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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 19, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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heesz going to call it a middle class mir kale and go on and on. this is a big accomplishment and a big rescue for them. >> and it is a big accomplish. they were desperate to get a major legislative win. they are about to get it right now. and our special coverage continues with brooke baldwin right here on cnn. > . all right. wolf. thank you so much. i'm brooke baldwin. let's take you to the live pictures on capitol hill as huge, huge win for republicans is just in sight here. quickly, on the other side of pennsylvania avenue, the white house briefing will begin in a little while in shaping up to be the biggest day of the trump administration thus far. the house is set to vote on this final version of the massive republican tax bill. the same one that the president promised by christmas. it will overhaul the nation's tax code as we know it. if all goes as planned, the nat
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will then vote after the house. and the president is eksz pekxpo get this bill and sign it by tomorrow. now when he autographs this, he and his party will have achieved landmark tax reform not seen since 1986. and the president himself will end the year on a huge high mark getting the first victory of his straks. y administration. yet, here is the but, the 5050 page has been panned by the people. a new cnn poll shows 55% of americans oppose it. so let's start there and go back to capitol hill to our correspondent sunlen who has been watching all the movements here. talk about that magic number that the house needs for that win. and the expected time line of the day. >> reporter: yeah, the time line is so important here. in the next 15 mibts or so they'll be voting on the floor
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on procedural vote. then they'll move to the vote on republican tax bill. they need to hit 217. no drama here. republicans believe and know they have the votes to get this passed along party lines oefvern the house. and we saw paul ryan taking a previctory lap on the floor. spoke taking a step back to put this moment that he's been fighting for in context that this hasn't been a tax overhaul has not been passed for the last 30 years. certainly a significant moment for him as speaker. he says this is a day i've been looking forward to for quite some time. today we are giving them their money back sochlt the house will proceed to vote in 15 minutes and we expect it will pass. sends it over to the senate where senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has said that he intends to move to a final vote in the senate. later tonight it could be very, very late. but at the end of this day, republicans up here on capitol
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hill, brooke, feel very confident they will be sending a final bill to president trump's desk for his final signature. >> i like how you put that prevote victory lap, that is what we saw from the house speaker there. and as we wait for the different numbers to fill in, and as you highlighted the magic number 217, there has been a lot of back and forth in terms of substance and policy within this bill. can you just give me a couple of the headlines on who this benefits the most? >> reporter: yeah. so a lot of back and forth. and i think even after the passage, if that's what it dorks and we believe that will, that's a discussion that many republicans will continue having, what exactly is in this bill, who is this benefiting the most. first, a few of the top lines that we've reported over the last days and weeks, repeals the obamacare individual mandate. sets the corporate tax rate at 21%. that's down from 35%. and that remains permanent.
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caps mortgage interest rate deductions at $750,000. and caps the state and local tax deductions at $10,000. now, on the tax brackets that we've been talking so much about, this actually, this proposal, this bill that they are voting on keeps 7 personal incomes tax brackets. lowest stays there with 10%. but lowers top individual rate. down from 39.6% to now 37%. so a lot of details with massive massive tax overhaul. but again at the end of the day today, republicans looking for a win. >> sunlen, thank you so much. we'll ta in close contact with you and keep your eyes on the screen here on the house floor as the vote is set to get under way. and after the fact a massive victory lap over at the white house. before we get there, i have with
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me here, cnn political correspondent, and white house correspondent, and tax and economic reporter for the "new york times." so the obvious question, this is a huge deal for the president of the united states on the verge of his first major legislative win. but first on paul ryan, i think i heard him use phrases like recapturing our destiny and something looking forward to since the third grade. >> that might be true. he's some whaf ha tax nerd. that goes to something paul ryan has been working on since his time on capitol hill. you have to remember, let's go back over the last year, brooke, you and i talked about a lot of polling that came out that showed that republicans were telling us that they were really blaming the congressional
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leadership and the republican majorities in the house and senate for the in action this year, they weren't blaming president trump. and paul ryan and mitch mcconnell were keenly aware of that as were their members. they also know they are heading into an election year face ago ton of head winds coming at them. so the one thing that they have gone to their members and said if we don't go back to our core voters and say we have accomplished one of our major promise, they are going to have our heads. so now you are going to see paul ryan and the house majority, you got a taste of it there, tout this success at getting it done because they saw it as a threat to their majority. now they have course know they are passing something unpopular with the pleern people but taking a leap of faith that people will feel more money in their pockets and people will feel better about the tax cuts down the road. >> let's look at the numbers. opposition to the bill has grown
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10 points, since early november 55% now oppose it, that's 33% actually favoring these proposals to reform the nation's tax code. this is the day, david said it perfectly, they had to deliver on something, and this is the delivery to that base. but what these poll numbers, is it worth the gamble? >> i mean, i think that they felt, republicans tell us they felt they had to have this victory otherwise the midterms will be done for them. and so the fact that it is so unpopular, it is a huge gamble, but if they do a good job of selling it next year, if people are feeling like they have more money in their pocket as david said, you know then we can see a very different sentiment about the tax bill. and people starting to feel like things are starting to roll in washington. but the midterm voters that they are going to have to target, a lot of them won't necessarily benefit very much from this bill
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at all. and so that's going to be really interesting to watch next year. you know, especially in those districts where you have vulnerable republicans and the hillary clinton won in 2016. >> maybe this is the message to help some of those republicans, abby, i saw this tweet from bloomberg to sa quill. he said if it passes he will have repealed, and cut tax, opened up awr judges, killed a lot of regulations. this is not a trivial agenda. abby? >> i this i that's pretty much right. like we got to the and of this year not exactly sure how taxes would go. because we've gotten so close on health care, and those other votes did not go through, so it was unclear whether they would finally be able to get something. because i think the judges issue is important to sort of movement
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on conservatives, washington conservatives. but this trump white house understands what they need to do is deliver something that people can see in their homes and at their kitchen tables. and that's what tax reform has the opportunity for them to do. i think this white house is feeling pretty good right now, because they are closing out this year having done at least one big thing. they had hoped to get two. they got one. and they got the repeal of the individual mandate. they are feeling pretty good. and you'll hear in a couple of minutes a little bit of that from sarah huckabee sanders. they are waiting until this vote happens before she comes out so that she can tout this really important moment for this white house. >> so abby made a great point, jim, how this is a way for folks to see how this translates around their own kitchen tables. we saw the roll out at the white house and how effective that way pr strategy wise when we saw all the families come forward and
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saying thanks mr. president, this is how it will help me and my family. but here's the but, two thirds see the bill as doing more to benefit the wealthy than the middle class and almost 4 in 10 americans say in the bill becomes will you their own family will be worse off. yet this is what paul ryan said earlier today. >> when we get this done, when people see their withholding improving and jobs occurring, and see bigger checks, a simpler tax code, that's what is going to produce the results, results are going to make this popular. >> so, jim, for all of the americans watching and wondering how does this affect me, how much do i really benefit? and i mean not just next year, but longer term, who stands to benefit the most? >> well, if you are watching this and you are american you are probably getting a tax cut from this. the simple truth in the first year is tax cut for almost everybody. not everybody, there are
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millions of families, particularly middle class, upper middle class families who will see tax increases especially in high tax states. but in the first year it is a tax cut. not a huge cut for a lot of folks but it's a substantial one. now what happens over time in the bill is those tax cuts fade for a lot of people. particularly in the middle class and for lower income people by the end, if the bill stays as written, by the end of the ten years, the bill calls for all of the tax cuts go away. and so then you might actually see, actually you would see, tax hikes on basically everybody. so in the first year republicans are betting those benefits will be so great that people aren't worried about what comes down the line. and what we have seen in polling and you are seeing as well is people having a lot more concerns, perhaps looking farther into the future. >> i'm trying to pull up this tweet. l.a. times editorial board, this is part of what they wrote, republicans haphazard approach
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to tax reform feels like a long weekend of bing drinking, should be ahead splitting fiscal hangover. one group's opinions. please let me ask all of you to stand by. any moment now voting is expected to begin on the house floor for this republican tax bill. we will take that live. stay with me. i'm brooke baldwin. are you watching cnn special live coverage. pop that in there. hit strong. press brew. that's it. strong. bold. rich. i feel like you're toying with me. show me how strong you are. (screams) lift me up! dan! lift me up! for her compassion and care. he spent decades fighting to give families a second chance. but to help others, they first had to protect themselves. i have afib. even for a nurse, it's complicated... and it puts me at higher risk of stroke. that would be devastating. i had to learn all i could to help protect myself.
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i have my panel back. and david, take us onto the floor of the house and walk us through what is happening and what to watch for. >> as you said we are going through a procedural vote now. then on to the real vote. and here's what is key. you already heard from paul ryan, that sort of the messaging around this, they'll have the vote to tout. we'll hear from sarah huckabee sanders. and if the senate is able to finish its business tonight and gets on the desk of the president tomorrow, the key here is going to be president trump, how he marks this moment in time, visually from a message point of view before people are fully immersed into the holiday break. he really is going to try, as you saw him start doing yesterday in his speech, to end this year with some better spin on the ball here. you read that list, brooke, i thought it was a good list of all those republican accomplishments that the bloomberg reporter had tweeted. i would also add to that people in america are feeling much
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better in about the economy then they have in years. obviously the president touting on the regular basis stock market numbers. and yet, and yet. >> his approval rate something low. >> is hanging so far low. so his behavior in office is spree preventing him from reaping the rewards, usually that helps a president, that is not helping him right now because he's get inning his own way. >> jim, what do you make of that? normally you have these two data points, right, you have economy that's doing well, very well, and then you have a president who typically does very well. they are linked. and in this case with the new numbers on the president's approval rating all down to 35%, again, you know, one of our numbers here cnn, yet you've seen the boom on wall street and beyond, how do you reconcile that? >> well, we have done some polling with survey monkey throughout the year. and what we found is that the president's approval rate something highly correlated with
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economic optimism. in fact, number one in all of the poll. which tells us two things. one the president is helping to lifted people's assessment of the economy among people who like him. but also that his rating would probably be a lot lower if people weren't so optimistic about the economy right now. so in a weird way that interplay is really helping the president on one side of this equation. on the other side, i this i we are seeing with people who don't think this bill is going to help them, the tax bill, some of that is proxy how they feel about trump. and if they continue to not like the president, they may be less inclined to credit his tax bill, signature tax bill for any improvements they see in their own paychecks. >> once this bill wraps and presumably pass, as david says could get to the senate tonight, and lands on the president tomorrow for autograph, abby to
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you we will then see sarah sanders. what do you expect from her? >> this is white house keenly intent on keeping promise, you'll see this for the rest of the week. in a doigs what you will hear from sarah huckabee sanders, you can pekt the president today having a major unveiling of this new policy that he's been able to put on the table. because the white house believes that their supporters are less focused on the nitty-gritty and ups and downs and more focused on whether trump is doing what he said he was going to do in the campaign and whether he can drive that home. you've seen a lot in the last week about that on a number of issues, not just on taxes, but on national security issues, on immigration. this white house wants to be able to say if they go into january 1 this is a president who keeps his promises.
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now, you know, i think jim and others have mentioned a little bit of this, but i think that when it comes down to the approval rating of this tax bill, it will be interesting to see how that fares long-term. it is possible that people are reacting to what they heard about the bill in the back and forth, horse trading. and that there is a possibility that once they see a little bit more money in their paychecks, they'll be happy with it. but it's also possible that it's not as much as was promised. you'll hear the president say they will get a very big christmas present. if january, people are seeing a sma small christmas present, it's unclear how they will feel. maybe big promises and what they delivered to them was smaller than that. >> so it's interesting, i think you are totally right, it will be from sarah sanders and from the administration, see we promised this tax cut for you, and we are delivering, and oh,
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by the way that individual mandate obamacare, bye-bye, it's gone. so my question to you in how it translates, fast forward to the midterms in 2018, how will that translate for those republicans? specifically in the rust belt states, will be that enough to help them along? >> that's a huge question we can't answer. because as you know so much can change between now and then. anything from the russia investigation, if that captures people's interest more, make them more concerned about stability in the white house, how the economy is doing next year, right before the election, that will have so much to do with how they vote. and really the question, you know, that democrats are trying to sell to people is you want a check on trump's power. so let us move in and take control of either one chamber or the other. trump is making you weary.
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his tweets. his behavior. that's what they are selling to people. and will a tax cut be enough to balance that out? we don't know yet. >> that's the question. i got you. just again, quickly, just play by play what we are looking at now, we are still waiting for the official tax vote to begin. they have this procedural vote. they are still in the middle of that. five votes waiting for the procedural vote to wrap. then we will move on. okay. i'm being told that they are voting on it now. shall we dip in for a moment and listen? let's listen. >> members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five minute vote. >> there they go. they are now officially voting on this massive tax bill that the republicans are planning on
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having this be a huge win. that number 217 that is the number of yea votes they need for this massive tax vote to pass. and david, just over to you, we have some sound lech. let me play this. because the focus is on the house then moves onto the senate. so we have some sound on on paul ryan from selling this bill. here he was. >> as you've heard all my colleagues say the facts are not irrelevant. so we are beginning to make the argument to the american people. and they are going to see, as senator blunt pointed out, they do get more on average. and i think the argument is still out there to be won. look at all the indicators of optimism. look at the, although i don't want to over emphasize quarterly growth rates, but i think
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quarterly growth rates of 3% are pretty significant. look at the stock market and look at the optimism. i think the american people are going to begin to feel that the country is moving again after eight years of relative stagnation. thank you. >> okay. so that was senate majority leader there. and you heard key words. stock market. optimism. we have another voice mark preston, let me bring you into this conversation as we are watching this house vote on this tax bill. we hear language like this. we hear language we saw paul ryan on recapturing our destiny. this is about promises kept. this is about follow-through. what is your assessment as we are just about a minute into this? >> well, a couple of things. one, i think what you said at the very end, promises kept and follow-through. if you go back through the past 11 years of the trump presidency, there hasn't been
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any successes, there hasn't been any follow through. there has been a lot of mistakes made by the administration and on capitol hill as well. not strg all their ducks lined up. but as we talk about this tax cut right now, and republicans will talk about spurring economic growth, and in the long run that will offset the additional money that it's going to add to the deficit. the fact is we are headed into 2018 right now, and this is the kind of vote i believe that is going to energize the liberal left. it's not necessarily going to energize the republicans. >> how so? >> because what they'll say, and we have seen some people pulled out of the house chamber screaming down there, because what we are going to see from the liberal left is that republicans in power are going to continue to try to do these types of things that they are against. so it's a lot easier to try to get your grassroots activists charged up to oppose something as opposed to getting them charged up to say hey great job in getting that done. so this vote while taking place
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in 2017 will have great, great influence on what happens in 2018. >> that is exactly what i was asking mave about. but i realize a lot can happen between december 19th and next november. david, just to you on democrats. what's the democrats move once this passes? >> there is it the vice president there, brooke, he's going to preside and be part of the messaging operation from the administration today even if he's tie breaking vote isn't needed in the senate. well, looks like you are over the margin there, brooke, 224 yea votes. so the bill looks like it has enough votes that it's passed. >> let's listen in, david. okay. a little bit of nothing. there was applause. you are right. 226. all they needed was 217.
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>> plenty of opportunity to get applause, no doubt. i think the speaker is up there. >> is that the vice president at the top there? no, i don't think. go ahead. >> question on your democrats, you'll hear the democrats make the argument that so far has been the winning argument that sees the tax bill that favors the wealthy. so they'll make a class argument. i am very curious to find out and i asked a lot of democrats this, i wonder if next fall this bill is going to be something in their ads or something they'll be more focused on health care, trump, investigations, and all things donald trump more than this bill. it's hard down the road, necessarily, to run against a tax cut. it's a little easier to run against tax hikes. >> do we know -- we've all been pouring through these numbers. and 73% of americans all part of the cnn polling want president
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trump to release his taxes publicly. right. this is all germane, once again because people are wondering how this this go for the trump family. how does president trump benefit from this? because we hear over white house this is good for middle class america. but you heard from jim tax cut and be surprised maybe not as big a chunk of change. but after that first year, it continues to get smaller and smaller. and so still that thirst for tax returns, i guess, reign supreme. >> it is a thirst that the president will ignore. and even though three quarters of americans would like to see him release tax reforms, i doubt he'll feel any public pressure from majority of americans who would like him to do so. so all we have to go on is one of his tax returns we have seen
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a little bit of to say he's not right when he says he is going to get hurt from this bill. and indeed the american people also in our polls say, as you were suggesting, that they think he's going to be ha lot better off because of this tax bill personally, his family, then he will be worse off. >> okay. what are we waiting for, david, i'm picking on you? are we waiting for the final gavel? >> we are waiting for the vote to come to an actual close. clock has run out. looks like speaker ryan is getting instructions from them. there it is. >> there it goes. there was the gavel. let's listen. >> have all voted? anyone want to change their vote?
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>> on this vote, the yeas are 227. and the nays are 203. the conference report is adopted. without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. [ applause ] >> to suspend the rules and pass hr 23 as amended. the clerk to report the title of the bill. hr 4323 the bill to veteran and stem education, computer science and scientific research and further purposes. >> the question is will the house suspend the rules? >> you heard it the gavel thrown and the house speaker saying
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specifically 227. so 227 they needed just ten less to pass. they got it. you heard soma applause and i think a little bit of booing from the house floor as this republican tax plan has officially passed the house. and mave reston, over to you, heads on to the senate, and i asked abby, but i'll ask you the same question because we know the white house press briefing has been waiting to begin contingent on this vote. it passed. what sort of messaging are you expecting from the white house this afternoon? >> well, this is such a rare moment for this administration where she can come out and give good news. what's been so remarkable about this bill is that the messaging around it has been really quite terrible. i mean the stories that you see are constantly about how this is going to help the trump family or his quote unquote crodonors.
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and she has the case to come out here and say american people are better under the trump administration. that they have delivered on a major piece of legislation finally. the fact that they accomplished so little throughout this year with the exception of the regulatory agenda and loosening regulations is just been a huge struggle for the trump white house. and now she can come out here and gloat and walk through the ways in which they think this will help the economy. which is already doing pretty well. but they really have a lot of convincing to do today, obviously, as we are seeing from these poll numbers. and i think you are hearing mitch mcconnell we are just sta start go to make the argument. so far the messaging has been terrible. >> mark over to you, you've seen the polling, according to the cnn polls out tonight, opposition to the bill has grown 10 points.
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so 33% of the americans say they favor this. despite all of that though, just reading phil mattingly from this morning, it looks like it's been full barrel ahead for these republicans, go, go, go, let's pass this thing. why take that gam snbl. >> well, because, look as paul ryan had said in the floor comments last hour, they had to, they gave a promise and said they would follow-through on it. and in fact they have done so. but i do think what's important about the numbers as we do talk about the lack of support for the bill, over all there is lack of support for the bill and we have seen a drop of 10 points as you noted from november to today, which is amazing, right, that's a huge drop. however, if you look at the republican support for the bill, that actually went up over the past month. and right now it is 76% of republicans support the bill h so if you are a republican congressman right now, if you are republican senator, and you look at that support from
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amongst your base, that's actually a pretty good number given the fact as mave was pointing out messages around this bill has been incredibly bad. and i think that have you to look at the white house and say that the white house hasn't necessarily been a great wing man for congressional republicans in all of this. so as we have been saying and been talking about, this vote today is going to have ramifications in 2018. i think david is right when he says i don't think it's going to be the ad that is done. however, you will see democrats and liberals try to excite their base by noting that this tax cut is actually going to help the wealthy much much more than it would help the middle class. >> david, we have some live pictures there up on the hill and waiting for the white house briefing to begin. i don't know if weem hear from some of the members momentarily in this win with what was it,
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227 yeas to pass it. >> nice 10-vote cushion there. >> yeah. we saw the vice president passing by. what's his role? >> he is the president of the senate, that's where he gets his paycheck from. so he is the presiding officer of the senate. >> david, forgive me. here's sarah sanders. >> 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 thissing eveni this evening. as december winds down i thought it was a perfect opportunity to look back at on a historic year. nearly 1.7 million new jobs and unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1% lowest rate in 17 years. stock market reached a record high more than 60 times and closed above 24,000 for the
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first time in history. we have rolled back 22 regulations for everyone new regulation, saving taxpayers over $8 billion and liberating america's economy from the bloated government. we have withdrawn from or renegotiating the trade deals that once threatened to destroy american industry and ship our jobs around the world. we finally set up our nation on a path to not only energy independence, but energy dominance. we approve the keystone ex-i'll and directed epa to end the coal, and will have opened up exile. the president has protected communities. we have seen the least border crossings. we have ended obama catch and release policies, restore law both on the border and interior. and designed and built 8 wall
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prototypes for the border wall. we have taken unprecedented steps to tachling the opioid ep deppic and peace through strength. unl der the president's leadser ship isis has lost all of its territory and important strongholds in iraq and syria. we have restored old alliances, forged new ones, begun rebuilding our military and no greater ally than the united states of america. we have reshaped the american ju judiciary for generations. justice gorsuch was confirmed to the supreme court and record setting 12 circuit judges. we protected life by reinstating and expanding the mexico city policy that protects $9 billion in u.s. taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion. and this evening hopefully upon passage of the tax cuts and jobs act, the president will have delivered the most significant
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tax cut in the history of the nation and a peeled the obamacare individual mandate. president has delivered on promise after promise, issue after issue, time after time. and we are just getting started. as some have seen yesterday disney world debuted president trump. in the president remark for the exhibits that he recorded in the white house earlier this he said, from the beginning america has been a nation defined by its people. it's why our founders began our great constitution with 3 very simple words. we the people. in the coming days, political analysts will right and talking heads will discuss what this year means. what it means are the president. what it means for the republican and democrat parties. and for the never ending political theater in washington d.c. but i would 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
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forgotten no more. this president is with you 100%. and as this year has already proven he will never let you down. and with that, i'll take your questions. john? >> two questions on tax reform if i could. first of all, what's the schedule for signing? i understand this may not happen until after the christmas break? >> look, still working on the details. the signing. but first we want to make sure it gets passed is helping we make sure we finish it to the senate and announce what assigning would look like and where it would take place. >> second question, carried interest provision, this is a loophole that president trump promised again and again and again to close, carried interest loophole is still there. why did the president not insist? >> he laid out what the four biggest principles were. that he wanted to make sure we are part of any piece of legislation. we feel that the piece of legislation where it is now certainly answered and addressed that. that has been our focus all
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along. and what we have continued to talk about consistently here and every time we have talked about taxes. >> the president has said tax bill will cost him a fortune. actually not the case. how does he figure this is going to cost him a lot of money? >> look, we expect that it likely will certainly on the personal side could cost the president a lot of money. again the president's focus hapt been necessarily at all on himself. but it's been on the four principles that we laid out. number one, and priority number one, being that it helps the american middle class. we know that this bill does that. and that's one of the biggest reasons that the president has supported it, been engaged, and will look forward to signing it in the coming days. >> pass through deductions, top rate tax deductions, state exemption is doubled he'll make money on that? >> look, again, this sa tax plan that we hope benefits all americans. priority number one is middle class americans. that has been this administration's focus.
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we feel like that is certainly addressed. and been prioritized in this legislation and very excited to sign it hopefully in the coming days. >> earlier reports are state that the fatal amtrak in washington, similar to 2016 philadelphia could have been prevented from positive train control which congress said would be on all lines in 2515 and that's been pushed back. is this white house considering any steps to speed up train control to stop these kinds of accidents? >> right now we are continuing to investigate what exactly took place yesterday. and once we have more detailed determination on that is correct we can take steps to prevent things like this from happening in the future. john? >> thanks a lot, sarah. you ticked off a number of accomplishments that you say the president has made in the first
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year in office. why are his approval ratings in the upper 30s despite the accomplishments? >> i think oftentimes because while the president and this administration has been focused on how we can better help the american people, i think oftentimes the media is focused 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 that is spent on negative coverage of 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 focused a lot more on those things in the media, i think his numbers would be a lot higher. we anticipate his approval rating will go up. and more hand more people start to feel the impact of the booming economy, the tax plates that will take place later tonight and go into effect the
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first part of february. i think those are things that will help boom the numbers. >> and just if i may, matthew peterson since we last met, withdrew his judicial nomination, there has been a viral media of his inability to answer some basic legal questions when he went up before his confirmation hearing. how did he slip through the cracks? why he was nominatesed? and are you doubling up your effort here at the white house over a doj to make sure that your judicial nominees can answer those basic questions when they go up to the con dpir mags hearings? >> look, the president haste jushl selection process has lead to historic pace of confirmations including 12 sir yet court justices. and administration has individuals that don't go through all the process. we have 60 nom fees and only 3 that didn't go through the process. that individual has withdrawn. and we'll make sure we fill that strong with a qualified candidate.
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>> where was the president watching when the house voted? and did you see his reaction? what did he do? >> i'm not sure. i'll have to circle back with you on that. i was getting ready to come out. watch to go make sure i didn't make you wait too much longer. >> nominations can you explain now we are near the end of the year why the president has submitted far fewer names then his predecessors? >> look, we have been focused on filling positions but at the same time the president has said before he doesn't think every single position needs to be filled. he is going to cutback on some of the positions. we have focused on top priority. and continue filling out individuals. but also seen a massive slow down and obstruction by the democrats. hopefully they'll continue to push our 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
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questions where john roberts left off. he said it fell within the president's four main principles he laid out. how is keeping the car rid interest loophole or a portion of it good for the middle class? >> look, the priorities, make it fair, win again, bring it home. we feel this tax legislation certainly does that. provision that is put in place that help and benefit the middle class. this he see more of their money come home. they see child care tax deductions double. there are a lot of things going to impact the middle class. and we feel like those things address the need to really help give them that boost. and we think this absolutely will. >> let me ask you this, an individual who makes roughly $83,000 would pay about 24% with their rate. somebody who benefits a millionaire, tens of millions, if not more, still might pay 24% on that money.
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does the white house believe that somebody who makes $83 versus somebody tens of millions, do you think that is fair? >> look, again, i'm not going to get into back and forth hypothetical situation i don't have in front of me and i can't quickly do the math on. but i can tell you we feel this plan fully addresses the middle class giving the majority of middle class americans more of their money back. and that's what we've been focused on and feel confident in that. >> i wanted to ask about ufos. [ laughter ] . several media reports this week disclosed -- sorry -- >> i was going to say, i don't know if that's a cohenincidence not. i feel like i want to not answer. >> secret pentagon program,
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funding ran out in 2012. does the president believe in this ufo and interested in restoring funding? >> somehow that question hasn't come up in the back and foertd last couple of days but i'll check into that and be happy to circle back. >> does the president make sure they have the irs to implement the new rules? >> we understand they are fully prepared to take action immediately and people will see the benefits of this tax package start at the first part of february. . and we have confirmed that with the irs. >> follow up on a couple of questions. were you saying this particular judiciary nominee after this video didn't properly go through your preparation and vetting process? >> no, i didn't say that i said that we have been focused on pushing forward good candidates. we have put forward over 60 nominees. we have had 3 individuals that had to withdraw. that individual was one of them.
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and we are focused on making sure we fill that position with somebody -- >> based on your process he thought he was prepared? >> we, again, are look tg always for the best and brightest. and when we felt like that wasn't necessarily the right person for that position, he has withdrawn his nomination. we haven't continue to go forward. that is pretty standard in most administrations. in fact, every administration prior to us has had to withdraw nominees. we had to withdraw three out of 60. look, i think a lot poof people are focused just on those three, and not the overwhelming number. the president has had his nominees confirmed historic pace. and many of them with bipartisan support including the 12 members of the circuit court and the supreme court justice. >> you don't disagree with what she said about the personal benefits that will a crew to the president based on provision ns the tax cut bill? >> i said that we expect -- >> benefit him personally? >> look, i said in some ways, particularly on the personal
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side, the president will likely take a big hit. but on the business side 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 passed then they were beforehand. we really focused on invigorating the middle class and making sure they got more of their hard earned money and we think this will happen in this package. >> sarah, you said the focus is on the middle class. why was one of the last provisions put in lowering the top bracket? and did the president support that? and if he did flot support it why did he not insist that not be added at the end? >> look, some of the back and forth we respects td the process, a lot of that took place in the house and senate. we have been engaged in that process, but we laid out what our four priorities were and wanted to make sure that happened. that was our focus. and we felt those priorities were made. >> would that help the lower
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class to lower the bracket for the top earners? >> some economics think it does. and i'd be happy to refer you to them. >> congress has passed in decades to help the american worker to help grow the american economy. this is profound change. and this is change that is going to put our country on the right path. for all those millions of men and women in america who are living paycheck to paycheck struggling to get ahead, help is on the way. for all those businesses that are tied with one hand behind their back in this global economy strg a hard time competing, help is on the way. i want to thank chairman kevin brady and all the men and women who made this possible. this has been a long work in progress. and what this achievement marks is a promise this majority made that is a promise that this majority is keeping. we said in 2016 it would take real tax reform to get the
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american economy growing. and the american people placed their trust in us. and today we are making good ton that promise. we are fulfilling that promise. and this promise, being kept today, is one of the most important things we could do to get the u.s. economy growing faster, to help people get bigger paychecks, to have a fairer tax system, and simplify the system so people could have more peace of mind. so kevin said it the right way, on january 1, americans are going to wake up with a new tax code. in february they are going to see withhold tg go down so see bigger paychecks. april 15th will be the last day they have to comply with the old bad system. this is a good day for america. this is a good day for workers. this is a great day for growth and very excited about this moment. thank you. questions? >> so you have said that you've spoken often about the tax cuts that families will see in the first few years of the plan. what can you say about the tax cuts that individuals will see
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in the end of the next decade? because the jct announced. >> we have every intent to make those permanent because of the senate rules you know why that sunset is there so it is obviously our intent like times past to make those permanent. >> so impact will be bigger? >> casey? >> congress doesn't have the greatest track record of planning to do something later and then follow-through. how can you guarantee americans they are still going to see the benefits of this tax cut? >> look at what we've done right now. we were planning on doing this tax reform bill all year long last year. worked on it all year. ran on in it in 2016. spent 2017 working on it. and here we are getting it done. this was a promise made and a promise kept. >> last quell. >> lack of democratic support mean this tax overhaul is vulnerable the same way that the affordable care act was vulnerable and changed? >> i think the comparisons are nonexecutive. because affordable care act proved to be unpopular.
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to raise premiums to make health care unaffordable. this is going to do the opposite. this is going to grow the economy and increase paychecks and increase take home pay. and that i believe is going to be very popular. thank you very much, everybody. i appreciate it. >> comments that the governor has made previously, that every time they've asked the federal government has delivered. we want to continue to be partners with them with this and make sure we rebuild. that's what we are doing. that's why the president has sent two members of his cabinet directly to deal with that and be on the ground in puerto rico to further assess and see what other actions we have that we can take. >> you are getting a lot of questions what will benefit the president and won't benefit. i get he doesn't want to release taxes. that would put all of these questions to rest. so can you stay for 2016 president can't release his taxes? why can't he do that back up what you are saying, prove that what are you are saying is correct? >> as we've said many times
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before the president as taxes are still under audit. and until that is completed, then we wouldn't move forward on putting his taxes out. john? >> i understand the president wants to wait until after the audit. >> i don't think it's that complicated as long as they are under audit won't release taxes. taxes are under audit so won't release taxes. john? >> thank you, sarah. >> i think we have addressed this a number of times. i'm not sure my answering it another time will make the answer any different. john? >> i have two questions on russia. first, the kremlin has recently threatened twitter with complete shut down throughout russia if it continues to carry the twitter account of what they call undesirables, notably the disside dissident, and to youtube recently.
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what's the straksadministration reaction when they want to shut this down? >> 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 would have to look into details on that specific action and request that they've 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, senator corker has blocked it. does the administration have an opinion on this? >> not that i'm aware of. >> i wanted to ask you about the export import. now that the senate is saying scott harris name shouldn't go forward, does the white house think that it needs to name someone else to run? >> we are going to work with the committee on path forward that
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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 to work with them to determine the next steps. >> on his name or someone else? >> more generally speaking, just a path forward. we'll let you know if it's going to be with that individual or a different plan. >> just a couple of quick follow ups. first mat hthew was asking abou amtrak. there was a budget request from the president on reduction on amtrak routes. because of the accident, in washington, do you plan on revisiting that issue? on matthew peterson, it's my understanding they had close ties to the white house, are you trying to change the vetting process? and finally on the ufo. >> let me start with the first one because i won't remember all those questions. we'll see if we can get to all
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of that. the first one was on judicial nominees? >> well first one was on amtrak. >> this is why we didn't let you take three. amtrak as i told matthew a few minutes hag we'll wait until that investigation is complete and there is more thorough review and we'll talk about next steps once that is done. in terms of the judicial nominees i've walked through that a couple of times now. we have put through, nominated 60, only three withdraw or not gone forward in some capacity. and 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. >> because it's looked as those are friends of the white house and they got that nomination. are you going to change the vetting process? >> i think if we were focused on friends in the white house they would be moving forward and not having been withdrawn.
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>> calls out russia for using subversive tactics. why didn't the president use that kind of aggressive language in his speech yesterday? >> look, the president has weighed in on russia and his feelings on that a number of times. the policy and the strategy put forth in that very detailed paper was that of the president. and it reflects his views. and he didn't read every single page of it word for word. i'm sure you are thank you full for that because we could have. maybe we'll do that for the next briefing. but, look, the president has been clear what his position is. we have been tough on russia. we've put sanctions on russia. we've imported energy. and impacted them in a big way. the president has not been soft in this process. he chose to focus on different things in the speech. but those things were included in the national security strategy because they are important and they are part of the administration's view points. jill? >> two things.
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first i wanted to go back to the scott era issue. does the president regret nom natding someone who was going to get rid of the export import? >> not that i'm aware. one more question. >> spoke with may today. do they have any potential visits? >> that invitation has been extended and accepted and working with them to finalize the details which we expect to announce soon and keep you posted on that once it's final eyesed. >> finalized. >> last question. >> that tax bill would cost a fortune. that was false, right? >> no, because on the personal side this could impact the president in a large way. >> balance out the corporate versus personal? >> i'm not sure if he's done a side by side. but i know a number of provisions that would negatively impact the president personally. and so we contend those comments
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are consistent. however, like i've said our focus has been on the middle class. and that is what we think is delivered in this tax package and very much look forward to seeing it passed later today. and signed a day soon hand be sure to keep you posted on that. thanks, guys. >> okay. jim acosta there, senior white house question with the last question. let's be precise what they were talking about with regard to president trump and how he benefits and we won't totally know because the man hasn't released tax russians, and an according to polling today 73% of you would like him to. she says now that the tax bill could help president trump on the business side, but that the primary focus of the white house, you heard her, is to make sure all americans are berth off today than they were beforehand. all of this coming off the heels of the big win for republicans. so far on the house side the
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vote they had nice ten vote cushion. they needed 217. they got 227 yeas. so we now know the next move for this massive tax reform heads on to the senate. and presumably to the president's desk as early as tomorrow. i have mark preston and mave reston over on capitol hill. but mark to you, we were talking about the messaging and as we listen to both sarah huckabee sanders and even popped over to capitol hill and heard the speaker, i heard the same thing, i jotted it down, promised made and kept this is about follow-through. >> a couple of things. paul ryan is it a much better person to sell the benefits of this tax bill than sarah huckabee sanders. i should note that paul ryan has been doing this literally since he was. >> a little longer. >> since he was a staffer on capitol hill. but just the way


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