Hatch Tells Democrat Senator Tax-Cut-for-Rich Argument is ‘Bull Cr–’

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah) angrily told Sen. Sherrod Brown (D.-Ohio) on Thursday evening that the argument he and other Democrats were making–that the tax-reform plan the committee was considering would be a tax cut for rich–was “crap” and “bull crap.”

Hatch, who has served in the Senate for 40 years and was good friends with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D.-Mass.), has long been known for his calm and collegial demeanor.

His exchange with Brown came as the Finance Committee was considering amendments to the tax bill. At the time, the next amendment to be considered was one sponsored by Sen. Bob Menendez (D.-N.J.)—who that very day had seen a mistrial declared in his federal corruption trial.

As Brown was delivering a monologue developing his particular take on the tax-cut-for-the-rich theory, Hatch, who as chairman was presiding over the hearing, interrupted him.

“I’m going to just say to you that I come from the poor people,” Hatch told Brown. “And I’ve been here working my whole stinkin’ career for people who don’t have a chance. And I really resent anybody saying that I’m just doing this for the rich. Give me a break. I think you guys overplay that all the time and it gets old. And, frankly, you ought to quit it.”

Brown the interrupted Hatch, saying: “Mr. Chairman, the public believes it.”

But Hatch continued: “Wait a minute. I’m not through. I get kind of sick and tired of it.”

“Now, I come from the lower middle class originally,” Hatch went on to say. “We didn’t have anything. So, don’t spew that stuff on me. I get a little tired of that crap.”

Hatch eventually said: “Now, all I can say is I like you personally very much. But I’m telling you this bull crap that you guys throw out here really gets old after a while.”

At the urging of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R.-Iowa), Hatch then moved on to order a roll call vote on the amendment offered by Sen. Menendez, who was not in attendance.

The Menendez amendment was defeated on a party-line vote.

Here is a transcript of the exchange between Hatch and Brown:

Sen.Sherrod Brown (D.-Ohio): So, just spare us the bank shots, spare us the sarcasm and the satire.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah): I am going to spare it, because I’m going to just say to you that I come from the poor people. And I’ve been here working my whole stinkin’ career for people who don’t have a chance. And I really resent anybody saying that I’m just doing this for the rich. Give me a break. I think you guys overplay that all the time and it gets old. And, frankly, you ought to quit it.

Brown: Mr. Chairman, the public believes it.

Hatch: Wait a minute. I’m not through. I get kind of sick and tired of it. True, it’s a nice political play.

Brown: Well, Mr. Chairman–

Hatch: But it’s not true.

Brown: With all due respect, I get sick and tired of the richest–

Voice: Regular order, Mr. Chairman.

Brown: –people in this country getting richer and richer and richer.

Voice: Order, order. Regular order. 

Brown: And over and over again. How many times do we do this before we learn this?

Hatch: Listen, I’ve honored you by allowing you to spout out here. What you said was not right. That’s all I’m saying. Now, I come from the lower middle class originally. We didn’t have anything. So, don’t spew that stuff on me. I get a little tired of that crap. And let me just say something: If we worked together, we can pull this country out of every mess it’s in. And we can do a lot of the things that you are talking about, too. And I think I’ve got a reputation of having worked together with Democrats–

Brown: Let’s start with CHIP.

Hatch: I’m not starting with CHIP. I’ve done it for years. I’ve got more bills–

Brown: Start with CHIP today.

Hatch: I’ve got more bills passed than everybody on this committee put together. And they have been passed for the benefit of people in this country. Now, all I can say is I like you personally very much. But I’m telling you this bull crap that you guys throw out here really gets old after a while. And to do it right at the end of this, was just not right. And I just–it takes a lot to get me worked up like this.

Grassley: Call the roll.

Hatch: Let me call the roll on the—what are we on?

Voice: The Menendez amendment.

Hatch: On the Menendez amendment, let’s call the roll.

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From: https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/terence-p-jeffrey/hatch-tells-democrat-senator-tax-cut-rich-argument-bull-cr

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