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A Testy Orrin Hatch Defends Republican Tax Plan During Senate Hearing

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C-Span
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Sen. Orrin Hatch angrily defends the Republican tax plan during a Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Nov. 16.

Sen. Orrin Hatch and Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown got into an angry exchange Thursday night after Brown accused Republicans of protecting the rich in their new tax plan.

The debate broke out during the Senate Finance Committee hearing, which Hatch chairs. Brown put the senior senator from Utah on defense after calling the tax overhaul a give-away for the wealthy.

“I come from the poor people, and I’ve been here working my whole stinking career for people who don’t have a chance," Hatch said. "And I really resent anybody saying that I’m just doing this for the rich. Give me a break.”

Brown shot back at Hatch, saying he was sick of seeing the wealthiest get "richer and richer."

“I just think it would be nice, just tonight, before we go home, to just acknowledge this tax cut really is not for the middle class it’s for the rich," Brown said. "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.”

A new report out Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress's nonpartisan analyst, showed the tax plan would raise taxes on most low- to middle-income families over the next decade

The Senate Finance Committee approved the tax reform bill in a party-line vote, sending it to the full Senate.

House Republicans passed their own version, with a $1.5 trillion tax cut, earlier that day. All four of Utah's House representatives voted in favor of the bill.

Republicans are seeking their first major legislative win with a tax overhaul by Christmas. 

Exchange between Sen. @OrrinHatch & @SenSherrodBrown during last night's Senate Finance Committee debate on the Republican tax reform bill. pic.twitter.com/wPlM2PLlBW — CSPAN (@cspan) November 17, 2017

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