South Carolina Senator Tim Scott is not having any of this nonsense that no one knows what’s in the Senate’s tax reform bill.
Democrats are wailing and gnashing their teeth over the fact that the Senate bill was made public and voted on pretty much all at once, giving them virtually no time, they say, to see what was in it.
Scott’s take, however, is that this effort has been worked on in committee for much longer than a couple days. To say that Republicans don’t know what is in it would be absurd because the reform effort has been years in the making.
“I went through the entire bill. I’m not going to say I read every single letter on every single page,” Scott told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I did not read 470 pages. But have I read every aspect of that bill before it was fused together? The answer is yes. We have had the chance over the last three years, since I have been on the committee, to work on every aspect of the bill.”
If there is anyone whose word I would take on this, it’s Scott.
Scott argued that Republicans, particularly on the Senate Finance Committee, had long debated and understood what was in the legislation. The bill passed 51-49 early Saturday morning.
“The last hearing that we had was a 23-hour hearing. We had 63 Democrat amendments that were offered. The suggestion that this was not done in the light of day and the last-minute changes, as they talk about them, were last-minute changes that had been envisioned for weeks,” Scott said, adding later: “The suggestion that we had so little time to take a look at 500 pages is inconsistent with the truth.”
Put another way, if the process were so private and so shady, then how were we getting reports of what was in the bill and how it was going to hurt the American people so much if no one knew what was in it?
Was it an ideal amount of time to discuss or debate the bill? No.
Was it zero minutes to discuss or debate it, however? Also, no.
What the Democrats are mad about, really deep down and whether they know it or not, is that they have put themselves in this position. Everything that was rushed through, the use of reconciliation, the lack of working across this aisle, was all a Harry Reid special. The Democrats can whine and moan about it, but it’s a bed they made.
Regular order in the Senate, sadly, is a thing of the past. But, don’t tell me it’s so unfair when this is nowhere near the first time it’s been done and the Republicans are nowhere near the first party to do it.
Tim Scott is correct. The complaining from the Democrats is disingenuous at best, and they deserve to be called out on it.