Republican lawmakers have continued to tout their tax overhaul plan as a major benefit to the middle class — even if all the evidence points to the contrary.
For instance, there’s the tax break for private jets, the fact that wealthy Republican donors are threatening to cut off finances if the tax plan isn’t passed, the finding that the wealthiest Americans get the largest tax cuts and the estate tax is being eliminated — something that will save President Donald Trump’s children $620 million, but doesn’t do anything for the middle class.
The Tax Policy Center — which is currently revising its analysis due to an error — had found that the GOP plan would allow the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans to reap 48 percent of the benefits in the legislation. And public perception of the bill is that it’s legislation for the rich.
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio seemed to have had enough during a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday night.
Browns said that Republicans have been trying to only cut taxes for the rich for the past 40 years.
“I just think, it would be nice, just tonight, before we go home, to just acknowledge, well, this tax cut really is not for the middle class, it’s for the rich … spare us the sarcasm and the satire and let’s move on,” Brown said.
Brown’s remarks set off GOP Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who chairs the committee.
“I’ve been here working my whole stinking career for people who don’t have a chance,” Hatch said. “And I really resent anybody who says I’m just doing this for the rich. Give me a break.”
He said Democrats “overplay” the tax bill’s benefits to the rich and they “ought to quit it” and resorted to banging his gavel angrily as the two Senators shouted over each other.
Brown shot back that he was “sick and tired of the richest people in this country getting richer and richer.”
Hatch said he originally came from the lower middle class as a defense and was “real tired of that crap.” Hatch harped on about how Democrats should work with Republicans on the bill (they’ve tried).
Brown suggested reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that Congress did not reauthorize last month.
“I’m not starting with CHIP. I’ve done it for years,” Hatch said. “I’ve got more bills passed than everybody on this committee put together, and they’ve been passed for the benefit of people in this country.”
Then the Committee voted to approve updates to the tax plan with a vote along party lines