Thursday evening, as the new tax bill was being debated among the members of the Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) smacked Sherrod Brown (D-OH) when the Brown castigated the Republicans for allegedly only caring about the wealthy.
Here’s the exchange (video follows):
BROWN: You always learn something in this world, and what I learned from that meeting was, I saw the playbook on how President Trump and majority Republicans were going to sell this tax cut because they know, they fundamentally, intuitively know – all of you do – that the public always knows that when Republicans are in power, the first thing they want to do is give tax cuts to the rich, that's just what's – it's in their DNA, it's what they're gonna do. We know that.
So, they fundamentally – the chairman laughs, but he knows over 40 years it's always true – but the public fundamentally, just intuitively, almost viscerally understands that that's what they're gonna do. So, the tax cuts are not going to really be for the middle class no matter how many times they sing that song. ...
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. And that whole thing about higher wages, well, it's a good selling point, but we know companies don't just give away higher wages. They don't just give away higher wages just because they have more money. Corporations are sitting on a lot of money now; they’re sitting on a lot of profits now. I don't see wages going up. So, just spare us the bank shots, spare us the sarcasm and the satire, and let's [move forward].
HATCH: I'm gonna 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 oughta 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, but it's not true.
BROWN: Well, Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, I get sick and tired of the richest people in this country [crosstalk] ...
HATCH: Listen, I honored you by allowing you to spout off here. And what you said was not right, that's all I'm saying. 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 work together, we could pull this country out of every mess it's in, and we could do a lot of the things that you're talking about, too. And I think I've got a reputation of having worked together with Democrats ... I've got more bills passed than everybody on this committee put together. And they've been passed for the benefit of the people in this country. And all I can say is, I like you personally very much, but I'm tellin' ya this bull crap that you guys throw out here gets old after a while. To do it right at the end of this was just not right. It takes a lot to get me worked up like this.