WASHINGTON, DC (CBS4)– Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat and Colorado’s senior senator, got into a heated debate with one of his Republican colleagues on the Senate floor over the health care portion of the GOP tax bill.
Bennet argues that in addition to getting rid of the individual health care mandate to pay for tax cuts, the bill would automatically cut Medicare.
“This bill gives up on our country,” said Bennet. “And we should be doing this in a bipartisan way so we can make Medicare sustainable, so that we’ve got the revenue that we need to perform functions of our government so that it’s a balanced plan that makes sense. This is an unbalanced plan which is senseless.”
That prompted an argument between Bennet and the Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch.
“Senator, there won’t be an Medicare if you keep spending the way you guys want to do, so let’s get down to talking about the particular…” said Hatch.
“That’s completely incorrect, Mr. Chairman,” said Bennet.
“I’ve sat here for 40 years and I’ve watched my Democratic colleagues spend and spend and spend and spend without asking ‘Where’s the money going to come from?'” said Hatch.
“Again, Mr. Chairman…” said Bennet.
“Don’t give me that,” said Hatch.
“Mr. Chariman…” said Bennet.
“I’ve had enough of that to last me the rest of my life,” said Hatch.
Bennet told the committee that the bill places far less value on children living in poverty than the children of senators.
“We are giving our children the short end of the stick in two profound ways. One is we’re saying to them, ‘You know what? We’re not going to make the expenditures on you that our parents and grandparents made on us. We don’t think your worth what our parents and grandparents thought we were worth,'” said Bennet.
The Senate is planning on voting on the tax plan after the Thanksgiving break.
The House plans to vote on its tax bill on Thursday.