In a move that would make Scrooge blush, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch insisted there is no money to help cancer-stricken children days before jamming through a tax scam that gives billions of dollars to the uber-wealthy.
At the beginning of the holiday season, Republicans showed Americans where their priorities lie: Giving aid and comfort to mega-rich donors and leaving sick children out in the cold.
Republicans, who control the House, Senate, and the White House, have refused to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This program, which provides health care to nine million low-income children and pregnant women, expired on September 30th.
Instead, with the holidays fast approaching, Republicans focused on their top priority: raising taxes on the poor and middle class to give billions to the top one percent.
In the middle of a cold December night, Republicans rammed through a tax scam bill riddled with mark-ups written all over it that were literally illegible.
But when asked about reauthorizing CHIP just days before, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch had the gall to claim, "We don't have the money" to pay for it.
But let me tell you something. We're going to do CHIP, there's no question about it in my mind. It has to be done the right way. But we—the reason CHIP is having trouble is because we don't have money anymore. We just add more and more spending and more and more spending, and you can look at the rest of the bill for the more and more spending.
According to the most generous accounting plausible, Hatch supported — and lied about — a tax scam bill that adds $1 trillion (that is 1,000 billion dollars) to the deficit. More realistic models put that number at $1.5 trillion.
CHIP needs $15 billion to operate, or literally one percent of the cost of the tax scam.
Republicans in Congress have no problem blowing a trillion-dollar hole in the deficit if the beneficiaries are the uber-wealthy.
But when it comes to finding money to ensure that cancer-stricken children have the health care they need, they turn their collective backs, claiming there is no money to be found.
In a season where those with means reflect on charity and helping those with less means, Republicans took the opposite tact: Help those with a lot, and leave those in need out in the cold.
In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was eventually redeemed. Not so for the GOP.
Americans will remember the votes of Christmas past, and it may be Republican legislators who find themselves shunned.