This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," April 23, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good morning. We're kicking off a big week ahead. This upcoming Wednesday, President Trump set to make a big announcement on tax reform. Meanwhile, Congress gets back to work as Republicans close in on a health care deal. All of this while House Speaker Paul Ryan is vowing to head off a government shutdown. Good morning, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo and welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."
The President says that he will announce a massive tax cut this week. How comprehensive is the plan? What about Republican efforts to hammer out a health care deal? House Freedom Caucus Member David Schweikert will join us live, coming up.
Also, a border wall looks like it will be a major sticking point for Democrats when it comes to that health care and spending bill to keep the government open. We're talking with Congressman Peter King this morning about that, as well as the French Presidential election this Sunday night, and impact last week's terror attack could have.
Plus, new sabre-rattling from North Korea to report. The "rogue regime" threatening to sink an American aircraft carrier. How high will tensions go from a U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Christopher Hill is joining us live as we look ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."
A high-stakes week shaping up in Washington, President Trump is getting set to announce major tax cuts in a plan he will unveil on Wednesday. The news coming as Republican lawmakers get closer to a deal on health care. Right now, though, House Speaker Paul Ryan is telling fellow Republicans that funding the government, and avoiding a potential shut down is their top priority.
Arizona Congressman David Schweikert is with us. He's a member of the House Freedom Caucus, he also sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, and is a member of Congress' Joint Economic Committee. And Congressman, it is good to have you on the program this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. DAVID SCHWEIKERT, R-ARIZ.: Good morning. It is going to be an interesting week.
BARTIROMO: Let's talk about that, what do you expect in terms of a government shut down for once? What is -- what are the main sticking points ahead of the spending bill that we are to see this week?
SCHWEIKERT: Yes. First of all, I have to tell you, every fiber in my being there's not going to be a government slowdown. I think we'll be able to put the package together and have it out of there this week. The tough part is we have to find 8 votes in the Senate, you know, to avoid the Senate filibuster, so we're going to have to find what brings those senate Democrats along. And we'll probably have to put that in the way we design the language in the house.
BARTIROMO: And so, when you - when you talk about those Democrats, one of the - one of the areas of pushback has been funding the border wall. Is that what you're finding from the Dems in terms of coming to an agreement?
SCHWEIKERT: Yes, most of what I know right now is what we've been sort of reading in different publications, and it's fascinating because Democrats seemed to be a little bit all over the board on some of the thing they want. Somewhat in certain money to fund parts of the ACA that's in real financial trouble, others wanted other moneys, but it's always about particular for the left trying to find some other shiny objects they can spend money on.
BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about the other shiny objects when it comes to a health care plan. How close are you in terms of coming to an agreement on things like pre-existing conditions? On things that have stopped you from a yes vote on the health care bill?
SCHWEIKERT: No. Well, Maria, a couple of mechanics. There's no such thing as pre-existing conditions anymore. Our bill, the ACA, every discussion there have been, it's guaranteed issue. So whenever you hear someone say they're going to get rid of pre-existing conditions, that's complete falsehood. Every draft I've ever come across, and remember, a week ago, I'm the person with another member who put together that risk- sharing model to make sure we could have some premium efficiency. Now, the discussion is, should states have the ability to ask for a waiver if they're providing certain services already within the state or there's something unique for their population in that individual health care market.
BARTIROMO: I see. So, explain this to me, though, Congressman, I mean, why would anybody buy insurance unless -- until you get sick? I mean, if it's OK and you're always covered for the pre-existing conditions, do you worry that that point is it hurts -- you know, basically, you know, changes the health care insurance industry, certainly.
SCHWEIKERT: Oh, very much so. And that's the constant risk-concentration problem. So can you design in an appropriate penalty? We've already seen the current ACAs model of, "Hey, there's lots of penalties if you don't buy or you can request a waiver." And as we saw in the Ways and Means Committee a month or two ago, one of Democrats testified that we still have 10.9 percent of the population going uninsured. Well, 10.9 percent of our population is, what, 36 million people.
So, there's a lot of noise in the data, the penalty model has not worked, so we've been - we put in our legislation one that you would have to pay an additional premium by some one-third if you weren't carrying insurance. We're still not completely sure that's enough of a penalty to drag folks who believe they're invincible in participating in the health care market.
BARTIROMO: But you probably heard from your constituents over these last two weeks in terms of what they'd like to see, and they want to see a health care bill, they want to see a repeal and replace. Let me ask you this, out of all of the members within the house, how many really want to repeal ObamaCare?
SCHWEIKERT: Well, I actually think lots and lots to do, but every state has different issues. I'm here in Arizona, and all of Arizona, you have a single choice if you're in that individual market. And in my county we're sitting in right now, if you bought the mean plan, you had 145 percent price hike. So, in my state, it's imploding. Other states have different types of issues where it's accessibility or lack of competition, so no matter where you are in the country, the ACA has problems. The problem mix, though, is just different.
And so, for us out here, we have to come to a solution on how, you know, our hardworking population that buy their own coverage, how we're going to get them that coverage?
BARTIROMO: Right, but you've got to come to a - to a solution at the same time on not coming up with ideas that's going to alienate 50 members from within your party, right? Because then, if you lose then, you're back to square one. So, you've got to come to some compromise. Do you think you will be able to do that within the next two weeks?
SCHWEIKERT: Yes, I actually do. I believe we did a good thing with representative Palmer and myself, last week, where we added the risk sharing because that has -- we've already seen first (INAUDIBLE) report on that, and that appears to have some really strong, what we call "premium efficiency". On one end of the scale, it's almost a third reduction in the premiums. Because remember, the classic problem in the small individual market. We're not talking about employer-base, we're not talking about Medicare, we are doing some - oh, excuse me, we're already doing some talking about Medicare, but not Medicaid. But all these others - it's that individual purchasing market that's falling apart, we think we've done some things to lower those premiums.
BARTIROMO: Terrific. Let me - let me ask you about tax reform and we may hear this week from the president, President Trump said that he's going to announce a massive tax cut on Wednesday. Is there a similar fight going on behind the scenes about tax reform as there has been around health care because we know that there is a debate around the border tax. We know that there's a debate right now about the deductions that may be eliminated. What should we expect from the President? What are you expecting this week?
SCHWEIKERT: I'm actually expecting something fairly bold, but do understand, what we're already doing in the House Ways and Means Committee, if we're trying to make the numbers work on something that's not just a tax cut or tax adjustment or pushing, you know, the numbers around but something that is almost revolutionary because the fixation is, what do you do to maximize economic growth, what do you do to make fair and simple for the individual taxpayer? And that's, you know, on the better way model that's been out almost a year now, that's the language in there. Now, we have to sort of fill in the details, and with the White House stepping into the debate, we're going to get to see what their plans are. And who knows, maybe there is a happy median, some meshing of some great ideas.
BARTIROMO: Yes, I mean, but the meshing of the ideas, will it include a border adjustment tax? The President told me two weeks ago he's not in favor of a border adjustment tax, and maybe if something, that's an import tax or a reciprocal tax, does that mean that that's sort of fungible, you can put that tax within a trade deal, and you don't have to have an import tax within the tax reform package?
SCHWEIKERT: Yes, my fear is you -- if you go that direction, you're making it more random and probably even more complicated, plus also, the ability to sort of build that on-ramp of where there would be, you know, time to redesign distribution models, acquisition models, supply chains. One of the benefits in the border adjustability is trying to sort of do this equalization of, you know, the refundable VAT that happens in the rest of the world. But there are other ideas. But many of them ultimately accomplish the same thing, and actually do have some of the similar impacts on those supply chains.
BARTIROMO: So, you are expecting - you just said a moment ago, you are expecting something bold this week. That means you're not just expecting tax cuts, you're expecting an actual comprehensive plan?
SCHWEIKERT: I hope so. And look, they can give us a robust outline and we have joint tax with just an amazing number of brilliant people, we'll do the math, we'll fill in the details, that's our job. But, if we're going to save this economy, get this country growing again, the first step is major, big, bold, creative tax reform. And our goal is to get that done this year.
BARTIROMO: That's terrific. All right, Congressman, we'll be watching. I know it's a big week for you and your colleagues. Thanks very much for joining us.
SCHWEIKERT: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon, Congressman.
The fight over a border wall could be the sticking point in those talks over the spending bill and health care. Can Republicans win over reluctant Democrats? Congressman Peter King will address that as well as the French elections and that border wall, coming next.
You can follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo @SundayFutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from Congressman King, he's up next, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back, investigators are now saying that the attacker in Thursday's Paris shooting had a violent criminal record and a history of extremism. Karim Cheurfi shot and killed a police officer and wounded several others before he was killed by police.
Joining me right now is Congressman Peter King who sits on the Homeland Security Committee and is chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. Congressman, it's good to see you, sir. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: Thank you, Maria. Thank you very much.
BARTIROMO: So much to talk with you about from the other - the latest terrorist attack in Paris to issues here in the U.S. as well as the border wall. First, let me get your take on what took place in Paris, and what you're working on in terms of ensuring the home-grown terrorists in America can be stopped?
KING: You know, Maria, you know, France has a more severe problem than we do. But the fact is, we also do have a serious problem with ISIS, and Islamic terrorism. I think one of the problems in France is they have a colonial history, they've had a sort of isolated Muslim community in their country. But also, they were very slow to pick up on the fact that the threat was there. There's so much political correctness for too long. And there's been too many countries in Europe that have that attitude. Somehow they thought the U.S. was too aggressive and U.S. was too intrusive, and so now we're seeing some of consequences of that. And again, our thoughts and prayers have to go out to the French people.
And again, you know, they have stepped it up, but again, it shows the threat within the country. It's not just those who are coming in from the outside but those who are in the country right now, we face that here in the United States with Islamic radicalization, as far as over the internet, as far as people who are on the edges of society who are influenced by these ISIS and Al-Qaeda postings. And also, then you do have those who are actually recruited and working for ISIS over the internet. So, it's -- again, it's a real threat.
BARTIROMO: And we have threats right here in our own backyard. You reached out to Attorney General Jeff Sessions as well as the Chief of Staff Reince Priebus about MS-13. I saw what you wrote about this gang of -- calling them a gang of animals in (INAUDIBLE) police and the FBI doing everything possible to hunt down this group after a butchering recently. Tell us what you're looking at in terms of this gang, local gang here in New York?
KING: You know, Maria, right in my district, on long island, we've had a series of brutal, brutal murders, just less than two weeks ago, we had four young people were slaughtered, their bodies were butchered, there were videos taken and sent to their families, it's horrific. And there was another series of these killing before that, carried out by MS-13. And it's local but it comes internationally, comes across the border. These in many cases appear to be these unaccompanied minors, they came across the border, two and three years ago, then the Department of Health and Human Services finds homes to place them with. And we -- the intelligence shows that MS-13 is gaining the system. They are getting families in communities like Central Islip and Brentwood to actually request that these kids be placed with them, then the community (INAUDIBLE) is MS-13 recruiters and operatives in the community.
So, in the recent arrest, there were 12 MS-13 members arrested just about a month ago, for a series of brutal murders, 2 young girls were butchered, and 7 of those 12 appears were the so-called "unaccompanied minors". There's been 4,000 of these unaccompanied minors placed in Suffolk County alone. And so, every time the police, the FBI, they make arrests there, many, many arrests but their numbers are replenished, so we have to stop this mess.
BARTIROMO: Which takes me to the domestic agenda because you're facing resistance from your colleagues on the left who do not want to fork over money for the border wall, and you're talking about these unaccompanied minors coming into country and ultimately finding their way into gangs who are killing Americans, what do you want to see this week, in terms of the spending bill and money dedicated toward the border wall?
KING: I would wish the Democrats would put aside political correctness, realize that there's nothing racist or bigoted about having a border wall. You need to maybe not in every mile along the way, but you have to have an extensive border wall, Secretary Kelly has made this clear. And, you know, you have these good intentions where an open society, people across the border. Well, listen, if you saw the dead bodies out in my district as a result of people coming across the border freely, you see the consequences of this. If we're going to be real, if we're going to be honest, we will go ahead and appropriate the money for that border wall, it's absolutely essential.
President Trump is right, other things have to be done, but one of the key things that has to be done is the border wall, plus we have the reform programs, such as these unaccompanied minor that being allowed to come into the country and being assigned to families.
BARTIROMO: So real quick, walk us through the tenets that you're expecting this week in terms of ensuring that the government does not shut down Friday night as well as what you're expecting from President Trump on Wednesday on tax reform?
KING: As -- if I was going to -- the government open, I am confident (INAUDIBLE) one way or the other. I don't know what's going to happen as far as the money with the border wall. The problem is that you need eight Democratic votes (INAUDIBLE) you need those eight votes. And so, perhaps we won't be able to get money for the border wall. There's going to be compromises going on but one way or the other, we cannot let the government shutdown, and then we have to - once the government is up and running and stays up and running, then we have to just, you know, fight this out over the next year. We have to make sure that the policies that we're elected be implemented.
As far as tax reform, I think the repatriation is essential, I think it's important to reduce the number of brackets. It's important to simplify it, it's important to bring that corporate tax rate down. If our rate is 35 percent, and the rest of the world, like, Ireland is 12, there's no way that we can remain the economic powerhouse that we have to be to do all we want to do and have to do to remain a superpower abroad and also to make sure that our people have the opportunity to move ahead. So, I think it's going to be a significant reduction in tax rates, it's going to be reduction of the plans. And also, we're going to see repatriation. We can get that $4, 5 trillion back here in the country. That'd be again, a great boost to the economy.
BARTIROMO: Yes, it sounds like you are also expecting something bold, a broader comprehensive look at tax reform as opposed to just the cuts that the president mentioned as well. Congressman, it's good to see you. As always, thanks so much.
KING: Maria, thank you as always. Thank you.
BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon, Sir.
French voters, meanwhile headed to the polls in a highly-contested presidential election. Tonight, in the aftermath of Britain exiting the European Union, could Frexit be next after Brexit? We are looking ahead right now on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES. We'll get into the French elections, coming up.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Big night in Europe, voters in France are headed to the polls today for the first round of that country's fiercely contested presidential election. Nationalist Marine Le Pen locked in a tight race with Centrist Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen's potential victory raising questions about the possibility of France exiting the European Union, just like Britain did before. Let's bring in Nile Gardiner right now. He's director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation, also a former aide to Margaret Thatcher. Sir, it's good to see you. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.
NILE GARDINER, DIRECTOR, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Great to see you, Maria. Thank you.
BARTIROMO: How do you think this plays out?
GARDINER: Well, I think it's going to be an extremely tight race. We're going to have a clear idea about 2:00 this afternoon, U.S. Eastern Time when the first exit polls are produced, but the frontrunners at the moment clearly are Marine Le Pen of Front National and also Emmanuel Macron, who is running as an independent candidate.
And I think that you will like to see those two moving forward to the second round, which takes place in two weeks' time. And, of course, quite different competing visions from Le Pen and Macron. So, I think it's going to be an extremely interesting race. At the same time, however, certainly, there have been strong challenges from Francois Fillon, the (INAUDIBLE) conservative candidate, and also from Jean-Luc Melenchon, who's a hard-left "France Insoumise" communist. So, a wide array of candidates in this French race with major implications, of course, for the future of France and for Europe.
BARTIROMO: And Le Pen, of course, has been talking about securing borders, very much talking about getting control of their borders in France. So, after the terrorist attack, that took place this week, did the polls change at all, did people fear that perhaps, you know, terrorism is still happening, and maybe they need a leader in that regard? Did they sway toward Le Pen any after the terrorist attack?
GARDINER: I think that is expected there'll be a slight boost for Le Pen at the polls, I think, following the terrorist attack in France early this week. And Le Pen, of course, running on a platform of a tighter border control, a hard-line anti-Islamist platform as well. And, of course, France is in a state of fear at this time. I mean, this is a country that has undergone a series of major terrorist attacks, has widespread concern with regard to the Islamist terror threat. Francois Hollande, the French President really has been far too weak in terms of standing up to the terror threat. And so, all of the candidates certainly have been talking about the terror threats. Marine Le Pen and Francois Fillon have been the toughest candidates on this particular issue.
BARTIROMO: Well, I mean, you're talking about, what, six terrorist attacks in a very short period of time in France alone just recently. What do you think the implications of a Le Pen victory would have, like for example, on the markets? You know, the Wall Street Journal, of course, over the weekend wrote a piece basically saying that markets might sell-off around the world if Le Pen wins. What's your take on that?
GARDINER: I think that Le Pen could well emerge as the frontrunner from the first round of the election held today. I think that it's much harder for her, of course, to win the second round in two weeks' time. Most polls show that Emmanuel Macron would defeat Le Pen in the second round. Having said that, of course, it's a time of tremendous change in Europe and nothing is absolutely certain. But certainly if Le Pen emerges as the frontrunner from the first round today, certainly that will hit the markets hard, I think, in France and across Europe. Possibly here in the United States as well. And I think it's going to be a very, very tough contest over the next two weeks. But Emmanuel Macron, who is a sort of a - I would describe as sort of limousine liberal, some champagne socialist type politicians, is clearly the favorite to win the second round.
GARDINER: But I think that Macron really represents business as usual for France. And I don't think you're going to see much change.
BARTIROMO: We should - we should point out, though, that these are probably the same people who predicted, you know, the U.S. market would sell-off if Donald Trump became President, and in fact, it was the complete opposite, where markets rallied because of his economic plans.
GARDINER: Yes, I mean, I think, you know, you can see anything happening in terms of market reaction. Of course, the big question, of course, France is whether or not France goes down the path of leaving the European Union. And two of the candidates, Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon have proposed that line. And Macron and Fillon are against French exit or Frexit are taking place. But certainly, I think the markets would react if there was suggestion that France would possibly leave the European Union.
But let's not forget, of course, about following the British referendum on the - on the issue of leaving the E.U. The markets went down momentarily but then they shot back up. And I think that you have in Brexit, certainly now, tremendous economic confidence in the United Kingdom. Brexit has proven to be a great success for Britain. And the markets have actually soared overall since the Brexit referendum.
BARTIROMO: You make a lot of good points. Nile, good to see you, sir. Thanks very much for being here this morning. Nile Gardiner there.
GARDINER: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: North Korea meanwhile is threatening to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier. And then, who knows this, the former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea is with us this morning. Christopher Hill breaks down the tough talk from the "rogue regime" as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures," next.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back, North Korea reportedly detaining a U.S. citizen on Friday, just as he was preparing to leave the country. That news coming as the North threatens to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier to show up its military power. Right now, the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group is headed toward the Korean Peninsula. I want to bring in Ambassador Christopher Hill right now. He's the former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea. Ambassador, thanks very much for joining us this morning.
CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: Pleasure.
BARTIROMO: Your take on the current situation taking place out of the North?
HILL: Well, first of all, I mean, the North Korea has always been known for its kind of feisty responses to everything that we say and do. And so, we're seeing a little more of that. We're seeing a threat to sink the Carl Vinson. We're seeing a threat to attack Australia with nuclear weapons unless it stops being a -- being a supporter of the United States. It's kind of an example of their, you know, customary charm, but it also speaks to fact that they -- even brutal dictatorships have domestic audiences and public opinions. So, I think a lot of this is for their own internal opinion.
BARTIROMO: But, what should we make of these provocations toward the U.S. I mean, should we be worried about the military might of North Korea, given our aircraft carrier is close to the Korean Peninsula?
HILL: Well, certainly, U.S. aircraft carriers don't go to places where they can't be defended. So, I think the navy knows what they're doing when they put an aircraft carrier anywhere in the world. But certainly, we should always be concerned about the North Koreans. They have a million-man army, and now they have an increasing arsenal of new missiles, solid fuel missiles that are capable of clearly reaching South Korea and Japan, and maybe beyond. They seemed to be working on multi- stage missiles to try to attack the U.S., and certainly, their nuclear program has accelerated in recent years, two tests in 2016, another one that they are certainly signaling in the coming -- in this year as well. So, there is a lot to be concerned about. And there is a reason why this whole issue has kind of moved up to the top of the charts. I think that Trump administration is basically doing the right thing. That is, work harder with China, reassure our allies, South Korea and Japan, but otherwise, I mean, we're going to have to be very vigilant about this. This is a very dangerous regime with a very dangerous set of weapons.
BARTIROMO: Well, what should the U.S. be doing in terms of its allies, perhaps, supporting terrorist groups? For example, Israeli Leader Netanyahu was on Sean Hannity this past week, talking about Iran, and saying that the U.S. needs to change that Iran deal. Listen to what he said. I want to get your reaction to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Vis-a-vis the deal with Iran. You know, I would -- if I had to compress it to two words, repeal or replace. I think Washington has to decide its own position, but clearly, one thing that has to be changed is to not let Iran have the best of all worlds, which is the worst of all worlds for Israel, the Arab countries, the United States and the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: So, what about that, Ambassador? I mean, the U.S. has been trying to court China as a way to --obviously, President Trump has been courting the President of China as a way to get China to help rein in North Korea. But what about the Iran deal? What about other areas where the U.S. can make a difference in terms of stopping anyone supporting terrorism acts?
HILL: Well, Prime Minister Netanyahu may be having some fun by referring of the Iran deal in terms that we talk about the health deal, health care repeal and replace. But I think he knows well that this is a multilateral deal, it's not just the United States, it's Britain, it's France, it's Germany, it's Russia, it's China, a lot of different countries involved. I think the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said it best the other day, it appears that the Iranians are hewing to the letter of the agreement with respect to nuclear developments, but beyond that, in terms of their support for various terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, their continued support to the Assad regime. We have deep concerns about Iran. So, I think it's, you know, going to be a very tough situation going forward but I think as long as they hew to what they are supposed to do on the nuclear deal, I think the state department under Mr. Tillerson has done the right thing to encourage recertification of this deal, but beyond that we need to be very clear that Iran is misbehaving, continues to misbehave, concerns very much our Arab allies, and also, is not a force for positive developments in this hideous place called Syria. So, again, I think we're -- I think the Trump administration is basically on target with Iran.
BARTIROMO: I feel like the mother of all bombs dropped in Afghanistan, a week and a half ago, was as much a signal to ISIS as it was a signal to North Korea to show the U.S. is not backing down when it sees wrongs.
HILL: You know, I think to some extent that's how it certainly came out, although, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan made clear that the weapon was used because of the target involved. And certainly, a lot of Afghans don't want to see their country used as some sort of experimental place for new U.S. ordinance. So, I suspect the U.S. military did use the bomb because there was an appropriate target. But if others take some lesson from it, for example, the North Koreans who are rather infamous for digging their military structure deep into the ground, well, if they'd take a positive lesson from it, so be it.
BARTIROMO: Yes. Ambassador, good to have you on the program this morning. Thanks so much for weighing in.
HILL: My pleasure.
BARTIROMO: We will see you soon, Ambassador Chris Hill.
Let's get a look at what's coming up "MediaBuzz", top of the hour, check in with Howard Kurtz right now. Good morning to you, Howie.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ": Good morning, Maria. Tucker Carlson is my special guest. He is taking over Bill O'Reilly's slot tomorrow, talk about how his show might change in this new time period. And also, the president, beating up on the press saying "It's ridiculous to have this 100-day reviews and report cards," but isn't the White House working hard to make its case about the president's first 100 days? That and more are coming up on "MediaBuzz".
BARTIROMO: All right. We will be there. Thank you so much, Howie.
President Trump putting tax reform on the front burner ahead of health care, how much can he get done? We'll talk with the panel next, quick panel coming up as we look ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES to what we expect to be a big week on the legislative front. Back in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) how are we going to (INAUDIBLE) with all of that?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's going to be great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) health care and tax reform?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's see what happens.
TRUMP: We'll see what happens. No particular rush, but we'll see what happens.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) first 100 days?
TRUMP: I don't know. It doesn't matter if it's next week. Next week doesn't matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Welcome back, three major issues in Washington this upcoming week, tax reform, health care and a spending bill do you think the government to open? I want to bring in an all-star panel right now, Ed Rollins, he's a former campaign manager for the Reagan-Bush ticket back in 1984, Mary Kissel is an editorial board member for the Wall Street Journal, and Byron York, he's the Chief Political Correspondent for the Washington Examiner. Mary and Byron are also Fox News Contributors. And it is good to see all of you. Thank you so much. Great combination here.
Ed Rollins, let's see what's important this week. How do you see it?
ED ROLLINS, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: Well, what I'd like to see them erase the 100-day measurement. My friends in the media are all going to write the story. It's really totally irrelevant. This is a big week. The debt ceiling is the probably the biggest fight that they'll do all this week. Health care and tax is -- are complicated issues, and my sense is the President has to move the ball forward or at least Ryan has to move the ball forward with the President's support
BARTIROMO: The debt ceiling is the big issue, but I don't think any of them wants to see this government shut down whether Dem or Republican. What do you think?
ROLLINS: Well, they'd be foolish -- they'd be foolish if they did. They'll pay very - whoever is - and the Republicans would to be blamed for it. It will be a very heavy price (INAUDIBLE) eventually.
BARTIROMO: And I'm sure President Trump will call those people out who -- on Twitter. What do you think, Mary?
MARY KISSEL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think the debt ceiling issue is really a fake issue. It really just acknowledges spending that has already happened. They have to get this budget out of the way and they need to go back to passing health care reform. Health care reform is the key to tax reform, not tax relief, because the repeal and replace bill would have cut spending more than a trillion dollars, would have cut taxes by a trillion dollars. And if they don't get that then it's very, very difficult to do real tax reform because you got to find that trillion dollars somewhere if you haven't already done it with the ObamaCare repeal and replace. So, you know, I'm really focusing on those health care discussions. They're very important if you want to get that second piece of tax reform.
BARTIROMO: That's exactly what the President told me a few weeks ago. They've got to do health care first. And the fact is it feels like it's closer. I don't know because a lot of people said it was close when -- before that first bill failed, but it is one issue, the funding for the border wall. How do you see that? Is that -- is that one of the points that is the debatable?
KISSEL: Look, the President said he was going to build a wall, we don't know what kind of wall. Yes, I'm sure that's going to be part of the budget discussion, but really, the focus needs to be on structural reform on getting growth going again in this country. You can only do so much by executive orders and regulation. You know, look, the GDP number may come in around one percent, the stock market is going sideways. You know, you need to have incentives for Americans to take risk to invest, to get out there to try new things --
BARTIROMO: For sure.
KISSEL: -- and you can't do that if you have a tax code that does not allow you to do that. And you have health care cost going through the roof.
BARTIROMO: And Byron, I was told that this is not going to be piecemeal. This is going to be the broad principles of a broad tax reform package. But there are a lot of people out there who just say "You know what? Since the President doesn't -- he's not sure on health care, let's just get those tax cuts out there this week." I don't think that's what we're going to hear on Wednesday.
BYRON YORK, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, I mean he should -- it will be a real 30,000-foot view of this.
YORK: Now, the debt ceiling is a dumb issue but it's real. And you really have to do something about it and it's not an accomplishment. You basically avoid hitting yourself in the head if you take care of that. And that's going to be all they're going to be able to do this week. I mean, the President can come out with a bigger plan, but the thing that I -- one thing I think he has to avoid is this idea that he is rushing to push things out the door to meet this artificial deadline of 100 days, the way they tried to pass ObamaCare on the seventh anniversary of it being signed into law, which blew up in their face. So, this is -- they are not really in that much of a rush. They should just systematically do this stuff.
BARTIROMO: Not only that, but look at all of the executive orders in terms of rolling back regulation that he has been able to accomplish. I mean, that's on the list of accomplishments.
KISSEL: Yes, that's great. But it's not going to get you above two percent growth, Maria.
KISSEL: You have to go further than that, and that's what I think investors are telling you when you look at the markets this week.
BARTIROMO: Yes, that's true.
ROLLINS: There's two places they have failed today in the first 100 days. One is the personnel operation in the White House has been terrible. There's a lot of these jobs are not filled and they blame it on the Senate but they're not even nominated yet. So, you can't nominate -- you can't have hearings, you know. Half the government does not have the entire hierarchy and equally like the Congress secretary who just (INAUDIBLE) conversation. Equally is important. I think - I think that communication strategy of the White House is been too many messages going two different ways. You have a very powerful communicator, and the president, he should be the one out there, basically articulating it. And when you're dealing with health care, that ought to be Secretary Price, when it's dealing with budget matters, that ought to be OMB director. Otherwise, you got too many people out there talking about it and the message, it gets deluded.
BARTIROMO: And on tax, it's Gary Cohen in the White and it's Steven Mnuchin.
KISSEL: Yes. I think it actually -- Ed raises a very important point here which is the president has to get out and persuade. He is very good at, you know, at the rallies, he sort of good at making statements of the direction that he wants to go. But there's a lot of fear out there about what health care reform may mean. That transitional period between ObamaCare and whatever comes next, and what they have on the table is a great compromise between centrists who want to preserve politically of pre- existing conditions and coverage for kids up to 26. And when on the other hand, you also have a turn towards the Freedom Caucus, where you give states more flexibility to experiment with health care reform. It's a great compromise, it's not perfect, it's not the best possible bill, but they have to get this done.
BARTIROMO: Yes, very similar to what Congressman Schweikert just told us.
YORK: I will be more positive on his accomplishment, 100 days. October 22nd, he comes out and gives us a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, releases a list. This is the promises of "What I'm going to do." It's a two-pager. First page is executive action, he lists18 things. Second page is the bills he's going to send to Congress. First page, he has done pretty good. I mean, he's got a lot of that stuff done about trade, about immigration, and about regulations. The second page, he hasn't done it. But if at the end of the week he'll say "We're working on ObamaCare bill and I have -- I have released my tax cut priorities plan -- whatever you want to call it." I mean, they shouldn't get too hung up. That's perfectly fine when you got the Gorsuch nomination, that's perfectly fine for 100 days.
ROLLINS: One thing he's done is he's perceived as a stronger leader. I mean, he has not expanded his base, but his base is still there with him. And I think over time, he's never going to be a 50 percent popular president, until you're, sort of, near the end and the economy is booming, and that's a lot of things have to happen. My sense today is that he basically just needs to stay very focused. He should say to the Congress "Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader, bring me a bill that you can get through the Congress and Senate, and I'll basically go out and sell it."
BARTIROMO: Yes, bring it. Bring it. All right.
ROLLINS: Right. Bring it to me.
BARTIROMO: We'll take a short break. When we come back, we're all watching the special election. For that, a house seat in Georgia headed off for a run-off as well. What does the race say about next year's midterm elections? More from the panel when we come right back as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. We are back with the panel and that special election for Georgia House seat. Let's talk about that. This runoff that's happening, what's your take on (INAUDIBLE)
ROLLINS: My take heading by one point (INAUDIBLE) congressional committee, specials don't matter as much as they do in a short-term. Long-term they won't have an impact on it. But this is the race that's very competitive. If we don't do anything in the next month here, that the candidate -- our candidate is very strong candidate go and articulate that the Congress is working. Republican's problem is we have too few seats. It sounds stupid when have majority. Democrats had 30 more -- 30 more when they had the majority in house, they had 60 senators. They still had -- they had a defection of 34 Democrats when they passed ObamaCare. We can't have a defection at all.
KISSEL: Well, it is a special election. It doesn't tell us what's going to happen in the midterms, but it is some kind of barometer for the attitude of where the elector it is. And I think Republicans should be worried about what happened in Kansas and what we just saw in Georgia. And what's happened to the Georgia Republican Party that they had that massive people running against one Democrat, John Ossoff --
KISSEL: -- who is actually pretty decent candidate on the left. It's a wealthy educated exurb where Trump doesn't really have a natural base, that's true, but that was a very weak showing by the Republicans, and I think you've got to -- you've got to take that as a warning signal. You also have the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that just came out in these last hours. It showed that dislike among independents for Trump has tripled since February. So, I think the public wants to see change. They voted for change, they want big change. They want health care reform, they want tax reform, and I think these -- I think these special elections are red flags for the GOP.
BARTIROMO: Which is why this week is so important, Byron, because if they actually do come out with some concrete plans, maybe they can stem with the tide that Mary is talking about.
YORK: Right, and in Georgia, you'll have one Republican versus one Democrat. If you add up all their votes, Ossoff and a couple really minor Democrats got about 93,000 votes. And Handel and all the Republicans got about 97,000 votes. I think they're going to hold that seat. But I did talk to one POLITICO who was working door to door down there, a Republican, he said, "We have a base problem." There is just not much enthusiasm, and they like Trump, it's not that they're -- they've turned on Donald Trump, but this failure to get anything done with health care, they just see this as a gang that could not shoot straight. And remember, this is a congressional election. And then you saw a smaller victory in Kansas, this is something they need to worry about just as Democrats needed to worry about in 2009 because it was leading to a huge loss in the House in 2010.
ROLLINS: The key thing here again is specials are different. And this is Newt Gingrich's old district. He even has some trouble with it at one point in time. It's Northern Atlanta's most (INAUDIBLE) audience. I think we'll win at the end.
BARTIROMO: All right. We will leave it there. Great panel, guys. Thanks so much. Come back soon. Really fantastic all-star panel today. Thanks for joining us. I'm Maria Bartiromo and that will do it for Sunday Morning Futures. I'll see you tomorrow morning on "Mornings with Maria" on the Fox Business Network at 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 Eastern. Have a great day. Stay with Fox News, "MediaBuzz" begins after this short break.
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