Treasury secretary discusses passage of GOP bill in the House, prospects in the Senate on 'Fox News Sunday.'
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," November 19, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY" HOST: I’m Chris Wallace.
The wave of sexual harassment cases sweeping the nation reaches the Senate, as Republican candidate Judge Roy Moore fights for his political life.
ROY MOORE, R-ALABAMA U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: This is an effort by Mitch McConnell and his cronies to steal his election from the people of Alabama
WALLACE: And Democratic Senator Al Franken becomes the first member of Congress accused in the post-Harvey Weinstein era.
LEEANN TWEEDEN, SENATOR AL FRANKEN ACCUSER: He thought he would get away with it and that it was OK and that it was funny. Nothing like that is ever funny.
WALLACE: We’ll discuss the allegations with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.
REP. BARBARA COMSTOCK, R-VIRGINIA: We really don't have current guidelines right now that say to a member a sexual relationship with a 19-year-old intern is off limits.
WALLACE: Will Congress finally crack down on complaints of sexual harassment in its own halls? We’ll ask Utah Representative Mia Love.
And we’ll bring in our Sunday panel to ask if a wave of new charges will change the clubby atmosphere on Capitol Hill.
Plus, the House passes its tax bill.
REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: From the very start, we said that failure is not an option.
WALLACE: We’ll discuss the prospects in the Senate with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.
And our power player of the week: the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do think institutionally Congress benefits from having a churn of new members and new ideas.
WALLACE: All right now on "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
From Hollywood, to the media, and now, the halls of Congress, sexual harassment is front and center as a political issue.
First with the allegations facing Alabama Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore, and now, claims against Senator Al Franken from his time as a comedian in 2006. We’ll discuss the charges and whether Congress will finally crack down on itself with Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina and Utah Congresswoman Mia Love.
But we begin with Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy reporting from Alabama.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: There are already legislative aftershocks shaking Senator Al Franken, whose immediate apology for sexual misconduct was not enough for a rape victim who was working with Franken to help future assault victims. Abby Honold penned a Washington Post op-ed with a headline, Al Franken wrote a bill to help rape survivors like me. He can’t lead on it now.
Minnesota's other, Senator Amy Klobuchar, has already signed on to sponsor.
Not all Democrats are distancing themselves from Franken, though. Hillary Clinton appreciates that he said sorry.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look at the contrast between Al Franken accepting responsibility, apologizing, and Roy Moore and Donald Trump, who have done neither.
DOOCY: In Alabama, Republican Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore denies charges for all my women accusing him of decades-old wrongdoing. He's challenging the legitimacy of a high school yearbook signature one accuser says proves her story, and he’s lashing out at Senator Jeff Flake who said.
SEN. JEFF FLAKE, R-ARIZONA: If we become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast.
DOOCY: A Moore campaign advisor responded, quote: Mitch McConnell and Jeff Flake are agents of destruction within the Republican Party.
The editorial board for Alabama's three largest papers cites sexual misconduct allegations as the primary reason for their endorsement of Democrat Doug Jones. Meanwhile, the surgeon Jones is trying to focus on issues to engineer an upset.
DOUG JONES, D-ALABAMA U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I thought Roy Moore was disqualified long before this came up.
DOOCY: We’re told the Democrat Jones will have about one event a day this week. As for Roy Moore, we have no idea when his next public rally will be. So, it seems two of the politicians with the least to say about the scandal in Alabama are the two Senate candidates in Alabama -- Chris.
WALLACE: Peter Doocy reporting from Birmingham, Alabama -- Peter, thanks for that.
Joining me now from Salt Lake City, Utah, Republican Congresswoman Mia Love.
Congresswoman, I want to start with a comment this week by one of your colleagues in the House, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMSTOCK: The young staffer is a young woman went there and was greeted with a member in a towel, was a male, who he then invited her in. At that point, he decided to expose himself. She left and then she quit her job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congresswoman, how serious a problem is there with sexual harassment in Congress, and if you can tell us, have you or any of your staffers been a victim?
REP. MIA LOVE, R-UTAH: Well, I can tell you, this is been going on for a very long time and I’m glad that people are speaking out about it. I -- you know, it's important to speak out about it nationally, and also locally, and in our homes. I have two girls that I’m racing, one is going off to college and it's important that we have -- we’re comfortable having uncomfortable conversations so that we can protect our young women and protect women in the work space.
WALLACE: Let's talk about your work space, because it turns out that Congress has protected itself with a much more challenging, much more cumbersome process than we see in the private sector.
I want to put this up, I think people will be surprised. A victim who claims sexual harassment Congress must wait three months to file a complaint. First, submit to 30 days of counseling and another 30 days of mediation, then wait another 30 days to seek a hearing.
And, Congresswoman, it gets even worse than that, because if there is a settlement, it's paid for by taxpayers, not by the individual member of Congress.
Is this another case of the old boys' clubby network on Capitol Hill protecting itself?
LOVE: Well, as the only woman in the Utah delegation, I have a little bit of a problem with that. We -- our office has made sure that they have taken all of the anti-sexual harassment training and I let out on that taking it myself.
I think we need some leadership. We need people that are out there that are talking about this and talking about how situations like this, behavior like this is absolutely inappropriate.
But I would also like to say one more thing. I think it's important that we, especially the things that are going on out there, that this is not being politicized. It's not being used for personal gain, because we normalize the situation if and when that happens.
We have to make sure that we are not going out there doing anything that is going to further victimize people who have actually been hurt and who’ve been humiliated by sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you about to specific cases. Do you believe that Judge Roy Moore, the candidate in the special Senate election in Alabama, should step aside from that race to let a write-in candidate try to hold the seat for Republicans? And what do you think should happen to Senator Al Franken after the allegations against him this week?
LOVE: I’m calling them all on the carpet. I think that all of them should take responsibility for their behavior.
This is -- you know, when you think about Al Franken, you think about Judge Moore, you think about all the situations that are out there, they’re all different, and they all deserve due process, and the people need to be able to have time to talk about them and process it. We certainly aren't going to be able to do that today and seven minutes on a Sunday show, but I think it's important that we end up talking about it, getting comfortable having uncomfortable conversations, and saying that this type of behavior is unacceptable.
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you about one other person and whether or not he should be held accountable, and that is President Trump, who has had very little to say about the Judge Roy Moore case, but when it comes to Al Franken in that picture, he weighed in on that, the picture of Franken appearing to grope his accuser. The president sent out this tweet: the Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures two, three, four, five and six while she sleeps?
On the other hand, when reporters noted that President Trump faces his own allegations from a bunch of women about him allegedly groping them, here's his spokeswoman said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think in one case, specifically, Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn't. I think that’s a very clear distinction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congresswoman, does that satisfy you, the fact that President Trump has denied the allegations?
LOVE: Well, again, all of these situations are completely different. I think people need to take responsibility for their actions, not just in the future, but also in the past. And we can’t -- absolutely -- I’m not qualified, nor is it appropriate for us to process, prosecute, judge and sentence in the seven minutes that we have here.
But I think it is important that we all speak out, and we prevent these things from happening. This is about looking towards the future and making sure that women are empowered and no longer victimized, that people, if they are experiencing situations in the office that make them uncomfortable, that they feel empowered that they can actually speak out and stop the behavior.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Love, thank you. Thanks for your time.
LOVE: Thank you. Thank you.
WALLACE: Now to South Carolina and Republican Senator Tim Scott.
Senator, let's start with your colleague Al Franken --
SEN. TIM SCOTT, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: Good morning.
WALLACE: -- who is accused of forcibly kissing and groping Leeann Tweeden. Should the Senate discipline or even perhaps expel Senator Franken?
SCOTT: We certainly should start the process of an ethics investigation as has been suggested and I think started by Senator McConnell. This is absolutely the right starting point. All sexual harassment is inexcusable. And everyone should be punished at the same level.
WALLACE: On the other hand, people note that the Senate Ethics Committee has never expelled any member for actions taken before they were senator. So, some people are saying, well, OK, you put them before the Senate Ethics Committee and that's where these charges go away to die.
SCOTT: Yes, I completely disagree with that. This is a brand-new era. I know that the last time someone was expelled was like the civil war. The reality of it is that we should take responsibility. I’m a big believer according to the good book that all folks in leadership are held to a higher standard. And we will hold our members to a higher standard, that's a fact. And I look forward to the outcome of the investigation.
WALLACE: Well, I want to ask about the standards you feel should apply to Judge Roy Moore. You have been on the record as saying if the charges are true, he should step away. But realistically, we may never know whether or not the charges are true, and we almost certainly are not going to know before the special election on December 12th.
So, let me ask you a direct question, do you think that Judge Moore should step aside and let a Republican write-in candidate try to hold onto the seat?
SCOTT: What I’ve said in the past, I want to be very clear, is that the allegations are stronger than the denial and that Roy Moore should find something else to do, which is my way of suggesting that he should not be in a race.
WALLACE: So, you think he should step down at this point?
SCOTT: I certainly think that there's a strong possibility with a new candidate, a new Republican candidate, a proven conservative, that we can win that race in Alabama, and it is in the best interest of the country, as well as the state of Alabama from my perspective for Roy Moore to find something else to do.
WALLACE: So, let me ask you about Judge Moore, because he says that these accusations against him are really about the Senate establishment, the elite trying to keep down and take away a representative, in his case, of the grassroots. Here is Judge Moore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROY MOORE, R-ALABAMA U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: This is an effort by Mitch McConnell and his cronies to steal his election from the people of Alabama, and they will not stand for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: In your view, is this controversy about Judge Moore's behavior, or is it a political power play by "The Washington Post" and Senator McConnell?
SCOTT: This controversy is over the necessity of respecting women, period. Our response to sexual harassment should be as aggressive as possible. The reality of it is, when you look at those conservative lawmakers in the Senate who have withdrawn their support of Judge Moore, that should send a clear signal that this has nothing to do with the establishment Republican or politics. It has to do with the character that we want displayed in the United States of America and especially in our leadership role (ph).
WALLACE: Well, let me ask about what I just discussed with Congresswoman Love, because the rules for a sexual harassment victim are really pretty challenging in Congress. They have to go through a 90-day period. If there's a settlement, it's paid for by the taxpayers, not by the member.
Does Congress need to get its own House in order here?
SCOTT: Well, according to the rules that you laid out, the answer is yes. In my office, my chief of staff, she and I sat down and had a conversation at the beginning of my term, designed within our employee's manual how to respond if you feel harassed. You don't have to go to your supervisor, you can go to any supervisor in the office, including my chief of staff. She believes that the best way for us to make sure that the employees who work within our office are as safe and as comfortable as possible, is to make sure that all routes for their challenges don't flow through a specific person, whether it’s me or her, but it goes through anyone that they are most comparable talking with.
I think that policy being adopted by the entire Senate and that we accelerate the process and hold each member accountable and responsible for their actions. Not at taxpayers’ expense, but at an individual expense, only makes sense.
WALLACE: Let me turn to tax reform. The Senate, the full Senate is going to take it up after Thanksgiving. I want to ask you a specific area of it.
How do you justify that in the Senate tax bill, as passed by the Senate Finance Committee, it keeps the tax cuts for corporations permanent, but the tax cuts for individuals expire in eight years?
SCOTT: Well, the good news is that if we are able to lower the highest corporate tax rate in the world from 35 percent to 20 percent and make it permanent, the jobs of the future will be created here at home. Giving people tax breaks for one year or ten years on their individual taxes is a success. If we can make it permanent, our friends on the left can help us get there, and I hope and look forward to them becoming a part of this process.
WALLACE: Finally, one senator, Republican Senator Ron Johnson, has already said he is against the bill. As you know a number of others have issues with it.
Is tax reform head the way of Obamacare? You have a very narrow margin for error in the Senate on this, sir.
SCOTT: The good news is, it's not. The reality of it is that Ron Johnson's concerns are legitimate concerns. I think we can deal with them.
There's editorial recently in The Wall Street Journal that gives us direction on how to get that accomplished. Other senators have talked about the importance of parity between the corporate and the pass-throughs. We can’t get to parity, but we can get close, and I think we’ll get a little closer.
And we’ll have a full team on display in December bringing a Christmas present to the American people, allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money.
WALLACE: Senator Scott, thank you. Thanks for joining us. Always good to talk with you, sir.
SCOTT: Thank you, Chris. Good seeing you.
WALLACE: Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the Moore and Franken scandals, as well as no questions about whether Bill Clinton should have resigned over the Lewinsky affair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: I’m the only one that can unite Democrats and Republicans because I think I will be opposed by both.
LEEANN TWEEDEN, TV AND RADIO HOST: Before I know that he grabbed that -- he put his hand on the back of my head and came towards me and mashed his face against my mouth and stuck his tongue in my mouth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore trying to save his campaign while broadcaster Leanne Tweeden makes allegations against Democratic Senator Al Franken.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. Former Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz, columnist for The Hill, Juan Williams, head director of research at Bustle, Jessica Tarlov, and Jason Riley from The Wall Street Journal.
Well, Congressman, what are your thoughts about the problems with sexual harassment in general, on Capitol Hill, in particular, and I’ve got to say as I started this week, I am shocked at the rules that members of Congress, as you used to be, and have implemented to protect yourselves from sexual harassment charges.
JASON CHAFFETZ, R-FORMER UTAH CONGRESSMAN: Yes, no, it's absolutely disgusting. There's always somebody doing something stupid somewhere, but a woman should not have to go through that process as you laid out when it happens in Congress. And maybe the best avenues just go directly to the police because there's a legal process by getting prosecutors and the law involved, and I think the victims ought to have the loudest voice on that.
But politically, I do believe that those decisions need to be made by the people in, say, Alabama or Minnesota. I think it's very presumptuous for the majority leader to say, hey, we’re going to work to kick you out when you're dealing with the same fact pattern. The people in Alabama and Minnesota can make those decisions.
WALLACE: Well, Jessica, let me ask about that. Should this just be left in the case, particularly of Alabama because Judge Moore faces a special election in a couple of weeks?
Leave it to them?
JESSICA TARLOV, SENIOR RESEARCH DIRECTOR, BUSTLE.COM: Well, I think, obviously, upholding our democracy is the most important issue at play here. But I do think, especially considering what's going on in the last couple of years, the allegations in the political world and the media and entertainment world and what an important topic sexual harassment is for America generally that people like Mitch McConnell, people like Cory Gardner need to stand up and take a stand on something like this and to say this is unacceptable behavior, and we don't want it here with us. And there's no place for it in Washington.
So, I’m torn about it. Obviously, the voters will get their chance to vote for Roy Moore if they want, but there should be a candidate on the ballot on the Republican side who has not been accused of child molestation.
WALLACE: Let me ask you, because this is obviously a difficult conversation, but it's an important conversation. On the other hand, I wonder to some degree, are we mixing up misdemeanors and felonies? You got the case of Al Franken who allegedly forcibly kissed this woman and groped her, which is clearly piggish behavior. On the other hand, it's different from the allegations against Roy Moore, who, as you pointed out, allegedly was having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl.
Should they all be career enders?
TARLOV: I don't think so personally. I think that having that nuanced discussion is what we really need to do at this point. There was a good piece that came out in The New York post about this that said, you know, Harvey Weinstein's picture should not be next to Al Franken's picture. You know, Roy Moore's picture should not be next to the guy from Amazon, for instance. This --
WALLACE: But you’ve got to know, some people are going to say, well, you know, maybe you’re protecting --
TARLOV: No, I’m not -- it's not because of political affiliation, I know that we will get to talk about the importance of revisiting Bill Clinton and what happened in the ‘90s and Democrats are certainly taking that up right now. But we need to be clear about the strength of these allegations and how important they are and what Roy Moore did versus what an Al Franken did.
WALLACE: Well, let's talk about Bill Clinton because that was a really interesting development this week, the reassessment of Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky back when Clinton was president. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is a senator from New York sits in Hillary Clinton's seat, says that under current standards Bill Clinton should have resigned.
Mrs. Clinton says no.
Take a look.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, D-NEW YORK: 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.
HILLARY CLINTON, D-FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This was a painful time not only in our marriage, but in our country as I have written about. But it was investigated fully. It was addressed at the time.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
WALLACE: Jason, pretty interesting that Kirsten Gillibrand, who is thinking of running for president on the Democratic side in 2020, went there.
JASON RILEY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, this is pure political expediency. This is not about principle. This is clear.
It seems to me that if you are a pro-choice, wealth redistributionist, you can also be a groper and get a pass from both of the women you played clips from. Hillary Clinton is also partially defending Al Franken because of how he’s responded to the charges against him versus how President Trump has responded. And then you have the senator from New York essentially saying, you know, that we live in different times.
Well, this is a woman who has associated herself with the Clinton family, with Mrs. Clinton in particular, has the seat Mrs. Clinton once held, and I think this is not about principle at all. This is about taking advantage of the current --
WALLACE: What do you think the political expediency is in Kirsten Gillibrand going after Bill Clinton now?
RILEY: It's now fashionable, it's now acceptable. And she pays no political cost for doing so.
WALLACE: Let me -- well, she pays a little bit of political cost, and let me bring this up with you, Juan.
Philippe Reines, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, blasted Gillibrand for what she said. He tweeted this, let’s put it up. Over 20 years, you Gillibrand took Clinton's endorsements, money and seat. Hypocrite. Interesting strategy for 2020 primaries. Best of luck.
This issue of sex harassment is not only splitting Republicans, Roy Moore and Mitch McConnell. It's also splitting Democrats.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And the power here is the charge of hypocrisy. I think that's why Clinton comes -- Bill Clinton comes to the floor so quickly because the charge would be, oh, Democrats, have you been as tough on your sexual harassers as you are asking Republicans to be on theirs? And so, immediately, you’ve seen pieces in Vox and The New York Times, Gillibrand coming forward as a Democratic congressman who said, oh, yes, Clinton should have been ousted.
I think one of the keys for me is Democrats wanting to say that we retained some moral authority in speaking on this issue as Republican's try to impose. But I think at times, as you and Jessica Tarlov were discussing, a false equivalency between let’s say, a Roy Moore and even Bill Clinton. I just think that, you know, at the moment, the politics is so tribal --
WALLACE: Wait, wait. I can understand the difference or the distinction between Moore and Franken. How is there a distinction between Moore and --
WILLIAMS: I don’t think -- I don’t think even if you’re going to say Monica Lewinsky was an intern, a young person, and there was a huge power differential between the president of the United States and an intern, no one was suggesting that she was beneath the age of consent. And she said --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Much more (INAUDIBLE) --
WILLIAMS: Well, I’m just saying in the one that he was impeached for, because he was impeached.
WALLACE: He was impeached for lying.
WILLIAMS: Well, he was impeached over this case, lying about this issue, and I think that it's very important for people, part of the Reines response was, millions of dollars were spent investigating and impeaching this man, and now, you have a situation here where there are some people, including Roy Moore, who want to point at Mitch McConnell and claim there is a Republican, much less Democrats or the elite media from Washington trying to tell the voters of Alabama what to do.
CHAFFETZ: The Bill Clinton situation happened while he was in office and then lied about it, as the president of the United States. That’s why it has -- but I do think, Kirsten -- I mean, I’m glad that we’re elevating the debate. I’m glad that this is becoming totally unacceptable on both sides of the aisle, and there should be a huge and massive political price, if not essentially the death penalty for people who engage in this, and that they cannot serve at the highest levels of government.
Why do we -- I wish --
WALLACE: You’re not really serious about the death penalty?
CHAFFETZ: Well, a political death penalty.
WALLACE: OK, fair enough --
CHAFFETZ: Yes. But, no, a political death penalty, which is why should we put up with anybody serving at the highest level of government who engages in this, whether it was 40 years ago or whether it happened while you were in office.
WALLACE: Thank you all. This is going to be continued, no question about it. We’re going to take a break here and we’ll see you a little bit later.
Up next, an exclusive interview with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on whether a GOP task reform bill that will make it to the president's desk by Christmas.
WALLACE: Coming up, the House passes a sweeping tax bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I want to thank not just the members who made this possible. I want to thank the president. I want to thank his administration. And I thank our partners in the Senate who were doing their work as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But what will happen in the Senate? Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin joins us next on "Fox News Sunday."
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX ANCHOR: -- Mnuchin.
Mr. Secretary, I want to start with Democratic criticism of the tax plan. In this case, by House Leader Nancy Pelosi. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-MINORITY LEADER: They throw a scrap to the middle class, provide a banquet for the wealthy and for corporate America, transform America in doing so. We will not let that happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Secretary Mnuchin, where is Congresswoman Pelosi wrong?
STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: Well, I just fundamentally don't agree with her. This is about making the business tax system competitive, which is about creating jobs, and this is about a very significant middle income tax cut. That's what this is all about.
WALLACE: Well, let's look at the analysis by the bipartisan joint committee on taxation, because here's what they said about the House bill. They say it delivers 80 percent of its cuts to corporations, businesses, and wealthy families. This isn't a Democratic partisan, this is Congress' own joint committee on taxation.
MNUCHIN: Chris, these numbers are very complicated, and it depends on how you allocate them. So one of the things they're doing is they're taking a pass through allocation, which is all about small and medium-size businesses, and they're allocating it back to the wealthy. And the same thing with the corporate tax cuts. We don't believe that.
If you look at this simply, and people just look at, are their personal taxes going up or down, on the personal tax side, middle income people are getting cuts and rich people are getting very little cuts or, in certain cases, increases.
WALLACE: Let me break that down, though, sir, because respectfully it seems to me it's a little bit more complicated than that. And here is one reason why the GOP tax plan, according to analyst, favors the wealthy and corporations.
I want to put this up on the screen.
In the Senate plan, while the corporate tax cuts are permanent, almost all provisions for individuals, including rate cuts and the expanded standard deduction expire, go away at the end of 2025. The result, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, by 2027, this is the Senate plan, anyone making less than $75,000 will see a tax hike, while those making more than $75,000 will see a tax cut. How do you respond to that?
MNUCHIN: Chris, the problem is that under the Senate rules and the Byrd (ph) rule, using reconciliation, there's very specific rules, because we're changing from an international system to a territorial system. We need to make the corporate tax cuts permanent. You can't tell corporations they're going back to a worldwide system.
Because of that, we were forced to phase out the personal tax side, but nobody thinks that's going to be the case. Of course Congress is going to vote down the road to keep these cuts. So it's not about allocating cuts to the corporations, it's about, we have to fix the business tax side and make it permanent.
WALLACE: But isn't it -- and this is what critics are saying -- isn't it a statement of your priorities? I mean the real reason that you make the individual cuts temporary, and they expire after 2025, is otherwise your deficit was going to be too big, it was going to go over. Some people say it's a budget gimmick, but isn't it a statement of priorities that you made the business cuts permanent and the individual cuts temporary? You could have done exactly the opposite and made the individual cuts permanent and cut back on the business cuts, that they were temporary.
MNUCHIN: Chris, you can't -- you can't do that if you want to fix the business tax system and going from a worldwide system to a territorial system, you can't switch back in ten years. So this is all about the Byrd rule and how we calculate things. This isn't about the deficit because we think this is all about creating growth and we'll create economic growth to pay down the deficit.
So this is technical issues in the Senate and the corporate side is about jobs. This is the tax cut and jobs bill. This is about making American businesses competitive so we can bring jobs back home in trillions of dollars invested here in the U.S.
WALLACE: But, forgive me, sir, what you're basically saying is, look, we have -- we're going to make the tax -- and it isn't just the worldwide system. You're also making the business tax cuts, the reduction in the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, you're making that permanent. And you talk with great assurance about what's going to happen in 2025. The fact is, you're not going to be office -- in office in 2025. Even if he's elected, Donald Trump isn't going to be president in 2025. And, in any case, you have no idea what the political situation is going to be lent or what the economic situation is going to be, and the deficit situation. So when you just say, well, of course they're going to extend it in 2025, you don't know that.
MNUCHIN: I don't know that. Maybe I'll be working for President Pence at the time, but I don't know that. But what I do know is, we think this is going to create growth and we'll know by then whether this creates growth or not. If it does create growth, we're going to have an incredible economy and an incredible tax system for businesses and creating huge amounts of jobs. And if it doesn't, Congress will deal with it at the time.
WALLACE: About, again, and not to belabor it, that means, as you say, Congress will deal with it at the time that the -- the tax cuts for individuals, which expire in 2025, may stay expired, may just go away.
MNUCHIN: Chris, we have a lot of confidence that Congress will do the right thing. And, again, the priority for the moment is middle income tax cuts. This is a big cut for the middle income, and it's going to create jobs and growth. So an average family that's making $75,000, a family of four, they're going to get over $1,000 tax cut. This is very significant.
And this is about creating a tax system that's competitive. We have the highest tax system in the world. How can our companies compete when their taxes are 35 percent and the rest of the world is in the low 20s?
WALLACE: I want to ask you about another aspect of the Senate bill, and that is the individual mandate. The -- not the House bill, but the Senate bill repeals the individual mandate in Obamacare. There's -- it's -- some people like it in the Senate, some people don't. Susan Collins has expressed concern about it. Lisa Murkowski has expressed concern about it. Is that, in effect, a bargaining chip? In other words, if you find it's costing you more votes than it's getting you, then you would support taking the individual mandate out?
MNUCHIN: Well, let me first say this is all about getting this past in the Senate. That's the objective. This isn't a bargaining chip. The president thinks we should get rid of it. I think we should get rid of it. It's an unfair tax on poor people, to think that you put a penalty on people who can't afford to buy medical policies is just fundamentally unfair. That's what this is all about.
WALLACE: But if it -- it does have a political impact. It wasn't in your original proposal for tax reform. It's been added in afterwards. I guess what I'm asking is, could you live with it if it's taken out?
MNUCHIN: I think right now our objective is to keep it in. It's a -- it provides a big tax cut for the middle class. It gets rid of the penalty. But we're going to work with the Senate as we go through this.
What's critical here is, we have the House that passed a bill. That's a very big deal. We got it done. We got it out of the Finance Committee. It's going to be in the floor right after Thanksgiving. And we're going to get something to the president to sign this year because this is all about creating growth in the economy.
And you can see what's going on. People have a lot of confidence in the Trump economic plan. You see that in the market. You see that in investing. And this is about delivering tax cuts to the American people.
WALLACE: You talk about getting it to the president by Christmas. I want to pick up on that. Because I think you'd agree right now the Republican tax plan is hanging by a thread in the Senate. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has already said that he's a "no" vote although, yes, I know he's persuadable. At least five other Republicans are on the fence. And you're in danger of losing that Alabama seat if Roy Moore loses in the special election on December 12th.
If Moore stays in the race and doesn't clear the way for a stronger write-in candidate, doesn't that increase the jeopardy for tax reform?
MNUCHIN: Well, I'm not going to speculate on the race, but what I will tell you is, I've met with Senator Corker this week. I met with Senator Johnson. I met with Senator Collins. We're having very good discussions with all of them. We want to make sure we incorporate their views. And we're comfortable where we are in this process.
This is a -- this is about having discussions and making sure we get something to the president to sign.
WALLACE: Finally, I have to ask you about something that has gotten a lot of attention this week. You and your wife went this week to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to check out the first dollar bills with your signature on it, which I'm sure was exciting. The pictures went viral.
Mr. Secretary, some folks -- and I'm looking at the picture here, which you can't see, say that you two look like two villains from a James Bond movie. I'm sure you've heard that. I guess my question is, what would you thinking?
MNUCHIN: I heard that. I never thought I'd be quoted is looking like villains from the James Bond. I guess I should take that as a compliment that I look like a villain in a great, successful James Bond movie.
But, let me just say, I was very excited of having my signature on the money. It's obviously a great privilege and a great honor and something I'm very proud of being the secretary and look forward to helping the American people.
WALLACE: And why, just briefly, did you decide that you and your wife would have fun with the money and take those pictures?
MNUCHIN: Well, again, I didn't realize that the pictures were public and going on the Internet and viral. But people have the right to do that. People can express what they want. That's the great thing about social media today. People can say and communicate what they want.
WALLACE: And they do.
And I want to ask you about one other aspect of this, because every Treasury secretary I've ever known signs their name on the dollar bill. You printed your name on the dollar bill. I know this is a pressing question, but, how come?
MNUCHIN: I changed my signature. I had a very, very messy signature that you could barely read. It was very effective at signing things. But I felt since it was going to be on the dollar bill forever, I should have a nice, clean signature.
WALLACE: Secretary Mnuchin, I think we can all agree on that, it is a very clean signature. Thank you so much. Thanks for your time, sir. And we'll track development in the Senate as they take up tax reform.
MNUCHIN: Thanks, Chris. Great to be here with you.
WALLACE: Up next we'll bring back our Sunday group to discuss what they think are the prospects of tax reform.
Plus, Hillary Clinton is once again questioning the legitimacy of Donald Trump's election victory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, D-OHIO, FINANCE COMMITTEE: 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 --
SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-UTAH, CHAIRMAN, FINANCE COMMITTEE: I'm going to just 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: A heated exchange between Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio over who benefits from the Republican tax plan.
And we're back now with the panel.
Well, Jason, where do you think the battle for tax reform stands right now, how much trouble is it in, in the Senate, and how do you see this playing out?
JASON RILEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it got to the House. We were expecting that to happen. And now we are where the health care debate was. And what -- it went over to the Senate where it died.
Right now there are some concerns. You have a bunch of senators, from Ron Johnson, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Jeff Flake, are very skeptical of what they see right now. But we're at the beginning of the process. Leadership thinks they can be won over, and that's what they're -- they're trying to do right now.
WALLACE: Juan, I want to ask you about this case that's being made by Democrats. We heard Nancy Pelosi in my conversation with Secretary Mnuchin that this was a giveaway for corporations and the wealthy.
And, interestingly enough, in polls that have been taken so far, you can question how much people know about the details of the bill, not very popular.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I think Quinnipiac has it, you know, more than 50 percent. So a majority of Americans disapprove of the Republican tax cuts right now.
People want tax reform, Chris. I think they want a simpler system, eased. They want to do away with some of these loopholes and deductions that allow especially corporations and the rich to benefit. But people want a simpler system.
But now we've gone, as the Republicans just try to say, we've got to do this on a fast track. Jam it through. We don't want too much criticism. This is very important for us to have a legislative accomplishment.
I think you're at the point where Republicans are saying to each other, just hold your nose. We'll see what comes out of the Senate. President Trump has been back and forth. He even said to Democrats, don't worry about the House bill. I don't know what that says to House Republicans. But at this point, it's just politics.
RILEY: This has to go back -- this has to go back to the House where --
WILLIAMS: Right, there will be a conference.
RILEY: Where more than a dozen Republicans voted against it, particularly from blue states. so this -- just because the Senate passes a version doesn't mean the House will pass what the (INAUDIBLE) --
WALLACE: No, and we should -- and we should point out that the Senate version totally limits the state and local dedications.
WILLIAMS: That's what I was going to say.
WALLACE: The House version keeps it for property taxes. So it will be interesting to see how they thread the needle here.
Let me turn to another subject, the Russia investigation, which never seems to go away. This week Hillary Clinton continued to question Donald Trump's legitimacy, his election to be president, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions continued to deny that he misled Congress. Here they both are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, D-FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that there are lots of questions about his legitimacy, and we don't have a method for contesting that in our system.
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: And I will not accept, and reject accusations, that I have ever lied. That is a lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congressman Chaffetz, where are we on the Russia investigation, both in the House, the Senate and the special counsel?
JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I thought the attorney general appearing before the House Judiciary was an important step forward. He was emphatic that he had not lied about lying. And I still don't see the evidence that the Democrats think -- think is there. And as long as the face of this is going to be Hillary Clinton, I think most of the country is going to get turned off and repulsed by it.
WALLACE: What do you think of the fact that she once again -- now she's saying, well, we don't really have a mechanism to do this. I mean President Trump's more than a year since the 2016 election.
WALLACE: We're almost in 2018 and now she's saying, we need to give it to an independent commission.
CHAFFETZ: Well, look, he is the president of the United States. I know she doesn't like that. I know she wishes it was a different outcome. And there -- she's right, there is no mechanism to do that. But there's nothing to suggest that any of the votes were actually manipulated. That any of the results out of 30 of the 50 states that went for Donald Trump would have gone a different direction because of --
WALLACE: Well, that's part of the question. The other question is whether there was collusion with the Russians. And I'm not saying there is, but that's the other issue.
CHAFFETZ: It's a question we have. There's a special investigator, a special prosecutor who's looking at that. But for Hillary Clinton to say, hey, the election's in question, it just laughable. It's almost embarrassing.
WALLACE: You know, let me ask you about that, Jessica, because I moderated the third presidential debate. And if you remember, I asked Donald Trump -- I was about to say President Trump, but he was then Donald Trump -- will you recognize the legitimacy of the election, because he kept saying it was rigged, and he refused to, and Hillary Clinton went up (INAUDIBLE) and this is disgusting. We have a tradition, peaceful transfer of power. Does it make it, at the very least hypocritical, for her now to say, well, I'm still questioning the election?
JESSICA TARLOV, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think that it does. And to Jason's point, I agree with you, that she absolutely shouldn't be the face of this. Whether she likes it or not or whether a lot of Democrats who supported her -- I was one of them and there are 65 other million Americans who did as well -- don't want to face it, the American public has said we are done with the Clintons for now. That doesn't mean that these points don't need to be made. And I think the most important issue that she's raising is that we had an unprecedented intervention by a foreign power into our election, and we need to take stock of that and develop mechanisms to deal with that if it happens again in 2020, in 2024.
WALLACE: Well, in fair -- go ahead.
TARLOV: So that, I think, is really important.
WALLACE: In terms of 2016, it's interesting, Jason, because we keep learning of contacts between the Russians and the Clinton campaign. Now the Senate Judiciary Committee, controlled by a Republican, Chuck Grassley, says that Jared Kushner did not turn over all the documents, all the records of his contacts.
I've got to say, though, that when we see these contacts, it's much more a case of the Russians knocking on the door saying, hey, you know, would you -- would you play with us? It's not, hey, we're in -- we're in cahoots together here.
RILEY: I agree. That does sound like what was going on. And it looks like Kushner did what he was supposed to do in terms of trying to shut it down.
But it is a reminder that in addition to the Mueller investigation, you do have various committees in Congress also investigating this. This is -- this is not going anywhere. And the idea that we're now talking about Kushner shows that this is rising up in terms of the importance of people in the administration. We're beyond Manafort level. We are now into close aides to the president, even members of his family.
WALLACE: Juan, we've got about 30 seconds left. I mean you've got Kushner. We don't know what Manafort is going to say or not. There's still Mike Flynn out there.
But you would agree at this point, there is no evidence that the Russian -- that the Trump campaign played ball with the Russians?
WILLIAMS: No, I don't see any so far, but I would make this point that I think that the propaganda effort was substantial and we continue to see that. They were very interested --
WALLACE: By the Russians?
WILLIAMS: By the Russians in terms of setting various groups in the United States against each other. And then you have a very thin margin in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, literally thousands of votes that made a difference. And I think the propaganda value was substantial.
WALLACE: And I think you, it's fair to say, that as the Russians look at it and the fact that we're talking about it a year later --
WALLACE: They've got to be happy.
TARLOV: They definitely won.
WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week." At the end of a dispiriting few days in American politics, the story of a rising star in the GOP bringing new ideas and leadership to Congress.
WALLACE: Millennials have become the largest segment of our workforce and are quickly becoming the largest segment of U.S. voters. And while they are very negative about Washington, one of their own is trying to change that. Here's our "Power Player of the Week."
REP. ELISE STEFANIK, R-NY, YOUNGEST WOMAN ELECTED TO CONGRESS: No, I wasn't scared, I wanted to get some accomplishments under my belt.
WALLACE (voice-over): That's Elise Stefanik explaining why she turned me down for a "Power Player" profile two years ago when at age 30 she became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
STEFANIK: I wanted to make sure that my first impression to my colleagues is that I am a workhorse, I invest myself in learning about the policy issues, and I add substantive ideas to the discussion.
I rise today in strong support for the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act.
WALLACE: Representing Fort Drum in upstate New York, Stefanik is a member of the House Intelligence and Armed Services Committees. And as a Republican, she wrote a change to Obamacare that President Obama signed.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: There you go.
STEFANIK: I wrote and passed the largest fix to our health care law in my first term.
We needed new direction.
WALLACE: Running on the slogan "new ideas and new leadership," Stefanik campaigned on people's frustrations with Congress.
STEFANIK: I would ask every group that I met with, raise your hand if you think Washington is broken. Every hand would go up.
WALLACE: Part of her answer, use technology and transparency to make Congress more accountable.
STEFANIK: I use the example of posting votes on Facebook. That's using a new tool to reach out directly to constituents and hear back from them on every single vote. That something every member should be doing.
WALLACE (on camera): Is there any pinch-me quality of -- that you are a United States congresswoman?
STEFANIK: There are pinch-me moments every day when I walk in and see the Capitol Dome.
WALLACE (voice-over): Stefanik started in politics a while ago.
STEFANIK: I ran for student council secretary in sixth grade and I ran on the platform of bringing a snack machine. And that is very popular among --
WALLACE (on camera): I was going to say, I figure you won.
STEFANIK: I won.
WALLACE (voice-over): She worked two years in the Bush 43 White House on domestic policy.
STEFANIK: And that's the approach I'll bring to Washington.
WALLACE: Then, in 2014, she ran for Congress.
WALLACE (on camera): How much pushback did you get? You're too young, you're too inexperienced.
STEFANIK: I got a lot of pushback initially. Very few people took me seriously. Paul Ryan, actually, was one of the individuals that encouraged me and gave me great advice. You have two ears and one mouth, use it in that ratio. Listen to what voter's concerns are.
WALLACE (voice-over): Stefanik won her swing district by 22 points and last year was re-elected by 35 points.
WALLACE (on camera): Is it true that when you first got here you got stopped a lot?
STEFANIK: I did. And I still get stopped about once a month going back and forth to the floor to vote. And if I wasn't wearing my pin, there would be many votes that I would have missed.
WALLACE (voice-over): Stefanik is not just young, she's a maverick, often bucking the party lines. She voted against the GOP tax bill this week because it eliminates the state and local income tax deduction important to New Yorkers. And that's not all.
STEFANIK: I've introduced the Republican resolution that climate change is happening and we need to find a solution.
WALLACE: While Stefanik has had an impressive start in Congress, she doesn't plan to be there forever.
STEFANIK: I do think institutionally Congress benefits from having a churn (ph) of new members and new ideas. So I don't see myself being here for 25, 30 years.
WALLACE (on camera): But maybe 15 or 20?
STEFANIK: I don't know. I'm thinking, you know, every two-year cycle. I need to go out there and make sure that I continue to earn the support from my constituents.
WALLACE: And yes we did discuss sexual harassment in Congress. While Stefanik says she hasn't experienced it, she supports mandatory harassment training for members of Congress and their staff.
And that's it for today. Have a great week, and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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