed doors.

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. 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.

In 2003, Hatch supported the Medicare prescription drug benefit plan known as Medicare Part D. 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".

On March 25, 2014, Hatch cosponsored the Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014 in the Senate. The bill that would amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program through FY2019. The bill would authorize appropriations of about $20 million in 2015 and $101 million over the 2015–2019 period. 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."

Immigration

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). 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.

Hatch critiqued President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily curtail Muslim immigration until better screening methods are devised. He reflected on his own family's immigration history and described the order as placing "unnecessary burdens" on families.

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."

In 2012, Hatch recommended and supported District Court Judge Robert Shelby, an Obama appointee, though Utah Senator Mike Lee, voted against him in the Judiciary Committee. In 2013 Shelby overturned Utah's ballot Amendment 3, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

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". 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.

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. Hatch believes intellectual property laws should, in general, more closely mirror real property laws, and offer greater protections to authors and creators.

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." 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.

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 outlaw websites which could be used for trademark and copyright infringement through the controversial Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). This bill would authorize the United States Department of Justice to blacklist and censor all websites that the department deemed to be dedicated to "infringing activities".

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.

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