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GOP senator defends time to read Senate tax bill before vote

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senators face Wednesday vote on Trump health plans rule | Trump officials plan downtime for ObamaCare website | Lawmakers push for action on reducing maternal deaths Bipartisan group of senators ask Trump to increase focus on maternal deaths 7 law enforcement officers shot in South Carolina MORE (R-S.C.) on Sunday defended the process by which Republicans passed the GOP tax-reform bill through the Senate, after the caucus faced criticism for sending the legislation to a vote despite a series of last-minute changes.

"The suggestion that we had so little time to take a look at 500 pages is inconsistent with the truth," Scott told host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union."

Democratic lawmakers like Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren and Sanders question Amazon CEO over Whole Foods anti-union video Senate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel MORE (D-Mass.) had slammed Republicans for making sweeping changes to the bill and then pushing for it to come to a vote before senators had time to read it over fully.

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On Friday night, shortly before the Senate vote, Democrats tweeted photos of additions written by hand in the margins of the bill before a revised version was released.

Scott, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, argued that the last-minute amendments included in the bill had been "envisioned" far before the tax bill vote that went into the early hours of Saturday morning. 

"So there were no new ideas, no new opportunities, simply opportunities that had been envisioned that were going to be voted 'yes' or 'no' on the floor, and then fused into the final product," he said.

Scott said while he did not read every word of the tax bill, he read and had previously discussed "every aspect of the bill" during Senate Finance Committee hearings over the past three years.

"I went through the entire bill. I'm not going to say I read every single letter on every single page, because 470 pages, in its last hour — I did not read 470 pages. But have I read every aspect of that bill before it was fused together, the answer is yes. We have had the chance over the last three years since I've been on the committee to work on every aspect of the bill," he said.

"The question that they are actually addressing is not whether or not you've read the bill, it's whether you've read the bill in its current form," he said. "But if you take every component piece of the bill, yes, we've had three years of meetings, hearings, and committee hearings around those issues."