GOP senator defends time to read Senate tax bill before vote

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSenate confirms controversial 9th Circuit pick without blue slips Spicer defends Trump's White House correspondents dinner boycott GOP senators dismiss Booker reparations proposal 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 WarrenThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection Feehery: A whole new season of 'Game of Thrones' Overnight Energy: Warren wants Dems to hold climate-focused debate | Klobuchar joins candidates rejecting fossil fuel money | 2020 contender Bennet offers climate plan 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."