Brady: Determined to deliver lowest rates in modern history

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 21, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, "YOUR WORLD" HOST: All right, in the meantime, we're looking at tax strategy. We're told sometime next week, probably Wednesday, we're going to get details of the tax cuts to come, all the rates that are being proposed. A lot of back and forth on this.

The guy who was doing all of before it became cool joins us right now, the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Kevin Brady.

Chairman, thank you for your patience with all of this breaking news.

Will we get a detailed plan next Wednesday? That seems to be the betting.


So, midweek, that's where the date has been set. But, yes, and I think it's important for a couple big reasons.

One, the House, the Senate and the president will stand together on a unified tax reform plan that is bold, that gets this economy, and grows paychecks in a major way. It is going to build -- give us the momentum to do our work at the committees and move forward to deliver it this year.

And I think the final key point is that American people, whether you're a local small business or a family looking for that simply postcard-style system, are going to see the details that get us to that point. So, I think this is going to be an important week coming forward.

CAVUTO: All right, we're told the president is still very keen on a 15 percent corporate rate vs. 35 percent now.

Are you?

BRADY: So, we can't read out the details. All I can say is, we're going to deliver the slowest...

CAVUTO: Go ahead. Go ahead. Just whisper it to me.


BRADY: I know. We are going -- just between you and me.

CAVUTO: Right, right.

BRADY: So, we're determined to deliver the lowest rates on local businesses in modern history.

And, going further, we're going to redesign the code so we can compete and win anywhere in the world, including here at home. So, I think you are going to be pleased.

CAVUTO: If the rates ultimately that come out of the White House, Chairman, are not across the board, in other words, everybody gets their taxes cut, would you be disappointed?

BRADY: I would. So, here's why.

It's incredibly important, I think, that we close loopholes, eliminate special provisions and lower tax rates on every American. It's very important for growth in the economy, but it's as important today for growth as it was when President Kennedy and President Reagan, working in a bipartisan way, delivered those same type of tax relief provisions as well.

CAVUTO: Well, then, if I'm reading the press right, sir, you might be disappointed, because, at least when it comes to the upper income, they won't be part of it.

BRADY: So, I -- you know, we're continuing to work on this. Can't read out all the details. But we're going to continue to fight to lower those rates.

CAVUTO: Mortgage deduction still intact?

BRADY: It is. And, in fact, we're looking for ways to try to improve homeownership across a broader spectrum of Americans, including the middle class as well.

So I think you're going to see that will be left really for the committees, Senate and Finance, Ways and Means Committee, to finalize and design, which is why, this weekend, I'm bringing back -- Ways and Means, Republicans, we're going to spend two days working through final details on the tax reform plan, ahead of the framework with the president and the Senate.

CAVUTO: State and local taxes and their deductibility gone?

BRADY: So, we're continuing to make the case that we can keep the status quo today, where every American has an artificially high tax rate, and we subsidize each other, or we can lower tax rates for every American, whether they itemize or not, and we just all pay our own at the local level.

We're going to continue to make that case for a simpler, fairer tax code.

CAVUTO: All right, but that sounds to me like the deduction that you had, beneficial to those in high-income states like New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, that might be on the table.

BRADY: So, we're going to -- I'm convinced we can lower tax rates for every American, every taxpayer, and while we're eliminating the special provisions that keep tax rates high on every American.

CAVUTO: Including that provision?

BRADY: Yes, sir.


Is it your sense now that these tax cuts have to be revenue-neutral, in other words, paid for and not bust the budget 10 years out? Because I get a sense from Orrin Hatch in the Senate, who runs the Finance Committee, you know, moderates, I guess, for lack of a better term like Rob Portman of Ohio, sir, that they should be.

And then I hear from more conservative-minded folks like you -- I don't know if you're a supply-sider and all, but you're more -- or seem to be -- or others in that camp who say no and that, by definition, would limit the impact of the tax cut.

BRADY: So, I think tax reform done right can move us toward a balanced budget.

I think it's incredibly important that the Senate, with Senator Corker and Senator Toomey, have reached agreement that this more accurately reflects economic growth from tax reform and really gives more honest score keeping in the budget. I think the provisions are awfully important.

CAVUTO: Well, they budgeted for about $1.5 trillion in revenue from tax cuts.

Are you comfortable with that over 10 years?

BRADY: So, what that does is allow us to get meaningful growth from it and allows us, I think, to move towards permanence, which, again, Neil, I know I preach about it, and so does the speaker, an awful lot.

But, look, we want to make bold changes. We want our families and businesses to be able to depend upon this. So I want as much permanence as I can get through this tax reform.

CAVUTO: How about making them retroactive? Any talk of that?

BRADY: So, continuing to work on that all fits in with the final details of this.

At the end of the day, again, I think this will be left to the committees to finalize the plan, because, again, the president, Senate and House tax writers, we're not going to lay out every detail here. We want input from our committee members, from our conferences. That's the right way to do it.

CAVUTO: All right, now, the president, as you know, sir, has made overtures to Democrats, particularly Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, on everything from DACA to this other effort a couple of weeks back to lift the debt ceiling and attach hurricane relief to it.

And you, as a Texan, of course, were OK with that at the time. But I do wonder whether, in the move to win over Democratic votes, the president could have promised the upper income don't get a tax cut, and that would win over Democratic votes and might tick you off, but it could get Democratic votes. Do you think it could?

BRADY: So, remains to be seen. And I'm not convinced the president made any deal like that.

Look, if you're serious about lowering the tax rates...

CAVUTO: Well, he did say, sir, that he wasn't keen on a tax cut for the rich, that they would pay about what they're paying right now, maybe a little more.

Now, whether that was an overture -- and I'm sorry -- you clarified it -- whether it was an overture to win Democrat votes, I don't know. But he did say that.

BRADY: I will leave that to the president. But I will make this point.


BRADY: Look, if you're serious, Republican or Democrat, about lowering our rates, making America competitive, and delivering on a big middle-class tax cut, we're serious about working with you.

And so I'm hopeful Democrats will stay at the table with us and see if we can't find some common ground.

CAVUTO: All right, you have a lot more wiggle room in your committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, than your counterpart does in the Senate. There are a couple of committees working on this there.

So, are you afraid whatever you come up with or draft in the House is going too moderated, toned down in the Senate?

BRADY: Well, look, there's a process here. This is a major lift.

I think having the president, the White House, the House and Senate tax writers together on the same page is, one, unprecedented, and, two, really lays out sort of the framework of where we want to get.

Will these committees have the ability to adjust and tailor and target? Absolutely. And we want that to happen. That's a healthy process going forward. But the framework, how bold we're going to go, I think is critically important.

And that happens and all this accelerates starting next week.

CAVUTO: Chairman, how does this Cassidy-Graham health care rework plan affect what you want to do? They want to have a vote. I guess Mitch McConnell in the Senate wants a vote next week.

That's about the same time all of this stuff is apparently coming to fruition in Washington. It's looking like planes backed up at Reagan National here. What's going on?

BRADY: Well, isn't this the way Washington always works?

CAVUTO: Yes, it does. You're right.

BRADY: Where all these things tend to collide on the exact same afternoon, it seems like.

But, look, it doesn't stop either the announcement going forward next work or the work we're doing in the committees.

And, look, I wish the Senate well. If they can return decision-making in health care to the states...

CAVUTO: Could that help you? If that were to pass -- I'm sorry, sir.

If that were to pass -- I just want to be clear -- that was some of the benefits of getting that done first before getting the tax cuts -- that would be a surprise bennie for you, wouldn't it?

BRADY: I think, on the momentum side, yes. On the tax side, probably a wash.

Look, it doesn't take the $1 trillion of ObamaCare taxes out of the economy. I wish it did. But I think it builds momentum that there's -- that Congress and the House and Senate can deliver on these big issues, health care being one and tax reform being the other.

CAVUTO: All right, Chairman Brady, I want to thank you very much.

Whether people agree or disagree, no one, no one has worked harder on these tax cuts coming to fruition, long before anyone was running for president or anything else. It's you.

So, thank you, sir, again. Very good seeing you.

BRADY: Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

CAVUTO: All right.


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