Orrin Hatch, currently the second-longest serving U.S. senator, plans to retire at the end of his term.
In a video shared on Twitter, the 83-year-old Utah Republican announced his plan to leave the Senate early next year after more than 40 years. Hatch's announcement came just a little more than a week after the Republican tax plan that he helped to craft was signed into law.
President Donald Trump had urged Hatch, the Senate Finance Committee chairman, to seek re-election later this year. Hatch showered Trump with praise during and after Congress' passage of its tax bill, setting himself apart from some GOP senators who criticized the president's actions or fitness for office this year.
In the video, Hatch said he was "deeply grateful" to serve as a senator and said "the next chapter in my public service is just beginning."
"When the president visited Utah last month, he said I was a fighter. I've always been a fighter. I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington. But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves. And for me, that time is soon approaching. That's why, after much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I've decided to retire at the end of this term. Although I will miss serving you in the Senate, I look forward to spending more time with family, especially my sweet wife Elaine, whose unwavering love and support made all of this possible."