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April 24, 2022

Statement of the Kennedy Institute on the passing of Senator Orrin Hatch

The Board of Directors and staff of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate express our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Orrin Hatch on the Senator’s passing.

Senator Kennedy and Senator Hatch served together for 32 years in the Senate, where despite deep and principled differences in political convictions, they repeatedly forged bipartisan compromise legislation on matters of great importance to all Americans. These include their work together on the 1997 legislation that created the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the uninsured children of the working poor, which was the largest expansion in publicly-supported health care since Medicaid was created in 1965 and reduced the number of children living without insurance coverage by more than half. Senators Kennedy and Hatch also collaborated on the 1990 Ryan White Act, providing healthcare to un- and under-insured people living with HIV/AIDS, and along with many other senators were instrumental in the passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act that year as well, prohibiting discrimination against and requiring accommodations for people with disabilities.

Bruce A. Percelay, Chair of the Board of the Kennedy Institute, said: “In describing his service with Senator Kennedy, Senator Hatch noted that they were ‘able to look past our differences to find areas of agreement and forge consensus … and look beyond the horizon of our differences to find common ground.’ The Kennedy Institute has always shared this same commitment to encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities, learn from each other, and find opportunities to work together in building a stronger America for all. I join with all those who celebrate Orrin Hatch’s example of faithful service to our nation and mourn his passing.’’

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