Transcript

Rep. Brady: We're full steam ahead on tax reform; Sen. Graham: Hard-left taking over the Democrat Party

House deputy whip details 'bold' approach on 'Sunday Morning Futures'

 

This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," March 26, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good morning.

The push to repeal and replace ObamaCare on hold for now as Republicans get set to shift priorities this upcoming week to fixing America's tax system.

Plus, head the FBI set for a return trip to Capitol Hill this Tuesday to talk surveillance.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures".

Tax reform now takes center stage as the Republican health care plan stalls out before making it to a House vote. How will GOP lawmakers do it? What comes now? House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady coming up momentarily live.

Also, FBI Director James Comey called back to Capitol Hill to talk about alleged surveillance of the Trump campaign. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey breaking down where this is all headed, coming up live right there.

And Neil Gorsuch's nomination goes to nominate. But with the Democratic filibuster looming on the horizon, will Republican senators have to turn to the nuclear option? Senator Lindsey Graham will tell us why Democrats are letting the country down.

We're looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures".

(MUSIC)

BARTIROMO: President Trump looking to turn the page this morning after Republicans are forced to pull the plug on the GOP bill to replace ObamaCare. Now, the White House is setting its sights on another ambitious goal -- tax reform.

But even as the president forges ahead, he is jabbing at conservatives who helped scuttle the GOP health care bill. Early this morning, the president tweeted this, "Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club for Growth and Heritage have saved Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare."

Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and House deputy whip. He joins us right now.

Good morning, sir. Good to have you on the program.

REP. KEVIN BRADY (R-TX), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE: Hey, thanks for having me, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Congressman, we want to talk about where things stand now. So, why don't you talk to us about that? What happens now, Congressman?

BRADY: Well, look, last week didn't in the way we had hoped. We're not going to dwell on it. We're getting ready for the next big game and that is tax reform. The good news is Ways and Means Republicans have spent five years getting ready for this moment. House Republicans have spent the last year and getting ready for this moment, and we continue to make our tax reform plan even better.

And so, we're going to wait straight into it. And, Maria, I think we talked before, look, we never stopped working on transforming the blueprint into a -- into legislation listening to the business community, to our stakeholders, to folks back home.

And so, we're going full steam ahead with this.

BARTIROMO: OK, so is there any way at all, Congressman, that a vote happened to the next couple of days on the health care bill, or is that dead? Are we just turning the page and shifting the priority to tax reform right now?

BRADY: Sure, I think turning the page. Look, you know, there may be an effort to do a repeal-only bill, but that's a show vote. It would require eight Democrat senators to support repealing. As you know, that's not going to happen.

So, look, let's move ahead on tax reform. It's exciting. It's why we came here. I think it's the number one priority for both the president and Republicans well in Congress. So let's get into the under the field that we're the most comfortable on.

BARTIROMO: All right. So, let's talk about that because people are wondering if you're going to have this same kind of divisive battle when you really get into the nitty-gritty on tax reform over this broader adjustment tax. I want to ask you about that.

But first, let me ask you this, Congressman, because Paul Ryan on Friday said the health care bill's failure, quote, "does make tax reform more difficult, but it doesn't in any way make it impossible."

Why is it more difficult, Congressman?

BRADY: Well it's more difficult because the ObamaCare taxes a trillion dollars on small businesses on families, on the economy, stays in place in and it will. Those taxes will stay in place as long as ObamaCare is in place. But we're not going to saddle tax reform with those taxes. That's why the speaker said this isn't insurmountable. We're going to move forward with the boldest tax reform in a generation.

But, look, this is tough stuff. There's a reason this only happens once a generation. You can expect special interest to weigh in, Wall Street to weigh in, Washington, D.C. to pick it apart. That's just the nature of tax reform.

What I do know, the easiest way to make tax reform fail is to not go bold, to not try to leapfrog America from I think 31st in the world back into that top three or better position, so we can compete and win anywhere in the world especially here at home.

BARTIROMO: So, the priorities are what? You want to get the corporate tax rate down. OK, you want to get individual tax rates down, and you want to simplify it to three brackets. Go through where your priorities are for tax reform.

BRADY: So, the priorities are growth, designing a code not built to punish people or ring money from them, but actually to grow jobs wages in the U.S. economy. We want to leapfrog America from nearly dead last among our global competitors, up to that lead pack and keep us there, and then we want to tax code so fair and simple that nine of out ten Americans can file using a postcard style system. We've decided since this is just once in a generation would give this opportunity.

We can't go mediocre. We can't shoot for the middle of the pack. We have to be very bold and that's why these provisions that we're recommending recognize how our competitors are beating us today.

We know these are changes in the tax code -- some 30, 50 years of current tax policy. We -- that's why we've been listening and that's why as we've listened, we have continued to modify the boldest provisions who have got there and we want to make sure this works in a very pro-growth way. How important is raising revenue while you're also cutting taxes, Congressman, because this border adjustments axe is supposed to raise, what, a trillion dollars over ten years, and you already go into this process down a trillion dollars, because you don't have those taxes taken out of the health care bill that you wanted.

So, how do you get revenue moving on? Does that mean a border tax is definitely in there?

BRADY: Well, I believe it's given anyway, but it's not because of the revenue. That's a big part of it. But the main reasons we're having out there is our competitors. We want to make sure there's a level playing field between foreign products and made them for America products here, as well as abroad. We want to simplify the tax code, which is what border adjustment does.

It also eliminates any tax incentives to move manufacturing jobs or headquarters overseas and so taking that out would have severe consequences. Clearly, we couldn't leapfrog nor would be competitive. So, that's why we are working on significant modifications to make sure that we phase this in, design it right, create the most growth we can.

BARTIROMO: Now, the White House has not agreed to any border adjustment tax just yet.

BRADY: Well, I don't think they've made a decision there. What I do know is that the president said repeatedly that that he's tired of American workers and companies having to fight with one hand tied behind their back without a level playing field here and around the world as well. That's exactly what border adjustment achieves.

But here's my thinking, look, we have so much in common with the Trump administration. It wouldn't make sense to have a separate tax bill from Secretary Mnuchin, a separate one from Gary Cohn, a third from whomever. We -- why not take at the basis of the House plan that leapfrogs America into the top three of best places on planet for the new job. Let's work together to make those adjustments, along with the Senate. Let's be ready to move this year.

BARTIROMO: OK. You want to move this year, but where's the wiggle room, Congressman? If you can't get a border adjustment tax through, is there any other wiggle room where you can see raising revenue? For example, there are some people who are saying, forget about a twenty percent corporate tax rate, it ought to be all the way up to twenty eight percent.

Would you agree to that?

BRADY: Well, I just -- no, we will not. That will not make us competitive. That won't even get us to the middle of the pack and, frankly, we're getting our brains beat out because our competitors are beating us with lower rates. They no longer tax worldwide, they border, just all of which we have to do to be able to compete and win not just here but around the world as well.

And so, look, I think we've got the basics in place. We've got some work to do. The Trump team is a smart team. Their economic team knows just how critical this is. So, look, I see a lot of elements in place going for it.

And here's a final point -- well, not a final point, but on revenue neutrality or in other words, making the budget balance throughout there. We're going for growth. We're going to leapfrog America, but we're also wanting a helping balance the budget.

We think the right thing to do is grow the economy in such a significant way it helps us get back to a balanced budget in to that day when we start paying down the national debt.

BARTIROMO: What are the odds that you have a real battle over the way that tax reform looks, whether it's a border adjustment tax, whether it's the corporate rate, that is the battle whether it's the deductions, mortgage interest deduction, charitable deduction, taking away the deductions.

What are the odds that all of that battle leads to failure, and you don't get this done either this year?

BRADY: Look, I think there -- look, all this is this is difficult. That's why tax reform only happens once in generation. But I'll tell you -- everything that drove the Reagan reforms as recreate itself, and the American public is just sick of this complicated tax code full of lobbyists loopholes and special interests.

BARTIROMO: Right.

BRADY: You've got great ideas from lawmakers and you've got a president willing to leave. So, I'll tell you the odds are greater than ever this year to pass tax reform.

BARTIROMO: All right. So, you -- and will it be retroactive to the beginning of '17?

BRADY: Well, that's our plan and we've got to move forward with this. We want growth on day one, but more importantly, not just growth for a couple years, we want to be able to again to vault America back into the lead and keep us there for decades.

BARTIROMO: So, do you get started on this, this week? I mean, what's your timeline in terms of really getting -- getting into the details of tax reform?

BRADY: Yes. We've never -- great question, we've never stopped working. We've been running a parallel track on tax room all throughout healthcare as well. So, we'll continue to make improvements. We are planning to move this in the Ways and Means Committee in the spring, have this ready for the Senate to go as well.

So, look, we've still got some work to do, but we also I think have momentum from the policy in the belief that we can go bold and we can do this.

BARTIROMO: All right. We leave it there. Congressman, we'll be watching. This is very exciting. We will be certainly watching and I know the market will as well, very closely.

Congressman Kevin Brady, good to speak with you, sir.

BRADY: Thanks.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much.

Up next, it is take-two time for FBI Director James Comey. The White House and the House Intel Committee calling him back for more questions on Russia and alleged surveillance of the Trump campaign.

I'll talk with former attorney general, Michael Mukasey, on that, next.

Then, remember you can follow us on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from Michael Mukasey, as well as Congressman Peter King.

We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

It is back to Capitol Hill for FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers. The pair testified last week on Russia's alleged meddling in the U.S. election, as well as the president's wiretapping claims.

Now, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has recalled them for a closed session this upcoming Tuesday.

Michael Mukasey is with us. He's the former attorney general under President George W. Bush.

And, Judge, it is always a pleasure and an honor to have you on the program.

MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: Great to be with you.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us.

What do you think Nunes wants Comey to say? Why is he calling him back? He just testified last week.

MUKASEY: He just testified last week, but it would be nice if they ask them some of the questions that they didn't ask him when he was in open session and some of the questions that his testimony left open. For example, he said he didn't find any evidence to support the president's tweets, but the president's tweets are not the end of the story. The question is, were they picking up in any way conversations or information or transmissions relating to people around the president-elect?

That wasn't gone into it at all. He responded in a sort of rifle shot way to be to the claim about whether President Obama ordered wiretapping. But he didn't talk about a lot of other things, including whether they picked up people incidental to other surveillance, and whether they then push that out to other agencies so that it could be leaked. Recall that two weeks before he left office, President Obama expanded the executive order that allows for dissemination of raw intelligence that is on unedited, un- interpreted, just raw intelligence.

BARTIROMO: Why? Why would he do this?

MUKASEY: Well, that's a very good question, because he expanded it to 16 additional supposed members of the intelligence community, which include a lot of federal law enforcement agencies that really don't have any use for raw intelligence. But it does increase the population of people who can leak and, of course, it makes it harder to discover who leaked these got that many more people would be information.

BARTIROMO: Right, and so, there you go, we've had so many leaks since this administration got into office.

So, the president -- President Obama -- puts a fair amount of booby traps for President Trump and he's successful in doing so.

MUKASEY: Well, if that was intended to be a booby trap, it was certainly a successful one because information got out that disclosed the names of U.S. persons who were picked up on surveillance, whether incidentally or purposefully, and that is information that's not supposed to be disclosed.

BARTIROMO: Yes, we should point out that the so-called unmasking of those people, the fact that now people know exactly who it is and it's going through those 17 agencies, that's illegal. You're not too close to unmask the names, correct?

MUKASEY: Unless there is a reason to unmask them for the purpose of understanding the -- the not -- the communications of the non-U.S. persons that you're listening in on.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

MUKASEY: Otherwise, it's not supposed to be done and it's very difficult to do it. It should be difficult to do it.

BARTIROMO: I also thought it was interesting that Chairman Nunes said there was this nothing to do with Russia. So, with the conversations that were picked up in terms of, you know, incidental conversations picked up from the Trump transition team, there wasn't anything having to do with Russia. So, then you ask yourself then, why? Why were they surveilled?

MUKASEY: Well, it's good question about why they were surveilled, but the way the disclosure of the names came out, it was disclosed as a foreign intelligence investigations, so that we have is -- the news is that a -- somebody near to the president-elect have their name came up in connection with a foreign intelligence investigation, and that's made to sound terribly mysterious and terribly sinister, whereas, in fact, it may have had nothing to do with the Russians or anything or anything sinister at all.

BARTIROMO: These agencies judge have become so politicized. I mean, are you surprised -- how hard is it to turn this ship around in terms of the politicizing going on throughout all of these government agencies?

MUKASEY: It's very difficult because you have a large population of people within agencies, some of whom obviously didn't vote for a President Trump and some of those are intent on his not succeeding. And there are people who -- the phrase is borrowing in. There are some people who go from political jobs to civil service jobs so they can't be terminated, and who simply stick around and try to pursue an agenda.

Now, that's not true of career people generally, but what it takes is two or three.

BARTIROMO: And, by the way, was there any warrant to speak of in terms of the warrant to listen in?

MUKASEY: There need -- look, there need not to have been a warrant. There are essentially four ways in which you can overhear an America. One is with a regular wiretap warrant. One is where the thought foreign intelligence surveillance court warrant, if the American is acting as an agent of a foreign power.

But then if you were surveilling somebody else who's acting as an agent of a foreign power, or if you're conducting surveillance overseas of anybody because the United States can conduct surveillance overseas of any non-U.S. persons --

BARTIROMO: Right.

MUKASEY: And you pick up a U.S. person, that doesn't take a warrant.

BARTIROMO: Are you surprised Jim Comey is still on his job?

MUKASEY: I thought that the opportunity to ask him to leave was when new administration came in.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

MUKASEY: Thank you for your service.

BARTIROMO: That didn't happen.

MUKASEY: That didn't happen and it can't really happen now because he's now gotten himself embroiled in a dispute and it would look like he's being fired for political reasons.

BARTIROMO: That's right. Judge, great to have your insights. Thanks so much.

MUKASEY: Good to be with you.

BARTIROMO: Michael Mukasey joining us.

Investigators are delving deeper meanwhile into the background of the man behind the terrorist attack in London. We'll talk with Congressman Peter King next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

We are learning more this morning about the terrorist behind that deadly rampage outside of the British parliament this past week. The Saudi embassy in London confirming Khalid Massoud visited Saudi Arabia three times over the past years to teach English. Meanwhile, investigators now are trying to determine how he became radicalized.

Congressman Peter King is on the House Homeland Security and Intel Committees and he joins us now.

Congressman, good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.

REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: Thank you, Maria. Thank you very much.

BARTIROMO: Do you have a sense of those questions? Can you take us behind the curtain a bit and tell us what we're dealing with here?

KING: Well, what we're dealing with, Maria, is really what we've been dealing with here in the United States, of the Boston marathon bombing, of San Bernardino. You have Orlando.

Now, you have the situation in London where a person acts out and it seems it's spontaneous, then you're looking to the background, you find out that in each of the cases, they've been investigated by the police in the past. They've been looked at. Not enough was found and the investigation sort of ended.

And I think what this shows us is that alter with the smoke there's fire. In a democratic society, we can't be arresting people on suspicion, but we have to be more sophisticated and continue these investigations, continue surveillance. So, it's the police for instance in Orlando if the FBI completed their investigation.

And I don't criticize the FBI for this. They can't be investigating everything forever. But once they look into it didn't find anything in particular, then the local police should pick it up and carry out at least routine surveillance, check and see what's happening. And I think it's what we're going to find here in London.

You know, the prime minister pointed out that we had been investigated and they didn't find any. But why was he investigated in the first place and why was he going back and forth to Saudi Arabia three times?

So, again, that to me would have warranted keeping him under more surveillance. What they be looking for is here who was in contact with in Saudi Arabia? Did he meet with radical imams when he was over there? Did he go to radical mosques when he came back here? Do they have any contact with radicals in England? How does behavior change?

Often you go to a person's neighbors and you say, looking at him now and, you know, looking back on what he did, did you see any changes that maybe you should have reported to the police? If you see something, say something.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

KING: W saw that again, you know, in San Bernardino, sending neighbors (INAUDIBLE). Now, looking back and I realize that they show signs which they had chosen to ignore.

BARTIROMO: Congressman, let me ask you. I mean, Masood drove his rented SUV across London's crowded Westminster Bridge, striking pedestrians. So, he uses his car as a vehicle, as a weapon rather. Is this a new way the terrorists have figured out death destruction?

KING: Yes, this goes back I guess almost a year now when we found out that that's what ISIS was encouraging its people to use. So, we saw for instance last year with the New York City Thanksgiving parade how they blocked off all the street so you could not have a vehicle crash into the parade. We've seen it in France how it didn't work, how unfortunately you know there were people killed. In Germany, we've seen this.

So, this is -- yes, this is a weapon which again, you know, it's not a gun, it's not an explosive and that's something you can prevent someone from buying. But use of vehicles as a weapon and it catches people off guard, you're just not expecting it. So, yes, that is -- this is definitely has the trademarks of the ISIS.

BARTIROMO: Yes. Congressman, real quick before you go, being on the Intel Committee, I know you have thoughts on Jim Comey going back to testify on Tuesday. What do you want to hear?

KING: I think we want to see why again what Chairman Nunes has brought out is that it appears that there was this information which had nothing to do with intelligence, nothing to do with any type of criminal activity, seems to have been disseminated throughout the intelligence community and it involved people in the Trump transition team, the president locked himself and also people close to him, why was this allowed to happen? It's supposed to be -- again, there's always a mistake when we made that could be. This seems to be a pattern of unmasking names and releasing information which had no intelligence importance at all.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

KING: And was that -- what's that in effect surveillance and why, and who authorized it?

BARTIROMO: And that's really something Judge Mukasey just said as well.

And real quick on tax reform, Congressman. You heard Kevin Brady earlier in the show. Who's to say you're not going to have a similar battle, a big fight with the -- with the Democrats? We know that they are trying to obstruct the president's agenda over this border adjustment tax and then at the end of the day, get nothing done, Congressman.

KING: So, I've been great regard to Kevin Brady. He is try to meet with all factions in the Republican Party because, again, it can be certain parts of the tax bill could have an impact, like repealing a property tax deduction to have a real impact in a high tax area like New York and New Jersey.

But again, I think I'd say I think Kevin Brady -- I think we learned a lot from health care debate and Kevin Brady is the best they can find. He's really good. I think he's going to get it through.

BARTIROMO: All right. We will leave there. Congressman Peter King, always a pleasure. Thanks so much, sir.

KING: Maria, thank you.

BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon.

Senate Democrats say they will filibuster the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch meanwhile. Will Republicans have to turn the nuclear option on to get Gorsuch through? I'll ask Senator Lindsey Graham about that, next.

We're looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures". Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., MINORITY LEADER: After careful deliberation, I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court. His nomination will have a cloture vote. He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

To the confirmation battle for Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, we go. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is vowing a no vote on Gorsuch and he says Democrats will filibuster the Gorsuch nomination.

Joining me right now to talk more about that is Senator Lindsey Graham.

Senator, it's good to see. Thanks so much for joining us.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: Well -- you know, it just -- it's a head-scratcher because --

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: -- Neil Gorsuch has done so well in those confirmation hearings, and we know that he had one hundred percent approval when he was trying to get a lower seat judge and the Democrats loved him. So, now, Chuck Schumer is saying absolutely not.

What do you think is behind this?

GRAHAM: Politics. He's running scared of the left has gone absolutely insane after Trump won the election. This has nothing to do with Neil. It has everything to do with the Democratic base and the hard left taking over the Democratic Party.

Chuck Schumer has been a destructive force in my opinion when it comes to the traditions of the Senate. Neil Gorsuch has decided 2,700 cases in the last ten years. He's been overturned once. Ninety-seven percent of his decisions have been in the unanimous, in the Tenth Circuit. Ninety-nine percent of time he's been in the majority. He had the highest rating available by the American Bar Association, very qualified. A 109-page report on who he was as a judge and a person, 500 lawyers from left, right, middle said he's one of the most talented judges in the entire country.

Donald Trump did a home run pick with him. There's no better Republican judge to be picked anywhere a Republican president could not have picked, chosen better than Neil Gorsuch.

So, this is just all politics with Schumer and I hope some people in this party care about the Senate and the country and will not go where Schumer leads them.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I think you make so many important points there, Senator. Do you think that the Democrats will be able to push it forward or do you think they will be able to knock this down?

GRAHAM: I don't know. I can tell you what I did. I didn't vote for Obama but he nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. I voted for both of them. I got a lot of push back at home because people don't like it when you lose an election and they don't want you to vote for the other side's judges.

But my standard has been: were they well qualified, were they somebody a Democrat could pick that was well-qualified? They certainly were. I voted for Alito and Roberts. Neil Gorsuch has ever been as qualified as before I voted for.

So, I was able to go back home in South Carolina and say that I'm going to follow the Constitution which is advise and consent, not replace, and I did fine.

You know, Scalia got 98 votes, Ginsburg got 96 votes. This is all sort of new. It started when the Democrats changed the rules in 2013 to pack the circuit court. It started with Judge Bork when he was treated so badly by Ted Kennedy and it's -- it was with Bush 43 when they filibustered all of his judges.

So, Democrats have basically embraced their traditions of the Senate when it helps them and they change the rules when they want to grab power.

And here's what I would tell my Democrat friends, if you can't find the courage to vote to give this man 60 votes, we cannot find a better person for you to vote on as a Republican, then you're letting the Senate traditions go away. You're giving into political demagoguery. You're letting the country down, and if I have to change the rules to put this man on the Supreme Court, I will.

BARTIROMO: So that's my next question. Do you support the use of the so- called nuclear option, you will go through it if it's needed?

GRAHAM: Let me tell you why because President Obama sent to qualified liberals and I voted for them along with other Republicans. They got 60 votes. Neil Gorsuch would be the first man in the history of United States to come out of committee and not get a vote up or down on the floor, other than Abe Fortas was filibustered by both parties because of ethical problems. We're making history here.

So I'm hoping that I don't have to do this. I'm hoping that eight Democrats will realize that this is one of the best choices available to President Trump. He could not have done better and give him votes, so we don't turn the Senate upside down.

BARTIROMO: Yes. I mean, you know, what gets me is that after such a contentious election, you would think that everybody recognizes that the American people want you guys to just get to work. But to continue fighting over -- oh, it's not my party and I'm going to push back because Merrick Garland wasn't -- you know, there was pushback on him. It's just totally against what the American people want to see right now.

GRAHAM: I think it explains how President Trump actually won. The bottom line is a date they have a -- they don't believe you can be conservative and mainstream. This is one of the most qualified people in America to be a judge. He's been on the Tenth Circuit Court for ten and a half years, has won nothing but accolades. I mean, he is a legal genius. So, qualifications are not the issue. It is all about politics.

And here's what the Democratic Party has done after the election, I think they're going crazy. I think they're turning their party over the most liberal people in the country, and it's going to have an effect on the country and effect on them, and they're not getting the message that most of America would like to see us to a better up here.

BARTIROMO: Yes, that's right, that's right. And meanwhile, they're riding this Russia story, this Russia narrative. You know, Devin Nunes was very clear that in what he found in terms of his findings and the surveillance of the Trump transition team, there was no message -- there was no mention of Russia at all.

GRAHAM: Yes, I don't know why he did what he did. I want to go wherever the facts take us when it comes to what Russia did in our election. Here's what I believe -- there was no surveillance of the Trump campaign by the Obama administration. I believe that the FBI has an ongoing criminal investigation of some Trump operatives regarding what they may have done in Russia.

And what Nunes said was perplexing to me. If we are surveilling people out there who are foreign agents and then American runs into ‘em, that is incidental collection.

But here's what I want to have happen -- I want the Congress to get to the bottom of this. More than anything else, I want to punish Russia. I don't want this to happen again.

I've got a bill that will get 80 votes if I can get it on the floor of the Senate to put sanctions on Russia for interfering in our election, and I hope that the Foreign Relations Committee will mark it up before the French vote.

Maria, the French are going to have their elections at the end of April, and Russia is trying to meddle in their elections and the Germans have elections in September. So, I want America to be seen as pushing back against Russian interference.

It was Democrats today, it could be Republicans tomorrow.

BARTIROMO: Was it a crime though to unmask the people who were collected?

GRAHAM: Could be. One, I want to find out who the leakers are.

BARTIROMO: Right.

GRAHAM: So, I want to find out who's leaking all these conversations the president has with foreign leaders, and that is a crime.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

GRAHAM: And if you are unmasking Americans as incidental -- as a result of incidental collection and distributing their names throughout the system, that is wrong.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

GRAHAM: I want to find that out. But the big issue for me above all else is that Russia tried to interfere with our elections. I don't believe they change the outcome, but if we don't stop them, others could do it in the future and Russia will be back our way if they don't pay a price. No American should be satisfied with the fact that they're Russians tried to interfere with our election regardless of the party they tried to interfere with, because we're all in this together.

BARTIROMO: Yes. Senator, let me switch gears for a moment because we were talking so much about this bill in the House obviously. Does the real work begin in the Senate?

GRAHAM: At the end of the day, what I would tell President Trump -- winning is improving the life of the American people in terms of health care is not passing a bill. If we cannot get there, if we cannot fix this in a more sustainable fashion than ObamaCare, I would let ObamaCare collapse then I would turn to the Democrats and say, you created this mess, help me fix it.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

GRAHAM: Right now, one party is trying to correct the mess of the other party. The best outcome for the American people is to require the Democrats to help Republicans fix the mess they created, rather than Republicans creating a new mess.

BARTIROMO: There's so many stakes that are so high at this point. Is tax reform then get backed up? Is tax reform largely a 2018 situation then, and not a '17 deal?

GRAHAM: I don't know why we started with health care to be honest with you.

BARTIROMO: Neither do I, sir.

GRAHAM: I really don't. This was like, you got a chance to like lower people's taxes, repair bad trade deals, deregulate America. We're going to win or lose on how we affected the Trump voter. The Trump voter was a working-class person who felt like everybody in Washington and left them behind. If their wages grow and if they get better health care to lower costs, we're going to be just fine.

Let's start with improving the economy, then try to build consensus on health care overtime.

BARTIROMO: That's not where we are, though, Senator. So, will tax reform happen this year?

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: Or do you think it gets pushed into '18?

GRAHAM: It better happen this year because I think there's more consensus on taxes than there is on health care and the economy is dying to grow and explode. You know the economy far better than I do, but the reason people are so excited about the Trump administration, there's a chance for lower taxes and less regulation, and we just need to pass a lower taxing bill on the American business community, in the American worker, deregulate this country, build a pipeline and watch the economy grow. That should happen in 2017.

BARTIROMO: All right. We'll end on good news then, Senator. It's always a pleasure to see you. Thanks so much, sir.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

So, ObamaCare stays put for now, but can President Trump still find a way to rework it? The panel will weigh in next as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right now. Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: Happy Sunday, everyone. Welcome to a brand new program here on Fox News Channel. Different than anything you've seen before. "Sunday Morning Futures" is just that, your very first inside look at the week ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: And that's how it all began. That was "Sunday Morning Futures" and we are making our debut three years ago this week. Happy birthday to everybody on the program. From the very beginning, we've done our best to make good on that promise, to get you ready for the week ahead in terms of covering the most important stories.

Along the way, we've brought you inside from some of the biggest newsmakers out there, from billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, to House Speaker Paul Ryan. We even ventured outside of Washington. We've looked overseas. We've spoken with Queen Rania of Jordan, got her take on the fight against ISIS among other topics.

Plus, we've been there on the road to the White House as well several of the candidates of election 2016, made their case for the presidency right here on "Sunday Morning Futures" after two great debates on the -- from the Fox Business Network, including the man who won the race, of course, President Donald Trump also joined us on this program.

A big thank you to all of our viewers who have helped us make "Sunday Morning Futures" one of the highest rated programs on cable bar none on the weekend. We will continue working hard for you.

Happy birthday to "Sunday Morning Futures" and thank you to our wonderful viewers.

Now on our first show three years ago, we let off with ObamaCare and here we are once again, a story very much in the news.

Joining us right to talk about bad from a different angle, Ed Rollins, former White House advisor to President Reagan, Jessica Tarlov, Democratic strategist, senior director of research for bustle.com, and Rich Lowry, editor of National Review.

Great to see, everybody. Thanks so much.

JESSICA TARLOV, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Congratulations. Happy Birthday.

BARTIROMO: Thank you very much.

And, Ed, you've been here from the beginning. We've got a great three years together.

ED ROLLINS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT REAGAN: We have it a great and you've done a fabulous job putting this all out front of the public and I think you've created a great, great show.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much.

RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW: Hear, hear.

BARTIROMO: ObamaCare -- tell us your thoughts on this.

ROLLINS: My thought is this is a disaster. I think it's going to hurt the president long term. I think they didn't understand the dynamics of -- they're stuck with this idiotic reconciliation in the Senate in which you have to basically try and move it -- you know, and so you drafted a bill for the Senate as opposed to bill for the House, and it wasn't a good public policy in the end. It may be better than ObamaCare today, but it's not was not good enough to convince a majority of the members of the Republican Party.

BARTIROMO: Are we going to see a repeat when they actually bring a vote for tax reform to the floor?

ROLLINS: Well, they have to count the votes. What the obligation of the speaker has is to present to the White House when he has 218 votes, which is the normal people number you need, or on the Senate side 51 votes. Anything less than that, you're not going to push your shove and make it happen.

So, my sense -- you better make sure you have your votes in line before you say this is our bill.

BARTIROMO: Well, that's the thing. Will they have the votes in line what about this? Jessica?

TARLOV: On tax reform?

BARTIROMO: Yes, on tax reform.

TARLOV: I think it's a lot more likely than on health care, but this is always a difficult issue. We were talking before the program started, there was I think potential to have compromise on something like a big infrastructure bill, which Donald Trump talks about throughout the campaign and was something that ruffled a lot of Republicans feathers, but it got Democrats excited and the potential to work together there.

So I'm not sure how it goes, but I definitely am -- in disaster, I totally agree with that. Obviously, I'm relieved that ObamaCare stays in place. I know it needs some fixes, and I think maybe there's potential now to work together on that, to make sure that Americans you know we could control the rate of premium increases and may be purchased some insurance across state lines. It would be nice.

But it definitely was that and Paul Ryan sold him a bad bill of goods by saying consistently, "I have the votes," you know?

BARTIROMO: So, are there implications for Paul Ryan then, Rich Lowry?

LOWRY: Yes, I think it reduces his authority. I think it's bad news for the border adjustment tax, which is a Paul Ryan project. And when he goes to the White House and says, "I have a great idea," there's going to be a lot more skeptical and not a week ago.

But they can't let ObamaCare go. They've talked about this for seven years and the idea that can just try for three lackluster weeks and then all sudden, say nevermind, we're moving on, they need to still be engaged with this and there's always next year. There's another reconciliation window next year. But tax reform is not going to be any easier.

BARTIROMO: Well, this is this one I want to ask you though, because the president was very clear -- fine, you don't want to vote for ObamaCare replacement, then you'll live with ObamaCare replacement -- you'll live with ObamaCare the way it is. But tax reform, are they going to be able to get tax reform done this year? We're already looking at a situation where the Democrats and obstructionism can actually stop this entire agenda for moving.

TARLOV: Like the GOP did to us for years?

ROLLINS: It's not an accident the last tax reform, major tax reform was 1986. I was still in the White House. The president just --

LOWRY: And that's why it happened.

(LAUGHTER)

ROLLINS: Won 49 states and we address, it's a political perspective. This , you have to basically make sure that things that you're putting up there are going to get a majority of the votes.

BARTIROMO: Let's take a short break and I want to continue this conversation. More with our panel as we look ahead next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: And we are back with our panel.

And, Rich Lowry, you'll have to explain something to me. I mean, I -- you know, given the fact you've got a Republican president, you've got the majority in the House, the majority in the Senate, and yet this administration keeps getting pushed back and everything it's trying to do, now we're even questioning tax reform -- why?

LOWRY: Well, a key difference and Ed was eluding us earlier, is they have to use so called reconciliation in the Senate because they don't have 60 votes in the Senate and this is what Obama had after 2008 with a huge Democratic wave, until Teddy Kennedy passed away, they had votes in the Senate.

BARTIROMO: They can do whatever they want.

LOWRY: That really is a rubber stamp.

BARTIROMO: That's why they got ObamaCare through.

LOWRY: Correct, so you use reconciliation, which means you don't have to bypass -- you can bypass the filibuster. But still, even when you do bypass filibuster, you don't have much margin of error when you only have 52 votes in the Senate.

BARTIROMO: So, they need more seats and they've got an election next year, but they're not going to get elected if they don't get stuff done, Ed Rollins.

ROLLINS: And you look -- there's a lot of optimism on the part of Republicans that we're going to pick up a bunch of senators. You actually go through the 25 senators that are up the Democrats, they're not easy seats. So, there's no likelihood and historically, in the midterms, the president's party loses seats. It oftentimes as a rejection to the president and my sense is we ought to just basically figure out, this is what we have let's try and get as much legislation done the first two years and the only way the news have that nuclear option and would you change the rules of the Senate, there were votes don't matter anymore, 52 votes majority and you get stuff through.

BARTIROMO: Can they do that?

ROLLINS: They can do it anytime they want to. I mean the guy that's holding it up as McConnell, it's kind of a traditional but -- you know, it we're in a partisan world today. We're not -- we're not in Democrats and Republican --

LOWRY: They're going to do it on Gorsuch. They'll do it on Supreme Court nominations, but the question is what Ed is advocating is blowing it up for the legislative filibuster as well, and he's right, the biggest man to convince on that is Mitch McConnell, who is an institutionalist through and through.

BARTIROMO: Yes, Jessica?

TARLOV: Well, he might want to become a winner if he wanted to keep his seat, and you know, he's already not in the good graces of the American public or with President Trump.

Listen, I don't want this to change, you know, since we're in the minority in every way possible. I want to make sure that we can have some wins and stop some legislation that we don't believe that it's good for America.

BARTIROMO: Right.

TARLOV: But it's time to play strategically. Mitch McConnell was the king of that, you know, 2010 saying, my goal is to make President Obama one-term president, you know? And I think that he probably needs to make his goal to make Donald Trump a two-term president.

ROLLINS: The most telling thing that anybody said is the speaker said we have been an opposition party for all these years we're not in opposition party you've had a control of the Senate and had control of the House for the last four years.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

ROLLINS: We're a majority and we have to start pushing legislation that others can buy (ph).

BARTIROMO: That's the bottom line.

Thank you so much. Great panel.

Have a great Sunday everybody.

Content and Programming Copyright 2017 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.