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GOP senator: No need to cut entitlements

Ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Wednesday that lawmakers didn't need to cut entitlements to reduce the deficit.

“I don’t think you do have to cut entitlements — we’ve got around 214 tax expenditures, some of which could be cut out,” Hatch said in an interview on Fox News.

Hatch was responding to comments from Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf that if Congress wanted to cut taxes they would need a corresponding cut in entitlements.

Hatch voted to repeal the ethanol tax credit without an offset earlier this year, but did not specify if eliminating tax expenditures in the future would need to be offset with corresponding tax cuts elsewhere.

Hatch has signed Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, vowing never to raise taxes.

This post was updated at 9 p.m.