Brady: A better tax bill came out of conference committee

This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," December 17, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning. The House set to pass the Republican tax bill this Tuesday with the Senate expected to follow suit a couple days later. The House Judiciary Committee taking a big new step to investigate allocations of anti-Trump bias at the FBI. What's more important than trusting the FBI and the DOJ? New questions this morning meanwhile about Paul Ryan's future as Speaker of the House.

Good morning everyone, thanks for being here I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures." Most of the hard work is done. New -- now Republicans have the votes to pass their tax bill this week. What does it mean for American taxpayers? House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady joins me live in just a moment. Also, lawmakers are promising to subpoena top FBI officials as they look into allegations of bias at the bureau. I'll talk to House Judiciary Committee Member Darrell Issa as well as former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins. Then following the report he plans to step down after the 2018 midterms, what does the future hold for House Speaker Paul Ryan? Karl Rove joins me on that as we look ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."

And it is a big week ahead on Capitol Hill, Republicans in Congress look to seal the deal on tax reform likely Tuesday. The House is expected to vote on the bill this Tuesday. The Senate should follow suit with a vote later on in the week. The measure then moves to the President's desk where he could sign it into law right before Christmas. Joining us right now to walk us through is Texas Congressman Kevin Brady. He is the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Mr. Chairman congratulations to you.

REP. KEVIN BRADY, R-TEXAS, CHAIRMAN, HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: Good morning Maria. Thank you very much. Look this was -- we are on the one- yard line and we intend to punch in a good strong way on Tuesday. And this means Americans on April 15th, that will be the last time Americans have to file under this horrible broken tax code. So there is a lot to -- lot to be h1appy about.

BARTIROMO: This is such a big deal Congressman and you have been working on this all year. I've been right there watching and covering right there with you watching the ups and downs. Tell us about this committee -- the conference committee this past week and what is different in this final bill than what we saw going into it from the House and Senate what's most important in terms of what changes Mr. Chairman?

BRADY: Yes Maria, you know normally, maybe the biggest surprise here for everyone is that the Conference Committee report turned down a bill better than neither than the House and Senate and that rarely happens. And I think lowering that top rate is especially important for families in those salt states in making sure that the rates kick in now for every size business in America to make them more competitive immediately again. I think a big improvement over the House and the Senate. I think there are numerous small ones as well but those are really key and at the end of the day look at the difference. So that family of four, average family of four making $73,000 a year will see a tax cut of $2,059. And I know some in Washington sort of think look, that's not much, what -- for families who are hardworking. I don't care where you are, boy that tax relief matters.

BARTIROMO: Yes, sure. It does matter but you still right now as we speak have the left calling this a giveaway to the rich. I don't understand how they can say this with a straight face and not think that everybody understands that they're doing talking points and they are lying to the American people given the fact that the high end is not seeing giveaways. In any way, this is largely middle-class and corporate rates. But let's go through this 21 percent rate for the corporations here and the pass-through rate. Why was that so critical?

BRADY: Well I think it was critical for us to balance out. We want to make sure we lowered the top rate again for those high tax states to make sure they're seeing relief as well. We want to make sure this could balance within the budget and so the decision was made to make a change, a slight change in the corporation but move it forward so that our companies can be competitive. We heard a lot from our U.S. companies and manufacturers saying we will expand under this tax reform. We'll increase paychecks so let's do it now. And now our companies are globally competitive day one, so those were very important I think improvements, big improvements over the House or the Senate bill.

BARTIROMO: I'll be honest with you. I was a little surprised that the repatriation rate, 15.5 percent to me seems high. The whole campaign Donald Trump was talking about bringing trillions of dollars back to America from overseas, but we were thinking it was going to be closer to 10 percent. How did you come upon 15.5 percent on repatriation Mr. Chairman?

BRADY: Yes, so it is higher that I think that many people expected higher frankly than I did going into these discussions as well. Look this is all about balancing priorities, moving those rates forward, being this pro- growth as we can. Those dollars will come back and I would tell you, I think the international portion of this, there was a lot of good work done here. I think we'll continue to make improvements. We'll continue as businesses analyze their competitiveness. I think we'll continue to look at that area of tax code going forward.

BARTIROMO: All right, so you think then in the coming years, there's still room for movement. Is that what you're saying on some -- on some of this plan?

BRADY: Well I do. I will tell you this. I think the message to our global competitors whether it's China, Europe, Canada, Mexico is America is never going to fall this far behind again. We're not waiting 31 years to become competitive again. We're going to continue to match the moves of our competitors. We'll continue to make the changes in our tax code so we can bring these jobs back to America and our local businesses can compete and win anywhere in the world. And so look, there is just a whole new attitude about a making America strong for the long term.

BARTIROMO: Yes, and much of the conversation around corporate rates coming down has been about growth. There is no doubt that's been your priority, that's been the President's priority. And when you look at the corporate rates coming all the way down from 35 percent, that's all about growth. On the individual side, Mr. Chairman, it was a little messier. I wrote an Op- Ed in the Wall Street Journal on Friday just outlining President Trump's first year from an economic standpoint and I said it's nothing short of excellence. But in terms of this tax plan what I write about the individual side is that much of the individual side has been a lot about ensuring that the rich do not get so much tax relief. And so I wonder OK, so you take the top rate down from 39.6 to 37 percent, but I wonder given the fact that the top 10 percent of earners pay 71 percent of the taxes right now. Is that going to be enough to actually encourage them to spend more money given they're losing their deductions, Mr. Chairman? A lot of rich people are seeing their taxes go higher. You know that because of the elimination of the deductions.

BRADY: Yes, but I think Maria, when you look carefully at the top number, you know, you forget. I mean most people forget as well that the current tax code actually has about a two percent rate increase on middle, higher income and higher upper-middle-class families with what's called the (INAUDIBLE) things. So that's gone as well. So we did a lot in there, tax relief at every rate level. And so I think at the end of the day we are going to get growth from those rates on the individual side. Would I have liked it to be simpler and flatter? Yes but here is one key point. We said you started this with us several years ago. This is not our tax code. It belongs to the American people and why we really stripped it down to the foundation to rebuild it. We listened and the American people in our lawmakers said certain provisions are really important in the 21st-century tax code. And this bill reflects those priorities.

BARTIROMO: What's the impact of Marco Rubio becoming a diva on you in the 11th hour putting a gun to your head forcing you to make sure to change the child tax credit? What was that all about Mr. Chairman?

BRADY: Well look, the Senate worked awfully hard to pass the bill originally and they worked equally hard to get the votes for this final bill. Every Senator feels like they need to weigh in and wants to in a positive way. I think the point of all of this is tax reform is hard but it's critical that every senator deliver on this promise of tax relief because this won't happen again. I don't know who wants to defend this current code and so I'm pleased that Senator Rubio is joining others to get this done.

BARTIROMO: Are you worried at all that you're not going to have the votes come Tuesday? Are you worried about the third rule? What can we expect next week or do you think this is basically baked in the cake?

BRADY: Well, I think we are headed to -- I think the American people are headed for a big win on Tuesday. We worked hard to make sure that those strange Senate rules don't hang this up in any way. I'm confident that that's the case and I'm confident we have the votes. We've waited, the American people have simply waited too long for this so it's time to deliver and give them a new tax code.

BARTIROMO: All right, we will leave it there. Mr. Chairman congrats again. We'll be watching next week. Big week for you and your colleagues, thanks so much.

BRADY: Thanks, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Mr. Chairman, Chairman Kevin Brady joining us there. Meanwhile the House Judiciary Committee's investigation into allegations of the anti- Trump bias that the FBI is heating up. Some people are calling this bigger than Watergate. I will talk to former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins about that, next. And then, follow me on twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures, let us know what you would like to hear, and the guest coming up. We got Darrell Issa on deck as well. We're looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee now planning to subpoena top FBI officials as they look into allegations of anti-Trump bias at the FBI. Bud Cummins is a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and a partner at the political consulting firm Avenue Strategies. Good to see you, sir. Thanks so much for joining us.

BUD CUMMINS, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Good morning Maria.

BARTIROMO: Well, we can go through one piece of info after the next in the last several weeks that have been uncovered and it sure smells like this is just a terrible situation going on at the FBI. If we cannot trust our FBI and our Department of Justice to just follow the truth, then we have major problems on our hands for America.

CUMMINS: When you're in federal law enforcement, you live on your credibility. And when these revelations are made and you know, frankly they're outrageous revelations, you lose that credibility and it's a problem.

BARTIROMO: So let's go through this some of these issues. I mean, the number three guy at the Department of Justice, the number three guy hires his wife who works for Fusion GPS. She's hired to do research about Trump colluding with the Russians at the same time that we know that Hillary Clinton and her Clinton Foundation took $140 million after allowing the sale of 20 percent of the U.S. stockpile of uranium. Some people call that treason, that happened and yet, Bruce Ohr's wife is hired who works for Fusion GPS. They come up with this dossier which we know is a bunch of garbage and that's actually the justification for wiretapping the Trump organization?

CUMMINS: Yes, I mean, we find ourselves here, it appears, on the basis of a fraud that was perpetrated on the FBI and the Department of Justice and the United States Intelligence Agencies to form a predicate based on this fake dossier. And there are people along the chain that knew or should have known where it came from, who paid for it and how credible it was. But it was used for foreign surveillance. It was used to unmask United States citizens and then it was formed as the predicate for a Special Counsel that we are dealing with today who is staffed with the same people that shepherded all this fake information through the system. So it's very disturbing and that's an understatement.

BARTIROMO: Then you've got one of the lead guys at the FBI corresponding with his mistress about how bad and horrible Donald Trump is. And here is what he writes to Lisa Page. This is Mr. Strzok to his girlfriend. Lisa Page says you might have been meant to stay where you are because you are meant to protect this country from that menace. Peter answers her, I can protect our country on many levels. So they're talking about an insurance policy here in case Donald Trump is in fact elected president. So what happens? They come back, they see that in fact, America voted in Donald Trump and they decide, we don't like the way this happened so we're going to change things, we're going to change the course of events. We've got this insurance policy. What is this insurance policy they're talking about Bud?

CUMMINS: The insurance policy is obviously the fake allegations about Russian collusion by the campaign. And the timing of them going back to the conventions is now looking more and more suspicious. And the use of the -- of the intelligence services to spy on the opposing campaign, it's - -that's the insurance policy, is we've got an ace in the hole. If this thing goes bad we're working up a smear campaign to take out the President.

BARTIROMO: Should there be charges brought down here?

CUMMINS: You know, if you try to dissect this, a lot of this is just bad management at the FBI, conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest to some of your personnel. I mean, that agent Strzok knew how he felt about these things and he should have gone to his superiors and said this isn't the right investigation for me to be dealing with. But the management at the FBI should have known that McCabe's wife was running for office and was getting big money from the very people they were investigating. I mean, some of these management decisions at FBI are inexplicable and the good news is they've got a good director in there, Chris Wray. Rod Rosenstein continues to be a guy of integrity and I believe Bob Mueller is a guy of integrity but he's going to have to prove it. He's going to have to prove it pretty soon because if there's -- if he hadn't found anything to support what was the predicate for this investigation, he needs to file a report and tell them there's nothing there and shut it down.

BARTIROMO: That's exactly right. I mean, how long can this go on without any evidence of collusion with Trump?

CUMMINS: That's up to the Deputy Attorney General and Robert Mueller, but I think in light of all these other revelations, which devastates their credibility, they either need to come forward with serious charges that we can examine and independently weigh the validity of or they need to shut this thing down. They've had seven months, they've had unlimited resources, if they don't have it now, they're not going to have it and it needs to be over.

BARTIROMO: Do you know what gets me, Bud? I mean, look, we know everybody has opinions.

CUMMINS: Sure.

BARTIROMO: You know, these are citizens, they vote, they have opinions on things but to lie in this special investigation, Robert Mueller's investigation with so many people politically charged, with so many people who have political notions about things, many of these people gave money to Hillary Clinton's campaign. So you know, Weissman or Strzok or you know, McCabe, they gave money to Hillary Clinton's campaign. Should they be working on this investigation about Donald Trump? I mean the same people who worked on the investigation of Hillary Clinton were clearly against Donald Trump and they said so in their texts.

CUMMINS: Right. In partiality, it's probably a myth. I think judges all have opinions, prosecutors all have opinions and these conflicts of --

BARTIROMO: But they don't have to give money.

CUMMINS: Right and I feel stronger about some issues than I do others and it's up to me at the starting point to go to my superior and say, you know, this isn't the right investigation for me. That agent should be out investigating ATM thefts in Hays, Kansas the rest of his career. But there's a larger -- there's larger problems here about the management and the management decisions that were made. And again it's breathtaking to think that it could go this far with these partisans and their reliance on the manufactured evidence that Hillary Clinton campaign and others paid for.

BARTIROMO: Yes, well that's a good point because do we know if the FBI actually paid? The FBI will not answer the question "did you pay fusion."

CUMMINS: Right and they need to. I mean, they need to go back and really examine what that dossier was used for and who was selling it in the system. Who -- were these partisan agents the ones that were vouching for the credibility of this evidence? You know, we've heard the Democrats back to Watergate during the U.S. attorneys firings lament the politicization of the DOJ. But this isn't only politics. This is the weapon of partisan politics by arming the partisans with the resources at the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate their opponents. This is the worst thing that can possibly happening with justice.

BARTIROMO: Which is -- which is why we're expecting subpoenas on some of these FBI officials next week because we start with the IRS right? If you can't trust your FBI, your Department of Justice, your IRS, what then? Bud Cummins good to see you sir, thank you.

CUMMINS: Thank you for having me.

BARTIROMO: We'll be watching next week. Stay with us. Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back. House Speaker Paul Ryan is denying reports he plans to retire after the 2018 midterms. Politico first reported that the House Speaker has his eye on exiting after the election and that he's been telling friends and colleagues this. Joining us right now is Karl Rove, he's former White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush and he is a Fox News Contributor. Karl, good to see you, sir. Thanks so much for joining us.

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: You bet. Thanks for having me.

BARTIROMO: Paul Ryan said it's not true and you say?

ROVE: I say, I think that's probably not true. I'd say that for two reasons. First of all, the best way to become a lame duck is to say you're a lame duck. And Paul Ryan is smart enough to know that as Speaker, he would begin to lose a lot of his authority if he were to say, you know what, I'm out of here. Second of all, the evidence doesn't point that direction. He's announcing he wants to take on entitlement spending next year, he's raising a bundle of money. I think he's transferred -- raised and transferred $30 million to the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. He's raising money for a super PAC whose goal is to raise $100 million to keep the Republican majority in the House. And look, if your -- if your eyes are on the exit door, some people redouble their efforts but most people just fall into the habit of slowing down and letting things go and I don't sense that in Paul Ryan.

BARTIROMO: What are your expectations for 2018? Do you think the House loses the majority?

ROVE: I think it's very much up in the air. The President's approval ratings are dreadful. No President has ever been in this bad of shape at this point early in their term as President Trump is not even close. The Republicans as a result of that and failure to pass repeal and replace of ObamaCare are lagging in the so-called generic ballot. But having said that, the Democrats need to take 24 seats in order to take the House. In order to do that, they have to take a lot of seats held by incumbents. And the real question is going to be by next April, May or June when filing deadlines are closing, have most of those Republican incumbents in those 23 seats held by Republicans that were carried by Hillary Clinton are most of those or almost all of those Republican incumbents running for reelection. If they are and they're taking the races seriously, then the Republicans should be able to hold on to the House. But if we've got a lot of retirements among those vulnerable seats, with a lot of open seats or a lot of incumbents not taking the race seriously then the Republican majority is very much in doubt

BARTIROMO: You would think that this tax plan would be helpful in terms of impacting the American people and the President said that people are going to feel it come February. Once this goes through next week, and it gets to the President's desk for signage before Christmas, do you think that's going to have an impact?

ROVE: I think it will. First of all, it will start showing up in February in the -- in lower withholdings under the new tables of everybody who gets a paycheck and I think people are going to see more money in their pockets. Small business people are going to be able to take a look at what their tax accountant or their comptroller is going to be able to say, boss, this is what it means for our business. I've talked to some corporate CFO's just like I suspect you have. They will know within minutes of the passage of the final bill exactly what this will do to their bottom line for the coming year and they can adjust their capital investment plans and their benefits and benefit plans and so forth accordingly. And I think it's going to be felt throughout the economy. Look we have a very robust sense that the American economy is revving up. We've had three-quarters to three percent growth consumer confidence high, small business confidence high, corporate CEO confidence high and all of that points add. Then growth abroad, all of those things point to a good -- to a good year in 2018. And the President's approval rating on the economy are significantly higher than this -- than this personal approval or his job approval ratings which shows that people are getting that the economy is getting better. There's just lots of things he does and says to keep that from getting in -- that keep from getting in the way of that.

BARTIROMO: Yes, that's absolutely right. Well the S&P 500 earnings are expected to be up in the double-digits so you're already seeing an anticipation of this tax plan impacting earnings and you would think that once earnings are better, then companies will use that extra savings to invest in their businesses and hire new workers. What's next do you think for this administration? They come n January, they've got this tax plan passed, historic new legislation, do they go to welfare, do they go to infrastructure, do they go somewhere else? What's the next big piece of legislation you see them working on?

ROVE: Well I think the House is bent upon welfare reform and the Senate might be able to put together the votes for that. But let's be honest. The Democrats are in the resistance mode so things can pass the House with majority but then they get stuck in the Senate unless there are eight Democrats who are willing to come across and do something constructive. And we don't know that that's the case. In fact, I think it's highly unlikely that's the case. That's why I hold little hope out for major infrastructure bill. Remember the Present talked about a trillion dollar infrastructure bill. Well, first of all, he got resistance on the Republican side. For a lot of them, they look back and say that $800 billion stimulus bill that President Obama promised with shovel-ready jobs, that didn't help generate the economy. And we've now gone through a battle over the tax reform bill in which the Democrats have said we can't add to the deficit. Well, how do you know turnaround, how do we turn around and have the Democrats say oh, well we meant you shouldn't add to the deficit by cutting taxes but my god we're all in favor of adding to the deficit by more spending, a little bit difficult to make that transition.

BARTIROMO: Yes, and it's funny to hear the left complain about debt and deficits when in the last eight years they double the debt from10 to $20 trillion.

ROVE: Right. Well and worse than that, it went from 40 percent of GDP on January 20th of 2009 to 74 percent in GDP. Look, I'm not -- if the debt grows slower than the economy I'm OK.

BARTIROMO: Right.

ROVE: We should all be OK. But when the debt grows significantly faster than the economy, that's when we begin to get into Greek-like difficulty and we're getting into nosebleed territory, and that's why I think the focus of the House on restraining spending, think about this. In March of last -- in March of this year, the CBO did an analysis for the next 10 years. They said over the next 10 years there will be $43 trillion in federal revenues taken in but there will be an estimated $52 trillion in spending. And mandatory spending will go from 70 percent of the budget to nearly 80 percent of the budget and will grow over 70 percent while discretionary spending will grow 18percent. So we've got a clear roadmap of where the problem is and we don't need to cut the spending. We simply need to restrain its future growth.

BARTIROMO: Wow that's true and that means somebody has to have the courage to take a knife to entitlement. We know where all of the growth is and spending. Karl Rove, good to see you, Sir. Thank you so much.

ROVE: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon. Some lawmakers in high tax states meanwhile expressing concern about the cuts to the state and local tax deduction in the GOP tax bill, how they feel about it now that it's a final vote that's approaching? Also, Congressman Darrell Issa under fire from the left. We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Darrell Issa, my special guest next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Congress planning to vote this week on the GOP tax bill. One of the sticking points up until now was the fate of the state and local tax deductions or SALT. That issue was key to lawmakers from high tax states like New York, New Jersey, California. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California joins me right now. And Congressman, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much for being here.

REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CALIF.: Thank you Maria and thanks for bringing up the SALT issue because that really is salt in the wound of California.

BARTIROMO: I know that. 6 million Californians have used this deduction and obviously, it has offset the high rates of taxes in your State. You wrote a letter to Leader McConnell, Speaker Ryan, Leader Schumer, Pelosi and the conferees. Did you get a response in terms of what you were trying to communicate to them?

ISSA: Well we've got consideration and some changes. In my view, we didn't get enough to change my vote but I do have to commend them for at least trying. They lowered the top rate. They did include the usability of that $10,000. But as you know, you live in New York, New Jersey, or California, that $10,000 when you combine it of property tax and income tax, it's not going to go very far toward people who have done the right thing and are earning enough to itemize. This is a bill that's going to be great for business. It's going to help move the economy. It's going to have some problems for a few of us in high tax states and I don't see any relief from Sacramento that's going to lower Californians taxes.

BARTIROMO: No. They aren't going to lower taxes in Sacramento and they're not going to lower taxes in New York as well. So the issue is the individual side of this plan is still a little murky. Do you think that a 37 percent rate for the top earners which is down from 39.6 is going to be enough to move the needle on spending? We need to remember that consumer spending is two-thirds of economic growth. So if this is a growth plan, why are they so afraid to lower taxes for the rich, those people who actually pay the majority of taxes and spend the majority of the money?

ISSA: Well, you're exactly right. This is a good bill for businesses and some good things in it to help get business investment, but if you're an executive in a company or somebody's being asked to make investments and you're paying 53 percent blended in California, this isn't helping you much. And you're right. The investment class of people are going to find this as a problem. I will say one thing in favor of the bill, and that is that it's going to distort the top tax brackets decisions on how to do things. Meaning they're going to make a lot of real estate investments and they're going to do things that move them toward those 20-25 percent rates that are available for pass-through and C-corps. I'm not sure that's altogether good. I would have liked a more balanced bill. I made suggestions to leadership. I didn't get what I wanted but I did -- I will commend them for at least giving us some consideration. You know this is a good bill in some ways. As a matter of fact, it's a bill that when you think about it, Democrats should be voting for because it does a great deal for if you will, the mainstream of workers that they say they care about.

BARTIROMO: Is it going to be enough to keep the House in the majority? Is it going to be enough to get voted again this group to get voted again into office in 2018? You're under fire yourself. You've got celebrities paying up to unseat you. Jane Fonda, who else? Ted Danson, you've got Bill Maher, they want you out. Are you feeling the pressure, Congressman?

ISSA: Well you know when Hanoi Jane puts $100,000 in to defeat you, I have so little respect for her after she betrayed our country in Hanoi all those years ago and literally caused prisoners of war to be further punished. So if that's the best they can do is come out with somebody who should have been jailed instead of notarized and celebritized, I'm OK. You know, making the right vote for your district and Republicans doing what they believe is right to move the economy, that's important. Making votes to try to keep a majority is never a good idea. I think you have to do what Speaker Ryan says he's going to do, entitlement reform, some serious changes. The President wanting to reorganize government and get better trade deals. If we keep the majority, great, if we don't keep the majority, it shouldn't be because we did something to sell out our values, it should be because we did the right thing and for a time it may not be appreciated.

BARTIROMO: Well that makes a lot of sense. Let me switch gears here and talk about the House Judiciary Committee of which you are a member. Are we going to see subpoenas next week for folks at the FBI?

ISSA: Well, we're certainly going to see a follow-up both from Oversight and Judiciary on what is clearly a problem there. People with biases that seem to act on it have been in a position to both decide not to prosecute Hillary Clinton and to go after everyone around the President and so far, not finding any evidence of what they were told they were investigating but looking for any way to slow down this administration. People with those kinds of prejudices we've seen in some of these texts should never be allowed to be in the FBI as far as I'm concerned. You cannot operate that kind of bias and then be expected to do the right thing for your country

BARTIROMO: Why did Jim Comey take notes every time he had a meeting with Donald Trump but he failed to take any notes when he met with Hillary Clinton when actually they interviewed Hillary Clinton when she was under criminal investigation for her e-mail scandal. She was told don't worry we're not going to record this, there are no notes. Then, of course, we know that Loretta Lynch then the Head of the DOJ meets with Bill Clinton just a couple days before Hillary is supposed to be interviewed at the FBI. They say they talked about grandkids. Obviously, they talked about the investigation of Hillary Clinton. So how is this all allowed and it's just no problem, meanwhile on the Trumpside we're still talking about potential collusion Congressman?

ISSA: Well that's exactly the problem is that Hillary Clinton committed crimes. There's no question at all, a decision she couldn't be prosecuted occurred even before the investigation was completed, we now know. And as you say, there was so many things even having a key target allowed to be in her interview, to begin with. There are a lot of things that career FBI and Department of Justice people will tell you were wrong in that investigation and many believe the conclusion was wrong. I think the important thing is that we've got to clean up, if you will, the standards at the FBI and Department of Justice, get the politics out of it whether it's a special prosecutor, or special powers for the Inspector General Michael Horowitz, so that he can get through this bureaucracy. You may not be aware of this but your listeners may not, but the Department of Justice is the only cabinet position in which the I.G. is shut out of major parts of investigation specifically wrongdoing by attorneys are something that the I.G. has been locked out of. We've got to get the Inspector General to have that access like I.G.'s do in every other part of government. If that takes a special prosecutor so be it.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

ISSA: I actually think that the I.G., if properly empowered, has the confidence and the trust of the American people to go do it.

BARTIROMO: I don't even understand why the I.G. would be shut out of that. I mean, it is the Inspector General who uncovered these texts of Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. I mean, if the Inspector General did not find those texts, we wouldn't even know. And you're telling me Robert Mueller didn't realize there was this bias in all of the people he's lined up to do this investigation?

ISSA: Well, you know, in Casablanca, people were shocked. There was gambling at Rick's Casino. The reality is there is strong bias within government agencies with the possible exception of the Department of Defense where the military has a real creed not to be political and if you're not controlling it, if you're not recognizing it, if you're not making political -- sorry -- appointment decisions on finding people who were apolitical to the greatest extent possible, you're going to have this problem. And Special Prosecutor Mueller is -- has picked people with very easy to find, strong biases, strong contribution history that says they probably are not the right people for an investigation of either side

BARTIROMO: Right exactly. Real quick, should the Clinton e-mail scandal be opened up again?

ISSA: I believe that that was said by the Deputy Attorney General that there is a possibility based on the I.G.'s ongoing investigation that they may have to reopen it because of these flaws. I think when you have a career professional telling us that, the answer is yes:

BARTIROMO: Congressman good to see you, sir. Thanks so much.

ISSA: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Congressional Republicans on the cusp of history with the impending passage of a bill to reshape the country's tax system for the first time in three decades. It's time for our panel. A.B. Stoddard is an Associate Editor and a Columnist with Real Clear Politics. Susan Ferrechio is Chief Congressional Correspondent with the Washington Examiner. It's good to see you both. Thanks so much for joining us. The tax plan, Susan?

SUSAN FERRECHIO, CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: This will pass and you cannot underestimate what a big deal this is for Republicans. Remember they started the year with great ambitions and fell flat on their faces when they tried to repeal the health care law. They tried and failed and they tried and they failed. They lost momentum, they were discouraged. Everybody thought that the tax plan was going to be impossible to put through because they didn't pass the ObamaCare. Not only are they going to pass this tax plan this week, but it repeals the ObamaCare mandate which again accomplishes something else that they promised in the 2016 campaign.

BARTIROMO: Big deal. A.B.?

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR AND COLUMNIST, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: That's true and I think when Chairman Brady talks about you know, fixing his system after 31 years, and what it's going to do in terms of economic growth is that is a great talking point. The problem is for them, it unites them, as Susan said it gives them an accomplishment, maybe they can move on to infrastructure with that unity. The problem is whether or not voters really feel it is a boom in the midterms. You were talking about this earlier in the show. It might not be. It will help the party hold together, it will energize donors, and their own voters. But whether or not it brings them around from their other problems is something that they continue to work out.

FERRECHIO: If people see it in their paychecks, it's going to help. And this is aimed at the working class and middle class mostly, lowering the corporate tax rate that may be a delayed effect as your previous guests were saying. So yes, that is a potential issue.

BARTIROMO: Well, the President is going to be out and about trying to campaign for a lot of the House Republicans going into the2018 election but he's got to have something to stand on. He's got to have something to say. Don't you feel better right now?

FERRECHIO: Well, you know what he will have to stand on is the fact if they pass the tax bill you will still see the stock market soaring. You'll still see you know, a confidence boosted for businesses and small businesses and large businesses alike. So I think that's going to help. The economy is rolling along at a good clip right now. That's going to continue. If they hadn't passed this tax bill, a lot of business people were predicting things will go in the opposite direction.

BARTIROMO: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

STODDARD: But what Karl Rove is talking about it's not -- it's not enough. I think that to go out there, his numbers on the economy, the numbers on the tax bill might be high come August. But what will his personal approval ratings be in the districts that the Republicans need to hold on to hold a majority in the House? I think moving on this thing like infrastructure for another win is much more -- it's just a better prospect for them in tackling --

FERRECHIO: And Democrats like it. And Democrats like it. It's hard for them to go out and campaign against Republicans when Democrats want that infrastructure even more than Republican.

STODDARD: That's absolutely right.

BARTIROMO: So you think that's going to be the next piece of legislation they tackle?

STODDARD: They're talking about welfare reform, it's just something that welfare--

BARTIROMO: They're never going to --

FERRECHIO: Not next year. They're not. They're talking about it but they can't do it.

BARTIROMO: How do you get welfare legislation done in an election year? What do you do? Guess what voters, I'm taking away your Social Security. I don't think so.

STODDARD: There's no way. And also, President Trump campaigned against the main Republicans who cut your Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. He said he wouldn't do it. This is the thing -- this is one more thing that divides them. They need to get back on stuff that keeps them together.

BARTIROMO: If they go to welfare early on, I think all year we're going to see pictures of granny going off the cliff.

STODDARD: Oh, absolutely.

FERRECHIO: But again, infrastructure brings a whole new set of problems. How do they pay for it and that's another issue?

STODDARD: Right, that's the (INAUDIBLE)

BARTIROMO: Let's get into the rule of law when we come right back. FBI, DOJ, IRS you know where we're going? You've got the panel right after this. We're looking ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES. Back in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Back with our panel. FBI, DOJ, IRS, American people need to trust these agencies and now, we are questioning actually whether or not they're politically motivated with this FBI and Special Counsel conversation. A.B.?

STODDARD: Well I think there's a couple -- two different tracks here. The FBI should be held accountable. They should turn over documents. They shouldn't stonewall. They should answer questions and stand up for their work.

BARTIROMO: Right.

STODDARD: At the same time, the President should not attack the FBI. He is the commander-in-chief and attacking his own institutions is a mistake. The other thing is the Special Counsel. Robert Mueller's body of work will be assessed for what it is. When that product comes out, people can flip out but not until then. What he is doing is a result of President Trump firing James Comey. It is not a result of the dossier. He is looking into Obstruction of Justice. There are potential financial crimes being examined here. That is completely separate from texts between lovers and the other question.

BARTIROMO: Well, what about the Obstruction of Justice on the other side? I mean, the fact that there was that meeting on the tarmac.

STODDARD: If that's happening, take a look at it.

BARTIROMO: No we know it happened. Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton.

STODDARD: No, no, no, but that's what I'm saying. There's two separate things.

BARTIROMO: Right.

STODDARD: No one was a bigger critic of Hillary Clinton's e-mail server scandal than I was.

BARTIROMO: Right.

STODDARD: Take a look at all of it and the FBI should be held accountable in every single case.

BARTIROMO: Jim Comey did not take notes when he met with Hillary Clinton and yet he always takes notes with Donald Trump.

STODDARD: This attack on Mueller is a separate question.

BARTIROMO: OK.

FERRECHIO: I don't think they will fire Mueller. I know the Democrats say they're worried about that this week. I'll be shocked if the President fired Mueller. Don't forget --

STODDARD: Or fire Rosenstein.

FERRECHIO: Well, this -- don't forget this whole investigation was based on thing, collusion with Russia between Trump and Russia before the election to sway things in his favor. Where is the evidence of that? There was never any. It's a massive investigation.

STODDARD: Special Counsel Mueller is looking --

(CROSSTALK)

BARTIROMO: I think it would have been leaked.

STODDARD: Special Counselor Mueller is not looking into that. He's looking into something else as a result of the firing of James Comey.

BARTIROMO: Why isn't he looking into the Hillary Clinton investigation?

STODDARD: That's not what he was tasked with.

BARTIROMO: After all this stuff is coming out, how come he's manned --

STODDARD: Somebody else can handle that.

BARTIROMO: -- how come he's manned his investigation with all these Hillary Clinton lovers?

STODDARD: And that is a question that should be answered absolutely

BARTIROMO: And should be investigated by a lot of people (INAUDIBLE) going in that direction.

STODDARD: But James Comey -- James Comey faced a lot of pro-Trump, anti- Hillary bias in the FBI that he was so afraid that he actually came out and ruined his reputation because he thought it was (INAUDIBLE) making him look like he protected her.

BARTIROMO: Right.

STODDARD: There is always bias.

BARTIROMO: It's going to be-- it's going to be an important year. Taxes, economic story, and this going to be the story --

FERRECHIO: The duly narrative, Trump collusion and then, of course, Hillary Clinton and all that involvement, so --

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much, ladies. Have a great Sunday everybody. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Merry Christmas!


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