Top Democrat jokes that Republican tax-reform plan is ‘anti-Mormon’

Says losing deductions for more than one child would hit big families.<br>

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 28, 2017, after the Republican-controlled Senate was unable to fulfill their political promise to repeal and replace "Obamacare." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The top Democrat in the Senate joked during an interview last week that the recent tax-reform proposal unveiled by Republicans — including Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch — is inherently “anti-Mormon.”

“Let me tell you, this is an anti-Mormon bill, it’s an anti-Orthodox Jewish bill in the sense that these people have lots of kids and they’re losing those deductions,” Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said with a laugh during an episode of the “Pod Save America” podcast.

The New York senator is right to an extent. People who don’t itemize and have large families would likely end up with a bigger taxable income under the plan because it would eliminate personal exemptions for each child.

“If you’re a family of three, you break even,” he said. “If you’re a family of four you pay more.”

The ambitious proposal, though, intends to counterbalance that by expanding the child tax credit.

It matters in a state like Utah that often ranks first in the U.S. Census for having the nation’s largest families. Most often that’s attributed to the Mormon faith, officially called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that stresses marriage and children. Hatch, like all other members of Utah’s congressional delegation, is Mormon.

The senator’s most recent family photo featured a whopping 65 individuals.

(Courtesy of Sen. Orrin Hatch's office) A picture from Sen. Orrin Hatch's most recent family reunion taken in 2017.

Matt Whitlock, Hatch’s spokesman, said the conservative senator “is grateful for Senator Schumer’s concern for the Latter-day Saints and our ‘lots of kids,’ but believes the tax-reform plan he is pushing forward will help all working families across the United States, including our gigantic families in Utah.”