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tv   Senate Democratic Party Leaders Weekly Briefing  CSPAN  October 24, 2017 8:31pm-9:01pm EDT

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achieve, and tax reform is what we are about. if there is anything that unifies republicans, it is tax reform. we have been looking for the opportunity to do this literally for years. we now have a president who will sign it, who believes in what we are trying to do, and we will concentrate on what our agenda is and not any of these other distractions you all may be interested in. >> think about it. what is driving the news today? the president's feud with senator corker, with you, mccain, flake. sen. mcconnell: look, i don't of how many times i have to say the same thing. there's a lot of noise out there. we have a first amendment in this country. everybody gets to express themselves. what we are concentrating is on the agenda the american people need. i think there is great cohesion among republicans of all persuasions to achieve this goal before the end of the year.
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thank you. announcer: senate democratic leaders voiced opposition to the republican plan for tax reform legislation, saying there were few specifics. they spoke to reporters following their weekly policy strategy lunch meeting. this is 15 minutes. sen. schumer: good afternoon
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everyone. i want to thank my colleagues, to wonderful colleagues -- two wonderful colleagues, for joining me here today. as everyone knows, president trump put down his phone for an hour to come to the senate republican luncheon to talk tax reform. unfortunately, what the president says about tax reform has been correctly characterized by senator corker as "untruths," and corker was being kind. let's review a few of what the president says that is totally divorced, what the president says and what the public and plan does are polar opposites. the president said this is not a plan for the rich. blatantly untrue. untruth number one that this plan is not a plan for the rich. it repeals the estate tax, which benefits the 11,000 wealthiest
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estates in the country, each one more than $5 million. it lowers the top rate. untruth number two. allowing hedge fund owners and big law firms to take advantage. three, it provides a path through for very wary people -- a pass-through so very wealthy people can pay a lower rate than average americans. it is totally untrue, shall we say, that this is not a plan for the rich, which the president has stated. then he says at the heart of our plan is a tax cut for every day working americans. untruth number two. just wrong. 1/3 oficy center, middle-class families would pay more, and very few get much of a break. when they talk about getting rid of state and local deductibility, when they talk
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401k's, when they talk about limiting the mortgage deduction, those are all aimed at making the middle-class pay more so the rich can get a bigger tax break. that is not what america needs. that is not what america wants. and that is not what is in the by ourut together public and leaders in the house and senate. and then the president claims this will not increase, this will lower the deficit. untruth number three. absurd. no one believes that this will lower the deficit. factwashington post" checker called this claim "a fantasy." no one believes it. it is untruth after untruth after untruth, as bob corker put it, when the president talks about the republican tax plan.
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untruth one, it is aimed at helping the middle-class. untruth two, it is not a plan of the rich. untruth three, it lowers the deficit. this plan is a disaster for america. it is no wonder our public and colleagues want to rush it through in the dark of night. the more it is exposed to sunlight, the more rotten it smells, and the american people will know that. senator cardin. rdin: the more we are learning about the tax proposal that the republicans will be unveiling next week, the more we have concern that this is certainly not in the interest of the american people. senator schumer talked about the fact that one thing is clear -- it will blow a hole in the deficit. they will allow one $.3 trillion to be created on the tax proposal, but in addition we trillion to be
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created on the tax proposal, but in addition we know there will be gaps. secondly, we know it will benefit higher income families. the wealthiest are the ones that are going to get the big tax breaks. estate tax repeal. theissues concerning minimum tax which will benefit wealthy families. that is all clear. one thing is also clear, middle income families are going to be asked to pay more. they are not going to get a tax cut. they are going to pay more. when you start looking at the way they are going to be paying for this, they are talking about eliminating the personal exception. theye have large families, will certainly end up paying more as a result of this proposal. you look at the illumination of state and local taxes. that is wrong -- the elimination of state and local taxes. that is wrong philosophically. we are a nation of federalism.
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it also adversely affects middle income families to take advantage of the deduction for state and local taxes. we start looking at what you lose on the personal exemption and dependents, middle income families could end up paying more. it actually is going to cost them more money. then we see some of the other things they are talking about, like dealing with the 401(k)s and restricting that. that directly affects middle income families. it is going to make it more difficult for them to save for their retirement, cost the more taxes, and by the way come a long adds to the national debt again, blowing a hole in the deficit. their proposal from the beginning is one that will be detrimental to our economy. it will hurt american values. how are you going to pay for all of this? we know there is going to be a direct attack on medicare and medicaid. they have already said that, by putting targets in the budget
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documents for close to a $1 trillion cut in medicaid and $500 billion cut in medicare. as we have heard, democrats believe we need tax reform. we think we should work together with our republican colleagues to get tax reform, and we think that tax reform should help address the disparities that exist in our country and should help middle income families. tax plan as it has been presented, we don't know what is in it because we haven't really seen the text yet. what we think it will do is skew heavily to upper income americans, and it doesn't do nearly enough for middle-class families. one way we can help families in the middle-class is with increasing the child care tax credit. is, for of childcare
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most families, the second-highest cost next to mortgages. in new hampshire, the average cost to put an infant in a full-time childcare is almost $12,000 a year. we need to be increasing the childcare tax credit. we need to make it refundable. this is an opportunity to do that. another area that i think we need to address in any tax reform package is helping with small businesses with simplifying our taxes and providing help to small businesses. 89% of small businesses turn to outside tax preparers to fill out their forms and file their returns. for small businesses, the compliance burden is 67% higher than it is for large businesses. it costs $18 billion annually. i was in a microbrewery in new hampshire on friday. they told me their tax
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compliance costs last year were $15,000. small businesses are spending 2.5 billion hours to comply with tax laws every year. we need tax reform, but we need tax reform that is going to make a difference to the economy, that is going to allow us to grow the economy, small businesses create about 2/3 of jobs in this country. 20 to help them and middle-class families. thank you -- we need to help them and middle-class families. thank you. sen. mcconnell: my republican colleagues -- sen. schumer: my republican colleagues say this is all aimed at the middle class. what is in the next to the president is spreading to them. this is not a bill aimed at the middle-class. is only way they may benefit the dirty word that they never use, trickle-down. they ultimately believe tax breaks on the rich and the biggest corporations will create jobs.
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no one else in america believe that anymore. that is their fundamental problem. a point.ean made if this bill goes down, we will sit down with our republican colleagues and try to come up with a product that we will be happy to show in the sunlight, that will make the american people proud, and that can actually pass. >> president trump says that corker is a "lightweight and incompetent." sen. schumer: his reputation is excellent. he is thoughtful, hard-working, bipartisan. he has a strong beliefs. president trump ought to stop tweeting and start leading. we have seen no leadership from this president, whether on tax reform, health care, north korea. all he does is tweet and make the problem worse. americans don't want that.
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>> [inaudible] sen. schumer: look, i wish the president, instead of finding pick fightsemies to with, starts rolling up his sleeves and solving america's problems. plain and simple. believe.aid what i has presidency thus far been a total flop because he spends all his time fighting with so-called enemies and not solving problems. >> senator corker has been able to get strong bipartisan support for major legislation over his career. i am proud of the record of our senate foreign relations committee. senator shaheen serves on that committee. 98-2ve been able to pass major deals on north korea and iran. we have been able to handle the
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iran agreement by bipartisan process. all of that was under senator corker's leadership. his reputation here is excellent as a serious legislator who knows how to work to get things done, and is a principled individual. sen. schumer: president trump always like to point fingers of blame. one day it is senator mcconnell, when they senator corker, one day the democrats. yacht to look in the mirror. is not getting anything -- he ought to look at the mirror. the reason he is not getting anything done is because he spends all his time attacking people and not any time solving problems. >> [inaudible] sen. schumer: we haven't seen the bill. they haven't asked us to make it better. thaton't put down a bill focuses on the wealthy, raises taxes on the middle-class, blows
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a hole in the deficit, and cuts medicare and medicaid, and then say, tinker at the edges and work with us. the way bipartisanship works is you sit down at the table and come up with a bill that both parties can support. that means that some people in each party may not support it, particularly those more at each end. but the way to compromise, the way to bipartisanship, isn't a bill with totally drawn up by republicans, thrown down on the desk, and say, support it. that is not what bipartisanship means. it never has. [inaudible] each democrat is going to make up his or her mind, but i can tell you first we have 45 of the 48 sign a letter that says, don't blow a hole in the deficit. don't give tax breaks to the top 1%. don't use reconciliation. none of that has happened.
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the other three, i have talked to them. they share those beliefs. go ahead jean. shaheen: if this is such a great bill, why don't they show it to escort mark they are not -- show it to us? they're not doing that. they are showing us rhetoric that doesn't match with a have presented to the senate. that is not the way to get some been done in the interest of the american people. sen. schumer: it is amazing the chasm between what they say the bill does and what the bill actually looks like it is going to be from the outlines. it is just like years apart. it is appalling -- it is just light years apart. it is appalling. such deviation from the truth. >> are you worried about unity in your party? sen. schumer: i think certainly our caucus has been unified on every major issue. i think our party is quite unified as well, particularly on
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our focus on economic issues, helping people, middle-class, working-class of every region of the country, every race, religion, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation. move up the ladder. that is what the american people want to do, and that is what our people are focused on. -- our party is focused on. >> [inaudible] sen. schumer: i have talked to the president about this in the past. he acknowledged it, but then nothing happened. that is what happens quite often. last one from way in the back. >> [inaudible] john mccain is a great american hero, and he has proven it in the last few months once again. i think there is just total respect for john mccain, both on the democratic and republican sides, and throughout america.
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thank you. [indiscernible] >> senator schumer, can you win arizona? [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. wednesday morning, utah republican congressman chris stewart discusses u.s. military operations in niger, and new york democratic congresswoman paul tonko talks about the opioid epidemic in america. then author philip sheen and will discuss the and is a beta release of the jfk assassination
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the anticipated release of the jfk assassination documents. join the discussion. hassett, headin of the president's council of economic advisers, testifies wednesday before the joint economic committee on tax reform. live coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3, online on thec-span.org, or c-span radio app. all five members of the federal communications commission testified on a number of topics including the sec emergency responder network and net neutrality. fromive coverage begins the house energy and commerce subcommittee on communications and technology at 2:00 p.m. eastern on our companion network c-span3, online at www.c-span.org, or on the free c-span radio app.
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c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service i america's -- by america's cable television service companies, and is brought you today by your cable or settling provider. -- or satellite provider. house intelligence committee chair devin nunes announced his committee, along with the house oversight and government reform committee, will launch a joint investigation into the 2010 approval of the sale of a canadian uranium mining company to a russian state-owned enterprise. according to recent news reports , the fbi had been gathering evidence that russian nuclear industry officials engaged in bribery, extortion, and money-laundering, among other possible crimes, and the u.s. prior to the deal's approval.
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rep. nunes: thank you. sorry for the short delay. gowdye waiting for mr. because this involves the house oversight committee. however, he cannot be pulled away from the meeting he is currently in. with me i have mr. king from new york, who chairs our subcommittee on emerging threats, and mr. desantis from florida, who chairs the oversight committee subcommittee on national security. what we are here to announce is an inquiry into russia's involvement in the uranium deal done several years ago. this is just the beginning of this probe.
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we are not going to jump to any conclusions at this time, but one of the things, as you know, we are concerned about is whether or not there was an fbi investigation, was there a doj investigation, and if so, why was congress not informed of this matter? that will be the start of the probe. it will be two different committees looking into this. we will keep you posted with further details. let me go to mr. desantis, filling in for mr. gowdy today. rep. desantis: we do have a witness who was a confidential informant who wants to talk about his role in this. we are in contact with the justice department to release him from a nondisclosure agreement. if that doesn't work out in a timely fashion, we obviously would be able to subpoena him. committee,sight particularly my subcommittee, we will be focusing on how the interagency process worked in this. we don't think it worked out very well, so we have
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jurisdiction over the various national security agencies and want to get as much information as we can so we can see what happened. rep. nunes: next we will go to mr. king, of particular relevance not only because he chairs the subcommittee that oversees fbi and doj and treasury, but also because he was a chairman back at the time and sent a letter in opposition, questioning the sale of this geithner atecretary the time, the treasury secretary. we are happy he is still here and will be the point person from our committee on this investigation. rep. king: thank you chairman. it was back in october 2010 when i was a ranking member and home security, myself and three other ranking members sent a letter raising very real concerns about why we would allow a russian owned company to get access to 20% of america's uranium supply. wasobjections we raised
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brought to the highest levels. i got a letter in response from treasury secretary geithner saying that this was getting full scrutiny. this was brought to the highest levels of the obama administration, including the treasury secretary. it is important we find out why that deal went through and certainly result in -- certainly recent allegations have been made. it is essential that this inquiry go forward. it will be done with full government oversight. there will not be any conflict here. we will go forward together in a cooperative way and specifically, the emerging threat subcommittee, has jurisdiction, so it really fits in uniquely here. in view of the fact that seven years ago this month, i raised these objections with the treasury secretary, who said they were being fully
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investigated, and obviously will want to see what happens to that inquiry, what they knew then, why they act or did not act, and in the context of what has come out since then. this will go forward, and we d to working with mr. desantis, who is an outstanding member of congress. rep. nunes: we would take questions if you have them. --what evidence is there [inaudible] rep. nunes: let me first say our committee has been looking into this for a while now. we have been in touch with different individuals who have brought us information. i think as mr. to santos at -- mr. desantis has stated, there is concern over the nondisclosure agreement. we don't think that is a concern.
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we think any american, if they have information, even if it is top secret, they can come to the house intelligence committee and provide that information as a whistleblower if they would like. we are very interested in talking to any individuals and agencies that might have this information. last congress, this really was not investigated, but i am happy to report the house leadership is fully behind this current investigation. i would have liked to have done us a little sooner, but we are where we are, we are, we're going to get the facts now with their support. [inaudible] rep. nunes: i think some of you have followed our challenges
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dealing with the doj and fbi in getting timely information. that is one of the reasons for working jointly with the oversight committee because they have, quite frankly, more broader powers and oversee basically all of government, where on our side we have the classified side. that is one of the challenges i think a lot of our members did not know. because we are the holder of the place or you can bring top-secret information, we were in contact with folks who have been burning us information over the last several months. >> [inaudible] rep. nunes: i didn't see the interview, but i am not sure that i don't think anybody has reported on the fact that this investigation or this inquiry moving forward until just now.
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as far as i know, no one knew about that. >> -- said explicitly the democratic leader nancy pelosi is not the person filing. what is it going to do for any remnants of bipartisanship on your committee or the oversight committee? rep. nunes: our job here is to get the facts. we are the legislative branch of government. we will do just that. as to the court filing, i will refer you to the house general counsel for those questions. >> [inaudible] rep. nunes: i can present to you guys the facts, and it is up to you guys to report the facts. i would just refer you back to
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the statement i made originally, and if you would like more information on that, i would be glad to sit down with you. >> [inaudible] rep. nunes: no, i have not talked to anyone at the white house about this. i don't know if peter or ron have. this is basically based off of our conversations with informants over the last several months. >> to you feel this is separate from the russian investigation going on? rep. nunes: the current russian investigation is about the election. this is more about uranium and whether or not government function properly or not. currently people are out there saying they didn't know, which raises a whole set of questions. knew,cretary geithner it raises a whole lot of questions. maybe there was no fbi or doj investigation going on. we will not jump to any conclusions, but we will try to get the facts.
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>> [inaudible] facts. >> [indiscernible] rep. nunes: if you like, like i said, i would be glad to sit down with you. i refer you back to the statement i sent out as my relationship with the russian investigation. i can get facts, you can write what you write, but sometimes if you write opinion, that is not based on fact. that is what i said at the time, and i would refer you stop referring to that. i cannot control what you guys right. one more question. >> [indiscernible] yeah, well, it is all because of new information has come to light, what we did not know and we still do not know, was there actually an open fbi investigation or not in 2010, and that is what we are aiming to find out.

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