It’s a good time to be Orrin Hatch. Just 11 months ago, the senator from Utah was battling a primary challenger for the seat he had held for six terms, seeking to avoid the same fate as his Republican former colleagues, Sens. Dick Lugar and Bob Bennett. He survived—and returned to Washington to serve out what he says is his final term, one that could prove consequential.
Hatch stands at the center of the immigration debate as the best shot for the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” to pick up a Republican vote for its bill. If he signs on—a decision predicated in part on whether the Senate Judiciary Committee votes to adopt several of his amendments on high-skilled immigrants—Hatch would likely be the only GOP member to join two Gang of Eight Republicans on the committee, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona, in supporting the package.
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