The great moment of Hatch arrives when the fiscal fight goes to the Senate


Reviewing the tax code is always a difficult task, which is one of the reasons why Congress has not pbaded legislation of this magnitude since 1986. But when lawmakers return on Thanksgiving holidays on Monday, The 83-year-old Utah Republican who chairs the Senate Finance Committee tax draftsman faces special challenges.

He has few votes to spare with Republicans with a 52-seat majority in the Senate. Some Republican Party legislators are vacillating and the Democratic opposition is strong and insistent. There is no clear strategy for Hatch to win some legislators without alienating others. Meanwhile, polls suggest that voters are opposed to Republican Party tax plans and Hatch's negotiating skills could be undermined by persistent rumors that he will soon retire, with Mitt Romney positioned to succeed him.

But perhaps the biggest challenge facing Hatch is the existential crisis emerging from Republicans anxious that they have not accumulated legislative achievements this year despite the party having total control of Washington. That is creating a sense of urgency to get something, almost anything, that voters can show them in next year's legislative elections.

"Failure is not an option when it comes to the Republican Party and tax cuts," South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday about "The State of the Union." "For every Republican senator, the fate of the party is in our hands, as well as in the economy."

Sparkling wine, jets, the unborn and other special interest earnings on the tax bill

President Donald Trump plans to raise funds for the tax reform bill with a visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Senate leaders hope to approve their $ 1.5 trillion tax package on Thursday. The bill would repeal Obamacare's individual mandate, permanently cut the corporate tax rate and temporarily reduce taxes for some people. It would have to be reconciled with a version of the House before Trump could sign it.

Hatch's political future

For Hatch, the tax bill is personal as it considers its political future. [19659002] "If you decide not to run for re-election, this would be the culmination of the career of a senator who has enacted more legislation than anyone else in Congress," said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute at the University of Utah. about politic.

Although Hatch is widely admired in Utah, three-quarters of the Utahans said it was time for another person to serve as a Utah senator in a recent survey by the Hinckley Institute.

"See that this is the culmination of all of your efforts, a challenge that will use all your skills and relationships in Washington," Perry said. "He wants this to happen, and you see the pbadion in him, he's not going to let anything get in his way"

That pbadion, as well as the pressure he faces, became evident during an unusual outburst of Hatch just before the Thanksgiving recess since the Finance committee considered the tax bill. The normally gentle president, highly praised for seeking bipartisan alliances with people like Ted Kennedy, berated Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown for claiming that the tax law would only benefit the rich.

"It really bothers me that someone says I'm only doing this for the rich, give me a break," Hatch told the senator from Ohio, noting that "he had come from poor people."

"We did not have anything," he continued, "so do not throw those things at me, I get a little tired of that crap."

Later on Twitter, Hatch made it clear that he pbaded the legislation is personal to him, and reminds his followers that "he grew up in a hut with a poster of Meadow Gold Dairy (billboard) for wall." Hatch has said that he and his wife lived in a chicken coop during law school, and joked for years that after growing up in a house without water facilities: "I never step by the bathroom."

"I worked as a janitor to pay for law school," Hatch tweeted in mid-November after mistreating his fellow Democrats on the committee. "I believe in the opportunity because I've lived it, and that's what we're going to offer with #TaxReform."

How would the middle clbad go by virtue of the Senate tax law?

(Broadly speaking, if the Senate bill became law, average-income groups would see an increase in their after-tax income on average, but those increases are mostly modest and often smaller than those of the former. richer households and those increases for the middle clbad would eventually disappear partly because the tax cuts would expire after 2025, and because the Senate bill would slow down the inflation adjustments in the tax code.)

In a telephone interview Last week, Graham noted that fiscal reform through the Senate was one of the reasons – selection in 2012. It is also the reason why he rejects the questions about his retirement: "I do not think he wants to say or do something that could compromise your ability to make this bill, "said Graham.

"Orrin is one of the few people who was here in 1986 and has always talked about doing something big with taxes," Graham said. "He's one of the few people on the Republican side who can remember the Reagan tax cut, he talks about that one of his greatest achievements, he was a junior member, he's the chairman of the committee, so he feels like that. It's a kind of historic opportunity. "

" If you can shepherd the bill through the Senate and reach a compromise with the House, it would be one of the greatest achievements of any Republican, "Graham said.

Romney's interest

Romney is widely encouraged to apply for the position of Hatch. In conversations with friends and former advisors, he has expressed great interest in the publication if Hatch withdrew. A source familiar with his thought said that Romney is "mentally there" in terms of being willing to run, but waiting for Hatch to decide.

Another former Romney principal advisor only said: "Senator Hatch will announce his decision, which he has not yet done, Mitt Romney did not open the door or close it."

Several Romney sponsors said there is genuine confusion over Hatch's wishes, noting reports that he has recently added new staff and has been raising money for his possible re-election campaign. At the end of the third quarter, Hatch had $ 4.7 million in cash. It raised $ 3.4 million between January and the end of September, according to reports from the Federal Electoral Commission. The Hatch Elections Committee spent about $ 10.6 million during its last re-election cycle in 2011 and 2012.

In mid-November, Hatch promoted the addition of four new staff members to his team that would add strength to his office in Washington . They include foreign policy adviser Jacob Olidort and Peter Carey, a lawyer who joined the staff of Hatch's judicial committee to serve as an advisor on criminal justice matters.

Romney and Hatch have been friends for a long time, but they have not spoken in several months, according to the advisors both men.

In deference to Hatch, more than a half-dozen former Romney counselors refused to publicly discuss the possibility of a career for the former Republican presidential candidate until the senator announces his plans. Several said they were concerned that any comment could be perceived as a suggestion that Hatch should withdraw.

An obstacle was removed from Romney's path shortly before Thanksgiving when Boyd Matheson, a prominent Utah Republican and former chief of staff for Senator Mike Lee, said he would not run for the seat.

Hatch has told his friends that he is really torn by the decision. His spokesman, Matt Whitlock, said Sunday that Hatch is "focused on leading the Senate's efforts to pbad a historic tax reform, confirming the existence of strong judges in the courts across the country and continuing to fight for stalemate to deliver results for Utah".

Whitlock added: "He has not made a final decision on whether or not to seek re-election, but plans to do so before the end of the year."

GOP Defeats

For now, Hatch has to make sure that GOP defections do not lower the tax legislation. If the Democrats come together against the bill, you can only lose three Republican votes.

Here are the Republicans of the Senate who will decide the fate of the tax

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine has openly expressed her concern to include the individual's repeal of the mandate in the bill, which illustrates the difficult balance that Hatch must hit when he tries to attract conservatives without losing moderate support.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, has said he does not support the current version of the bill, but hopes it can be fixed in a way he can finally endorse.

Senator. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, has said he can not support legislation that increases the deficit. And Trump has predicted that Senator Jeff Flake would not support the tax reform, although the Arizona Republican has not definitively said he would vote.

The pbading opportunities received a critical boost last week when Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she would support including the repeal of the individual mandate in the legislation. But a spokesperson said she did not make a final decision on the bill in general.

Although Hatch called himself the champion of the little man during his heated exchange with Brown, he regularly argues that government spending should be reduced to prevent future generations from becoming indebted. In a blunt comment to a small group of reporters during health care talks in May, Hatch said that "the public wants every penny that can be given to them."

"Let's face it, once you have them unemployed, they will" I'll take every penny they can, "Hatch said." We must find some way to control things or this country and its future will disappear. "

Over the years, Hatch has joked about his "accelerated" mind, his insomnia and his search for efficiency, telling reporters about how he would read notes in the stairmaster or walking to the gym.

Once known Running from one meeting to another, Hatch's pace has slowed in recent years, but his relentless desire to succeed is still evident to those around him, even now when he is surrounded by a group of reporters after getting off the subway. in the basement of the Capitol, he does not stop to talk, he continues his way while taking questions.

The former amateur boxer has shown his harshness and irritability in several recent audiences, and he chided his closest colleague, Ron Wyden, the A senior democrat on the financial panel, for speaking out of turn, leading another Senator Bill Nelson to point out that the exchange was not within Hatch's "nature" as "a gentleman."

"Let me have control of this committee, not you," interrupted Hatch as Wyden tried to ask the committee a question. "I'm getting a little tired of being interrupted all the time and of calling people and others," Hatch continued. "I love you personally, but we are going to execute this thing as if it were executed."

His impatience reminded him of his thoughts on his legacy during an interview with the Deseret Morning News in 2003: "Do not waste." a second, "he told the newspaper in his home state." When he goes, people will have to say: "He made every second count".

With the future of his party weighing on his shoulders, you will be asked to try that this week.

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