Senate hearing on tax cuts erupts into shouting match (video)


Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) appeared to be personally offended by accusations that the GOP is trying to push their tax plan in order to benefit wealthy Americans. He angrily rebuked one senator for “spewing” that rhetoric, which he called “crap.”

In a Senate Finance Committee meeting Thursday, lawmakers endorsed the latest version of the GOP tax bill. However, during the proceedings, committee Chairman Hatch lost patience with Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown for his comments about the motivations behind the bill.

Brown said the plan helps the wealthy and not the middle class and urged members to call a spade a spade.

“I think it would be nice, … tonight before we go home, to just acknowledge, ‘[W]ell, this tax cut is really 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.”

He continued, “Just spare us the bank shots, spare us the sarcasm and the satire and let’s just…”

Brown was interrupted at that point by Hatch, who said, “I come from the poor people. And 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 continued, “I think you guys overplay that all the time and it gets old and, frankly, you ought to quit it.”

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

Hatch cut him off, raised his hand and said: “Wait a minute! I’m not through,” he went on, “I get kind of sick and tired of it. True, it’s a nice political play, but it’s not true.”

Brown fired back, saying he “gets sick and tired of the richest people in the country … getting richer and richer and richer.”

As the hearing room broke into a chorus of yelling, calling for “regular order,” Brown shouted, “We do a tax cut for the rich and the middle class gets [inaudible] over and over and over again. How many times do we do this before we learn this?”

Hatch tore into Brown again, saying, “Listen—I’ve honored you by allowing you to start off here and what you said is not right – that’s all I’m saying.” Hatch continued, “I come from the lower middle class originally and 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. We could do a lot of the things that you’re talking about, too.”

He finished by saying he has a reputation for working across the aisle, and that he’s personally passed more bills than “everybody on this committee put together.”

“And they’ve been passed for the benefit of people in this country,” Hatch argued. “And all I’ve got to say is, I like you personally very much. But I’m telling you, this bullcrap that you guys throw out here really gets old after a while.”

Watch the full, explosive exchange below or a shorter exchange provided by FOX News.

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