This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 18, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Thank you, Shepard, very much. And happy birthday for your debt.
And happy record day at that. I do not know if the two are joined here, but I can tell you this. That is the 70th time this year we have seen the Dow notch a record. We have never seen that in history. Remember, we had already tied the record going back in 1995. Well, we broke it today.
And we also saw better than 5,000 points added to the Dow. And that is just so far this year. And we have never seen that.
Now, a lot of that has to do with tax cuts that are coming sooner rather than later.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto, and this is "Your World."
And what in the world to make of, well, a process that is now going in rapid-fire fashion, where tomorrow, at this time, we are told it is distinctly possible that the House and the Senate will have voted on a tax cut package they each hope to bring up to the president of the United States for his little old John Hancock, or signature, whatever you to call it, before Christmas.
To Chad Pergram on what happens now -- Chad.
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS SENIOR CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: The House of Representatives is going to consider this bill midday tomorrow.
They shouldn't have a problem passing that. And then it goes over to the Senate, where they will probably start the debate late tomorrow afternoon. There are 10 hours total of debate. We do not expect them to use that all, five hours for the Democrats, five hours for the Republicans.
We expect the Republicans it to yield that back. And there's a possibility that the Senate could pass the bill late tomorrow night. If not, it would probably be on Wednesday.
They just got a boost here in the past half-hour or so. Mike Lee, Republican senator from Utah, has indicated he is going to support the bill. He wanted to go through all 500-plus pages, make sure he understood everything that was in it. He's going to be a yes.
Now they turn to the other two wild cards, Susan Collins of Maine and also Jeff Flake of Arizona. I should point out that they were yeas on the bill back in late November. There was only one Republican nay, Bob Corker of Tennessee, but he signaled on Friday that he is going to be a yes.
Republican sources indicate to me that they should be able to pass this bill no matter what. Again, they just need a simple majority. There is going to be a maximum of 99 senators voting on this bill when it moves through the Senate.
John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona, has gone back home. He is going to be there over Christmas. He indicates he hopes that his cancer treatments are going well, that he should be able to return to Washington.
But even if they just -- say they lose Susan Collins or say they lose Flake or something else. They would still have, at a minimum, 50 yeas on the Republican side of the aisle. So, 50 out of 99, that passes the bill.
They would only need Mike Pence, the vice president, to break a tie if there was in fact an even number of senators voting, say, 98 senators. Say Thad Cochran, the Republican from Mississippi, did not show up. But we're told that he is supposed to be here.
So, Republicans are hoping that they can move this bill tomorrow, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, thank you, my friend, Chad Pergram, on Capitol Hill.
PERGRAM: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Now a new poll out by Monmouth University is finding scant support for this. About 26 present approve of the GOP cuts. So far, 47 percent disapprove.
That is not unusual. In almost every major tax cut that has come to pass dating back to John Kennedy's, which came to fruition under Lyndon Johnson's administration, through Ronald Reagan's tax cuts, even Bill Clinton's tax cuts, except for the upper income, to George Bush's, there's not a great fanfare of great sentiment building up for them at the time.
That usually comes later.
To former Reagan economic adviser Art Laffer on that oddity.
You think about it, Art. The popularity for these cuts in the mid-30s or so is a lot higher than typically is the case. Why is that? And why does time have to bear them out?
ART LAFFER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: Well, because I think a lot of the economic has already started.
We have had a huge stock market rise, which makes people feel a lot better. We have some good growth in employment. That is good. And unemployment rates are low. This will just be adding to the growth of the economy.
And I think this -- by the time it gets in and done, by next election, I think this will be a very popular economy.
CAVUTO: What does it? I know, in the Reagan ones, there was a delayed impact, certainly with some of the provisions kicking in.
LAFFER: That was terrible, yes.
CAVUTO: And, in fact, Republicans lost seats in that midterm year, a couple of dozen of them.
LAFFER: They sure did. They sure did.
CAVUTO: But once the effect was felt, man, Katy bar the door, right?
LAFFER: Yes. It was just amazing what happened.
From January 1, 1983, until June 30, 1984, the economy in the U.S. grew by 12 percent. That's an 8 percent annual rate. I mean, that's just incredible.
And if you remember, under Reagan, the stock market troughed, if you will remember, in August of 1982. So, Reagan was at a bottom, bottom, bottom.
CAVUTO: That's right.
LAFFER: This market has not troughed, and these people have missed the bullet of delaying the corporate tax cut, which thank God they had negotiated, where it was taken back to January 1, 2018, which is exactly where it should be.
And I think this is going to be a huge win for Republicans, and it should be for Democrats as well. But, unfortunately, they have decided to make the -- hold their line could. And I know a lot of the Democrats would love to vote for this bill, and they are just not allowed to.
But it will inure to their detriment. By November of 2018, I think there will be a big change in sentiment.
CAVUTO: Do you think there is a possibility that some Democrats will? In other words, that they sense, all right, Republicans have enough votes?
Usually, either party gets brave when it looks like votes are there for the troops party, but that some will sign on to this?
LAFFER: Gee, I hope so, because I do like a two-party system.
As you know Neil, I have voted Democrat as much as I have voted Republican. I'm a Kennedy Democrat. I'm a Clinton Democrat. I'm a Reagan Republican. I'm a Trump Republican in economics.
And I really feel abandoned by the Democratic Party. They know better. They know this is very good. When we did our '86 tax act, almost all of the Democrats, three exceptions in the Senate, voted for our tax bill, dropping the highest rate -- we dropped the highest rate from 50 percent to 28 percent. We dropped the corporate from 46 to 34.
The boom that ensued, we had Al Gore, we had Alan Green -- excuse me -- Alan whatchamacallit from California and Metzenbaum and Teddy Kennedy and all of them voted...
CAVUTO: Cranston, Yes.
LAFFER: Cranston. Thank you. I'm old. Forgive me.
CAVUTO: You did have a lot of bipartisan support there, not so much this time.
Now, that is reason given for people to try to pick apart this, just as they have ever since the health care thing the Democrats did solely on their own.
Do you fear that?
LAFFER: Yes, well, I do.
But one of the things that is really bothering me here is the mandate. I mean, who honestly believes that if you do not buy a product, you should be taxed for not buying it? I mean, it makes no sense.
The mandate requires you to buy ACA insurance, or you will face a tax. That is not the way we do things in America. And this is a very positive thing. But then they say they will be I don't know how many million people not with ACA.
But the reason they are not with ACA is, they do not want ACA, except for the fact that they have to pay a tax if they don't. That does not make sense, Neil.
CAVUTO: Yes, looking at the markets, looking at the economy, do you think a lot of people, especially given the holiday sales, we have not seen the likes of which in close to a decade, that a lot of people are spending this money in advance?
LAFFER: Yes, well, I think they are. I think they're spending it because their wealth has increased enormously.
And if you won the lottery and got $10 million, wouldn't you spend a little bit more? We all would. And that is exactly what is happening with these people.
CAVUTO: But they're not getting $10 million.
LAFFER: Much more than that.
CAVUTO: Oh, I see. You're making a metaphor here. OK.
LAFFER: I am making a metaphor here, yes.
CAVUTO: Great job, my friend. If we don't chat again, merry Christmas.
LAFFER: I'm so proud, I am so happy this is happening.
Merry Christmas. What a present, isn't it, Neil? Isn't this wonderful?
CAVUTO: Money, money, money, money, money, money.
All right, you love that money, don't you? All right.
LAFFER: I do. That's what I am, a money doctor.
CAVUTO: You are indeed, and the father of the most historic tax cuts of our time. Art Laffer, under Ronald Reagan, he made history then. He could be right we are making history now.
Gary Kaltbaum, Kathryn Rooney Vera on the markets making some history.
We have never seen anything like this.
So, Kathryn, the fear seems to be -- and I'm always ready to posit the worry argument -- that, with these milestones, but we are running up ahead of the fact and we might just sell off after. What do you think?
KATHRYN ROONEY VERA, BULLTICK CAPITAL MARKETS HOLDINGS: I think Dr. Laffer has got it right.
This is a present. It's a Christmas present for people and for corporations and for global equity markets. I do not expect a big sell- off. It's not a buy-the-rumor, sell-the-fact thing. The global business environment, Neil, just got better.
CAVUTO: Gary, what do you think of that?
GARY KALTBAUM, KALTBAUM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Well, look, we can get us a sell-off at any point in time. And it would be as normal as normal can be.
Keep in mind, we're up kill 5,000, 6,000 points since November before. Actually, I am hoping for one, because this continuing going up make things more frothy, make things more speculative. And then you get bigger corrections than norm.
But, Neil, every day, I do not see a 1 percent correction at this point in time. And all is good as we head into the end of the year.
CAVUTO: You know what I wonder too as we look around the world? The world is following us. That is pretty clear, and you first saw it in Asia pouncing on what is happening here.
And I'm wondering whether this is sort of catching the world in a good way, in a contagion way, that they might consider tax cuts of their own, or whether we are leading the roost.
What do you think it is, Kathryn, when you look at this, that it's clearly led by what we have going on here?
ROONEY VERA: It absolutely is, Neil.
And I have to tell you, this is a global market. We are a globalized world now. And tax cuts are good for corporations, period. And a lot of those corporations are multinationals. You have a lot of multinational names in the DAX, in the German DAX, in the European stocks.
ROONEY VERA: Even in the Brazilian Bovespa.
Tax cuts are good for corporations. So, I think the global equity markets are looking at this and seeing a bonanza for corporations that are going to going to benefit.
CAVUTO: Gary, I know you don't try to play the political side of this, but many have argued Republicans, if they get enough follow-through and wind at their back from this, they will revisit tax cuts. They will revisit cuts in investment-related taxes.
Of course, that assumes they hang onto their majorities in the House and Senate next year. No sure thing.
But what you think of that?
KALTBAUM: There is nothing better than everybody in this country feeling better.
More jobs, higher stock prices, more wealth, that leads to potentially a wind at the backs for the politicians trying to get more done. If you notice, the president was out a few weeks ago talking about, as soon as this is done, we are going to be ready for spending reform, welfare reform, immigration reform.
So, once you get a win, and things are still looking good, I think they're going to hit each one as we move forward. And I think that's great news, because I got news for you. The deficit are still ridiculously too high. Spending and government spending is just ridiculously too high.
If they can start working on that, we can get some real good numbers going forward, and we may just get a four number on GDP here real soon.
CAVUTO: Kathryn, of course, some of the big things that he just alluded to require bipartisan action. How likely is that?
ROONEY VERA: Yes, I don't think it's likely at all.
But the fact is, as Gary mentioned, this is going to get done. We have -- the Republicans have all the votes to get tax reform get done. And I think it's going to be the main issue for 2018.
Of course there's always going to be pullback. It could be precipitated by something totally unrelated. And, in fact, I think that would be the case.
But the fact is that global markets like this. It means that there's more demand for their goods. Europe, for example, exports quite a bit to the U.S. So, if the U.S. does in fact growth at a 4 percent clip or above, as Dr. Laffer alluded, then there's more demand for goods globally.
So, I like equities over fixed income into 2018.
CAVUTO: All right, guys, I want to think you both, very, very much.
The president has already outlined, thinking of these markets and all, his next big strategy will be for infrastructure work.
In fact, he alluded today's train derailment in Washington state as proof we need it now. Is he right? After this.
CAVUTO: Even after all these hours, they're still not putting a firm number on the number of people who were killed in this Tacoma, Washington, train derailment.
We know it was severe. We know a lot of people were injured as well. And we know virtually all of the cars were derailed.
Fox News Channel's Dan Springer has more for us -- Dan.
DAN SPRINGER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Neil, we have been out here for about three hours. We have seen very little change in the scene behind me about 500 yards down the freeway.
You can still see all of those train cars over the top of that trestle. And we have seen very little movement as this transitioned from a frantic search-and-rescue effort to try to get to people who are still in those cars had derailed, and then it transitioned into -- sadly, into a recovery operation.
All of the people who were killed, we are told, were passengers on the train. There were five cars, five vehicles, including a semi, that were hits on the freeway going southbound on Interstate 5. Nobody in those vehicles were killed.
At least 77 people were transported to local hospitals. But we understand now that the NTSB is on its way with a go team from Washington, D.C. They will preserve the scene as it is right now until that team gets here and can look at this.
And only then will they begin to take those bodies off of those train cars and then remove those trains from the trestle and off of the freeway. It was a harrowing scene out here this morning and right after it happened. There was lots of vehicles. This happened at the height of rush hour this morning, again, about an hour south of Seattle.
This is a stretch of highway that goes all the way from Canada down to Mexico. It was loaded with cars. And when that train jumped the track, there were lots of people who were trying to rush to the rescue of those who are on those tracks.
This is a stretch of track that goes straight and parallels straight down Interstate 5, and then takes a sharp turn, a left-hand turn, over the freeway. And that is exactly where the derailment happened this morning.
And, of course, speed will be looked at. A lot of things will be looked at. But we understand that the top speed here is supposed be 79 miles per hour. This was the maiden voyage of this new route going from Seattle down to Portland.
The whole purpose of this $181 million route was to speed up the travel between those two major cities by about 10 or 15 minutes. And this is the first time. Today was the initial run of that route from Seattle down to Portland.
Just a terrible tragedy we have. This is a route that is 60,000 cars per day use. This is an interstate that has been shut down since this morning, and will be until the NTSB can get out here and assess the situation. And only then will they begin to start to clear up the mess of concrete and steel that you see behind me.
And a long investigation to come. Of the 12 cars and two engines that were part of that train, 13 units jumped the tracks. Several of them are now on Interstate 5 -- Neil.
CAVUTO: Just incredible. Dan, thank you very, very much.
All right, so investigators now are there. They are on site. What do they do?
Former NTSB investigator Russell Quimby.
Russell, help us here. What is the first thing you do when you get on site like this?
RUSSELL QUIMBY, FORMER NTSB INVESTIGATOR: Well, first of all, the Safety Board is broken up into different speciality groups.
You are going to have an operations group that is going to look at the engineer and his actions and the way the train was routed and speeds. You are going to have a track guy. You're going to have a signals guy. You are going to have a single performance guy. You are going to have an emergency response guy.
All those groups will break up. They will assisted by parties, including the regional rail authority, Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration. Those groups are going to break up in little parties and they will do individual investigations of their particular areas of expertise.
CAVUTO: Now, speed could have been an issue here. We do not know for sure. We know that allowances were made and special provisions were made so that a train could safely speed through here. What do you look for in that regard?
QUIMBY: Well, I know it was said earlier it's a 79-mile-an-hour railroad, but this particular curve I believe was about a 30-mile-an-hour curve.
You have to slow down for this curve, just like on a regular interstate. It may be an 80-mile-an-hour interstate, but you have to slow down and certain curves and areas. And that was the case here, were you had a 30- mile-an-hour speed restriction.
If you look at the wreckage and the way it is distributed, this train had no locomotives on either end. The lead locomotive is the white locomotive laying in the dirt off alongside the interstate. The rear locomotive is that dark blue more conventional Amtrak-looking locomotive that is still on the track.
Now, the things that strike me is the track is relatively undisturbed. If you look at the aerial shots, the track does not look like it has been broken up at all.
The lead locomotive unit, however, is straight off that curve, almost like it drew a tangent, like it derailed and went straight on, like -- because of high speed. So, that looks like may be an indicator of high speed that they're going to look at.
CAVUTO: All right, Russell Quimby, the former NTSB investigator. So much we do not know. They are going to continuing to take look at that.
We also want to look at some other things that involve far safer, but, well, exasperating issues when it comes to flying.
Atlanta's Hartsfield-International Airport, one of the busiest, some say the busiest, airport on the airport on the planet, the lights are back on, but let's just say the flights are not -- after this.
CAVUTO: Closer and closer. We just heard that Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins will vote yes on the tax cut bill.
You might recall she was a little concerned that by getting rid of the individual mandate, a lot of Americans would suffer with higher premiums and the like. Guarantees or at least assurances were made to her that, in the spending measure, there would be provisions put in that to make sure that the pain is not that widespread, and that premiums do not shoot up.
Whatever the case and whatever allowances were allowed, she is a yes vote on this. So, it is looking more and more like a sure thing once it gets to the Senate after their debate and after the House votes on its measure right now, the conferee measure, which will be the measure the Senate will vote on as well, this is looking increasingly like a done deal.
Meanwhile, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is trying to get back to normal, but not before the lights went out, and 1,600 flights just went nowhere.
Fox News Channel's Jonathan Serrie with the latest.
Jonathan, what's it looking like there now?
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Neil.
Well, airport officials say, right now, they're operating at 95 percent capacity, but that is after multiple cancellations. Really, all of the carriers were affected, but the biggest one we look at, of course, is Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines.
Today alone, they had to cancel 400 flights. And that is on top of the 1,000 flights that Delta had to cancel yesterday during the height of this power outage.
Now, Georgia Power believes the cause of this outage was a massive fire that broke out due to faulty equipment in an underground electrical facility. Now, ordinarily, there are multiple redundant systems that would kick in, supplying electricity to this airport, but we're told that the flames were so intense, that they actually knocked out those backup systems.
Now, airport officials say that this is really a freak event that they have never had to deal with in the past. Even so, they say there are lessons learned moving forward.
Now, Georgia Power says it continues to investigate the cause of this fire, company officials pledging to improve the reliability of the system providing power to this airport and hopefully preventing something like this from ever happening again in the future -- Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, thank you very, very much, Jonathan Serrie.
Pat Brosnan with us now, because he fears, when people and terrorists, bad guys in particular, sees disruptions like this, they get ideas of their own. He joins us from the Brosnan command center in New York state.
Pat, very good to see you.
That's what you worry about, right? Bad guys look at this and see how it could dislocate us and discombobulate us and anger us, and then get some not-so-good thoughts, right?
PATRICK BROSNAN, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Absolutely, Neil. Absolutely.
They are studying us like a frog under the glass. They're probing us for weaknesses. They're trying to assess and identify vulnerabilities at all times.
Once they understood -- if you look historically, they understood that a vehicle as a weapon was a far more pragmatic way to incur mass carnage -- by the way, the first one was in '01, coincidentally. They have now replicated that in Barcelona, in France, in Virginia.
They are studying us, Neil. This is really scary business. And the pandemonium that ensued yesterday, I would imagine that they took a lot of notes on that one.
CAVUTO: All right, now this, again, we want to stress, was not terror- related, or at least from the best of times we have.
But your fear is that bad guys get bad ideas, right?
BROSNAN: Bad guys have bad ideas. Bad guys pay attention.
There's this endless contest, this endless struggle between us and them. We are continually hardening our defenses. We are on our heels defensively. And the whole time, they are probing, they're assessing, they're touching, they're exploring, they're trying to figure out what the next most viable conduit to issue mass carnage across the scope is.
And pandemonium and chaos. Imagine being in an airport for hours in pitch black,what goes through your mind. This is the kind of stuff that could give them what I call a blueprint, a blueprint for destruction. Thank God it is not, by all accounts. But certainly it could give them some food for thought.
CAVUTO: I'm sorry, Pat.
But I was amazed how relatively composed, given the situation, all those stranded passengers were through all of this, obviously exasperated during the holiday season to miss flights and miss connections and on and on, and that continues through today. And the conditions are green.
I am just wondering what it says about what we have to be ready for, should this happen again, and to keep our wits about us, what?
BROSNAN: Well, if you look back as recently as August of '16 at JFK -- in fact, I was on with you on that -- when it was a report, erroneous, that there was a shot fired at the terminal counter at Kennedy.
It was a mass chaos, mass pandemonium. There was some trampling. It was a real horror show. But what it did was, it reinforced the emergency operation plans, the SOPs and the functionalities of the Port Authority and NYPD to restore order.
You did not see that here, because it wasn't a gunshot. It did not sound like a gunshot. It was lights out, but still terrifying nonetheless.
And I would say, I would posit that anything that has to do with the airport, in the light of 9/11, it has a sinister overtone subliminally to the American conscience. I really do.
BROSNAN: I do feel that.
Anything with a fire, suddenly, it's an airport. You mentioned earlier this is the first of its type, right, never happened before. Brand-new turf in an airport.
Just has a little bit of a sinister overtone, in my view, but I am reasonably certain that they are paying attention, as they always do, historically.
CAVUTO: Yes, we always have to keep our guard up, to your point.
Pat Brosnan, thank you very, very much.
BROSNAN: You are very welcome.
CAVUTO: All right, what does it say when Jane Fonda plumps down 100 grand to get rid of Darrell Issa from the United States Congress, and she has got some friends?
You think he is worried? Well, he has a funny way of showing it. He's next.
CAVUTO: All right, not exactly a FOX alert to say that Jane Fonda is not a fan of Republican Congressman Darrell Issa.
What at least is alert-ish, spending 100 grand to make sure he goes.
CAVUTO: All right, Jane is not so fond of -- you get it -- not so fond of Darrell Issa, the Republican congressman? And she got a lot of company.
She is plunking down 100 grand to unseat him. And she has got Leonardo DiCaprio liking what she is doing, Ted Danson, Bill Maher. They are pitching in money because they do not like Darrell Issa. Is he worried? Let's ask him.
The California Republican with us right now.
Are you worried, Congressman?
REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CALIF.: Well, I am actually pleased that I could be known by somebody who called returning prisoners of war like John McCain and Sam Johnson, called them liars and hypocrites because they told the stories of torture.
No, I am very, very happy to be in the company, if you will, in reverse of somebody like Jane Fonda, who clearly betrayed her country, brought aid and comfort to the enemy, went over to North Korea and made radio calls calling on Americans to quit bombing the North at a time in which clearly Americans were engaged in a fight and Americans were dying.
CAVUTO: Well, she is part of a crowd, though, Congressman, this Neighbors in Action. They want to flip the 49th, your district, referring to your district.
And she has got Bill Maher pitching in some dough, former California Senator Barbara Boxer, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ted Danson. So, she has got some company. Doesn't concern you?
ISSA: Well, of course it does.
And Nancy Pelosi and her allies put in $8 million in the last race to try to defeat me. And they came pretty close. The reality, though, is that people of the 49th Congressional District, including 47,000 Marines, many of them in Afghanistan as we speak, they generally no matter what think I am representing them properly and have been for number of years.
CAVUTO: Now, a lot depends on how you win out on the issues here.
You have had your concerns about the tax cut, that in high-tax states like your own, that they could hurt a lot of your constituents. Are you a no vote on this? Or how does it stand?
ISSA: Well, I have been a no vote since beginning. But I will commend Chairman Brady and the whole team on both sides of the Capitol.
They have done a lot to mitigate what started off as really bad for Californians. Currently, it still will for some be a tax increase because of the elimination of the state income tax deduction. But it is better than it was. No question at all.
I would like to have had it been fairer to California, but I fought for changes. I got some changes. I am disappointed we didn't get as many as we could have.
But let us remember part of the problem is in Sacramento. We have a 13.3 state income tax because we are the highest spending state in the union. Is not just Washington that has a spending problem.
CAVUTO: All right, so you are still a no vote on this, even with some of the changes and tinkering around they have done? It doesn't dissuade you to vote against this?
ISSA: I am still leaning no, but, to be honest, again, this really is something where I think people have to look at the last bill. And I'm still studying it to see how much better it was than when we started.
CAVUTO: Would you ever want President Trump to campaign in your district on your behalf?
ISSA: President Trump lost my district by eight points. I won the district, in spite of having his picture standing with me and vice versa as the campaign slogan for my opponent.
ISSA: But the reality is, I would be proud to stand with the president signing a tax bill, proud to stand with him as he began making changes.
I have worked with Wilbur Ross and so many members of this administration to real changes. And, to be honest, I am very proud of Secretary Mattis and the work that he is doing. It means a lot to the Marines and the retirees in my district.
CAVUTO: Congressman, just looking at the who's-who of Hollywood are trying to get you out, and I am trying to see what is going on here, making you the focus.
I know Barack Obama really, really wanted to see you lose your last election, poured a lot of effort in your district to do that, and, to your point, came very, very close. Do you fear that he will play an active role in icing you?
ISSA: I actually -- I suspect he will.
He always forgets he signed 23 pieces of legislation that I sent him as a committee change. But the reality is that I held this last administration accountable. I continue to similarly scrutinize the bureaucracy now under this administration.
And that does not make you necessarily friends. In the case of Hollywood, I suspect Hollywood simply doesn't like anybody who is a Republican or a conservative. And I accept that.
I work hard to protect their intellectual property, but I do not expect a thank you from the out-of-touch people in Hollywood.
Having said that, whether it is Jamie Farr or Gary Sinise or a number of other -- Clint Eastwood -- there are people in Washington -- or in Hollywood that would tell you they really do like what I do.
CAVUTO: Is Clint Eastwood going to back you?
ISSA: Clint Eastwood has been a longtime friend, and I think the world of him.
CAVUTO: Will he campaign on your behalf?
ISSA: You know, when -- if Hollywood comes down to campaign, I will be calling everyone that I know and ask him to come down too.
But it doesn't really matter how many outsiders come in. The question is, have I represented my district and my state faithfully? And if the answer is yes, I expect to be reelected.
CAVUTO: All right, Congressman, very good seeing you again
ISSA: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Again, we have calls out to Jane Fonda or anyone else who wants to share their views. They're free. They don't return them.
All right, in the meantime, President Obama and a lot of Democrats like to criticize Republicans for rush, rush, rush through things like tax cuts, but, really in the end, they're just about money, right? Not a word about they rush, rush, rush through an Iran deal that, well, last time I checked, is about life and death.
CAVUTO: There's a Politico report that says the Obama administration gave a free pass at the time to Hezbollah's drug trafficking to ensure the Iran nuclear deal would go happen.
Now, a lot of people, in retrospect, say, boy, that is an immediate rush, like sort of an unnecessary rush, over life-and-death issues like the safety of humankind, yet a lot of criticism from the left over a rush to get tax cuts done, which, come to think about it, are just with -- about a little bit more money in your wallet.
So, what you think of that?
Let's ask national security expert Peter Brookes.
It is a little inconsistent, Peter. What do you think?
PETER BROOKES, FORMER CIA OFFICER: I would've hoped that we would have kept pressure on Hezbollah as well.
There's a number of reasons, Neil, because not only were they trafficking drugs to the United States and Europe, but they also used the profits for that for do other nefarious things, including supporting terrorism, supporting the Syrian regime, Iraqi -- Shia militias in Iraq.
So, this is very troubling. And in the end, it appears, if the article is correct, right, of course -- you know, this is reporting.
BROOKES: And we should hear from the other side, and maybe others want to look into this, including Congress. But it would have been -- in the end, what we got was a bad nuclear deal. And Hezbollah -- we missed opportunities to take apart Hezbollah and its international global enterprise of terror and drug trafficking.
So, I do not think we did very well in the end if these reports are correct.
CAVUTO: Yes, without characterizing the intent here, I talk to the fellow who wrote the article, and he was telling me on Fox Business that it was about getting everybody on board, that if Hezbollah was not on board with this, if some of these nefarious elements in the region were not on board with this, there would be no Iran deal.
And so the administration, at the time, the way it was explained, pushed to ignore certain things so they could at least get a commitment on this deal and come back and revisit this other stuff. But, of course, that other stuff was never revisited.
BROOKES: Yes, that's the way it appears. And that is troubling, and we cannot go back and replay this, can we?
We cannot examine what they call the hypothetical counterfactual, if they had done something differently. I believe that we really had Iran in a situation there with the international sanctions that we could have continued to put pressure on them, and I think they would've come to the table. But you cannot go back and examine that either.
So, really, my concern, besides the drug trafficking, is this international enterprise of Hezbollah. I mean, Neil, we are talking about ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah. I mean, this is a very powerful organization that has American blood on its hands.
Remember the 1980s and Beirut. Remember the attack on the Jewish center in Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina. They actually arrested Hezbollah operatives in the United States. They were operating in Latin America. They were friendly certainly with Chavez and may still be friendly with the Venezuelan government down there.
There have been attacks in Bulgaria that they have been implicated in, Cyprus, Egypt, Azerbaijan. They're supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan against U.S. forces.
I would have liked to have us put pressure both on Iran and Hezbollah. That is looking at something in the rear-view mirror.
CAVUTO: Well, clearly, you get a sense that time was a wasting. And I think of the pallets of cash that were put on private jets to close the deal. We are told that that had nothing to do with the deal being signed off. Then we got word of this. And what other allowances might have been made?
I just think that, in Washington, we are kind of used to a double standard here. If you're going to rush a life-and-death deal and make no note of it, then why make a big deal about a rushed transaction on taxes and make a big deal of that?
Much could be said about the way the whole health care thing was. I'm getting outside your field here, I understand.
CAVUTO: But my point is, my point is That this is something rushing that would be a far more concern, to me, at least, because this involves bad guys with bad weapons doing bad things with them.
BROOKES: Yes, of course.
And, of course, I'm not sure we got a -- I don't think we got a good deal on the nuclear deal either. It has sunset provisions. In other words, they're going to be held up potentially if we know what they are really doing for 10 years.
We can't visit military sites where they could be doing covert nuclear research. They are allowed to do research on -- continuing research on their centrifuges. There's all sorts of problems here.
So, I think we did not do well in any case. I understand the intent of the Obama administration. And they were focused on that. And I think it would be fair to ask some of their senior policy makers to defend what has been laid out in this Politico article.
And it also shows people how difficult international affairs can be.
CAVUTO: Yes. But if you're criticize a rush job, you have to be consistent on that.
Peter Brookes, thank you very much, my friend. Good seeing you.
BROOKES: Thanks for having me.
CAVUTO: We are supposed be getting an update, by the way, on that Amtrak derailment here.
There are various reports of at least six who were killed in this and how bad this could escalate here, not only for both the highway and now rail tracks that are going to be out of commission for a good long time.
More from state authorities right after this.
CAVUTO: All right, we told you earlier that Maine Senator Susan Collins, she is a yes on these tax cuts. That is virtually icing this for passage and a signature by the president of the United States.
Then the question becomes is if they go into an effect January 1, that you could possibly start seeing it in your paycheck as early as February.
Then what? Will are you going to be seeing?
Certified public accountant -- this guy's a genius with this stuff -- Dan Geltrude.
Dan, what are we likely to see, you think?
DANIEL GELTRUDE, GELTRUDE & COMPANY: I think we are going to see changes taking effect in our paychecks, let's say, starting in February.
But let's also keep in mind that not everybody is going to be getting a tax benefit here. So, you could have some people that are going to owe more money, so now they are going to have make those adjustments accordingly.
Remember, if you are underpaid, you're subject to underpayment penalties. This is not all good news for everybody, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, so I always think that it has got to be a substantial difference in the net for you, any individual that feel that it will change their behavior. Now, a lot of it -- a lot of the spending we're seeing could be anticipating that. What do you think?
GELTRUDE: Well, I do not think that people who are going to be getting a tax savings here, Neil, where it is going to be so substantial that they are going to be changing their lifestyle.
GELTRUDE: I do not think so, not from what I'm seeing.
But, on the other side, you could have people with substantial tax increases that they need to be mindful of when it comes to their withholding in their paycheck. They do not want to end up having a penalty situation.
CAVUTO: What do you think the effect will be over the next year?
GELTRUDE: I think the effect overall is going to be positive, Neil. I really do.
Look, this tax reform has good and bad to it, just like any time that you're trying to reform the tax code. I think there is more good. I think most people are going to benefit. And, as you and I have talked about before, the real issue is, is with the blue states, high income earners. That is where the problem is. Those people are really going to feel it.
CAVUTO: In those high income tax states, home valuations could suffer, whereas in the low-tax states or no-tax states, like Florida and Texas, they could be off to the races. Right?
GELTRUDE: Well, I there think will be a shift economically. There's no doubt about there's going to be a shift from blue high-tax states to very friendly tax states that are -- no doubt, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, we will watch very, very closely.
Dan Geltrude, Geltrude and Company, he follows this very, very closely.
We are going to switch right now to Washington state. Local state officials are giving an update on that train derailment, six known victims.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
BROOKE BOVA, WASHINGTON STATE PATROL: And that alleviate a lot of the traffic congestion as well.
That's about all I have at this time. And would you like me to re-go over the numbers?
There was, again, 77 passengers, seven crew members, 12 passenger cars, two engines -- 13 of those cars jumped the track.
I can confirm there are casualties, but, at this point, we are not confirming numbers. We still have fires, a multiple-agency search-and- rescue at this time.
QUESTION: Can you talk about stabilizing the trains that are going to...
BOVA: We will be talking about that later. We're going to go on to Amtrak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will take questions.
All right, here's Gail -- or Gay -- sorry -- with Amtrak.
GAY BANKS OLSON,, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT OF OPERATIONS, AMTRAK: Good afternoon, I am Gay Banks Olson -- G-A-Y B-A-N-K-S O-L-S-O-N. I'm the assistant superintendent of operations for Amtrak.
On behalf of everybody at Amtrak, we are deeply saddened about what has happened here this morning.
Our first priority is to take care of those passengers and those people who have been impacted and their families and our crew members of this terrible incident.
We will be setting up a family assistance center. And more information will come out on that. We did give the 800 number out earlier. And we are going to do everything we can over the next few days and weeks to support these passengers and their families.
But I can share with you the facts that we know at this time. Amtrak Cascades train 501 derailed at 7:33 a.m. Pacific time, with some cars leaving the overpass to Highway I-5.
Train 501 consisted of 14 cars, including two locomotives. The consist was being led by a Siemens Charger locomotive, and a P-52 was trailing the consist and was not under power.
There were also 12 Talgo passenger cars, including business class and coach cars, and a bistro food service car. Talgo coach car has 36 seats. We had 77 customers traveling with, us as well as seven Amtrak crew members.
Immediately following the derailment, our emergency services management team was initiated. We have many people on site now. And we have more people coming in from the East Coast to be able to support this endeavor.
This is Sound Transit tracks and it's dispatched by the BNSF. Amtrak is a vendor for the Washington State Department of Transportation for the Amtrak Cascades trains.
Once again, Amtrak is going to do everything possible to take care of the passengers, employees, and their families affected by today's event.
QUESTION: There has been a lot of talk in the last few hours about the speed. Can you say whether this train was going too fast for this track?
BANKS OLSON: I can tell you that it is being investigated by the NTSB.
And anything beyond that right now, until their findings are out, is pure speculation.
BANKS OLSON: Correct. There wasn't -- there were -- this was a train that left Seattle at 6:00 a.m. and -- and it was heading to Portland.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) It was not a full train?
BANKS OLSON: Of course, any time you have a train that is not completely full, it is great.
I mean, it is horrible that this happened to these passengers, but we are very grateful that there weren't more people involved.
CAVUTO: All right, we are monitoring this Amtrak spokesperson's review of the events that transpired today, just what led to this derailment, one of the -- certainly the most horrific that we have seen in recent memory.
Trace Gallagher has been following this very closely.
We have not learned anything new-new, have we?
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: No, the numbers are consistent, Neil. Thirteen of the 14 cars derailed. Five vehicles were hit on the southbound side of Interstate 5, along with two semitrucks, and the southbound lanes are shut down.
The death poll is still being reported as six, with numerous injuries ranging from bumps and bruises to severe back and neck injuries.
Amtrak has been testing this stretch of track for several weeks, but today was the first time passengers have used it. The track themselves are now new, but they have been modified to handle Amtrak traffic.
Before today, if you got from Seattle to Portland, you had to go along the Puget Sound, the waterway. But the winding turns, the single-lane tunnels and the freight traffic tended to slow the trip down. So this new route was meant to shave off between 10 and 15 minutes.
But the mayor of Lakewood, about eight miles from where the accident happened, warned just last week that high speeds along the new stretch could have tragic consequences. And, sadly, he was correct -- Neil.
CAVUTO: Indeed, he was.
Trace Gallagher, thank you very, very much, my friend.
And, of course, we will be continuing to monitor this, as will our friends on "The Five."
But just to let you know, they're trying get to the bottom of what happened with that train. Speed could be a factor. We will keep you posted on that.
Also keep you updated on the impending tax vote that is due tomorrow on Capitol Hill and the Senate, maybe sometime tomorrow night, and so the president's signature possibly by the next day.
"The Five" is now.
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