tv House Speaker Holds Weekly Briefing CSPAN February 16, 2017 9:40pm-9:55pm EST
russians have on president trump. congress needs to stop helping him cover up. adam schiff and i are calling for a comprehensive intelligence briefing on russia, including the unredacted transcripts on michael flynn's conversations with russian officials. congress must establish a bipartisan independent outside commission to investigate. in his weekly briefing, house speaker paul ryan answered questions about intelligence leaks coming from the white house. about republican plans for repealing and replacing the affordable care act. this is 15 minutes.
the speaker: it has become increasingly clear that this law is collapsing. people's premiums are getting higher and higher. their deductibles are soaring and their choices are dwindling to the point that so many families have no choice left at all. but if it was not already clear, look at the events that happened this week. on tuesday, another major insurance company announced that it, too, will leave the marketplace. in its decision, humana cited a lack of young people signing up, a problem that's dogged obamacare for years now. in many areas, humana is the only carrier left. so this will mean even more instability. and then on wednesday, the c.e.o. of aetna, another large insurance carrier, said obamacare is in a death spiral. his words. here is what is important for us all to understand. obamacare is not simply stuck in
some kind of status quo. it is getting worse by the day, and it will keep getting worse unless we act. we need to rescue people from this collapsing law. and we need to replace it with a true patient-centered system. one that gives every american access to quality, affordable coverage. that means more choices and lower costs. it means real protections and peace of mind. and it means returning your care to your control. patients and doctors should be making the big decisions, not government bureaucrats. step by step, this is what our plan to repeal and replace obamacare will do. we look forward to making progress in the coming weeks and keeping our promise to the american people. questions. reporter: why do you think so many leaks from this administration, the president said they will be caught? do you think -- do you feel those behind these leaks should be referred to the justice department? the speaker: i can't answer why.
i really don't know the answer why so many leaks are coming from the administration, from wherever they are coming from. but if you know, let us know. what i do worry about, though, is that classified information is being leaked. that is criminal, and so i think there should be an investigation as to the leaks of information leaving wherever they're coming from, and if it's classified information, that is criminal and there should be a criminal investigation of these leaks. that does compromise our national security. reporter: follow-up on that, should the house intelligence committee include in its inquiry an investigation into these leaks? the speaker: the house intelligence committee is the proper place for this. they're the ones that get access to the sources and methods so i do think it's appropriate in all of these -- by the way, everything involving russia is what the house intelligence committee has been looking at, and we have an ongoing investigation in all of this. yes, that would be the proper purview of that. reporter: do you think that mike flynn should testify? the speaker: i'll defer to the house intelligence committee. i have not given any thought to
that. i will defer to the house intelligence committee. reporter: yesterday, federal chairwoman janet yellen said that a border tax would create economic uncertainty and weaken the dollar. what's your response to that? the speaker: weaken the dollar, i don't know if i would agree with that. i think most analysts -- i think maybe you got that the other way around. reporter: what's your response? rep. ryan: curacao border adjustability -- speaker: here is how border adjustment works. we are one of the few countries in the world that don't border adjust our taxes. 160 countries border adjust their taxes. we are in the company of countries like north korea and somalia, afghanistan and iran or something like that. so almost all other countries border adjust their taxes, and what that means is you tax based on if it was consumed in your country, not if it's made in your country. what america does, we tax people based on whether it's produced
in america, and so that means we do not tax our imports and we tax our exports, and we're putting american-made products at a huge disadvantage. there's a built-in bias in our tax code to outsource manufacturing and reimport in this country. that's not good for american jobs. that's not good for american manufacturing. that's not good for american economic growth. and so all we're suggesting is, let's equalize the tax treatment. let's be fair to ourselves, and let's treat ourselves like every other country is treating them. so when we make something in america, let's put it on a level playing field like everybody else. let's take this tape recorder. i hope i didn't turn it off. this is an american-made tape recorder. this is an olympus. i have no idea where that is made. sony, made in japan. oops. [laughter] the speaker: all right. american-made tape recorder. japanese-made tape recorder. here's what japan does when they make this tape recorder.
when they send it for export, they take the tax off of it, and then it comes to america and it's not taxed and it comes here to compete against our good which is taxed. theirs was untaxed twice. when america makes something like a tape recorder, we tax it and then we send it to japan. as it enters japan, it's taxed again to compete against their tape recorder. we are doing it to ourselves. we are hurting american manufacturing and jobs. we are putting a bias against making things in america in the tax code. that is why we think -- i hope i didn't screw up your tape recorders -- that is why we think this is good manufacturing policy. with respect to currency adjustments, it is obvious and mathematical that a currency adjustment would occur when we harmonize our tax laws with the rest of the world. for people who are concerned about it, i believe there are things we can do, and ways and means committee is looking into this, to address those concerns so that the transition from a really bad tax system to one of the best in the world we would get out of this is a gradual transition.
i would also say that those who are concerned about this, i think they underappreciate how much better our tax system will be with this kind of provision. reporter: just a quick follow-up. the speaker: you got me going on tax reform. sorry. reporter: but you're not concerned that growing republican opposition to the border-adjusted tax will jeopardize tax reform? the speaker: no, i don't. read the books written by the 1986 tax reform. that's the last time we did the tax reform. it will be up and down and going to be on and off. you're going to report 150 stories on tax reform between now and when we get tax reform done. we are doing tax reform. tax reform is going to happen. you know why tax reform is going to happen? because it has to happen. america has the worst tax code in the industrialized world. it is killing economic growth. it is driving companies to become foreign companies. more and more and more u.s.
companies are going to leave this country because of our tax laws, or get bought by foreign companies, and we will lose our employers. we will lose economic growth. this is existential to our economy. we know this, and we will get tax reform done. there will be a whole bunch of drama you will cover between now and then. reporter: the affordable care act has refundable tax credits. how is the refundable tax credit in the house g.o.p. plan different, and why is that -- this figure: they called them refundable tax credits. they are subsidies. they are subsidies that say we will pay some people some money if you do what the government makes you do. that is not a tax credit. that is not freedom. a tax credit is you get the freedom to do what you want and buy what you need. and your choice. the affordable care act is the opposite of that. the affordable care act is, the government makes you buy this. and by the way, like i just said, there are one or two plans left. humana has pulled out. there will be zero plans left in certain markets. they make you buy it, and then
they subsidize what you buy. a tax credit is a fixed amount. the affordable care act is not a fixed amount. a tax credit is a fixed amount that is universal to americans in the individual market to go buy the health insurance plan of their choosing. it is the opposite of obamacare, which is not a patient-centered system, it's a government-run system. what we're proposing is a patient-centered system where the patient is the -- designs their plans. the patient gets to decide what they do. the nucleus is the patient and her doctor, versus the nucleus of the system being the government in obamacare's sake. reporter: thank you, mr. speaker. i know that you heard from secretary price this morning. i was wondering if there are any areas where you think the white house could improve communications with capitol hill? the speaker: i should know. we're doing really well on that front. i don't know what you guys report, but we talk with the white house daily. our teams -- our house and senate teams are in consultations with the white house constantly. we're very excited tom price is
over there. tom price was one of the primary architects of our obamacare replacement plan that we rolled out last year. and now he is the secretary of h.h.s. to execute and implement that plan. so we're very pleased with that. i think we have fantastic communication. better than i've ever seen before, actually. reporter: has the president shared his pick for labor secretary? the speaker: no. i have heard it's coming, but i have no idea who it is. reporter: to follow up on obamacare, obviously there are democrats that think the law should be fixed. the republicans chose repeal and replace. do you think it's possible to have the plan that you just spoke of without help from democrats? do you wish you would try to go into this -- the speaker: we would love to have support from the other side. they made it clear they're not interested in doing that. i think, jennifer, what the democrats, just taking them at their word, they want to go down socialized medicine path. they want to go down the government-run health care path.
they want the public option, which is basically have no options but a government-run plan. that's not something we are interested in doing. we think it will do even more damage to the health care system in america, and so we believe in a patient-centered system where individuals have the freedom to buy what they want and not what the government makes them buy. and also we think, jennifer, it's really, really important to have choice and competition in health care because choice and competition lowers cost and increases quality. that is the opposite what obamacare does. obamacare restricts choice. it denies competition. we have monopolies in a third of the counties in america. and as a result of the lack of choice and lack of competition, you have much higher prices and fewer supply. how about somebody in the back? reporter: do you have any concerns there is a group of republicans in the senate who come from states where medicaid expansion was already accepted and they are very skeptical of any plan that takes that away from their state? the speaker: i think it's 32 states, if i am not mistaken, have medicaid expansion. mine did not.
we're going to have to find a solution that accommodates each of these two concerns. i asked greg walden, our chair commerce committee, and he, along with orrin hatch, are coming up with a solution so that whether a state chose to take the money or did not, going forward as we give states more control, as we advance the principle of federalism, by giving states more control over medicaid so they can have innovative reforms that we do it in a way that doesn't disadvantage either of the two sides of that coin. >> last question. reporter: to clarify on obamacare -- the speaker: say it again? reporter: on obamacare repeal and replace, the week you guys are back from recess -- the speaker: it's after the recess. we're waiting for our scores. i hate to tell you that c.b.o. and joint tax are going to give us exactly what we want when they say they are going to give it to us. pending our drafting issues, we're going to be bringing it up after the recess, after the district work period. reporter: [inaudible]
announcer: next, president trump's press conference at the white house. then, defense secretary james mattis at a nato reading in brussels. and secretary of state rex tillerson meeting with the russian foreign minister. information.ece of i did not articulate that to myself, but when i look back and ask myself why i did this bad and stupid thing, i think that's what it comes down to. georgetown university professor harbor a feinman todd talks about working as a ghostwriter for hillary clinton and bob woodward in her book "pretend i'm not here: how i worked with three newspaper outcomes, one powerful first lady, and still managed to dig myself out of the washington swap."
>> i spoke in general terms about what it is like being in the white house, and then i told the story about being in the room during this unusual exercise. i told him you can't use it. two women only these in the room who were doing this, these two guests, and there were one or two staffers and mrs. clinton. if you use it, everybody will know that i was the source, and i'm very worried about that, but i trusted him. announcer: sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern, on c-span's "q&a." announcer: c-span, where history unfolds daily. was created as a public service and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. announcer: p