State GOP takes issue with Brown

Published 7:39 am Friday, November 17, 2017

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Republican Party responded to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s comments on tax reform legislation before the Senate and accused him of “playing politics” on the issue.

Blaine Kelley, communications director for the state party, emailed a statement to The Tribune on Brown’s comments earlier this week, when he said the Republican tax plan favored the top income bracket.

Kelly said the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act is the biggest tax reform package the United States has seen in 21 years, and stated that it will overwhelmingly benefit middle-class families across the country.

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He said Brown “is showing his true colors” as the bill is considered by Congress.

“Instead of supporting a tax plan that saves working Ohio families $2,375 per year, Sherrod Brown is looking for any possible excuse to obstruct the progress made by this Congress and this President,” Kelly said. “Since day one of the tax reform debate, Sherrod Brown has stood in opposition to the pro-middle-class, pro-growth policies put forth by President Trump and Congressional Republicans.”

Kelly offered a timeline in which he said Brown “made up a fake tax reform plan and attacked Republicans with it” on Sept. 15. He said that, on Oct. 18, Brown told Fox News he could support Trump’s tax framework, but, the next day, Brown voted “No” on the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution, which Kelly said “provided the path for a tax reform bill to be passed and signed into law.”

Kelly also provided a link to a Washington Post fact check, which took issue with a claim from U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris, D-California, Robert Casey, D- Pennsylvania, and Jeff Merkeley, D-Oregon, stating middle-class families earning less than $86,000 would see a tax increase under the Republican ‘tax reform’ plan.” The post rated the claim as “four Pinocchios” and “who spread this claim should delete their tweets and make clear they were in error.” Harris and Casey later deleted their posts.

Brown will be seeking a third term in the 2018 Congressional midterm elections and is considered to be a top target for Republicans, as Trump won Ohio’s electoral votes in 2016.

Four Republicans have filed to challenge Brown for the seat, including Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, investment banker Michael Gibbons, businesswoman Melissa Ackison and 2016 Senate candidate Don Eckhart.