Hatch, Brown Have Shouting Match Over Tax Reform During Senate Hearing

November 17, 2017

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) got into a heated shouting match over tax reform during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday night.

Hatch, the committee chairman, took offense and called out Brown after the Ohio Democrat said the Senate Republican tax reform bill provides a tax cut that is "not really for the middle class; it's for the rich."

Hatch said that he comes from a poor family and has always fought for struggling Americans, arguing that Brown was repeating a common talking point from Democrats.

"I've been here working my whole stinking 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," Hatch said. "I think you guys overplay that all the time and it gets old, and frankly, you ought to quit it."

Brown then interrupted Hatch, but the Utah Republican was not having it. The two went back and forth before another senator called for regular order to be restored.

"Listen, I've honored you by allowing you to spout off here and what you said was not right. That's all I'm saying," Hatch told Brown. "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 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," Hatch added.

"Let's start with CHIP," Brown interjected, referring to the Children's Health Insurance Program, which Congress did not reauthorize last month.

"I'm not starting with CHIP. I've done it for years," Hatch said of working on bipartisan bills. "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."

"And now all I can say, I like you personally very much, but this bullcrap you guys throw out here really gets old after a while," Hatch said to Brown. "And to do it right at the end of this, it's just not right."

"It takes a lot to get me worked up like this," he concluded.