BREAKING: Longtime Republican Senator To Retire

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the longest-serving GOP senator in U.S. history, announced Tuesday that he’ll retire at the end of his term — a decision that could clear the path for Mitt Romney to replace him in the Senate.

Hatch made the announcement in a video posted to Twitter. Hatch’s retirement comes despite President Trump’s public encouragement for Hatch to run for re-election.

The 83-year-old senator appeared to be signaling in recent weeks that he’d run for an eighth term in 2018, even though he previously said he’d retire when his term is up in January 2019.

The powerful Senate Finance Committee chairman played a significant role in helping Republicans pass a major tax overhaul and was also integral in the White House’s decision to shrink two national monuments in Utah. And Trump has been showering praise on Hatch, who he called a “true fighter” during a Salt Lake City speech in early December.

Read more at The Hill.