By Ramsey Cox
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called President Obama “a petulant child” when it comes to the sequestration debate.
Hatch is angry that Obama says he will let the automatic cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary spending go forward if Republicans do not agree to raise taxes on wealthier households.
“Like a petulant child, [Obama] is insisting his way or the highway,” Hatch said on the floor Wednesday. “We’ve had far too much of that.”
With a poster for the film “Thelma & Louise” behind him, Hatch said the president and Democrats are willing to “drive the country over the fiscal cliff.”
In the movie's iconic final scene, the title characters drive their car into a canyon.
“It is a political equivalent of a temper tantrum,” Hatch said. “American voters will have about as much patience for this as they would a similar fit from their children.”
Senate Democrats have introduced a tax plan — the Middle Class Tax Act (S. 3412) — that would extend Bush-era tax rates on income up to $250,000. Obama supports the Democratic plan.
“American people want a grown-up in the White House, but on tax policy we appear to be dealing with adolescents,” Hatch said.
The Senate is expected to vote on a procedural motion to move forward on the tax bill at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Hatch has his own tax plan that would extend the Bush tax rates for all income levels. His bill also doesn't include the earned income tax credit, child tax credit or opportunity tax credit for college tuition that are in the Democratic bill.