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Trump Faces Battle on Taxes, Moore Scandal; Few CEOs Say They'll Invest More If Tax Cuts Pass; Senate Tax Bill to Include Repeal of Obamacare Individual Mandate; Sexual Harassment Accusations on Capitol Hill & Settlements Paid with Tax Dollars; Urgent Manhunt Underway for Killer in Tampa, Florida. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired November 15, 2017 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] REP. ADAM KINZINGER, (R), ILLINOIS: No, look, if you go back to two years ago, President Obama was all about cutting corporate tax rates. He understands it. And frankly, honestly, my friend on the other side of the aisle understand that our corporate taxes are way out of line for the rest of the world. You have to -- you have to adjust with this millennium. We have a tax code from 1986.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: That's not -- that's almost separate, though, from what we're talking about here. That it would -- that the cutting corporate tax rates would go directly to reinvesting that money to help -- that would go to the middle class, go to their employees. They didn't raise their hands.
KINZINGER: I think it would. But even if that doesn't happen, and I think it would, even if it doesn't, what we're doing is we're motivating companies to stay in the United States. Right now, companies are chasing lower tax rates in other countries. When we spin around, and people talk about, oh, you know, Pfizer or these other companies have left the United States for another country, they're not leaving because they have better, you know, I.P. protection or because they have better regulations, they're leaving because they have a better tax rate. And we can do one of two things. We can either demonize countries that leave, in which case more companies will still leave, or we can actually make ourselves attractive to these companies to stay. And that's what the United States has been so good at for decades, is making ourselves attractive, to be the world leader in companies. So I get that a lot of my friends on the other side of the aisle love to attack the bogeyman, which is corporations and everything. But the reality is, if we want people to be employed, we have to make this country attractive to business and job creators.
BOLDUAN: I'm just saying, those are CEOs. Those weren't Democrats on the other side who were saying they weren't raising their hand.
Let me ask you --
KINZINGER: I wasn't at that meeting, but it was definitely a bad visual, that's for sure.
BOLDUAN: There you go.
I know that you've already said that Roy Moore should step aside from the Senate race in Alabama. Would you like to see Jeff Sessions as a write-in?
KINZINGER: Fine. I want to see somebody as a write-in. I want to see somebody else as the candidate. Look, I said a week ago, our party should disassociate ourselves from any aspect or fiber of Roy Moore. I am not the party that defends what appears to be child molestation. Roy Moore is a bad man. I believe these accusers. And I think he needs to step aside. And frankly, he calls himself a Republican. He's the real RINO. A Republican in name only, because our party needs to disassociate ourselves from him or anybody like him.
BOLDUAN: Congressman Kinzinger, great to have you. Thank you, sir.
KINZINGER: Take care.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, the hunt for a killer and a community on edge. After the fourth unsolved murder in one Florida city in 11 days, we'll bring you the latest on an urgent manhunt that is underway right now.
[11:36:55] BOLDUAN: So could a fourth or fifth or sixth time be the charm? I honestly have lost count. I don't know where we are. But that's become the question when it comes to repealing and replacing Obamacare. But why now? Because Senate Republicans have put a repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate into their new tax bill to help pay for it. Does this help or hurt its chances? More importantly, right now, what does this mean for you and health care in America right now?
Joining me to discuss, Dr. Zeke Emanuel, CNN contributor and former health policy adviser to President Obama, and Lanhee Chen, who is the chief policy adviser to Mitt Romney.
Great to see both of you.
LANHEE CHEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to be here, Kate.
DR. ZEKE EMANUEL, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Nice to be here.
BOLDUAN: Lanhee, let me go to you first.
You wrote an op-ed in the "Washington Post" after the skinny repeal failed in the Senate. And in that, you said, "The skinny repeal would have come nowhere close to have solving the problems that plague our health care system."
Why, then, is something of a skinny repeal now going to solve Republicans' tax reform problems? CHEN: Well, Kate, I don't think it does solve their problems, to be
clear. I think the challenge is two-fold. One, you've now mixed a very complicated issue with an even more complicated issue. So tax reform is very difficult, as you know. You've covered this closely. Lots of moving parts. Now you've basically thrown a grenade into that process and made it even more difficult.
The second problem, frankly, is it creates a political liability for Republicans. Because by repealing the individual mandate, you make Obamacare's marketplaces less stable, you increase premiums, and you raise the possibility that people can argue that you're sabotaging Obamacare. So, I don't think this is a great idea. I know that there's some reasoning behind it, but it's not exactly ideal at this point.
BOLDUAN: Doctor, it's one of the most unpopular parts of Obamacare --
EMANUEL: I'm in agreement here, because this is really --
BOLDUAN: This is a -- this segment just got lame, because you guys are going to agree. I'm kidding!
EMANUEL: We got bipartisan agreement because this is a terrible idea and I think as Lanhee says, one of the worst aspects of it is that it really doesn't address some of the issues. But it actually makes health care even more unaffordable. And I think if you look at a series of actions by this administration, which came in arguing for more affordability, they're going in the opposite direction.
And let me just give you three. One, this repeal of the mandate would actually increase premiums, it's estimated, by 10 percent, per year. That's not moving in the affordability direction, especially for individuals who have to buy it and don't have employers helping them.
Second, there have been a series of moves under the radar, since we have had so much news, by the administrators of Medicare that have actually rolled back payment changes, payment changes, which we have seen good data or actually decreasing health care costs. They're rolling back those payment changes. That's not going to make health care more affordable in the long-term.
And then you have this nomination of Alex Azar to head the Department of Health and Human Services. It's the most peculiar nomination I can think of. In large part because he's a drug company executive --
EMANUEL: -- and he's going to stand against any attempt to roll back drug costs.
[11:40:10] BOLDUAN: But he worked at HHS under George W. Bush.
EMANUEL: They're going in the of direction.
BOLDUAN: Let me get you, real quick, Doctor, on this. The individual mandate is the most unpopular part of Obamacare. When it comes to, they promised this, Republicans have, for seven years, to repeal and replace, is this the least bad of the bad options, to get something done, though?
EMANUEL: Well, if you're a Republican, you're facing the following situation. If we don't pass something, anything, on taxes or health care, going into the 2018 election, it's going to be a big problem. What have we done when we've controlled all three chambers of -- all three branches of the government? And I think that's their big dilemma. They've decided to pass something or tried to pass something, which has no coherence, it's not good policy. There is almost no one who thinks this is good policy. Certainly, responsible Republican-held policy people do think it addresses a problem in a coherent way. So I think they're just grasping for political savings and they're not going to try to do good policy to improve the health care system.
BOLDUAN: Lanhee, if this gets in, in the end, does it make it harder later to get a real, comprehensive health care overhaul through?
CHEN: That's the concern I have, Kate. It's possible they repeal the individual mandate. It makes it more likely that Republicans have to return to health care in the spring and have to get something done. That would be the optimal situation. But the problem is that you may have a lot of people saying, look, it was so difficult for Republicans to deal with Obamacare in the first place, once they do the individual mandate, the appetite may not be there anymore. It's tough to say.
I will say, Kate, I disagree completely with Zeke on the issue of President Trump's nominee for the HHS secretary. I think Alex Azar will do a very good job and has wonderful experience to bring to it.
BOLDUAN: Let's continue the debate/non-debate a little bit later.
Great to see you, Doctor.
Great to see you, Lanhee.
EMANUEL: Thank you.
CHEN: Take care.
BOLDUAN: Still ahead, accusations of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and you could be the one paying for it. Millions of dollars, potentially, paid out in settlements over alleged misconduct by lawmakers. How big is this problem? Why are we learning about it now?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [11:46:47] BOLDUAN: Sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and millions of taxpayer dollars may be used to settle the claims. Just yesterday, lawmakers offered disturbing accounts of harassment on the Hill by even members of Congress. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JACKIE SPEIER, (D), CALIFORNIA: There are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now, who serve, who have been subject to review or not have been subject to review, but have engaged in sexual harassment.
REP. BARBARA COMSTOCK, (R), VIRGINIA: This member asked a staffer to bring them over some materials to their residence and the young staffer, a young woman, went there and was greeted with a member in a towel, who was a male, who then invited her in. At that point, he decided to expose himself. She left and then she quit her job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: CNN national politics reporter, M.J. Lee, is joining me now with much more on this.
M.J., you have done some extensive reporting on how really big this problem is.
M.J. LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, and that hearing yesterday, Kate, was certainly eye-opening, if not incredibly disturbing. Basically, current female members of Congress saying that there are members of Congress who are serving in office now, who have been accused of sexual harassment, even though they did not name these male members. And some of the stories that we're hearing, Congresswoman Speier, for example, saying that the stories she has heard involve private parts being grabbed on the House floor. This is some really graphic stuff that we're talking about. And that is, of course, a part of the reason why Congresswoman Speier and Senator Gillibrand, they are about to propose a new legislation, just a few minutes from now, on reforming the system, reforming the culture of how sexual harassment is treated on Capitol Hill. A part of what they're proposing is mandatory sexual harassment training for all members and staff in both the House and the Senate. And then just overhauling this antiquated and inadequate system that a lot of members have been complaining about. The Office of Compliance is the office that oversees these complaints that would come in from congressional aides, and they want to make sure there is more transparency. One piece of this we are paying close attention to is this $15 million figure. This is the number that the OCC has paid out over a period of 20 years or so. And we want to find out how many of these settlements were actually related to sexual harassment and get a little more information so we can understand how prevalent this issue is and how much money people have been getting from the U.S. Treasury.
[11:49:19] BOLDUAN: And why any taxpayer dollar, even a single dollar, should be going to pay out a sexual harassment settlement by a member of Congress. Huge questions. And you'll be all over it.
Great to see you, M.J. Thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention.
Coming up for us, "a neighborhood that's been held hostage," that is from the mayor of Tampa, Florida, sounding the alarm after a series of unsolved murders. Up next, the mystery and the massive manhunt that's underway right now.
BOLDUAN: Four killings, no answers and a community on high alert. This morning, police and the FBI are on the hunt for a suspect who is believed to be linked to now four deaths in Tampa, Florida, after a 60-year-old man was gunned down in the street yesterday.
CNN's Rosa Flores is on the ground in Florida following all this.
It's getting scarier and scarier, Rosa. What are the police saying there right now?
[11:54:34] ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police are saying the suspect is getting more brazen and that his moves are getting bolder and bolder. Let me explain. This is the location of the latest killing. Notice the little things that investigators do. This is a street that's much more prominent. There's more traffic. There are bigger businesses. So police are looking through surveillance video, trying to figure out if they can find better surveillance video of the suspect. The other thing, of course, with bigger businesses, there's more people. There's more foot traffic.
So the witness, that they have the description of this the suspect from, actually was at this laundromat, that description is very important. It's the only description that police have of the suspect right now. Kate, that is that he is a black male about six feet tall, wearing all black, wearing a black cap and a large pistol, as well. Kate, very important details because this is the first time that police have an actual witness description of the suspect -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Still on the loose. That poor community. Watching it all play out.
Rosa, thank you so very much.
Still ahead, Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore defiant. Supporters like Sean Hannity breaking away, and President Trump silent. Is the pressure now building on the White House to take a stand?