Interviews

Rep. Kristi Noem: We're closer to getting tax reform done

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 2, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)    

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENT-ELECT:  I have very serious concerns about NAFTA.  NAFTA has been a catastrophe for our country.  It's been a catastrophe for our workers and our jobs and our companies.  They're leaving our country.

I want to change it.  And maybe we do it.  Maybe we do a new NAFTA and we put an extra F in the term NAFTA.  You know what the F is for, right?  Free and fair trade.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST:  You know, at first when I heard it, I said, he didn't say that, did he?  What is the F for?  And then I realized free and fair trade.  

But here what was interesting.  We were covering this on Fox Business Network at the time he was saying it, which, if you don't have, you should demand and you're losing money hand over fist.  Your call.

Anyway, when the president was making those remarks, the market continued dipping.  And there's a theory out there that a lot of this continued soft market reaction to all the crosscurrents on Capitol Hill has to do with the fact that maybe they're letting slip away a chance for lower taxes.  Even Speaker Ryan saying earlier today that this could be a late spring or summer development maybe at the earliest.  

Others saying there's a number of issues to address before they can even get to that.  Still others cynically fearing that it doesn't happen at all this year.  

Who would know better the truth of falsity of anything I'm saying than South Dakota Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem, she, of course, a key member, among others, of the House Ways and Means Committee, the very folks that would make a lot of this stuff happen.

Congresswoman, very good to have you.  Thanks for coming.  

REP. KRISTI NOEM, R-SOUTH DAKOTA:  Yes, thanks for having me today, Neil.  

CAVUTO:  You have heard about these distractions and people sitting out Cabinet meetings or Cabinet confirmation hearings and all that.  The drama is such that it is maybe delaying something the markets have wanted to see since the president's election.  

That is lower taxes and regulatory reform.  And not that they're giving up on it.  I'm talking about the markets here.  But they're thinking it's delayed or going to be watered down or both.  What do you tell them?  

NOEM:  We're closer to getting tax reform done than we have been in 30 years.  

And here in the House side, especially on the Ways and Means Committee, we have never stopped working on it.  We have got a blueprint out there. We're putting legislative texts together with details.  It's going to drive down rates considerably, put us back into a competitive position internationally.  

We're going to change the way that we do international tax, so that we're like all the other countries that we compete with, so that we will no longer tax things that are made here in America.  And we're going to repeal the death tax, which you know, Neil, is very important to me.  

CAVUTO:  Let me get a sense then of where this goes.  

I guess, because of these distractions or the fact that not all the Republicans are on the same page, that's not unusual, but apparently part of the way to pay for these tax cuts was like a border tax that some Republicans in the House particularly were championing, and then we hear from President Trump he's not a fan of it.  

And there were similar distractions on the health care thing that it was going to be repeal and replace.  And then the president came along, others, hey, we can't we do that in tandem or at least closer together?  And now that is the problem, Republicans amongst themselves not agreeing on how to address any of this.  

What do you say to that?  

NOEM:  Well, after eight years of President Obama, we have got a lot of big things to change and to fix, so that we can really get our economy back in a better position and families doing better.

So, tax reform is very much a key part of that.  And that's something that the House is pretty far down the road on.  I think the more people that really understand the border adjustability tax and understand that we're going to take the taxes off of things that we export, and instead when we let countries market to us in America, that they will have to pay taxes on that.  

CAVUTO:  So that's still on, Congresswoman, even though the president isn't keen on it, from what we hear?  You know more than I.  That you're still keen on it?

NOEM:  Well, the leadership team has had good conversations with the president and the administration on it.  And they're still open to the idea.  

So, the door is not shut.  And we're talking about it and educating everyone on what it really is and how the fact that all of our competitors have this kind of a tax.  When we stay back in the ancient plan and the way that we run our tax system today, it makes our companies, it makes America uncompetitive.  

We're double taxing things that are made in America.  And that's not fair.  

CAVUTO:  So, that's still on the table.  

When do you think this gets done?  In other words, is it a spring or summer development?  Assuming that you get your wish and then this tax reform comes, are we talking spring, summer, what?  

NOEM:  We're hoping so.  We're hoping to have it done by August.  But it depends on the Senate as well, an agreement that we can come on the finer details.  

We also would hope that we could deal with health care at the same time.  
We'd like to be able to repeal the ACA and then put replacement back in place.  So, big things are moving.  

CAVUTO:  You would like to replace, and how soon?  

NOEM:  We'd like to do it in tandem.  So, we would like to do it together, although they're being negotiated and the bills are being worked on separately.

CAVUTO:  OK.

Before tax reform, Congresswoman?  

NOEM:  Those detail are not finalized yet.  It all depends on how the sequence of events comes and how we -- we have to, in all of this, deal with appropriations bills too, as well.  We still have some of 2017 appropriations bills hanging out there too.

CAVUTO:  That's true.

NOEM:  We have got a lot of big things to do, and we're going to do them in the manner that makes sense, and not get in a hurry and do it wrong.

This is consequential legislation that we're working on.  And the details are being written.  And we're going to plan them in the best way that we can, to make sure the American people know what we're doing and why we're doing it.  

CAVUTO:  All right, we will see.  

Congressman Kristi Noem, good seeing you again.  Thank you very much.  

NOEM:  Yes.  Thank you, Neil.  

CAVUTO:  All right.  

END

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