- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sen. Orrin Hatch on Wednesday slammed Democrats for implying they might not play ball on a looming debt ceiling hike if Republicans push a tax package that adds to the federal deficit.

“Recently, some of my friends on the other side of the aisle suggested that if tax reform is not revenue neutral, they will refuse to vote to raise the debt limit,” said Mr. Hatch, Utah Republican and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

“Setting aside the fact that under the previous administration, Democrats argued that even the mere mention of adding conditions to the debt limit increase made Republicans, quote, economic terrorists, unquote,” Mr. Hatch said at an event at the National Press Club hosted by Bloomberg BNA.

He said the demand, if Democrats go through with it, would go far beyond any similar ones under former President Obama.

It’s also a demand “that would just beg my colleagues to constantly move the goalpost[s],” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday the GOP might not get any help from the other side if their tax plan adds to the deficit.

“I will say this, it’s going to be a lot harder to get … a debt ceiling raised if our Republican colleagues insist on raising the deficit dramatically by huge tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans,” said Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat.

The Trump administration has recently signaled that it would like Congress to raise the debt limit before the August recess.

Republicans face their own divisions, with some conservatives saying a hike should be accompanied by spending cuts. In recent years, GOP leaders have relied on Democratic votes to raise the limit because of such conservative objections.

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