Rep. McMorris Rodgers on health care and tax reform; IBM CEO: We need a new, modernized tax system

Congresswoman optimistic that the GOP is moving quickly to pass bill on 'Sunday Morning Futures'


This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," April 30, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


It is day 101 for the Trump administration. A spending bill and a health care overhaul are at the top of Washington's agenda this upcoming week. It's going to be a big week. After avoiding a government shutdown, lawmakers may be getting closer to a long-term spending package as well.

Hello, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo, thanks for being with us. This is "Sunday Morning Futures".

Republican lawmakers reportedly closer than ever to a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, can they seal the deal in the next few days? House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rogers will join me live momentarily.

Also, what will congress do with the president's new tax reform package? I'll talk with House Finance Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, coming up, about that as well as his plan to replace Dodd-Frank.

And, a federal judge deals a blow to the White House plan to punish sanctuary cities for protecting illegal immigrants. Now, one border state is taking matters into its own hands. I'll talk with the governor of Texas Greg Abbott coming up as we look ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures".

President Trump marking his 100th day in office yesterday with a campaign style rally last night in Pennsylvania putting pressure on Capitol Hill, republicans to get a win on the board with a measure to repeal and replace Obamacare and even calling out two Pennsylvania lawmakers by name.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We're going to give Americans the freedom to purchase the health care plans they want, not the health care forced on them by the government and I'll be so angry at Congressman Kelly and Congressman Moreno and all of our congressman in this room if we don't get that damn thing passed quickly.

They'll get it done. We know them, they'll get it done.


BARTIROMO: Let's talk about that right now with Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers. She's the Chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well.

Congresswoman, good to see you, thanks so much for joining us once again.

REP. CATHY MCMORRIS ROGERS, R-WA.: Thank you, great to be with you.

BARTIROMO: What happened last week, did we actually turn the page? Are we closer than ever in terms of a health care bill, possibly in this upcoming week?

ROGERS: Yes. We are moving in the right direction. We're having those important member-to-member conversations. It is our priority to move a health care bill out of the house and rescue people from what is a failing law.

Obamacare, although well-intentioned, we're -- we continue to see the premiums go up, the copays, the deductibles, we need to be providing the American people a better health care future and that is our goal as we continue to have these conversations and I'm very optimistic that we'll move forward very quickly.

BARTIROMO: Yes. I mean, it just definitely feels that way. I was told that perhaps you even had the votes last week but you didn't have all of the members there, for one reason or another, some people just were not there to actually officially vote but it looks that close.

ROGERS: Well, the legislative process does take time. There's 237 republicans serving in the House of Representatives. They come from all different corners of the country, different regions. I am proud to represent Eastern Washington but each one needs to make sure that they understand what's in this legislation. They have questions that need to be answered. We're very close and when we have the votes we will move this bill as soon as we can out of the house.

BARTIROMO: Now, before that, you'll have to vote on a spending bill, right? How close are you there? Are you going to get that omni spending bill out before your voting on health care?

ROGERS: We'll see what the timing is. We do need to get us a spending bill to keep the government funded. Finish the budget that -- between now and the end of September.

We're 98, 99 percent there, working in a bipartisan way. So this has been house and senate, republicans and democrats working with the administration on a spending bill, clearly, we want more accountability, more transparency, we need to make sure that we're continuing to bring down the deficits and bring down the debt that's in this country.

BARTIROMO: Yes, and of course then the work on tax reform I guess begins and within that white paper that the president unlearned last week in terms of the tax reform package that he'd like to see, you know, he was talking about doing away with all sorts of taxes, certainly from Obamacare.

I know you've been working on fighting those May 5th regulations by the FDA. Talk to us about that and why you think that this is so important in terms of getting rid of some of these regulations and taxes that were present in Obamacare?

ROGERS: Well, yes. So, Obamacare had nearly a trillion dollars in increased taxes. We also saw many, many regulations, hundreds of regulations that came out of Obamacare.

One of the most burdensome was the menu labeling regulations that went way beyond what was ever intended, the menu labeling requirements, now on delis, grocery store -- grocery delis, any food establishment in the country.

So, I am leading an effort to bring common sense of menu labeling. We're not getting into the debate as to whether the calorie counts are going to be required but to do it in a common sense way.

For example, you look at a pizza shop that, you know, 34 million combinations of pizza and the FDA has been saying, no, you can't put an iPad in there and allow the customer to actually go in and to put, you know -- deciding what kind of a pizza they want and the toppings that they want on that and be able to see in real-time the calorie counts, you need to put it on a menu board. Those kind of requirements do not help us accomplish the goal.

BARTIROMO: Wow, talk about big brother.

ROGERS: That's right. We need to -- we need --


BARTIROMO: Tell me what to eat and how much of it to eat.

Let me ask you, congresswoman, about tax reforms because I guess last week really kicked off this conversation in a much more specific way than we've been having. When would you expect the House Ways and Means Committee to start marking up the white paper that President Trump put out and are you expecting the kind of fight on tax reform that we saw that you had over health care?

I mean, why would we expect that you won't have another major battle here when it comes to the border adjustment tax, when it comes to the deductions that the president would like to eliminate?

ROGERS: Well, we are excited to move forward on tax reform. This is a once in a generation opportunity to relieve the American people of the tremendous tax burden that they currently have, allow individuals and families to keep more of their hard-earned dollars and simplify the tax code, bring down tax rates, close loopholes, we are united around that goal.

The Ways and Means Committee has been working for weeks, months on tax reform. So a lot of the preliminary work has been done and that's what gives me encouragement. I'm thrilled that the administration is -- made this a top priority.

This is our time to do it and, yes, there's going to be, you know, members that bring different perspectives and different priorities to this debate but we are united around a goal of simplifying the tax code, bringing down tax rate, closing loopholes that and that's what's going to keep us on track.

BARTIROMO: Do you need to be budget neutral when thinking about this tax reform package? If you don't have a bored adjustment tax which, what, would've raised $1.2 trillion or so. If you don't have that in the tax package, do you want that $1.2 trillion to show up somewhere else like a reciprocal tax or an import tax as it relates to trade policy?

ROGERS: It is my goal that it's budget neutral and the reason that it's important is because it gives people the certainty beyond the 10-year budget window.

When Bush -- when George W. Bush lowered tax rates, we had tax reform both in 2001 and 2003, you'll remember, we and at the end of those 10 years we have the fiscal cliff because those tax rates were set to expire.

I believe it is important that we give people and businesses the certainty beyond this 10-year budget window and the way we do that is by getting to budget neutrality so that those rates stay in place beyond the 10-year window. So, that's my goal as we move forward with tax reform?

BARTIROMO: Is there any other lever to push other than, like, something similar to a border adjustment tax? Where does that revenue come from? If you don't have a bored adjustment tax in a tax reform bill, how do you make that revenue up?

ROGERS: Well, that is -- that's all part of the discussion that we are having as we are moving forward with tax reform.

BARTIROMO: All right, we will leave it there. Congresswoman, so it was a pleasure to see you. Thanks so much.

ROGERS: Thanks. Have a great day.

BARTIROMO: We will see you soon. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers there.

A federal judge, meanwhile, dealing a big blow to the White House plans to punish sanctuary cities if they don't follow the law. Now, one state is pushing ahead with a plan of its own. We'll talk with the governor of Texas next.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott joins me next and then follow me on Twitter, let us know what you'd like to hear from Governor Abbott, @mariabartiromo, @sundayfutures, send me a tweet.

Stay with us as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures", back in a moment.



TRUMP: The world is getting the message, if you try to illegally enter the United States, you will be caught, detained, deported or put imprisoned and it will happen.


BARTIROMO: That was President Trump last night talking illegal immigration. A federal judge says that the Trump administration cannot punish sanctuary cities by withholding federal money but now the Lone Star State is taking matters into its own hands.

Texas is one step closer to passing a bill that would crack down on any city trying to protect illegal immigrants. Texas Governor Greg Abbott joins me now to talk more about that. Governor, it's good to see you, thanks very much for joining us.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT, R-TEXAS.: Good morning, Maria.

BARTIROMO: I want to get to sanctuary cities but before I do let me offer my condolences and certainly support for these deadly tornadoes and what you're up against, can you give us an update?

ABBOTT: Well, Maria, it was a horrific tragedy last night. There were multiple tornadoes that ripped across the state of Texas causing tremendous catastrophe to an area about 50 miles east of Dallas, Texas. We are still gathering information about the update, there is the possibility of meaningful loss of life, severe injuries, many people losing their homes.

I will be traveling up there later on today to get a better assessment about exactly what is taking place but I urge all of your viewers to keep Texans in their prayers, the people who suffered here but just know that we have been through these before and working together Texans will rebuild and restore the loss of property. We can't do anything about the loss of life but we will come together as a team as we usually do here in the state of Texas.

BARTIROMO: What a horrible fatal story. We are certainly sending our support and love to Texas this morning, governor and we'll follow any update. I know that there are many people unaccounted for so you will be giving us an update later on today.

As far as sanctuary cities are concerned, you know, the president has been very clear, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been clear they want to withhold federal money from any city that's not with -- following the law but you see what's happened, how are you dealing with this?

ABBOTT: For one, I as governor of the state of Texas have already withheld money from a declared sanctuary city in the state of Texas. Austin, Texas is in Travis County. Travis County declared sanctuary city policies so I withheld money from them.

Importantly, Maria, is the way that I did it because the state of Texas has grant contracts with Travis County. In those contracts we put in there the term that in order for them to receive that grant money they had to not have any type of sanctuary city policy.

What I don't know is what type of arrangement like that the Trump administration already has. What I do know is that the Trump administration has those similar contract terms. They will unequivocally be able to withhold money to those cities.

However, Maria, that's just a smart part of what we've done. We passed a bill now in the capital behind me out of both the house and the senate that I've been advocating for. They want to pose even stiffer penalties on these sanctuary cities.

One, it can expose them to very high fines about $25,000 per day. It can exposed them to jail time for any sheriff or any other official who adopts the sanctuary city policy. It can also subject the county or city or whichever political body it is to legal action in the event that they release somebody or adopt the sanctuary city policy and somebody's harmed.

Think if you would Kate Steinle. This would allow the family of Kate Steinle to be able to sue let's say Travis County if Travis County released someone from jail who is here illegally because of the sanctuary city policy and someone lost their life.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I mean, this bill really put sharp teeth into this battle to stop these stop policies. Walk us through that because this final bill is going to penalize jurisdictions. It could be college campus police department. It could be, you know, small areas. Are you willing though to go to the end and actually withhold this money knowing that you would be starving like a college campus police department?

ABBOTT: Well, understand this, Maria, and that is as I have already withheld money from Travis County, it is not the state of Texas that is starving, whether, it be Travis County or any other entity. It is their own decision-making process that, for one, is causing them not to receive the money but also it's their budgetary process with him, deciding to spend taxpayer money on sometimes meaningless operations choosing those operations over public safety.

Remember, Maria, when you look at the function of government, whether it's federal, state or local, our primary function as government is to keep our people safe. It is inexcusable for Travis County to do what it's done and that is to release from jail people who've committed crimes against or alleged of committing crimes of sexual assault, sexual assault of minors and letting those people back out on to the streets, that's contradictory to the function of what government is supposed to do.

BARTIROMO: I mean, this provision is applying to criminal aliens who commit a felony. It's very difficult to understand why anyone is fighting this given the fact that you as well as the administration have been talking about making sure to deport those people who have committed crimes.

ABBOTT: Right, what -- Maria, it's just clear, unfortunately, that there are some officials in the State of Texas as well as across the United States who simply do not want to apply the rule of law in their jurisdiction, who want to promote lawlessness and it's inexcusable and one tool not -- that we now have is the ability to remove these officials from office by subjecting them to criminal penalty, by forcing them into the jail that they're letting these people out of.

BARTIROMO: So, what do you make of this judge though pushing back and basically saying the Trump administration, no, you can't do this. This is not constitutional.

I mean, the president continues to face pushback on all of his immigration proposals.

ABBOTT: Well, Maria, the reason he does is because it's coming from the ninth circuit which quite frankly is the most overruled federal circuit and they simply don't follow the rule of law.

I don't know the terms of what the Obama -- I mean, the Trump administration has done. Here is what I do know and that is I know the constitution, I've dealt with these issues before. I was involved on one of the issues in the Obamacare case.

What I know is that the federal government cannot withhold money that would be a draconian cut to state funds. These funds we're talking about here is not such a draconian cut. We won this issue in the Obamacare case because they were going to withhold Medicaid money to states but that's far more money than what's happening out of these grants.

Here's what I do know and that is if the Trump administration structures their withhold of money going to states because of the sanctuary city policies the same way Texas did and that is through the contract form which is the way that they engage in these grants to the states, then the Trump administration will be successful as the state of Texas has been in withholding money to sanctuary city states and counties.

BARTIROMO: Yes. It's pretty extraordinary and we should point out that Travis County is the number one county in the country for not complying with the immigration rule. So it's obviously been going on a long time and we are watching what you're doing in terms of solutions here, Governor.

Good to see you. Thanks very much for joining us this morning.

ABBOTT: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon. Up next, the first 100 days of President Trump's term are in the books, what grade does he get from the business world? I'll talk with the CEO of IBM. Ginni Rometty joins me next as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures", back in a moment.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. President Trump's first 100 days in office marked by big efforts to boost the economy and create jobs. What kind of marks does he get from business leaders? I'm joined right now by the Chairman, CEO, and President of IBM, Ginni Rometty. Ginni, it's great to se you.


BARTIROMO: Thanks so much for joining us. So, what is -- what are your thoughts on what we've heard this past week in terms of tax reform, the white paper that the president put out there?

ROMETTY: Well, when it comes to tax reform, this is a topic that I and others in many companies have advocated very strongly that we need a new modernize tax system. As you know, we are the lowest-performing, lowest- competitive tax system that's out there and so I'm very pleased to see the broad sort of pillars of this tax proposal put out because there are two main pieces for business and for our business that I think are important and then the rest all to be negotiated but one is the rate and then the second part is really important, this is territorial system. That's a modern international tax system that allows you to move your profits around.

If you have those two tenants in a good spot that make America competitive, that enable growth and that will also spur investment, I think you've got a good plan and so I think you've got a very good basis there.

BARTIROMO: A lot of people say that one of the reasons that businesses have been sitting on cash for the last several years is because of the tax rate and because of the regulatory environment. It feels like that's what President Trump is trying to alleviate right now. I don't know if the 15 percent corporate tax rate stays, I know this is going to get marked up but anything better than 35 percent. Even if it's 20 percent, do you think that dictates behavior on a company's part?

ROMETTY: Well, you create more jobs if you got a better tax rate. Well, I think, one part you have to keep remembering is that if we get certainty that, as well, helps dictate a company's behavior because with the long- term understanding of what you can do with your money, you'll make long- term investments because that's what really spurs jobs is when you can make long-term investments.

Not short, come and go -- you're not going to do that on a short-term basis but when you know and you say, gee, I can move that money, I can build something here, I can create new business here, I'll buy a company here, not there, those are things that you do when you have some certainty and your point is right.

It doesn't matter the exact number here, it's about being competitive and so those can move and check and force with each other, but with a competitive system and that territorial system, a competitive rate territorial system, I think, you're going to have a foundation that's going to be very good for business.

BARTIROMO: Well, look, you've got business all around the world. You're in a 170 countries that IBM but this repatriation story is an interesting one. Taking the tax to take money from overseas to bring it back to the U.S., down from 35 percent to possibly 10 percent, Gary Cohn just said eight percent, 10 percent, 12 percent, that's a big deal.

Would that move companies, do you think to move the money? I mean, I know you are moving money all over the world because you got operations all over the world but would you be poised to bring more money back to the U.S.?

ROMETTY: Well, we have $10 billion of cash in total and it is in different places around the world and in good spots. We've -- you know, because we are 106 years old, we have investments, we have businesses, we have operations everywhere.

But I think when you generally look at the amount of money that all companies have, that they have accumulated overseas, that kind of a policy will then help them make decisions that they will put the money in the most competitive places and if you make America one of the most competitive places, that's where the money will come. I think it's really quite clear. There isn't a mystery about that and so that's why I think this is going to be good.

BARTIROMO: It's amazing to me to hear you speak about a company that is 106 years old. One of the greatest companies in the world and yet you continue to redefine the story. You've got Watson, you've got the cloud business, tell us about what you're doing to accelerate some growth at IBM right now?

ROMETTY: Yes, and this is a key point when you said 106 year's old. We are the only tech company that has lived era to era to era and an era could be 20 years, 30 years but we've transformed ourselves through multiples and we're doing that again now but to do it you have to completely change parts of what you do and what you offer.

One thing that doesn't change about us, I mean, we really do the mission critical systems of the world and enterprise work for companies but around that, we have become the enterprise cloud company at 14.7 billion and we have become the artificial intelligence platform for business which is really through Watson we will touch in some way 1 billion people by the end of this year.

BARTIROMO: Wow, what does that mean, the A.I. platform? Explain to our audience how you're doing that.

ROMETTY: You know, if you're a company -- so, it's very different if you're in the consumer world. We may interact, voice to text, etcetera but if you are in a company think about what makes you competitive, we believe people are going to compete on the essence of their data and what they can make out of it in the future. It will be the basis of competitive advantage.

BARTIROMO: Before you go, one more question because when you start talking about data and encryption and censors, people think, oh, god. A robot is going to take over my job. So, what about that? I mean, what about robotics?

ROMETTY: I'm glad you asked that. This -- to me, this era we're entering - - again, we call it cognitive. Some people say A.I., it's really to me augmented intelligence. We are going to solve so many more problems than we are going to cause. However, will there be robots? Yes. Would every era bring some change to jobs? It does and that's going to lead the skills.

So, what do you have to do?


ROMETTY: It gets back to train -- it gets back to skills in this country because even already -- so, before we talk about replacing something in our industry, there's a half a million open jobs. There's five million open jobs in the country. So, why aren't they filled? They're not filled because people don't have contemporary skills.

So, this has been one of the biggest areas workforce development that we feel strongly and I dedicated a lot of time with the administration. They're very open to this into helping on this. I think it is public- private that has to happen to fix education but it comes down and we have a chance, I think, to fundamentally change the face of skills on our country now.

BARTIROMO: This is really promising stuff that you're bringing to us, Ginni. It's great to see you today.

ROMETTY: Good. Thank you.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much. Ginni Rometty is the president, CEO and chairman of IBM.

Coming up, the White House rolling out what it is calling the biggest tax cut in U.S. history. What will it mean for you for the taxpayer? House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling will join us next as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right here live, this morning, stay with us.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. The Trump administration unveiling a sweeping tax reform plan this past week. It collapses the current seven tax rates -- tax brackets into three brackets. It cuts the corporate rate from 35 to 15. The White House also says that millions of families would see some much-needed relief.

I spoke with White House National Economic Council Director, Gary Cohn, about the plan.


GARY COHN, DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Maria, we almost look at it as four brackets. You know, we've got seven brackets in the tax code right now, which makes it difficult. We also want to simplify the tax code as well and I'll talk about that as well.

But going to the three brackets, the 10 percent bracket, 25 percent bracket and the 35 bracket makes it simple, makes it easier for people to do their own taxes. But remember, we took the standard deduction and we doubled it. So if you take a medium-income family in America today, they are between $55,000 and $56,000. We're giving them a standard deduction of $24,000, meaning that they'll have taxable income of about $32,000.

They will have an effective tax rate in the mid-single digits. If they have a couple of children -- if they get a child tax credit, they could end up having an effective tax rate of about zero. We think that is very, very important for low and middle-income families.

We're going to put money back in their pockets. They're going to be able to use that money to improve their quality of life, to improve their house, to make improvements, buy a new car, or just take care of their family the way they want to take care of their family. That's very important. We're going to simplify the return by increasing the standardized deduction vastly fewer people are going to itemize.

So we're going to have a very simple tax system. As I said the other day, we want to go back to that simple one-page tax return where people can do it themselves at their kitchen table.

BARTIROMO: Yes. So you think that this is going to sort of dictate behavior. Look, if you're keeping more of your own money, you're probably going to put that money back into the economy, is the idea, right?

So what do you see in terms of the behavior of individuals and companies when they do get these much more attractive tax rates? You think you can get growth up pretty significantly with these numbers?

COHN: Maria, absolutely. The president's agenda and his number one objective is to grow the economy and create a better job environment. And so, if you look at the business tax rate and going to a 15 percent tax rate, what's the number one thing that we're going to do? We're going the make America competitive for businesses. We're going to want businesses to open their operations here in America. We're going to be competitive against all of the other OECD countries.

Remember, OECD average tax rate for businesses is 23 percent. We'll be eight percent below the OECD average. If you're a business today, deciding where you want to domicile, the United States is going to look very attractive. If you're looking to build a new manufacturing facility, you're looking to hire an incremental worker, you know, the tax rate does come into that decision.

By coming into the United States, the incremental worker is getting cheaper. You'll hire the worker, you'll put them to work in the United States, they will more money, they will have more money in their pocket, they'll spend more money. All of this is very good to drive the economy. This all adds up to more and more economic growth, which is the president's number one objective in the economy.


BARTIROMO: And my thanks to Gary Cohn. Want to bring in right now, Texas Congressman, Jeb Hensarling. He is the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. And Congressman, it's good to see you, thanks very much for joining us.


BARTIROMO: A lot to talk about. I know -- before we do, the tornadoes in Texas are in your district. We just heard from your governor. Our condolences to you, sir. We know that there are a lot of lives unaccounted for. Can you tell us anything from the ground?

HENSARLING: Well, thank you. It's devastating, particularly in Van Zandt County. Canton, Texas is about 60 miles east of Dallas. They were hit by a devastating tornado a couple years ago.

So we know that tragically, we've already had the loss of life, five lives already. Lots of devastation in Henderson County and in Van Zandt County. But I can tell you, the people of East Texas are resilient. They're going to come together. They're going to heal. They're going to rebuild, and I would just ask all the viewers to keep the folks in East Texas in their hearts and in prayers mean a lot at this time, Maria. They mean a lot.

BARTIROMO: We certainly are doing that, sir. And we'll be watching your leadership and in the coming days.

Let me turn to some of the issues on the agenda, certainly in the upcoming week. And one of those is health care. Are you expecting a health care vote in the House this week?

HENSARLING: Well, I'm certainly hoping for a health care vote this week. I think we are very, very close. We've had a number of members representing different caucuses within our broader House Republican Conference, who have been in negotiations.

I think we're very close. It's not a done deal until it's a done deal, but failure is not an option here. I mean, Obamacare is collapsing before us. Whether you look at the exchanges, whether you look at coops. People's premiums are skyrocketing. People's deductibles are skyrocketing. They're paying a whole lot more for a whole lot less. Failure is not an option.

I think we're going to come together and come together soon with a real good health care plan that's going to be patient-centered, allowing choice, still offering protections for those with preexisting conditions, and I look forward to supporting it.

BARTIROMO: So many important things on the agenda right now and that's on your dock. Yet I know you've been working on the Choice Act within Dodd- Frank. I want to get to that in a moment, but let me start with tax reform. We just heard from Gary Cohn.

How are you going to ensure that, in fact, the goal of Americans seeing a lower tax rate actually takes place? I know, you know, that after this, the president put out his white paper. You're -- we're going to see the markups in the House Ways and Means. We're going to see the markups in Financial Services Committee.

But when you take away all of these deductions, that may very well make someone's rate go up, right? So how do you ensure that you are, in fact, producing a lower tax for the middle-class?

HENSARLING: Well, that's what tax simplification is all about. I mean, it's taking away many of the deductions and credits. Many, frankly, are special interest provisions that a lot of hardworking folks in East Texas and in East Dallas don't benefit from.

So clearly, politics will intrude into policy. It's just what happens in Washington, D.C. But I think we have an opportunity that we haven't had in a generation. I think that people are coalescing around idea. And certainly, there's a lot of similarities between what Chairman Brady, the chairman who's writing the tax plan in the House and the White House plan are.

But again, I think most Americans want something that is simple, and I think effectively, most people will see their tax rates go down. The tax plans, as I understand it, would preserve the mortgage interest deduction.


HENSARLING: And the charitable deduction. But otherwise, the whole idea is just to simplify the code, bring down brackets and make our tax system more competitive. I mean, as you well know, we have the highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation in the world.

That's the number one reason that jobs goes overseas. It's not the cheap labor -- not that that doesn't play some role -- but it's this very difficult and very high rates of taxation on our business enterprises. That's got to stop in order to make America competitive again, and frankly, to make America great again.

BARTIROMO: One of the real victories or successes of this White House so far in this 100 days has been this rollback in regulation.

HENSARLING: Oh, absolutely.

BARTIROMO: The executive orders that the president has put forth. You've been working on this closely, on the Dodd-Frank legislation and how it might look different. Tell us about the Choice Act and what you want to see in terms of the Dodd-Frank legislation? How might that look different?

HENSARLING: I want the Dodd-Frank legislation to go away. They promised us it would lift the economy, but instead, we're mired in the slowest, weakest recovery in the post-war era. They said it would end too big to fail, but instead, codified it into law to where the government designates too-big- to-fail firms and then puts a taxpayer bail-out behind it.

They said it would stabilize our financial system, but instead, under Dodd- Frank, the big banks are bigger, the small banks are fewer. They said it would help the consumer, but instead, since Dodd-Frank, we've seen free checking cut in half, bank fees go up. The ranks of the young bank increase. Many working people find it far more difficult and expensive to get a mortgage.

So the bottom line is, Dodd-Frank has failed. What is our system? We want economic growth for all. We want bank bail-outs for none. It's a system that says if a bank will put together what is known as a 10 percent simple leverage ratio, have a very strong capital, more capital than is required than Dodd-Frank, that they essentially can have a Dodd-Frank off-ramp.

I mean, it's somewhat analogous to a privately financed insurance policy against failure. So we would replace complexity with simplicity. We would replace bailouts with bankruptcy. And we would replace federal micro management with market discipline.

In a word, Maria, in a phrase, we would let freedom reign, but only if you have a very strong balance sheet to prevent the taxpayers from having to bail you out. Increasingly, a lot of economists have supported this, including three Nobel Laureates.

Many believe that this is the way to go. It's capital in place of federal control. Our committee will mark up this legislation next week, and I look forward to bringing it to the entire House of Representatives soon.

BARTIROMO: And we know that one of the reasons that banks have been sitting on cash and not willing to even lend more is because of those Capitol requirements, just -- what you just mentioned. Real quick, sir. Fannie and Freddie, privatized. Is that on your agenda over the near term?

HENSARLING: Well, absolutely. We have got to reform our housing finance system. We still essentially have a government monopoly. And we're repeating many of the same mistakes, Maria, that led to the crisis in the first place. So I look forward working with the administration, Senator Mike Crapo, my counterpart, in the senate and we're going to get this done.

BARTIROMO: All right. We will see you soon. We'll be watching, sir. Thanks very much, congressman.

HENSARLING: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: And a programming note tomorrow on the Fox Business Network, I will be sitting down in an exclusive interview with Secretary Mnuchin, Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, will be my special guest tomorrow morning on the Fox Business Network. Hope you'll join me, beginning at 6:00 a.m., join us for that exclusive with more on the President's tax cut plans.

President Trump celebrating his first 100 days in office. How has he measured up so far? My panel will join me next, live right here this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures". We'll be right back.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. President Trump held a rally last night in Pennsylvania, touting his first 100 days in office as a success. But how does our panel think he measures up? Lee Carter is President of maslansky + partners. Steve Sigmund is a Senior Vice President of the Global Strategy Group and a democratic strategist. And Jon Hilsenrath is Global Economies Editor with the "Wall Street Journal". Great to see everybody. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.


BARTIROMO: Lee, kick us off, first 100 days?

CARTER: First 100 days, I think, were as bad for democrats as it was for Donald Trump. Donald Trump really secured his base. We saw that last night at the rally. He loves his people and that's why he was running for president, I think, to fight for those people.

But I don't think he's changed anybody's minds who was uncertain, and I certainly -- I mean, we've seen that the people who opposed him have opposed him even more strongly right now. That said, this tax reform that's coming up, his rollout of that, I think, could change a lot of people's minds who are uncertain, still.

BARTIROMO: Yes. I mean, now, he's got two major pieces of legislation perhaps, sort of, on the horizon, if we get a health care vote next week, we'll see what happens in the senate. But you said that this first 100 days was as bad for the democrats. Why?

CARTER: They haven't put anything forward. They're still always against things instead of for things. And the reason that Donald Trump is President of the United States today, and also, I think Barack Obama was elected because people wanted change. They wanted something different. They wanted Washington, D.C. to work for them.

I think democrats are saying, we're just going to fight things, be obstructionist, and that's something that people are tired of on both sides of the aisle.

BARTIROMO: People are going to get upset with that, Steve, too.

STEVE SIGMUND, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL STRATEGY GROUP: Possibly. Although the republicans did that to Barack Obama for eight years, and they ended up with the White House and the -- as the legislation.

Look, I think democrats are pretty happy with the first 100 days, for all the reasons you might expect. I actually think he should divide it into 70 days and 30 days. The first 70 days were an unmitigated disaster for him.

I mean, he -- you know, the border wall stuff getting -- not going anywhere, the travel ban getting rejected over and over again, health care falling apart, a bunch of tweets about, you know, wiretapping and god- knows-what. He's found his footing a little bit.

BARTIROMO: Well, they did surveil him though, by the way. You can't blow that off. They -- he really was surveilled.

SIGMUND: Yes, but you don't -- as President of the United States, you won't spend your time doing that. He spent his time in the last 30 days in a better way, frankly. He's tweeted less, right? The action in Syria, I think, is hard to argue against, particularly if you're a parent. The thing he did last night, you know, is countering the correspondence dinner with a rally to his base, the (INAUDIBLE) but to Lee's point, none of this has moved the needle.

BARTIROMO: Yes, it happened to Gorsuch. Gorsuch was just (INAUDIBLE)

SIGMUND: Absolutely. None of this has moved the needle, though. The -- you know, he's still at historically low approval ratings for the 100 days of a presidency by a lot, right? And the people who liked him were his fans, are still his fans. They're there in Harrisburg.

And the people who dislike him and think he never should have been president still feel exactly the same way.


JON HILSENRATH, GLOBAL ECONOMIES EDITOR, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I take a slightly different take on the first 100 days. It wasn't a very good period for the economy. We had a report out on Friday, which said the economy barely grew in the first quarter.

BARTIROMO: Seven-tenths of a percent GDP, Jon.

HILSENRATH: Seven-tenths of a percent of GDP, and what this means is there's now a disconnect between what the economy is doing and the expectations in the market in the public for what Donald Trump is going to get done.

Stock markets hit new highs, Nasdaq hit new highs, consumer confidence is very high, small business confidence is very high. He has to deliver and get this economy growing again, or this disconnect is going to go the other way and we're going to start seeing stock prices falling.

SIGMUND: Plus, he set expectations so high on that. I mean, his expectation is four percent growth and it's -- you've got 0.7 percent and that's less (INAUDIBLE)

BARTIROMO: Yes, but he (INAUDIBLE) seven-tenths of a percent.

HILSENRATH: And by the way, we are going to get pretty good growth numbers, it looks like, in the second quarter. The question is with --

BARTIROMO: Well, that's the -- is seven-tenths of a percent, that week showing in the first quarter GDP, is that a Trump economy or is that an Obama economy?

SIGMUND: If it had been good, it would have been a Trump economy.


HILSENRATH: Well, I'll tell you. One of the weak points in the GDP numbers was consumer spending. So even though confidence is up, people aren't out spending money. Some of that might have to do with Trump.

BARTIROMO: All right. We'll take a short break. When we come back, the moment that one writer calls President Trump's finest hour. More from the panel as we look ahead right now. "Sunday Morning Futures" continues.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. We're back with our panel.

And in op-ed this past week, Kim Strassel from the Wall Street Journal said that the tax reform package this past week, Jon Hilsenrath, was President Trump's finest hour. Do you agree?

HILSENRATH: Well, I mean, I think the atmospheres work really for him. And they stayed on message. This came out on Wednesday, and they captured all the headlines, you know, across the media and got everybody focused on tax reform.

The question is -- the problem is, he has a very narrow playing field to play on in congress. It's going to be hard for him to get all of this through congress, especially if democrats aren't going to work with him. He has to figure out how he's going to pay for this stuff and he has to figure out how he's going to advance tax cuts that are going to be permanent as opposed to temporary. It's a very tough legislative agenda to move forward in this environment.

BARTIROMO: Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Budget says this plan could cost anywhere between $3 trillion and $7 trillion. Now, that is a really big range.

HILSENRATH: And the way the rules are written, that can't pass congress without democratic support because they have to go by these rules of reconciliation, which don't allow for deficits beyond a 10-year window, which means big deficits, the tax cuts would expire after 10 years. That's of no use if you're trying to cut corporate tax.

SIGMUND: And I'm going to make a prediction as a democrat. You're not going to get democratic support for that.

CARTER: You're not going to get democratic support for anything. They have showed they're unwilling.

SIGMUND: Full support, $3 trillion to $7 trillion to -- adding to the deficit, you know, you're not going to get votes from that, so they (INAUDIBLE)

BARTIROMO: So you don't think that the dems are going to allow tax reform to happen?

SIGMUND: I don't think that -- not this tax reform.


SIGMUND: It's not -- it has no -- although it's not clear what this is, right? It's a one-page piece of paper. It's more sort of a Santa's wish list than it is an actual plan.

BARTIROMO: Well, to be fair, it's very similar to the House plan.

SIGMUND: (INAUDIBLE) and just one last point, that he was not elected to give tax cuts to the wealthy, right? I mean, he was elected to help the middle class.

BARTIROMO: Well, he's taking away all the deductions, though, and (INAUDIBLE)

SIGMUND: And his own treasury secretary said that they don't know if this will help the middle class.

CARTER: I also have to say, though, from a political perspective, from a messaging perspective, this has been done so, so well with Mnuchin, with -- he's -- everybody is on the same message. They're talking about what the benefits of what this is, about the growth in the economy, jobs for the American worker.

It is something politically, I think, he's doing really, really smart. And I think that any republican who opposes this is going to seem foolish because it's like you're trying to oppose the middle class. You're trying to oppose growth. And so, I think this one is a much better rollout.

SIGMUND: Smart politically if he can get it through congress. But because of the rules of reconciliation, because democrats won't work with him, it's going to be very hard for him to get what he put out there.

BARTIROMO: We'll see.

CARTER: But don't you think this is very, very Donald Trump, where he goes out, asking for more than he knows he could get?

BARTIROMO: Could be the opening deal with this, yes.

SIGMUND: The problem is, so far, he's done that and ended up get -- being defeated.

BARTIROMO: All right, we'll leave it there. Great panel. Thank you so much. Have a great Sunday, everybody. That'll do it for "Sunday Morning Futures".

I'll see you tomorrow live in L.A. when I sit down with Steven Mnuchin. Fox Business Network. Have a great Sunday.

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