Interviews

Tax reform by September? Rep. Kevin Brady responds

House Ways and Means chairman talks GOP timeline for tax cuts

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 20, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: These reforms, these tax cuts, they need to be permanent. I'm here to tell you, we are going to get this done in 2017.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, and to hear the speaker tell it, by September. And that is also the time Gary Cohn, the man who runs the National Economic Council over at the White House, was saying much the same, that he would like to see something move out of the House by about that same time period.

So, obviously, they're on the same page here.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, whether this is doable.

What do you think, Chairman?

REP. KEVIN BRADY, R-TEXAS: It is.

And I think that the speaker made the case is what we're hearing from local businesses, as you are, which is, go bold, go permanent, and go now. We're making steady progress on tax reform. We continue to meet with, in fact, this week again, the Trump tax team. The House and Senate will meet again working on this.

And so, look, we have got more work to do in the weeks ahead on a unified tax reform plan. But we continue to stay on the right timetable.

CAVUTO: Chairman, when we were monitoring Speaker Ryan's remarks on FOX Business, which, if you don't get, sir, you should demand. And I know you're busy.

BRADY: Yes.

CAVUTO: But one of the things that I did catch is that he didn't say word one about that border adjustment tax, the tax on imports.

And I'm wondering if that was coordinated with the White House or others to say it's dead, Speaker, move on.

BRADY: No. And he made that clear in subsequent discussions today.

But he made the case of why the problem we're trying to solve still remains, which is, how do you stop U.S. companies, research manufacturing headquarters from leaving the country? More importantly, how do you bring them back? You need a very good, strong, smart provision to do that.

And, as he said today, we will continue the work with the White House and the Senate to get that provision right.

CAVUTO: All right, but not the border tax itself? Is that dead?

BRADY: Well, no, it is not.

CAVUTO: It is not, OK.

BRADY: We continue -- I still believe it's the very best solution to that problem of jobs leaving the U.S., more importantly, how we bring them back.

CAVUTO: I see.

BRADY: But we will have to remain open, as the speaker said, to finding a solution, a consensus among the White House and the Senate.

CAVUTO: Sir, in the meantime, he's talking, and the White House is as well, about having something in the House, or they wouldn't debate this ad nauseam in the House. It's just, I guess, a vote, Gary Cohn is saying at the White House, to the House. Presumably, it moves from there.

Are you OK with that? Because I can just envision Democrats and maybe some Republicans saying, well, wait a minute, where is the debate on this?

BRADY: Well, we're going to have a full debate on tax reform as we develop a unified plan. Many of the elements have been -- are well-known.

But as we start the process in the Ways and Means Committee and through the House floor, we are going to have plenty of hours, if not days, of debate and consideration of the tax bill.

CAVUTO: Congressman, much has been made of the shooting last week of Steve Scalise, I know a friend and confidant of yours as well. Have you had a chance to talk to him in any way?

BRADY: I have.

And I will tell you, he had a very good weekend. Each of the surgeries have been successful. They have upgraded his condition, health condition. Clearly, he's got a long road ahead of him for a full and complete recovery.

But he's visiting with his wife. His family is here with him. And so each step -- and this is a process that where not every day will be a good day. But each day, frankly, has been. And the doctor at the hospital I visited with today just feels increasingly optimistic about his recovery.

CAVUTO: What is his mood like?

BRADY: Well, look, he's a -- he's a Cajun, LSU Tiger. He's up for everything all the time.

He's already engaging mentally in the work that is being done in the House, obviously, and he's just determined to work his way through this. And I will tell you, the Scalise family and Steve included, boy, they appreciate the prayers and the support like you can't imagine.

CAVUTO: You were supposed to be at practice that morning, were you not?

BRADY: Yes, I was there.

CAVUTO: You were, OK.

BRADY: And had just a couple moments before the shooting began.

And as I will tell you, in many ways, it was a day of miracles that so many more weren't lost that day. And so we're just very grateful.

CAVUTO: Now, did you just -- you left before this all started. Did you hear anything on your way out, or...

BRADY: No. And I left a few minutes after 7:00.

I think the first calls came in about 7:10. And so apparently I had just left the ball field. This is not what you expect to have early in the morning on a beautiful summer day, getting ready for this wonderful tradition of baseball on Capitol Hill.

We were blessed. We had the Capitol Police there. And it was a light day. Our pitchers were resting their arms. Many had already left from practice. But I will tell you, it is again not what we expected when we showed up in cleats and with our ball gloves that morning.

CAVUTO: Oh, I'm sure.

When you talk to Congressman Scalise -- I don't want to have you compromise private conversation, but has he appreciated the enormity of what almost happened here, what did happen, that there was a gunman there not only trying to take him out, but many of your colleagues and this could have been even worse?

BRADY: He does.

And I think his first and foremost thought was for his two Capitol Police detail who responded both first to draw shooting -- the shooter away from him and the ball players on the field and then engaged him successfully.

And so his first question, his first response was asking about his detail, which tells you exactly the kind of guy Steve Scalise is.

CAVUTO: Well, I'm glad to hear that. Glad to hear you're well as well.

Mr. Chairman, thank you very, very much.

BRADY: Thank you. Thanks, Neil.

CAVUTO: Kevin Brady, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, good friend of Steve Scalise, the third-ranking Republican in the House who is recovering now from those bullet wounds last week, and miraculously so, now in stable condition. We will keep you up to date on that and more.

END

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