In one way, there’s consistency to Hatch’s position: He has long argued that the special tax breaks should only be scrapped if that decision is made as part of a major reform of the Tax Code. So while letting them go forward isn’t the conservative position, it wouldn’t be a new one for Hatch — except that he says this bill is, in fact, part of tax reform.
He and other supporters — Democrats and Republicans alike — are casting their call to maintain the breaks as a “first step” toward that reform. But for opponents, killing a few tax benefits while keeping the rest of them is akin to a smoker switching to a lighter brand and telling friends he’s quitting. If Congress did nothing, the special carve-outs would die at the end of the year.
Some senators, like Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), praised the bill for its spirit of reform even as they tried to amend it with new tax breaks.
Hatch called it “a first step towards the ultimate goal of comprehensive tax reform.”
But conservatives don’t see it that way and one website is calling Hatch out by name for his role in drafting the package.