tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC December 19, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PST
in decades and they will no doubt pass it. here is a look at the house floor. they will begin voting -- they are voting at the moment. it's expected to pass with overwhelming support from republicans and no democratic votes. after that it heads for the senate thm senate. the vote has begun. the president could sign the bill into law by tomorrow, trump's so-called christmas gift to the country and first significant legislative victory since taking office. it's almost been a year. let's get right to it with a team of reporters and analyst s with me kasie hunt. also john
harwood. we have peter alexander in the white house. you just heard speaker paul ryan talking about this bill.
there you are. now i see your face. even better. kasie hunt kasie hunt got to a camera. >> paul ryan was working hard to sell this as a working class tax cut. this bill is not popular with the american people, with the middle class, with the working class. >> it's not. you're right. forgive me if i keep looking over my shoulder. you may or may not be able to see they cleared out the hallway. we are expecting vice president mike pence to walk by at any point. you are right. this bill is actually and i think you said this more unpopular than obamacare ever was. it is a very big political risk for republicans. they are essentially making the calculation that not doing anything would quite frankly make make their
own numbers worse. they feel as though their donations would start to dry up but also that voters wouldn't have faith in them to get
anything done. i think the calculation is also that in president trump voters wanted some change and this is a way to show them that they are actually doing something with what voters sent them here to do. however, the question is going to be in november what happens? democrats are pretty convinced it will be good for them at the end of the day and this will be something that they will be able to run against. that was congressman mchenry, a key part of the whip operation. this not a stressful day for the tax reform bill as we expect it to pass. >> we have mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader talking right now. let's listen in. >> thank you. this is a great day for america because we have passed a pro growth bill that everybody should support. it will do this country an awful lot of do.
>> we are going to go back to kasie hunt. you waiting for vice president mike pence to get there, the house republicans are voting on this. you mentioned something that caught my ear, the donors. how much are the donors a factor in this bill? >> they are here. it's an absolutely huge part of this. one of the things i think republicans you will remember the vote on obamacare failed right before the august recess approximately. they went home and heard from a lot of people that they have heard from over the course of their entire political careers. remember, you obviously have spent a lot of time covering president trump. a lot of these members of congress on the republican side have been in office for many, many more years than the president has been in political life. a lot of them feel they will probably continue to be serving in a situation where he may not be president. so the people that they heard from were local chamber of commerce types in their home
towns, some bigger donors, as well. we heard a lot about the koch brothers, for example. there was a sense that we are not going to keep giving you money if you don't actually show us that you are doing the things that we were trying to get you there to do. i think that was a very real fear and concern and it is motivating a lot of this. i also think overall the politics of it, the momentum, the challenge of the failed obamacare vote and the way that people felt it made them look, i think all has add up to this being i don't want to say inevitable but almost politically intevitable they would get this done. no choice it was do or die. for paul ryan it is a unique thing because he spent his career on this. >> i wonder what paul ryan might want to do with entitlements. peter, the white house has delayed the briefing until after the vote. president trump sold himself as
a populist on the campaign trail. he sold himself as providing a massive tax cut to the middle class, a tax cut that would not benefit him. we haven't seen his taxes so we don't know for sure. we know what he does for a living. we know what he says he makes. we know from this bill that he stands and his family stands to benefit quite a bit. >> reporter: it's a good point you make, one we will raise again today with sarah sanders when she comes here after that vote. obviously donald trump a big businessman, a big real estate guy. big commercial real estate owners will be beneficiaries of the new tax bill. as much as the president called himself a populist fighting for the middle class as he insisted the white house also says he is a man of his word which is notable given all the misrepresentations we have heard from this president over the course of the last year. they say in this case he is keeping his word on a promise
that is tax cuts for the vast majority of americans and they say that over time americans will witness that immediately middle class americans and most in the country will see the money in their pockets to come as early as the president said a matter of days ago in february. the bottom line is as time ticks by will americans start to realize the challenges that exist in this tax cut bill, who some of the biggest beneficia beneficiaries are and will they -- >> i'm so sorry to interrupt you but we have kasie hunt talking to kevin mccarthy live. >> for everybody to vote no to try to shut government down but i don't believe the government shuts down. >> the government will be open for christmas and tax plan will be done in your view? >> just to keep the government open for two weeks the democrats voted no. something hoyer said he would never do. they whipped the democrats to say no. i know nancy pelosi wants
government to shutdown to blame republicans. we will not let government shut down. >> reporter: caught up with kevin mccarthy. you may have missed the top of our conversation. we talked a little bit about the looming government shutdown on friday. mr. mccarthy essentially saying it doesn't matter that this is unpopular right now that basically americans are going to feel the impact of this bill directly and that that public opinion will start to change as they feel the impact. that is essentially the gamble that they are making. they are saying these tables will change in february. people will see fewer dollars withheld from each paycheck and they connect that directly with what republicans here in congress have been doing. that's an open question. obamacare didn't necessarily e age. they managed to make america popular on the whole. i think this is still an open
question. clearly and you can see this is a pretty triumphant day for republicans in the house. >> thank you for scrambling to get with us. you know who else will see more money in their pocket, gop senators and congressman. 14 gop senators stand to benefit from the tax bill they helped craft. according to tax policy center by 2027 the top five percent will receive 99.2% of the benefits from this tax bill while bottom 60% will end up paying more in taxes. that sounds like a gift to the democrats for when they campaign for 2018. >> some people will get $3,000 in the middle class next year and they will like that. the bill is going to come due decades later when somebody has to cut health care spending, defense spending and the bills are back loaded. more importantly aside from that small bump in the beginning which may help some people, no
company has promised to raise wages or hire more people if this is passed. the stock market is already going pretty well. the economy is doing well. it's hard to imagine what is going to swing in late here and change everyone's lives. second, you were talking earlier about the members of congress. it is impossible to understand this bill without understanding that half of congress are millionaires and most people in congress spend between a third and half at a time raising money which means they spend their time asking wealthy people for donations. if that is where you are coming from and spending your time doing the beliefs and arguments and sense of self of those donors in that world is going to inflect your policy preferences. they think what is good for that class of people is good for the whole country. we'll see. >> we have had some congressmen admit that that is what they are concerned about. chris collins said donors told
him to get it done or never call them again. senator lindsey graham said the financial contributions will stop. certain republicans have all but admitted this is about the donors and the wealthiest americans who put money in their pocket to get them back into congress. let's talk to one of the gop congressmen that will be voting yes for this bill unless he already has. joining me is republican congressman dave brad of georgia georgia. >> the first one is a motion to recommit and the big tax is coming up in about ten minutes. earlier today you called this a win. 37 of 38 experts surveyed by the university of chicago's initiative on global markets said the gop tax bill would cause u.s. debt to substantially increase much faster than the economy. are you concerned about that? >> no. not concerned. they are doing their job.
i'm friends with a bunch of them. they study the effect of the narrow tax bill on revenues and on the deficit. that's okay. asked the question put together that tax bill with deregulatory and our agenda and with the current growth rate at three and feds saying we will grow at four next quarter and all tell you we can pay 150 billion a year with ease. no deficit worries going forward. if people want to ask the honest question people care about the economy and the deficit at the end of the day. >> the conservative tax foundation, they're the most positive group out there when it comes to the tax bill. even they admit that this will add half a trillion to the deficit. >> so you are saying it will add. you are talking about just the narrow tax bill. the mainstream media a year ago said if president trump wins the stock market would fall through
the basement. the press had it all wrong. everyone said the economy is going to tank. it is through the roof. 70 all-time highs. >> you are banking on it to continue to keep going. >> yeah. it's not a gamble. the best predictor of the next period is t minus 1. go to vegas if you want to find the proof. you can find the truth in vegas sometimes better than you can in congress or the news. >> i keep calling you dave because i talk to you so much. congressman, it feels like you are relying on this tax cut of the corporations of the wealthy to trickle down. is that what you are relying on? >> i'm relying on all western. we were poor until 1776. until you had capitalism and free markets. if you want to be rich you have to have economic growth. we used to make $1,000 a year and now we make $50,000 a year
on average. >> why is this a tax cut going to corporations? record profits, record cash stocks. why give this to the corporations and not to the average american citizen? >> because it's better to give tax cuts to corporations than it is to dictators and head of federal government. that's what causes economic growth. >> i'm not talking about dictators or head of governments. i'm talking about american people. >> we are giving a tax cut to every bracket to the middle class a single mom at home will get over $1,000 back. the 70,000 family with two kids will get $2950. the growth piece is by far the most important. wages have been flat. bernie brought that up. he was winning on that. trump came in and ran on the middle class.
wages have been gnflat for abou 30 years. we haven't had proposals to how you increase productivity. >> why do you believe tax cuts for wealthy will help the economy? there is no evidence that that has worked in the past. >> all the evidence from every nobel lauriate you have to go read it. if you read that literature the biggest contributor to economic growth is capital. no debate. the second is probably human cabtle. the third is technological growth. those are the three determinants of economic growth in our country's history. if you want the economy to grow you got to invest in capital, technology and you have to be positive about business. everybody works for either a small business or corporation. so that's what feeds and pays for government. if that's not growing like in virginia our economy only grew at 0.6 last time.
how do you fund government jobs when the virginia economy is only growing at 0.6. >> you are relying on tax cut for the corporations and for these corporations to create more jobs and to make paychecks rise and give more money back to their workers. i want to play and i'm sure you see this, a sound byte from a month or two ago. gary kohn with a number of ceos asked are they going to reinvest. listen. >> can i ask you all a quick question? if the tax reform bill goes through do you plan to increase your company's capital investment? just a show of hands. >> why aren't the other hands up? >> those are the folks that are creating jobs. how can you say that they are creating jobs when they say they are not creating jobs?
>> i can say it easily because in the entire corpus of economic literature says so. statistics require at least 30 data points to do any kind of science. and if you control for other variables you do more. the entire economic literature over the past 50 years it all shows on avlg if you give corporations an incentive to invest in capital they do so. billionaires can only have so many boats and houses and whatever. the rest goes into the stock of the company. >> you are trusting that corporations already sitting on a ton of cash, that by giving them more money they're suddenly going to say i want to give this to my worker? why aren't they doing it now? they already have a ton of cash,
congressman. why are you so positive by giving them more money than you are giving the average american voter that that is somehow going to transfer to regular people if it's not already happening? they are already sitting on a ton of cash. >> they do have a ton of cash so you have to be irrational not to invest that and make more unless the current environment is no good. for the last eight years we just had regulation on regulation so the cash didn't go into the economy. now the cash is going into the economy. the federal reserve is the best evidence of this. they are raising interest rates for the first time. that tells you for the first time in the last eight years they wouldn't do that. now they are raising rates. that tells you they have confidence in the underlying economy as well as the stock market. they think it is robust enough to raise interest rates. that shows you businesses will start to put all that cash sitting on the sidelines at rest. that is a terrible thing.
we want that invested in the economy in the capital equipment to give workers wage rates. if the average worker, i look at general motors or assembly line, you put capital in the hands of your workers americans do great things. >> why not give that capital to the american worker through a tax cut that benefits them more than it benefits the most wealthy people in this country, the wealthiest of the wealthy, top 0.1%? why not give it directly to them so they can spend and start the economy running again? it is running better than in the past. why not give money directly? my question to you is this about your donors? >> if you're familiar with my election, that question is kind of humorous. let me go back to the economics. supply and demand. the demand side is the people. >> that wasn't a no.
>> if you're familiar with my election. >> i am familiar with your election. i am also familiar with you saying that you can't add to the deficit and this adds to the deficit. >> i'm a man of the people back home. my district knows who i am. i was a liberal arts professor. i am one of the few people who got a pay raise when they came up to congress. my donor relations is all good but that is not what drives me. what drives me is economic outcomes that help american people. i want to do good for them. i want their kids and the kids i taught for 20 years to have multiple job offers. they search for one they don't have multiple job offers to use god given talents to go out and find the purpose and the passion in their life. that is what i want for these young kids. that is what we are going to deliver today. >> what is median household income of your district? >> right about 60.
>> we have it at 73,000. what are you making? what is in your bank account right now? >> in my bank account? what tax bracket are you under in this bill? >> well, i got the chart for you here. i will be probably in the 24% bracket. everybody can look up their rates. i had a guy at arby's making 20 grand married and he said how am i going to do this. you get the first 24 grand 0 tax rate. he said that is not true. he said it goes from 10% to 12%. i said absolutely not true. and trust me but wait until you see your paycheck. you pay 0 tax because first $24,000 is not taxed for anybody. >> if we check next year you at 24%. >> yeah. what are you at?
>> i have to take a look at it. >> i'm also not a lawmaker. i'm not involved in marking up this bill or selling it to the american people. >> we'll check out what you are making. thank you very much. >> joining us now to take a closer look at this is cnbc editor at large. you buying what brett's selling? >> what the congressman was sawing didn't make sense. he said yes all those economists who say that the tax bill is going to increase the deficit and not increase growth very much. they are all friends of mine. they were only looking narrowly at the tax bill and not other policies. that is an argument for other policies and not the tax bill. the consensus is pretty unanimous among economists that this is not going to pay for itself. it will increase the debt and
deficit and that b the bulk of the benefits are going to go to people at the top as you were saying with the congressman. >> let's get on the record. the house is voting on the bill right this moment. that is numbers you are watching on the screen. >> the only analysis that shows that it doesn't provide -- the vast majority will go into worker's pockets. successful businessman asked him if this was going to provide a big boost to growth. here is what he said. >> we are going to -- we are going to live in the moment. house republicans and house is voting on this tax plan.
what you are seeing right now is the majority of the republicans are saying yes so far. we have a few saying no. those are going to be republicans from places that are going to be hit hard by this. republicans like lee zelden, republican from new york who does not feel the bill will benefit his constituents mostly because it is getting rid of state and local tax deduction. it is capping it at $10,000. he thinks it should be more. he thinks it is not fair to the middle class folks in new york. vice president mike pence is there now. he will be overseeing this vote. so far we don't have any democrats saying yes. 168 saying no to this bill. are republicans going to be nervous about this for 2018? doesn't sound like they are. >> they should be. it is fascinating and telling that they can't get democratic
votes. in the bush era in the 2000s a tax reform bill would have had to split the democratic party in two and paralyze them. the fact that red state democrats feel comfortable being against this tells you a lot about the political stakes and dynamics for the party. >> this is vice president pence walking in. you will see him in just a moment. just keep watching. we also have chuck schumer who is talking to reporters right now. the democrats are not a fan of this bill. they're calling it a tax scam, not a tax plan. they believe the republicans are pulling wool over the eyes of the american public in order to give corporations a big tax cut and the wealthy a big tax cut. lee zelden, not a fan of this bill. he doesn't feel like it is fair for new york. he feels like it is unfairly
targeting new york. the states like california, like new york, like new jersey who rely on that tax deduction because the taxes in those places are so high, the state and local taxes are so high, is that going to haunt republicans? you can see vice president pence saying it is a great day for america. >> this bill is basically a compromise between the swamp and red state republicans. the swamp got to keep a huge number of tax breaks and get a lower corporate tax rate and they paid for it with stuff like the salt reduction. they will punish people who live in high tax states that have chosen to provide more services and have a higher tax base and punish them and say we are not going to let you deduct it on taxes. so if you are a republican member in one of these lagging republican serbs in new jersey
or new york your constituents will probably get hammered by this or at least a good portion of them are. >> this is going to go to the senate once it is done at the house and it looks to be wrapping up. once it goes to the senate john mccain is not there. any concern this is not going to pass in the senate? >> there is not a concern about that. i think we would be hearing them scramble if that were the case. susan collins in particular is somebody that everyone had their eye on. bob corker announcing that he had decided he would support this bill. he took a lot of heat for what democrats were calling the corporate kickback. he says he has had no knowledge or input into adding a provision that will allow real estate investors of which he is one to take advantage of a tax break for pass through small
businesses that has kiepd nd of late flare up. hatch wrote back saying we know you had nothing to do with this. the provision was in the house bill so something that was included when they put the things to conference. i feel like i keep going back to it but it is also true thmpt political imperatives around this i think got to the point where leadership were able to say to members you have to vote. you can't be the person that ruins this for the rest of us. that message i think got through at the end of the day. jeff flake is a deficit hawk and has been for many years. he has had a lot of support from organizations, conservative organizations on fiscal issues. he still is in the last hold out on whether or not this is good for the federal deficit in the long run. i don't expect any drama on the senate floor that is unexpected. the government funding question
is quite frankly the more dramatic question of the day. >> what is the magic number we are looking for? we see paul ryan presiding over. he has one hand next to the gavel. this is a big day for paul ryan. he has been wanting to pass tax reform since he was a kid. he has been talking about it since he got into congress. he campaigned on this idea. we have 227 republicans saying yes. >> the magic number can shift by one or two. nbc news' editorial policy unlike other news organizations is not to call a vote until after the vote has been closed because sometimes there can be dramatic vote switching. it is very, very rare. that is kind of how we handle the calls. for viewers watching hopefully
msnbc listening to me say this -- >> hold on. paul ryan is talking. let's listen. >> without objection the motion is laid upon the table. >> sounds like that is it. they are clapping. republicans are clapping. we don't see democrats down there clapping. they are not happy about this. many of them crossing their arms. this is a bill that will be hung around the republicans neck for 2018. republicans are gambling -- let's listen. >> hr 4323 bill to promote -- >> moving on. this bill, this republican tax bill, the republicans are gambling that this bill is going to put enough money in the
pockets of average americans that in 2018 they won't feel the negative effects of this bill that this will be a boon to them rather than an albatross. it is something they have been trying to do for sometime. of course, this is a bit contrary to what the president was selling on the campaign trail. he was a populist. he was selling a tax cut that would not benefit him, a tax cut that would benefit the middle class and lower income people. this is a tax cut as we have seen now that benefits the wealthy. it benefits corporations and it benefits people like donald trump. we have not seen his tax returns. he still will not show them to us. we don't know exactly how much it will benefit him, but make no mistake this does benefit him. this is a big day for republicans. >> reporter: it is a big day. i'm here with the legislative
director. >> it's a big win for america. we think americans will get real tax relief starting next year. >> reporter: the numbers on this bill and we have a poll coming out later today. i'm not allowed to give out what that is going to show but a couple other polls have shown this is not popular with americans. do you think that is going to change? what do republicans need to do to pull the numbers up? >> i think it will change once the economy continues to roar and people continue to see more coming in their paycheck. we don't get a lot of favors from mainstream media in the way they cover this. >> how much of that is related to i know in february the new tables from the irs will come out and should change some with holding for americans who might see a rate cut. are you betting chances in the 2018 mid terms on people deciding that is because of what you did here? >> we believe that as america continues to turn around the economy that our national security is protected that we
will do just fine in the mid terms. >> reporter: let me ask you looking forward to the end of this week there is potential government shutdown on the horizon. what does the administration want to see from the house and the senate here, significant differences right now between where each chamber stands raising questions? >> i don't think anybody wants to shut down. we had meetings. i think we are making great progress. i think we will get it done and get continuing resolution passed. >> appreciate it. that was as you know mark short legislative director for the white house. he has a frequent prengs hesenc in the hallways. he is close with the vice president mike pence came out of sort of his orbit originally and worked on behalf of the koch brothers for a while. this is something he has been
working very hard on behind the scenes. i think our conversation after this vote is concluded will shift pretty rapidly towards what will happen at the end of the week when they need to pass another government funding bill. he is clearly engaged in conversations around that as they are pretty sure that the senate will do what the house just did. >> the senate goes to vote on this next. the senate should be passing this bill which means it should get to the president's desk as soon as tomorrow. he is obviously expected to sign the bill. now the vote has happened we are expecting a white house briefing from sarah huckabee sanders. peter alexander is in that room. >> reporter: the exhilaration behind closed doors was heard moments ago what was we think cheering. it sounded like they are content about the way this concluded.
it means one senate vote and presidential signature away from becoming law. this is something the president focussed on from the very beginning. we see sarah huckabee sanders come into the room. >> good afternoon. as i'm sure you all just saw the house of representatives voted for final passage on the tax cuts and jobs act that brings us one step closer to the president making good on his promise to deliver tax cuts for christmas. we are looking forward to the senate vote later this evening and the president will be monitoring these developments throughout the day. as december winds down i thought this would be a perfect opportunity oo look back at what has been a historic year. nearly 1.7 million new jobs have been created and the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1%, the lowest rate in 17 years. the stock market reached a record high more than 60 times and closed above 24,000 for the first time in history. we rolled back 22 regulations
for everyone new regulation saving taxpayers over $8 billion and liberating america's economy from the grip of bloated government. we have withdrawn from or began renegotiating trade deals that once threatened to destroy american industry and shipped our jobs around the world. we finally set up our nation on a path to not only energy independence but energy dominance. we approved the keystone xl pipelines, directed epa to end job killing war on coal and will have opened up to responsible energy exploration. the president has protected america's communities. we have seen the lowest level of illegal border crossings on record. we ended the obama administration's dangerous catch and release policies restoring law and order both on the border and in the interior and we have designed and built eight wall prototypes. we have taken unprecedented
steps to tackle america's opioid epidemic and we promoted peace through strength. under the president's leadership isis has lost nearly all territory in iraq and syria. we have restored old alliances, forged new ones, begun rebuilding our military and made it clear to the world that there is no greater ally than had united states of america. we reshaped the american judiciary for generations. justice gorsuch was confirmed to the supreme court and 22 judges confirmed. we protected life by reinstating the mexico city policy that protects $9 billion in u.s. taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion. this evening hopefully upon passage of tax cuts and jobs act the president will have dl delivered the most significant
tax cut. the president has delivered on promise after promise, issue after issue, time after time and we're just getting started. as some of you may have seen yesterday disney world debuted the president trump for its fame hall of presidents. the president's remarks for the exhibit which he recorded here at the white house he said from the beginning america has been a nation defined by its people. it's why our founders began our great constitution with three very simple words. we the people. in the coming days political analysts will write and talking heads will discuss what this year means for the president, what it means for the republican and democrat parties and for never ending political theater in washington, d.c. i encourage everyone to take a step outside of the beltway bubble and consider what this year means for the american people. to the forgotten men and women around our country you are forgotten no more.
this president is with you 100% and he will never let you down. and with that i will take your questions. >> two questions. first of all, what is the schedule for signing? i understand this may not happen until after christmas break. >> we are working on details. we want to make sure it gets passed. that is what we are focussed on now is helping make sure we see this through to the finish and then announce plans on what the signing will look like. >> carried interest provision, something that is a loop hole that president trump promised to close. carried interest loop hole is still there in this bill. why did the president not insist on getting rid of that? >> he laid out what his four biggest principles were that he wanted to make sure were part of any piece of legislation. we feel where it is now certainly answered and addressed that. that has been our focus all along and what we have continued to talk about consistently here
and every time we have talked about taxes. >> the president said the tax bill will cost him a fortune. it's actually not the case. how does he figure it will cost him a lot of money? >> we expect it will likely certainly on the personal side could cost the president a lot of money. the president's focus hasn't necessarily been at all on himself but been on the four principles laid out. number one and priority number one being it helps the american middle class. we know this bill does that and that's one of the biggest reasons the president has supported it and will look forward to signing it in the coming days. >> top rate tax reduction, state tax exemption he is going to make money on that. >> this is a tax plan that we hope benefits all americans primarily. priority number one is middle class americans. we feel like that is certainly
addressed and been prioritized in this legislation. we are going to be very excited to sign it hopefully in the coming days. >> early reports are indicating that the fatal amtrak derailment in washington similar to the 2015 derailment in philadelphia could have been prevented by positive train control which congress passed in '08 and was supposed to be on all lines by 2015. that has been pushed back and only on a quarter of passenger lines right now. is this white house considering any steps to speed up the implementation of positive train control to stop these accidents? >> right now we are continuing to review and investigate exactly what took place yesterday and once we have more detailed determination on that we can take steps to prevent things like this from happening in the future. >> you ticked off a number of accomplishments that you have seen the president has made in the first year in office. why are his ratings in the mid
to upper 30s despite accomplishments? >> i think often times because while the president and this administration has been very focussed on how we can better help the american people i think often times the media is focussed on other things, certainly not talking about the growing economy, certainly not talking about the crushing of isis, not talking about the creation of jobs. if you look at the amount of time spent on negative coverage 06 this president, 90% of the coverage is negative about this president when as you just said i listed off a number of things that have been pretty historic in nature in this first year and if people were focussed a lot more on those things in the media i think his numbers would be a lot higher. we anticipate they will go up as more and more things continue to happen and particularly as more and more people start to feel the impact of the booming economy and tax cuts that will take place later tonight and go into effect in the first part of february. i think those are all things that will help the numbers.
>> just if i may, matthew peterson since we last met with drew his nomination. there has been a viral video of his inability to answer basic legal questions before his confirmation hearing. how does he slip through the cracks? why was he nominated and are you doubling up your effort here at the white house over at doj to make sure nominees can answer those questions? >> the president's judicial selection process has led to historic pace of confirmations including 12 circuit court justices and a supreme court justice. every administration has individuals that don't go all the way through the process. we have had 60 nominees and only three that haven't gone through this process. that individual has withdrawn and we will make sure that we fill that spot with a really strong and qualified candidate. >> where was the president
watching when the house vote snd. >> i'm not sure. i will have to circle back. i was getting ready to come out. i was watching to make sure i didn't make you guys wait too much longer. >> can you explain now that we are near the end of the year why the president submitted far fewer names to the senate for nomination than predecessors? >> we have been focussed on filling positions as quickly as possible. but at the same time the president has said before he doesn't think that every single position in the government needs to be filled. he is going to cut back on some of those positions we have been focussed on some of the top priority places and we will continue filling out individuals. we have also seen a massive slow down and obstruction by the democrats. hopefully they will continue to push people through particularly in individuals that were held up whether it's in the judiciary or something that falls under the national defense profile. >> let me ask you a couple of questions pick up where john
roberts left off asking about the carried interest hoop hole. he said basically how it is keeping the carried interest loop hole or a portion of it good for the middle class? >> big priorities that we had were make it easy, make it fair, win again and bring it home. we feel like the tax legislation certainly does that. there were provisions put in place that directly help and benefit the middle class. they see more money come home and see child care, tax canductions double. there are a lot of things that will impact the middle class and we feel like those things address the need to help give them that boost and we think this absolutely will. >> the individual who makes roughly $83,000 would pay about 24% with their rate. somebody who benefits a millionaire still might pay 24% on that money. does the white house believe that somebody who makes 83,000,
do you guys believe that is fair? >> again, i'm not going to get into back and forth on detailed hypothetical situation that i don't have in front of me and i can't quickly do the math on. i can tell you we feel like this plan fully addresses helping the middle class giving the majority of middle class americans more of their money back. that's what we have been focussed on and we feel confident in that. >> i want to ask about ufos. several media reports disclos disclosed -- >> i don't know if that is a coincidence or not. i feel like i already want to pass on this question given that you have aliens sitting among you. >> presidents believe in the
existence of ufos and would he be interested in funding for the program? >> somehow that question hasn't come up in our back and forth. i will check into that mptthat. we understand that they are fully prepared to take action immediately and that people will see the benefits of this tax package start at the first part of february. we have confirmed that with the irs. >> follow up on a couple of questions. you are saying the particular n nomin nominee -- >> i didn't say that. i said that we have been focussed on pushing forward. we have put forward over 60 nominees. we had three individuals that had to withdraw. that individual was one of them. we are focussed on making sure we fill that position with
somebody -- >> based on your process you thought was prepared? >> we again are looking always for the best and brightest. when we felt like that wasn't necessarily the right person for the position hues has withdrawn his nomination. we haven't continued to go forward. that is pretty standard in most administrations. every administration prior to us has had to withdraw nominees. we had to withdraw three out of 60. i think a lot of people are focussed on just those three and not at the overwhelming number the president has had nominees confirmed at a historic pace and many with bipartisan support including 12 members of supreme court. >> you don't disagree with what she said about the personal benefits that will accrue to the president based on provisions and it will benefit -- >> i said in some ways particularly on the personal side the president will likely
take a big hit. on the business hit he could benefit but the biggest focus for this white house has been to make sure all americans are better off today after this tax package passes than they were beforehand. we really focussed on invigorating the middle class and making sure they got more of their hard earned money. we think that will happen in this package. >> you said the focus is on middle class. why was one of the last provisions put in lowering the top bracket. >> some of the back and forth we respected the process. we have been engaged in that process but we layed out what four priorities were. that was our focus in the process. we felt like those priorities were met. >> middle class to lower the rate for the bracket for top individual earners? >> some economists think it
does. i would be happy to refer you to some of them that give a deep dive and get into a conchae conversation. a lot of people think it does impact and can help the middle class and i would be happy to set you up with those folks later. >> what do you say to millions of americans who will likely pay more because individual mandate is repealed? >> we have maintained all along that we think that is the right step. most americans want to keep more of their money. this plan does this. most americans want to get rid of special interest loopholes that benefit the rich. this plan does this. they want to simplify the fax code to make it easier to file taxes. when you look at the actual elements of the bill in front of the american people they overwhelmingly support it eve an lot of democrat support has picked up. >> on the individual mandates specifically you acknowledge that many americans will end up paying more. >> we have said all along that
. you are getting a lot of questions about what will benefit the president, what won't benefit the president. i get he doesn't want to release his taxes that would obviously put all of these questions to rest. can you elucidate why for 2016 the president can release his taxes and why won't he do that. put all of these questions away. back up what you are saying, proven the allegation is correct. >> as i have said many times
before, the president's taxes are still under audit. until that is completed then we wouldn't move forward to putting his president out i don't think it's that complicated. as long as they are under audit he's not going to release them. they are under audit so he is not going to release those taxes. john. >> i think we have addressed this a number of time. i'm not sure why answering it another time will make the answer any different john? >> of two questions on russia. first, the kremlin has recently threatened twitter with a complete shutdown throughout russia if it continues to carry the twitter account of what they call undesirables, notably the dissident miguel corps could have beenski's open russia rule. they have made a similar threat to you tube recently. what's the administration's react when the russian government wants to shut down
american-run businesses bringing an expression of opinion to their country? >> certainly, generally speaking, we would not support a government shutting down american businesses. and i don't know why this would be different but i'd have to look into the details on that specific action and request that they have made. >> the other thing on russia, senator rubio has introduced legislation to name the street in front of the russian embassy here after the slain russian dissident boris nemtsov. senator corker blocked it. does the administration have an opinion? >> not that i'm aware of. >> i wanted to ask you about the export/import. now that the senate committee is saying it shouldn't go forward, does the white house think it needs to name someone else -- >> we are going to work with the committee on a path forward. that hasn't yet been determined.
we are certainly very disappointed in the senate banking committee missed an opportunity to get the export/import banking fully functioning again. we are going the work with them to determine the next steps. >> on his name or somewhere someone else. >> more generally speaking on a path forward. we will death and let you know if it's going to be a different individual or with that path. >> matthew was asking about amtrak. there was a budge request as i understand from the president for $630 million reduction in the long distance amtrak routes. because the accident in washington, do you plan on revisiting that issue? on matthew peterson, the three that were turned down, it is a our understanding that they had close tie to the white house. are you going to try to change the vetting process? finally on the unon ufcs. >> let me start and do one at a time because i'm not going to remember all of those questions if we have to -- we will see if we can get all of that.
the first one was on judicial nominees. >> the first one was on the amtrak. >> this is why i didn't skip and let you take three. on amtrak as i told matthew minutes ago we are going the wait until that investigation is complete and there is a more thorough review. and we'll talk about next steps once that's done. in terms of the judicial nominees, i have walked flew that a couple of times now. we have put through 60 -- nominated 60 individuals. only three have had to withdraw or not gone forward in some capacity. that's pretty standard for any administration. every administration ahead of us has had similar challenges where they have either withdrawn or not gone forward. >> it's looked upon as those were friends of the white house and that's why any got that nomination. are you going to change the vetting process or look at it more closely if we were focused on friends close to the white house those individuals, moving forward and not having withdrawn. >> calls out russia for using
subversive tactics to interfere in the elections of other countries. why didn't the president use that aggressive language in his speech yesterday. >> he weighed in on russia a number of times. the policy put forward in the detailed paper was that of the president and reflects his views. you know, he didn't read every single page of it word for word. i'm sure you are thankful for that. we certainly could have. maybe i should do that for the mex briefing. the president has been clear about his position. we have put sanctions on russia, been tough on them. imported energy and impacted them in a big way. the president hasn't been soft in the process. he chose to focus on different thing in the speech but these thing were included in the national security strategy because they are foreign and part of the administration's viewpoints. jill. >> first back to the scott
barrett issue, does the president regret nominating someone who to this point voted to get rid of the import export bank? >> not that i am aware of. last question. >> -- >> the invitation has been extended and accepted. we are working with them to achieve the final details. we will keep you posted. last question. >> the president said this tax cut bill would cost him a fortu fortune. that was false, right? >> no, because on the personal side this actually could impact the president in a large way. >> as you look at it in and out, it would balance out the corporate versus personal he would come out ahead. >> i know there are a number of provisions that would negatively impact the president personally. we contend those comments are still very consistent. however like i said our focus
has been on the middle class and that is what we think is deliberate in this tax packaged. and we look forward to seeing it passed later today. and signed at a date soon. and we'll be sure to keep you posted on that. thanks, so much, guys. >> sarah huckabee sanders, white house obviously happy about the house passing the tax bill. waiting for the senate to pass the tax bill. we have not seen the president's tax returns. we don't know exactly how the tax bill is going the affect him. you might wonder if somebody is selling it as something that's going the hurt him but at the same time won't show you proof that it does hurt him, how that might be, how you might be able to make that sale. but the president certainly trying it. ali velshi i think it's interesting when sarah huckabee sanders says on the personal side he is not going to benefit or might not benefit. on the business side he might benefit. it is the trump organization. >> there is no part of donald trump that doesn't benefit. there is no part of it.
the highest marginal tax rate has begun down from 39.6 to 37. the amt expollution his family will benefit from. there is no way in which -- and donald trump that is has said this a few times in speeches it's going to cost me, it's going the cost my rich friends. they are in the happy with me. they are calling me. that is simply not true. one could philosophically say it is a okay if companies get tax cuts. there are lots of liberals who think that corporate taxes in america should be reformed. what is problematic about in bill is how it's wrapped in this clothing of being a middle class tax cut when in fact after ten years it will not be. >> dave brat was trying to sell it as if you give money to the corporations and the wealthy it will trickle down. >> and you told him there is no evidence that that happens. >> reagan had a tax cut for a number of people. >> and wages went down. >> and bill clinton taxed the weal
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