The usually cool Senate Finance Committee hearing room got a little hot Thursday when Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch spit a flaming hot torch of truth at Ohio Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown for insinuating the desire to pass tax reform was nothing more than an attempt to benefit “the rich.”
The explosive exchange occurred during the fourth day of a mark-up on The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was slightly altered by Hatch to temporarily cut taxes for individuals and ax the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. The bill, which passed out of committee late Thursday 14-12, also includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
Brown can be heard during the exchange insisting that the public believes tax reform is nothing more than a tax cut for the upper middle and rich upper class. Hatch, in an unusually explosive bit of passion, defended the measure with gusto citing his own beginnings in relative poverty and his long tenure on the Hill working for people that “don’t have a chance.”
“I really resent anyone saying that I’m just doing this for the rich,” Hatch said, disgust evident in his voice. “Gimme a break. I think you guys overplay that all the time and it gets old.”
I grew up in a shack with a Meadow Gold Dairy sign for a wall. I worked as a janitor to pay for law school. I believe in opportunity because I’ve lived it.
— Orrin G. Hatch Foundation (@OrrinHatch) November 17, 2017
Brown tried to counter several times, saying that tax cuts have been tried “over and over and over again,” but the Senior man literally threw up his hand, pulled rank, and said, “I’m not through!”
“If we work together we could pull this country out of every mess it’s in,” Hatch insisted.
Earlier yesterday, the House passed it’s long-awaited tax reform bill, which now faces significant hurdles to clear the Senate. GOP legislators remain confident in the effort.
The White House issued a statement Friday commending the work of the GOP on tax reform.
“President Donald J. Trump applauds the Senate Finance Committee for passing its companion to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act today,” the statement read. “For far too long, the tax code has been rigged in favor of well-connected special interests. This legislation cuts taxes for middle-income families and empowers American businesses to create more jobs, increase wages, and propel our economy toward a brighter future. This Administration looks forward to working with Congress to make tax reform a reality by the end of the year.”