Orrin Hatch announces he won't seek re-election

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan R-Wis. left accompanied by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch R-Utah signs the final version of the GOP tax bill during an enrollment ceremony at the

But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves. Hatch said he'd be happy to explain his church to Bannon, adding, "I've got a copy of the Book of Mormon with his name on it". But Hatch, who emerged as one of the presidents most avid loyalists in the Senate, chose to retire after discussing the matter with his family over the holidays. Republicans on that committee led the Senate effort to overhaul the tax system which passed last month, the only major legislative accomplishment of the GOP Congress.

If Hatch had opted to stay in the Senate, he could have faced a formidable challenge from a crop of ambitious Utah Republicans. "He is my friend and he will be greatly missed in the U.S. Senate!"

One of the first names offered was none other than former Republican Mitt Romney former GOP candidate for president.

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The former MA governor called Mr Trump "a fraud" during last year's White House campaign.

Hatch's decision not to pursue re-election is bound to shake up Utah state politics, and it is also likely to generate intrigue over the rumors that Mitt Romney is thinking about running to take his place. President Donald Trump had urged Hatch to run again, but Hatch said in his last campaign that this would be his final term. "Ann and I wish Senator Orrin Hatch and his loving wife Elaine all the best in their future endeavors".

She added,"Governor Romney may want to be in public service in many different roles, and I just wanted to make sure that you know the truth coming from the White House".

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The senator returned the favor at the White House when Mr. Trump signed the tax measure, calling him "one heck of a leader".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday she had not discussed Romney's potential candidacy with Trump and could not say whether the president would support him. Romney received a draft deferment for missionary work in France during Vietnam.

Late past year, Hatch also found himself in a heated debate with Democratic Sen. During his time on the committee, the Senate has confirmed almost 1,900 federal judges.

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