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Houses Passes Tax Reform: Future Unclear In Senate; Analysis: Senate Bill Would Raise Middle Class Taxes; Rev. Jesse Jackson Says He Has Parkinson's Disease; House, Senate Tax Reform Plans Very Different; Shouting Match Erupts In Senate Over GOP Tax Bill. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 17, 2017 - 12:30   ET


[12:30:02] MARC SHORT, DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: I think that there's probably no more dishonest and misleading study than that one that came yesterday's, and here is why. What their analysis says, is because you are repealing the mandate of Obamacare, somehow you're going to pay more.

Like saying it's only in Washington can come up with this explanation by saying you eliminate the tax and your taxes are increasing. It makes no sense at this basic value. So, what they're saying is because are you no longer -- you don't want to buy Obamacare insurance because it stinks. And you are paying a tax for that.

What the law allowed is that there would be subsequent insurance companies. And because those stinks and those credits are no longer going to insurance companies, they are crediting in to that taxpayer who was never receiving those dollars in the first place. It's an incredibly misleading study.

Previously, before the mandate was included in this legislation, that same committee affirmed that every income bracket would receive a tax cut. This is the largest tax cut in American history. And we're very proud because it's something the American people need and it's focused on middle class working families.

DANA BASH, INSIDE POLITICS HOST: So you say it's the largest tax cut in the history. The President behind close door with House Republicans who -- he's a very good marketer and also said that he hopes that they push it that way. But to some -- on the pure politics of this, what if you are an American who doesn't see a tax cut and you hear the -- or even more specifically, a Trump voter --


BASH: -- who hears him saying you're going to get a big tax cut and you don't. That's politically perilous.

SHORT: There's a couple data points here refutable (ph). Average working family earning $50,000, $59,000 American we're seeing $1,182 in tax relief from this plan. Additionally, every income bracket will also receive tax relief. There are people who are cherry picking data for certain individuals who may be are taking advantage of every single deduction that tax cut allows. What we've is we want to clean up the tax code. Too many special interests have fought for little pieces that they can break apart. And so, there are cases where higher income individuals who are taking advantage of every deduction and perhaps hypothetically will get some increase. Every income bracket will see a decrease and every working family will receive a decrease base upon our tax plan.

BASH: The tax bill, and you're not shy about this, is giving a big tax break to corporations and the idea there is that they would invest in American jobs and the American economy. I'm sure you saw that Gary Cohn was at an event. Gary Cohn, the chief economic adviser, was at an event where people in the audience who were CEOs were asked if they would do that, if they would reinvest. Listen to what happened.


JOHN BUSSEY, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Can I ask you all a quick question? If the tax reform bill goes through, do you plan to increase investment -- your company's investment, capital investment? Just a show of hands. The tax reform goes through. OK.

GARY COHN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER: Why aren't the other hands up? Why aren't the other hands up?


SHORT: So, what we have seen already is AT&T has announced they're going to invest a billion dollars into America if this tax plan goes through. Many other companies are coming forth saying the same thing. I can't comment on that individual, the way that question was asked and what the respond the way it did.

But I've seen hard evidence of companies coming forward saying we are going to invest back in America. What the data also shows and what the President saw when he travel there national is other companies are lowering their corporate rate and lowering American jobs away and American businesses.

Ireland coverage is now down to 8 percent, Dana. We're going from 35 to 20. But there's plenty of countries are continuing to lower further because they were creating American manufacturing jobs away. It's in many cases why we've seen so many American jobs in an upper Midwest move overseas. We're trying to bring them back. We want America to go back to work.

BASH: One last process question, important one though. The United States Senate, do you feel confident that Republicans are going to get the 51 votes needed?

SHORT: Yes. Yes, we're confident getting that 51 votes that we need. We are, the Senate Finance Committee, voted 14 to 12 last night along the party lines who continue to advance the process forward. The House had a great vote last night and we look forward the week after Thanksgiving to have it on the Senate floor.

BASH: Marc Short, thank you very much. SHORT: Dana, thanks for having me. It's good to see you.

BASH: I appreciate it.

And before we let you go, some breaking news here on CNN about the health of Reverend Jesse Jackson, the civil rights activist and two- time presidential candidate. Today announced that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Revered Jackson made the announcement today through of his Rainbow PUSH Coalition saying he began to notice changes about three years ago. This is part of today's statement, "For me, a Parkinson's diagnoses is not a stop sign, but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease's progress". The Reverend Jesse Jackson is 76 years old. We'll be right back.


[12:39:14] BASH: Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. We just had -- I had a very interesting conversation with Marc Short, the White House Director of legislative affairs on taxes, but also on the White House position on Roy Moore. And I want to bring in around the table. MJ, what was your reaction and your analysis of what he said?

MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: I think it's remarkable that Marc Short restated the President's position on Roy Moore which is if these allegations are shown to be correct, then he should step aside. I think this really raises the question of how much more evidence are they looking for?

You look at the number of women who have spoken out. You look at how closely these women's stories have been corroborated and by how many people. It's just, at this point, it's not clear how many more people could come out with new stories or how many more people could corroborate these stories.

[12:40:09] And just keep in mind that these women who have shared their stories, yes, they have become a part of the political headlines but their stories are not fundamentally political.

And I would also note this made me think that this was a mistake that Al Franken initially made yesterday. Remember that the first statement that he put out was very short and it raised a lot of eyebrows because he said the things about Leeann are describing that is not my recollection of what went down. And then he had to put out much longer statement in which he said, look this is still not what I remember, but I recognize the importance of believing these women.

BASH: Look, I think it's pretty clear the White House is in a political pickle because there's no good path politically for them on this which is why they are just trying to recede right now. But taxes was also very interesting. And as we mentioned tax reform freshly passed the House yesterday. The Senate has its own plan. It is going too look different than the proposal that made it through the House. Let's just take a look at some of the areas where the House and the Senate don't agree. First, there's a question of the individual mandate. That's kind of the biggie right now, repealing the individual mandate in the Senate, it's not in the House deductions on whether the estate tax will remain.

Now these are major differences. There are many, many others. And let's talk about that versus -- or in addition to what Marc Short said about the way that the analysis is being received of the Senate bill. And I'm going to put that back up on the screen as you talk about it. This is a non-partisan -- bipartisan, I should say, joint committee on tax. And the big question is people who make $75,000 or less. Will they get a tax increase or will they get a tax cut?

RACHAEL BADE, REPORTER, POLITICO: I think right there when you are arguing Marc Short you saw the perfect example of why some Republicans did not want to add the individual mandate to this tax bill. And that reason, Speaker Paul Ryan has said over and over again is that it's going to complicate the messaging and we saw that happen right here. There was a JCT study that said, you know, the middle class is going to see their taxes increase in the Senate bill.

Just six days ago we saw the same exact committee come out with this in an analysis that said the middle class is going to be one of the biggest winners and they're going to take one of the largest chunks of tax cuts. And the difference is that now we have the individual mandate in here. And so they've gone from sort of having a non- partisan analysis supporting with the messaging they're trying to put out there which is we're trying to help the middle class not the wealthy to now, of all of a sudden, having to defend themselves against that.

BASH: And that's why you still see the House Republican leadership saying, whoa, whoa, we don't necessarily think this is a good idea. Listen to what the House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said this morning about that.


REP. STEVE SCALISE (R), MAJORITY WHIP: That would be well received and, look, we've passed repeal of the individual mandate in many different ways with full repeal, other bills we've had in the House. So we prove them we can get the votes. They've had some trouble in the past getting the votes on that. I hope the Senate is able to get that -- are included in the final product when they pass their bill.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, I think he is rightfully skeptical. I mean, it's interesting that this idea originated in the Senate. I think they believe that for some people will make it easier. But this JCT score doesn't help. And I think that the folks watching at home, who are wondering, is there any sort of independent analysis of any bill whether it's taxes or health care that this administration can get behind? And that's a really good question, because often it seems like no matter what the analysis is it's -- all right, in Marc Shorts words, dishonest.

I think that Rachael's point is important. The difference here is the individual mandate. And what it ends up meaning for middle class people is that they may not get as much support for paying for healthcare as they would otherwise have if it didn't -- if it wasn't taken away. And so that's why there is a problem here for them. And I think this analysis is not going to help.

BASH: Yes, not at all. Hold that thought. We are going to take a quick break. But before we do, we want you to check out a moment from Capitol Hill, have been pretty late last night so you might have missed it. But you should really check out how personal the fight that we're talking about here for middle class at taxes and making sure that they go down is getting even and especially among senators.


SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), FINANCE COMMITTEE: It would be nice just tonight before we go home to just acknowledge who this tax cut really is not for the middle class, it's for the rich, and that whole thing about higher wages. Well, it's a good selling point. But we know companies don't just give away higher wages. They just don't give away higher wages just because they have more money.

Corporations are setting on a lot of money now. They are setting on a lot of profits now. I don't see the wages going up. So just spare us the bank shots, spare us the sarcasm and the satire.

[12:45:04] SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), CHAIRMAN, FINANCE COMMITTEE: Well, what I'm going to say to you that I come from the poor people. And I've been here working my whole stinking career for people who don't have a chance. And I really resent anybody saying that I'm just doing this for the rich. Give me a break. I think you guys overplay that all the time and it gets old. And frankly you ought to quit it.

BROWN: Mr. Chairman, the public believes it.

HATCH: I'm not through. I get kind of sick and tired of it. True, it's a nice political play.

BROWN: Well, Mr. Chairman --

HATCH: I'm not through.

BROWN: With all due respect, I get sick and tired of the riches --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regular order, Mr. Chairman.

BROWN: -- people in this country getting richer and richer and richer.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regular order. BROWN: And over and over again. How many times do we do this before we learn?

HATCH: Listen, I've honored you by allowing you to spout out here. And what you said was not right. That's all I'm saying. I come from the lower middle class originally. We didn't have anything. So don't spew that stuff on me. I get a little tired of that crap.

And let me just say something. If you didn't -- if we work together, we can pull this country out of every mess it's in. And we can do a lot of the things that you are talking about too. And I think I've done a reputation of having worked together --

BROWN: Let's start with chip.

HATCH: I'm not starting with chip. I did it -- I've done it for years. I've got more bills --

BROWN: Start with chip today.

HATCH: I got more bills passed than everybody on this committee put together. And they have been passed for the benefit of people in this country. Now all I can say is I like you personally very much. But I'm telling you this bullcrap that you guys threw out here really gets old after a while. Then do it right at the end of this, but just not right. And I just -- and it takes a lot to get me worked up like this.



[12:51:29] BASH: Welcome back. This week, a reckoning of sorts for Democrats, two decades later. The ugliness of what Senator Franken admitted to doing and what Roy Moore is accused of doing had forced many on the left to look back and admit the Democrats grievously mishandled accusations of misconduct against Bill Clinton. And shamed his accusers not only the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but while he was -- that happened of course when he was in the White House. But before that, several women who accused him of sexual assault before he was president.

Take New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She is a Clinton acolyte. She now sits in the United States Senate seat once held by Hillary Clinton. Here she is with the former president just last year at the Democratic National Convention. But, listen to her now when she is asked if she thought Clinton, Bill Clinton should have resigned in the wake of the Lewinsky affair.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it your view that the President Clinton should have stepped down at that time given the allegations?

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: I would -- Yes. I think that is the appropriate response. But, I think things have changed today, and I think under those circumstances there should be a very different reaction. And I think in light of this conversation, we should have a very different conversation about President Trump, and a very different conversation about allegations against him.


BASH: Now, since that was nearly 20 years ago, here is just a taste of how the women and men of Bill Clinton's administration reacted.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have any cabinet secretaries, that any of the four of you say, these allegations must be addressed soon?


MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, SECRETARY OF STATE: I believe that the allegations are completely untrue.


BASH: Ryan Lizza, I think you were the only one besides me around this table who were politically aware, I should say.

RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORKER: The first story I covered. I remember, the first week in Washington in January 1998 with the Lewinsky scandal broke. So that was the first story. And the view among Democrats at the time was that Clinton was the victim of a multimillion dollar investigation by Kenneth Starr who the Clinton administration and most Democrats considered a zealot. And who was out to destroy Bill Clinton.

And that colored all of the accusations against him. I mean, frankly, it did some echoes of -- in what Roy Moore is saying down in Alabama when people are tribal and partisan, it's very easy to explain away accusations that seemed like they're coming from a person who is trying to destroy you politically. And it's hard for the defenders to see the accuracy of those stories.

And most Democrats at the time with the Lewinsky scandal specifically, most Democrats would have argued this was a consensual sexual relationship and that it did not rise to the level of impeachment. And that the perjury and obstruction of justice that flowed from that relationship were essentially traps by the independent counsel. That was the view at the time. Democrats as we have seen week are really, really reassessing that.

BASH: Right. Well, that was the Lewinsky situation. And then there were other women who did not say it was consensual at all.

LIZZA: That was pre-White House. Yes, yes.

BASH: Pre-White House. And it wasn't just political partisanship which were, you know, which we're seeing again today. It was people who were at the forefront, whose names were synonymous with the women's lib movement and feminism. LIZZA: Gloria Steinem.

BASH: Gloria Steinem. Thank you, Ryan.


BASH: Exactly. Exactly. Let me just read to you all what Gloria Steinem said in April of 1998 during this time in the New York Times. She said, "The truth is that even if the allegations are true, the President is not guilty of sexual harassment. He is accused of having made a gross, dumb, reckless pass at a supporter during a low point in her life. She pushed him away, she said, and it never happened again. In other words, President Clinton took, no, for an answer."

[12:55:20] PHILLIP: Yes. I mean, there --

LIZZA: That was something (INAUDIBLE).

PHILLIP: Yes. Yes. And I think that one of the other things that needs to be dealt with here is how Clinton's aides and supporters treated these women whether it was consensual or not. I think that is the difference between then and now. It is not acceptable, I think in many liberal circles to go after the accuser just because you think that the allegations are untrue or because they were -- whatever you think they were.

When I was covering Hillary Clinton in 2016, this was such a huge issue for young women. They did not appreciate those past stories. And they were just -- they were uncomfortable with it and uncomfortable with her for that reason. No 2020 -- woman running in 2020 will ever be able to go forward without dealing with that.

BASH: OK. I have to leave it there. Thank you all very much. Happy Friday. Happy Friday to you as well.

Thanks for joining us on INSIDE POLITICS. John King is back on Monday. And Wolf Blitzer is up right after a break.