"Senator Hatch has long been a staunch supporter of thecommercial real estate industry generally, and of publicly tradedreal estate companies in particular," says Wechsler. He creditedHatch for cosponsoring the REIT Simplification Act of 1997, theREIT Modernization Act of 1999, and backing tenant improvementlegislation now before Congress.

According to NAREIT, the award was established to recognizepublic servants who show "exceptional commitment to the ideals offree enterprise, economic growth, personal freedom and unlimitedopportunity for all Americans." Previous recipients include USReps. Ben Cardin, Bill Thomas, R-CA, and Bill Archer, R-TX, and USSens. Bob Graham, D-FL, and Connie Mack, R-FL.

Hatch is the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Republican andalso serves on the Senate Finance Committee. NAREIT is the nationaltrade association for real estate companies.

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