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Sunday Morning Futures

Incoming NRSC chair on tackling tough issues facing Congress; post-election economic outlook

This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," November 16, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Another video of another despicable act by ISIS. Good morning, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo. This is "Sunday Morning Futures."

Not 24 hours after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, arrived in Iraq and says momentum is turning in our favor, ISIS releases video purporting to show the beheading of another American it's been holding hostage for more than a year.

We have Fox team analysis from our contributors this morning. Before that, we will hear from the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Senatorial Committee on the way forward in Washington. The lame duck Congress pushing forward on several issues. Could they impact the GOP's plans for next year?

And already, speculation is heating up about campaign 2016. A longtime Hillary ally saying she could make a decision within weeks. Is that likely and is it smart? We'll tackle that as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

BARTIROMO: Well, the 2014 Congress returns from the midterm campaign trail, taking on several issues it postponed for months. And the president himself says he wants to move quickly on immigration and that, if Congress won't go it, he will go it alone.

Senator Roger Wicker has just been elected to serve as the incoming Congress's chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He's also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sir, good to have you on the program. Welcome.

SEN. ROGER WICKER, R-MISS.: Good to be back, Maria. Thank you.

BARTIROMO: Let me begin, really, on what you hope to accomplish come 2015. What's on your agenda?

WICKER: Well, in 2015 -- first of all we need to get the lame duck behind us, but in 2015, we're going to return the Senate to the great deliberative body that's intended by the founders and that we had Democrat and Republican leaders in past decades. We're going to actually take bills up on a Monday, debate them, amend them all week, work into the night, work on Fridays like other Americans have to do and -- and send legislation to the House and on to the president for his signature.

BARTIROMO: So, based on what you've seen so far from the president and what you've heard from the president, how easy will it be to work together and actually push through legislation?

WICKER: Well, it hasn't looked very good over the last 10 to 12 days. You know, the president seems to have chosen to get a message from people who didn't vote rather than from the voters who went to the polls and said we want change in Washington.

And I think this mention that you made about immigration -- I think it's an example of that. Our laws are intended to be passed by the Congress, signed by the president and worked through with consensus, no matter which party controls the White House, which party controls the Congress.

We don't change immigration law by executive decree. And so the president needs to come back to us. we need to work this out. And, I mean, you would think there is a massive, massive emergency of deportation facing this country in November and December of 2014 that is causing the president to act. There is no such thing as all. What we have is a border crisis, and the president needs to help us work through that and secure the border and then go on to do comprehensive reform after that.

BARTIROMO: All right. I want to talk with you more about this, Senator, in terms of the executive order on immigration as well as what we heard this morning from ISIS. So stay with us, Senator Wicker. More to talk with you about.

Let's first, though, get a look ahead and see whether or not lawmakers will take up those hot-button legislative issues and actually move on some critical agenda items. Fox News' senior correspondent Eric Shawn joins us with that angle.

Good morning to you, Eric.

ERIC SHAWN, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria. And good morning, everyone.

The president's executive order on immigration granting legal status to 5 million illegals is expected this week. But it is only one of several controversial issues facing the White House and the new Republican Congress.

A Supreme Court decision to hear a new challenge to ObamaCare could again support or help scuttle that law. This, as one analysis predicts, ObamaCare premiums will skyrocket for some by as much as 78 percent.

And those stunning comments from ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber calling voters stupid and saying the law was written to deceive Americans about it really being a tax will likely land him in the witness chair at a congressional hearing.

Supporters say the president sticks to his principles and beliefs. Others, like Investor's Business Daily are blunt. "Defiance, bypassing Congress on amnesty and the rest of President Obama's double-down response to the voters' rejection of his policies should shock no one. 'Never let up' is one of Saul Alinsky's rules for radicals. In the 2014 November election, there was a stunning electoral judgment against President Obama and his policies. But instead the president will go full frontal and defy the American people. No one should be surprised. And he's not done yet."

He is predicted to defy his own party with that possible veto of the Keystone Oil Pipeline expected to be approved in the Senate this week, that a Democratic effort to try and help Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu in next month's runoff.

Last week the House approved Keystone, that a Republican move to help her GOP challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy. The president, though, insists a pipeline will not help the nation's energy needs.

He said this in Australia this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I won't hide my opinion about this, which is that one major determinant of whether we should approve a pipeline shipping Canadian oil to world markets, not to the United States, is does it contribute to the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHAWN: The president remains defiant; so, too, the Republicans, a familiar scenario, despite the midterm results. Maria?

BARTIROMO: All right. Eric, thanks very much.

And we're back now with Senator Wicker. Senator, what about that?

Let's talk first about some of the executive orders and what's on the docket. Immigration: what can you do, particularly in the lame duck session, if in fact the president goes forth, goes it alone on immigration?

WICKER: Well, there is very little we can do. You know, every time we've challenged the president in court, we won. I don't know of a single time that the president has gotten the Supreme Court eventually to say he had this raw executive power.

But I will tell you what it absolutely will do is -- is completely give us a climate of distrust and confrontation, beginning at a time when, really, we are determined to return this Congress to listening to the people and actually producing bills to send to the president.

So it would be the most incendiary thing you can do, and even at this point, I hope he will not do it.

At some point, there will be an appropriation rider that will prohibit the president from going forward with the enforcement of this sort of thing. I don't know if we can get that done during the lame duck because we don't control the committees. But after January, I do expect the Congress to use its power of the purse and say the president may have said this, but we are simply not going to provide the American taxpayer money to enforce it.

BARTIROMO: Let me turn to ISIS and, obviously, the latest tragedy here, another beheading. What should the U.S. be doing?

WICKER: Well, we are scheduled to talk about this again in December, in early December. The authorization that the Congress gave the president runs out about December 10th. The very idea of doing that was that the president would have the time over the election and while we were back in our states and districts to formulate a comprehensive plan, so we look forward to hearing the president's comprehensive plan, to working with him to develop that with the generals, with the admirals, with the senior leadership at the Pentagon, and then making a longer-term determination in December when this authorization for train-and-equip runs out.

BARTIROMO: And you have deadlines coming up in terms of funding, in terms of spending. What would you like to see in the realm of military funding as a result of these new threats?

WICKER: Well, you know, we should have passed a national defense authorization act months ago. The House of Representatives under Speaker Boehner did that. Under our Democratic chairman, Senator Levin, we passed an NDAA bill. Harry Reid wouldn't let it come to the floor.

It's going to come to the floor and we're going to pass it, and we should address that once we work with the president on his comprehensive strategy.

But let me also say this. We shouldn't be doing these things without debate and without amendment. And that's why it's so important that we take our appropriation bills up individually once Republicans get in charge.

Say we get stuck on an issue and the president and the Congress are at loggerheads, we can set that bill aside, move ahead with the rest of the appropriation bills, and no one, not the president, not the Congress, would be accused of shutting down the government. We need to return to that sort of orderly process so the American people will not have to wade through a 3,000-page bill to find out what a line item is that affects an agency they're interested in.

BARTIROMO: And real quick, Senator, on Obamacare, both the president and Nancy Pelosi basically said they don't know Jonathan Gruber.

(LAUGHTER)

We all know that he was the architect of Obamacare. What he has been saying recently, obviously just stunning, from the American people are stupid to -- to adding racism in there. What's your take on these latest videos?

WICKER: Well, Jonathan Gruber was part and parcel to hiding the facts from the American people, and for some reason he felt emboldened to say this in front of a crowd and in front of cameras.

It's what we were saying all along. And basically this doesn't work for the American people. It doesn't work for the American consumer. There is a better way to get health insurance to Americans. There is a better way to return to the 40-hour workweek, to repeal the medical device tax.

We'll be tackling all sorts of things like that if we return the Senate to regular debate and we get to allow amendments. I think there are 60 votes even now to pass a repeal of the medical device tax. It's just that the Democratic leadership has not given the American people the right to see how their senators actually vote on this issue.

BARTIROMO: Are you going to vote on XL Keystone next week?

WICKER: We are. And I -- and I think it's a close call. I think, if Harry Reid lets the members of the Democratic Caucus vote the way they want to, it will pass, and then we'll see what the president does.

BARTIROMO: Senator, thank you. We'll be watching.

WICKER: You bet. It should be interesting.

BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon. Senator Wicker joining us.

Did you notice the timing of these two events? A surprise visit to Baghdad this weekend by our highest-ranking military officer, and then ISIS releases this video of yet another of its crimes against humanity. Fox military analyst General Bob Scales is on deck.

You can follow me on Twitter -- I hope you will -- @mariabartiromo @sundayfutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from General Scales as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back. The administration this morning analyzing video purporting to show the beheading of an American aid worker kidnapped by ISIS last year. It surfaced overnight, hours after chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey arrived in Baghdad to assess the fight against ISIS.

Retired U.S. Army Major General Bob Scales is Fox News military analyst, and he joins us now.

Good morning, General. Thank you so much for joining us.

U.S. ARMY MAJ. GEN. BOB SCALES, RET.: Hi, Maria. Thank you.

BARTIROMO: So I guess what I'd like to assess first is where we are in Iraq. General Dempsey saying that the momentum has shifted, in fact that we are gaining the upper hand. What's your take on where we are in terms of strategy?

SCALES: Oh, I think that's premature. I think most military analysts and most people in the Pentagon will tell that ISIS has culminated -- by that I mean they have captured all the ground they are going to capture; they can't push any further into Iraq and Syria. But the advantage hasn't had an opportunity to, sort of, shift to the other side.

It's, sort of, like Lee after Gettysburg or the Germans after Stalingrad. We've reached a point, a stasis, where one side can't resume and the other side can't counterattack.

So Dempsey has got a point that ISIS isn't going to expand. The problem is ISIS still owns the clock, Maria, and they're continuing to consolidate; they're continuing to spread their propaganda; and they're continuing to gain influence in the region because, frankly, they have the advantage of time, Maria.

BARTIROMO: What about the timing of all of this?

General Dempsey gets there this weekend and now this new video. Are you connecting the dots in any way, of -- in terms of releasing this video now, when our top military guy made a surprise visit there this weekend?

SCALES: Absolutely, Maria. Remember, last week al-Baghdadi came back on the media to say that he was alive after rumors of his demise on Iraqi television. And there is no question that this poor gentleman, Mr. Kassig - - his video, along with the -- the video of the beheading of 16 Syrian soldiers were placed in the media because of Dempsey's visit.

In all probability, very sadly, Maria, Mr. Kassig was probably executed back in October, but this is how ISIS works. They can only survive when they own the psychological high ground, when they can continue to attract young recruits with their message. And their message is one of brutality and evil, but it tends to appeal to young men in the Middle East, and they're playing that card -- sadly, Maria, they're playing it very, very well.

BARTIROMO: Are they doing this very well in Syria, largely, or elsewhere? There are reports that Al Qaida and ISIS are getting together in Syria.

SCALES: Well, Al Qaida, al-Nusra. Yeah, but we have to be careful there. I mean, this is a terrorist group and it -- it's not going to come off like some grand coalition, Maria. These -- these terrorist groups each have their own constituency and they have their own strategy. But what we have to understand is that the psychological message that ISIS is putting out is going beyond the Middle East. It's beginning to appear in the United States, certainly in Western Europe and throughout the Middle East.

They -- they have this sick appeal to young Islamic men who have nothing to do with their lives other than join up. And we have to be very aware because, the first time in that video, Maria, ISIS has said, for the first time overtly, that we're coming after the United States.

BARTIROMO: So should any of this change our strategy? What is your observation of our strategy so far, and what should it look like going forward?

SCALES: Yeah. Well, a contact of mine at the Pentagon said there is a strategy and it has three parts.

Number one, do as much as you can within the political limits imposed by the White House in the region. Number two, take your time. Because there's going to be no shock and awe here. This is going -- sadly -- going to have to be a very protracted campaign. And number three, do it at a minimum cost in human life and treasure because the American people can't stand the image of American men and women dying in the region.

So there is no overt strategy, but to anyone in the Pentagon, they will tell you there is a covert strategy, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Do you think we'll see boots on the ground?

SCALES: Oh, absolutely. You already are. Three thousand soldiers on the ground in Iraq is not -- is not a small commitment. And I suspect, over time, once this phase of it fails, this "advise, assist and train" part fails, and ISIS begins to hold on, sadly, very well in the months ahead, Maria, we may see more.

BARTIROMO: General, good to see you. Thank you so much for joining us.

SCALES: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Major General Bob Scales joining us.

Now we want to turn to your household budget. Ever thought about calling a thermostat from your cell phone? Well, if you have ever come home from a Christmas vacation to burst water pipes, you're going to want to hear from my next guest. The CEO of Cypress Semiconductor is with us to look at the impact on the economy, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Markets and business have been speculating as far as what the impact will be on the economy of the midterm elections victory by the GOP.

Joining us now with more on the impact on business and in particular Silicon Valley is T.J. Rodgers. He's the founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor.

T.J., good to see you again. Welcome to the program.

T.J. RODGERS, CEO, CYPRESS SEMICONDUCTOR: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: Do you expect any change in terms of the GOP-controlled Senate and House and the impact, in fact, on getting things done and impacting the economy?

RODGERS: I don't think so, not in a couple years. To me, the major effect on the economy has been two spendthrift presidents in a row. You know, we're now 14 years in. And the spending, the government taking funds out of the private sector and using them less efficiently has bogged down the economy.

And I don't think the spending is going to drop because of Congress. I don't think they're going to be vetoing economic bills. I don't see things getting -- moving back until we get a new president, assuming that president understands the economy, Democrat or Republican.

BARTIROMO: Well, I mean, you make a good point because so much talk about certain things that could get done but are not getting done because these two sides can't get along -- I mean, what about tax reform? What -- as a business executive, a founder of a major company within the semiconductor space, I mean, what would you like to see tax reform look like?

RODGERS: Businessmen get clobbered for going offshore and not being American and all that kind of stuff. The biggest reform needed is to make America not last when it comes to taxes for businesses.

BARTIROMO: The president said he would like to see corporate taxes lower, but he doesn't want to impact individual taxes. But that, of course, impacts small business. So we need a whole overhaul, reformation of the tax policy?

RODGERS: I don't think changing corporate tax rates, which amount to a pretty small fraction of the take of the IRS is going to matter. And secondly, did he ever consider, as opposed to spending a lot of money, spending less money and giving a tax break both to business and individuals?

That's really what we need if we want the economy to go north.

BARTIROMO: This week you also saw the president come out and say he'd like to regulate the Internet the way electric utilities are regulated. How would that impact your business? How would that impact the Internet in general, T.J.?

RODGERS: Well, what does the government run well? I mean, if you look at the Obama administration, they've been worse than most. Most of them aren't very good. But the Obama administration has pretty much not managed well everything it's worked on. Now we're going to put the Internet, which has been one of the great and bright spots of the economy, under government control and we're going to regulate it; we're going to take the dumbest among the technologists, send them to Washington and let them run the Internet. It's really a really bad idea.

BARTIROMO: What would you like to see out of the GOP in this next two years?

They've got this window to tell the American people what they stand for and actually try to move the needle on job-creating bills. What would you like to see out of the GOP in these next two years?

RODGERS: Two things the Republicans need to do. One, when it comes to economics, be Republicans. Don't spend a lot of money. Don't be George W. Bush. Don't run up huge deficits. Be conservative and be Republicans. That's number one.

And number two, every time I hear a Republican talk about gender, race, anything like that, I just cringe. So what I'd like to see the Republicans be is a party of freedom, free economics, and back off a little bit on the morality play that we always have to endure whenever Republicans get power.

BARTIROMO: I think that's great -- great analysis there, T.J.

Let me turn to your business and really talk about where the growth is. In an economy that's just, sort of, bumping along the bottom, 2 percent, 3 percent grower, everybody is looking for where the growth is. When you look at the semiconductor business in general, where is the growth?

RODGERS: The next spurt of growth has been dubbed the, quote, "Internet of things," meaning that things attached to the Internet won't just be a couple billion people in the near future; it will be 6 billion things, 4 billion of which will not be people.

For example, I could attach the heating and air conditioning in your house to the Internet and you could out your smartphone and you could change it when you're gone or you forget.

Why would you want your water heater on the Internet? Simple. If you're in a place where it gets cold and the water heater freezes if the heat goes off, it will wreck your house. So knowing -- having a leak check and a temperature check on your hot water heater and being able to look at your phone and see what's going on is peace of mind for people, and that's a big application.

BARTIROMO: You know, we hear so much about technology really being the bright spot in an economy that is growing slowly. Is that a fair statement? Are you seeing vibrancy today in Silicon Valley still, T.J.?

RODGERS: No. The -- what I just described are a bunch of applications for people. And those applications, when you're having trouble making the rent, those are the first things that get cut.

BARTIROMO: So when you look at the sectors that are going to be impacted, I feel like health care is up there, as well, T.J. I don't know how you feel about this, but the idea that we're monitoring everything in our bodies because of semiconductor chips, because of sensors, seems to have great growth potential.

RODGERS: That -- that's a big -- the thing that's coming on quick is you see these fitness bands that people are wearing. And they do have sensors and they can check some bodily functions. Now, it's not as much as you'd like. The big challenge is, of course, they have to run on batteries and they have to have, in effect, a full computer with a bunch of sensors running in a watch battery.

Those are great challenges. Our industry always likes to do things that are almost impossible, and that is another vector. None of them have broken through yet. There are dozens of watches out there, our company has, and many of them, for the display and the controls. But we're hoping that that one is going to take off, as well.

BARTIROMO: All right. Thank you, T.J. Rodgers, Cypress Semiconductor founder and CEO. We'll see you soon, sir. Thank you.

RODGERS: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: So you just heard some heated words from T.J. Rodgers about the GOP. Should they follow his advice into 2016?

And speaking of which, have you heard this? A longtime Clinton ally saying Hillary is very close to making a decision about whether she will run, maybe weeks away. Our panel begins there, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Well, will she or won't she? We may know soon about Hillary's plans. President Clinton's re-election campaign co-chairman, the current Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, telling the news site The Hill that Secretary Clinton plans to announce by mid-January whether she will run in 2016.

We kick off our panel with that. Ed Rollins is former principal White House adviser to President Reagan in both of his terms, and has been a long time strategist to business and political leaders. He's a Fox News political analyst.

Judith Miller is adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. She's a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, and a Fox News contributor.

And Marty Feldstein was President Reagan's chief economic adviser. He is former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. He is now an economics professor at Harvard University.

Good to see everybody. Thank you so much for being here. So, Hillary, what do you think?

ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: She is going to run. She is going to run. She's the only one that could energize -- re-energize the Democratic Party. The lowest turnout in modern times was this midterm.  The Democrats didn't turn out. She's the only one who can put the coalition back together, including exciting women. So my sense is there will be tremendous pressure on her to run.

BARTIROMO: Who do you think she is up against?

ROLLINS: I can't tell you that. We have got 10, 12 extraordinary candidates. Someone will emerge. The bottom line, though, there is going to be two factions in our party. There is going to be a party -- a faction led by Mike Huckabee, the evangelical types, and probably put Cruz in that mix. And then there will be the establishment party guy, and they will battle it out.

BARTIROMO: Does foreign policy hurt Hillary going into 2016?

JUDITH MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's going to a little, in this sense, Benghazi will continue to haunt her, and the fact that she was associated with President Obama's regime is going to continue to haunt her.

But, look, she has already done a lot to distance herself, Maria, from those positions. She criticized him when she was doing the publicity for her book. I mean, she is going to move very much to the center. And she has always been more to the center than he has.

She has been much tougher on Syria and Iraq. He didn't listen to her.  So I think that foreign policy will matter, but once again, and I yield to my colleagues on the panel here and to you, the economy, the economy, the economy.

BARTIROMO: Well, that's the thing. And voters went to the polls for the midterm elections, Marty, for the economy. This was the pressing issue. How does that work out for Hillary? Give us a sense of the backdrop.

MARTIN FELDSTEIN, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: I think she's trying to look more left on the economic issues. She's trying to make sure that this doesn't distance her from the president's base on economic issues. I hope that if she happens to win, that that isn't where she really is.

BARTIROMO: Well, that's what she said the other day when she said businesses don't create jobs, and then tried to backpedal out of it. So how solid is the recovery?

FELDSTEIN: Recovery is in much better shape than it was even a year ago. It turned up last summer, summer of 2013, we had 4 percent growth.  Then we had a lousy first quarter because of the weather. But it came back after that. It has been growing at about 4 percent in the second and third quarters combined.

So I think going ahead, we're OK. We're going to continue to see improvements. The quantitative easing really boosted the stock market and consumers took that money and went out and spent it.

BARTIROMO: Well, that's the thing, I mean, it certainly boosted the stock market, but then you hear pockets of the population basically saying it didn't impact my life, I don't really see my wages moved at all. In fact wages are down.

FELDSTEIN: But some wages are down, but if you look at the overall number, the employment cost index was up more than 3 percent. A year ago it was up less than 2 percent. So wages are beginning to move up.

ROLLINS: I think all of that's very valid, I just don't think the American public believes that things are better economically. And I think that's obviously what you've got to do, it's as much psychological as anything else.

BARTIROMO: You're right, the sentiment is really driving people.

So T.J. Rodgers was on the show a few minutes ago. You saw what he said, Republicans should be Republicans. Don't make me cringe by social issues and don't overspend. Should that be?

ROLLINS: Let me tell you, he's obviously an expert in semiconductors and what have you. I'm an expert in politics. Here's the base of the Republican Party: 25 percent of the electorate who just voted to self- identify as evangelicals. They vote 80 percent Republican.

When you go to Iowa and South Carolina, it's 37 percent in Iowa, it's 40 percent in South Carolina. That's where the game starts. So if you basically don't pay attention to their issues, you're not going to be a viable candidate.

MILLER: But isn't that really the challenge for Republicans? I mean, on one hand, you need to energize the base, on the other, you drive away the pragmatic center, the CEOs, like the man we just heard from.

ROLLINS: The CEOs who need their money.

(LAUGHTER)

MILLER: Now don't you also need that kind of pragmatic support that has always been the base of the Republican Party?

ROLLINS: The old Republican Party, or the Rockefeller Republicans, are long gone. And I get this every place I go. They say, get rid of the Moral Majority. I say, great, how do you replace the Moral Majority? I'll get rid of the Moral Majority when Democrats get rid of labor unions and African-Americans. And we're about ground zero.

BARTIROMO: Wow.

(LAUGHTER)

BARTIROMO: All right. Stay with us all, we want to get a look at what is coming up on "MediaBuzz" right after "Sunday Morning Futures," Howie Kurtz standing by.

Good morning to you, Howie.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ": Good morning, Maria.

Well, we're going to look at the extraordinary spectacle of these videos about Obamacare by MIT professor Jonathan Gruber talking about the stupidity, as you know, of the American public, and how much of the media just ignored this for days.

Only the last couple of days have organizations like The New York Times and the AP and CBS even acknowledged this story.

And we're also going to talk to your former CNBC colleague, Melissa Francis, now with FOX Business of course, about her contention that she was silenced by the management of CNBC when she went on the air a couple years ago and criticized ObamaCare.

BARTIROMO: Right. She said the math did not make sense back then.

Howie, thank you. We will see you in about 20 minutes. We will be there.

President Obama vowing to act unilaterally on immigration meanwhile if Congress does not pass legislation. This is another budget deadline before a government shutdown looms just weeks away. Welcome back to Washington, folks. The panel is on that next, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BARTIROMO: We're back with our panel on the showdown brewing between Republicans and the president -- Ed Rollins, Judy Miller, Marty Feldstein with us.

OK. That showdown over immigration. Let's talk about what the president can and cannot do in terms of an executive order.

ED ROLLINS, POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: He can't make them citizens. He can't -- that's a misconception that is out there. All that he can do is basically order the Department of HHS not to basically deport them. He can give them work permits. Most of them are working anyway, so it won't make a whole lot of difference.

But legislation has to be passed by the Congress to basically make them citizens or path to citizenship and he will separate, he will take 4 million, 5 million people and make them legal and there's another 7 million or 8 million still in the country illegally which means you create a class system that is terrible.

JUDITH MILLER, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: I think he set this up beautifully for the Republicans to have to oppose making these people citizens. This is just what he wants.

He wants to do it now to show that he's not a lame duck, he is alive and he will continue to pursue his policies and he will challenge the Republicans to vote against the 50,000 people who will come into the electorate each year, Hispanic Americans who want to vote.

I think it's a brilliant move politically. It's a little cynical.

BARTIROMO: But don't you think people understand that this is political?

MARTY FELDSTEIN, REAGAN ECONOMIC ADVISER: This is an issue about the Hispanic vote. And the president is going to take the lead before the Republicans get a chance to vote.

I hope, but I don't have a lot of reason to believe, that the Republicans will say, well, we can do better. We can see you and raise you on this. We can do a better deal legislatively so we don't lose the Hispanic vote.

ROLLINS: I think they would have -- and Marty and I were in the White House together when we did the '86 bill. It was a long, complicated, took several years to get done. It was a bipartisan effort. It did create citizenship for about 2.5 million to 3 million people, 5 million were eligible.

At the end of the day here, Republicans had it up or down on the Senate bill, which is not a good bill and most Republicans today said they wouldn't vote for that bill again.

We don't have a unicameral; both houses have an option. This president will destroy the potential of moving forward on this thing because Republicans will be so angry at him that they will do everything they can to stop him.

BARTIROMO: I know we have a crisis at the border, but is it so immediate that we have to push something through right now rather than waiting for the new Congress?

FELDSTEIN: What he is doing is not dealing with the border issue.  What he's dealing with is the 11 million illegal aliens who are here in the United States. So he's putting down a marker that says I'm going to be nice to the Hispanic community. And the Republicans, if they're foolish, will say, well, we're going to stop that, we will unfund it.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: And he's throwing in a little something, too, in terms of the visas for skilled people to make it harder for Republicans.

BARTIROMO: All right. Let me move on to Jonathan Gruber because this story just gets better and better. It's just remarkable some of the comments that the architect of ObamaCare and RomneyCare called the American people stupid and now is basically -- we're hearing reaction to this. The president said he did not work on anything.

ROLLINS: Well, he worked on everything.

BARTIROMO: Nancy Pelosi said she's never met him and she doesn't know him. But we know that he was paid $400,000 for being the architect of ObamaCare.

ROLLINS: He was the architect. He and Rahm Emanuel's brother were two of the principals that drafted this bill and they were very cynical about it. They knew they couldn't get it through, it was an honest discussion of who was going to pay for this thing. And I think it's a question of arrogance now.

(CROSSTALK)

FELDSTEIN: The president said at the time this is not going to cost a dime.

How do you enroll millions of people without it costing a dime?

BARTIROMO: But in terms of Jonathan Gruber, he was one of your students?

FELDSTEIN: He was.

BARTIROMO: You can tell us a little bit about the person?

FELDSTEIN: He's a very smart guy who teaches economics at MIT. He's an expert in the health area. He put together a very large data set. He analyzed all the numbers.

But this debate is all about the CBO rules and the administration and Jon Gruber and others knew that if they structured this thing just right, the CBO would be forced by the CBO rules to say it didn't cost a dime.

ROLLINS: He was paid more money than the president or Nancy Pelosi.

(LAUGHTER)

FELDSTEIN: But anybody who understood what it was really about realized that of course this was going to cost money, it was going to cost taxpayers money and it was just because of the CBO rules that they could cause it to fool the public.

BARTIROMO: And call it the stupidity of the American voter.

All right. Hold that thought, you guys. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey saying that the momentum is turning in Iraq in our favor in the fight against ISIS. He's also warning this is bound to be a long slog. Our panel's reaction next as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

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BARTIROMO: Our panel is back: Ed Rollins, Judy Miller, Marty Feldstein.

And we had another horrific video overnight from ISIS, Judy.

MILLER: This is a very different video, Maria; this is the signaling of a different change in their tactics, their messaging. It's a 15-minute long video that only shows the beheaded Peter Kassig at the end. It shows ISIS marching across Europe coming to the United States.

It's almost a dare to the United States. And it is once again another ISIS vintage PR triumph in that they are eager to do both what scares America, scares the West, but also gives them added recruits.

BARTIROMO: What should the U.S. do in response to the dare?

ROLLINS: We have to get a strategy in which we basically do have men on the ground and we do have boots on the ground. We have to start preparing the American public that that's going to occur. We put 3,000 troops in there which are really nothing at this point in time. But everyone says it's going to take 10,000 or 15,000 troops. The Iraqis are not going to stand up and fight for themselves and aren't capable of doing that.

The moment we pulled out they all cut and run, I think we're at a stalemate and I think we're in a long 30-year war and we'd better be prepared for that.

BARTIROMO: Marty?

FELDSTEIN: Boots on the ground doesn't mean guys backing away from the front line, away from the action. They need to have people who, as a minimum, are working with the others, identifying and helping them to do things. So we have got people there but they're not actually in the action.

The military person I've talked to says we're going to have to have boots on the ground if we're going to make a dent.

MILLER: Right, but we can't do it for them. That's different. They have to --

BARTIROMO: It's interesting that in the face of all of these threats, oil prices have gone down -- Marty.

FELDSTEIN: Well, but a lot of other things are happening. The increase in the supply of oil, whether it's U.S. fracking or it's Mexico opening up its oil market, we're seeing a big increase in global oil and at the same time we're seeing a slowdown in the demand for energy for oil in Western Europe and in China.

So you reduce the demand and you increase the supply, it's basic economics that the price is going to come down.

BARTIROMO: Will we see increased military funding? We've got some deadlines coming up.

ROLLINS: We have to have. We cannot basically continue to diminish the military and add responsibility. So I think at the end of the day that the sequester will basically be broken on the new Congress, which means if we break it on the military side, we have to break it on the domestic side.  So I think government spending will go up.

BARTIROMO: All right. Still to come, the one thing to watch for in the week ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" with our panel; back in a moment.

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BARTIROMO: And we're back with our panel.

The one big thing to watch for the week ahead, Marty Feldstein, Judy Miller, Ed Rollins. What's your one thing?

ROLLINS: The immigration -- obviously the president is going to move this week and I'm curious to see what the Republican reaction is going to be.

And the second thing obviously is the pipeline that will get passed this week in the Senate. The president vetoed that. He basically placed his base, the environmentalists in the -- and we'll see what the reaction is.

BARTIROMO: Judy?

MILLER: Osama bin Laden said that people follow the strong horse, so what did Putin hear at the summit in Australia that might make him change his mind about his aggressiveness in Ukraine?

And what will Obama do to convince the world that the United States and the West are the strong horse and not ISIS?

BARTIROMO: Yes, it didn't look like that with him patting Obama on the back.

(CROSSTALK)

BARTIROMO: Marty, your one thing?

FELDSTEIN: I think it's going to be the Republican reaction to the president's action on immigration.

BARTIROMO: Yes, what should that reaction be?

FELDSTEIN: I think that they should find a way to say we will do even more instead of saying we're going to do nothing and we're going to prevent you from doing something for 11 million illegals, most of whom are Hispanic and will vote against the Republicans if the Republicans cut it off.

BARTIROMO: All right, we got to leave it there. I would agree, immigration and Keystone Pipeline, that vote happening on Tuesday. Thank you so much to our panel for joining us. Thank you for watching this morning. That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures."

I'm Maria Bartiromo. I'll be back tomorrow morning on "Opening Bell" on the Fox Business network. That's at 9:00 am Eastern. Take a look at where to find Fox News network on your cable network or your satellite provider. Or you could just click on Channel Finder at foxbusiness.com. Stay with Fox News. "MediaBuzz" with Howard Kurtz begins right now. Have a great Sunday.

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