President Biden will not attend former Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s funeral on May 6

Orrin Hatch and Joe Biden served in the U.S. Senate together for 32 years.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) People sign the guest book as the casket carrying former U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch lies at the Utah Capitol on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

President Joe Biden, who served with former Sen. Orrin Hatch for 32 years in the U.S. Senate, will not be flying to Utah to attend the late senator’s funeral on Friday.

Representatives of the White House press office told The Salt Lake Tribune that Biden did not have plans to travel to Utah this week.

Hatch, a Utah Republican, and Biden, a Delaware Democrat, served in the Senate together from 1977 to 2009. During both their tenures, each led various Senate committees on behalf of their parties, including the Senate Judiciary Committee.

After Hatch’s death on April 23, Biden said the Utah conservative was “quite simply, an American original.”

“He was the fighter who carried with him the memory of his humble upbringing near Pittsburgh, who never humored a bully, or shied from a challenge,” Biden said in a White House statement about his longtime colleague.

Hatch, 88, died while surrounded by family in Salt Lake City, his office said. He leaves behind his wife, Elaine, his six children and dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was honored at the Utah Capitol on Wednesday.

Hatch’s funeral — which is open to the public — will then take place on Friday, May 6. The ceremony, hosted at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Institute of Religion at 1780 S. Campus Drive in Salt Lake City, will begin at 1 p.m. Mountain time.

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