tv Newsmakers Sen Perdue CSPAN November 12, 2017 6:00pm-6:36pm EST
-- in 1924, in his vantage point hoover had the audacity to best he willdoes a -- he wrote a letter the hoover at how dare you afflict the court with another hebrew? >> that is tonight on q&a. greta: this week on "newsmakers," we want to welcome senator david purdue, republican georgia, former fortune 500 ceo, talking about tax plans and other items on the legislative agenda. also with us in studio, we have joe williams, cq roll call, senate leadership reporter, and tamar hallerman, who is a washington correspondent with the atlanta journal. welcome to the both of you, as well. go ahead with your first question. joe: today, the washington post reported that the alabama senate candidate roy moore, republican candidate, conducted sexual acts against minors as young as 14.
do you believe that judge moore should step down from his candidacy? sen. perdue: well, it is early, and we do not know all the facts, obviously. but these allegations are very serious. if they are true, then in my opinion, he should step down and withdrawal from the race. joe: some of your colleagues are calling for senator strange to mount a write-in campaign. would you encourage the senator to pursue that? sen. perdue: we will see what happens on the facts and how judge moore reacts to it. i have not seen that yet, but it is one of the possibilities that is being talked about right now is that senator strange would step in and potentially do that as a write-in. we did see that in alaska this last time, so it is not impossible. greta: i should note that for our viewers, we are all talking on this thursday afternoon. go ahead. tamar: earlier this week, we had a slate of state-level races across the country, and democrats captured the governors mansions in virginia and new jersey. they made ground on a bunch of
legislative states, including in georgia, where democrats had two big pickups. a lot of people were viewing tuesday as a gut check on president trump and his agenda. what do you think this week's results mean for 2018, and the future of the president's agenda? sen. perdue: well, i have said this since i got elected, and certainly since the president got elected, that this is not a mandate. we have a probation period of a couple of years to see or we can do. let me remind our viewers that this year, so far, 2 million jobs have been created in america. that is a watershed event. over 860 rules and regulations have been reversed. illegal crossings at the southern border are down 60%. consumer confidence is at a 16-year high. ceo confidence is at a 20-year high. this is all because they are beginning to see that people in washington are listening. there are things happening and we do not get the health care bill done, we got a tax bill on the table right now. they are still waiting. this is a precarious situation. i think the indictment is out there for both sides, frankly, democrats and republicans, that
people back home want to get things done up here. they want to see a result. you may see some of that reflected in the immediate races. i do not think it is a mandate or a comment on the president or his agenda. what i hear when i am around the country is on the weekends that they want the republican senate especially to support this president's agenda because that is why they elected him. they don't like the fact that it has taken us so long in the senate to get the confirmations done. this is a real problem. people are beginning to figure that out. that is what i am hearing about, these immediate races. tamar: you mentioned the collapse of the health care bill. how incumbent is getting tax reform done for the republican party in terms of being able to hang on after 2018? sen. perdue: i think it is extremely important, not for the republican party, but for america. i see that independent of the health care bill. now as a political sense, i , acknowledge that because of that debacle, and i call it that because we had three committee chairman who went rogue and voted against the bill, and that bill would have solved some of
the problems we are seeing now, the collapse of obamacare and dramatically increasing rates and high deductibles. in 2014, 8 million people were fined $2 billion because they did not sign up for a obamacare, and half of those folks make less than $25,000. this is a system that is collapsing, and our health bill would have reduced premiums and would have solved a lot of problems that obamacare has caused. because we didn't do that, in terms of the political dimension, that it is incumbent on us to get it done. the thing that is much bigger than that and that is weighing on all of our minds and we are working on this, is that we have got to get this economy going. job one the president said is growing the economy. after eight years of the slowest growth in u.s. history, it is incumbent on us to make sure that we do everything we can to get this economy going. why? we want to put people back to work, we have to deal with the deficit spending that has been underway here for quite some time. both parties are guilty of that. but the ultimate reason is to solve the debt crisis.
we are seeing that secretary mattis is right in that the greatest threat to national security is our debt. we have got to solve that. the tax bill is so critical to the long-term financial health of this country. if we do not get growth going, we are vulnerable. do you know that right now, twice as many international companies outside of the united states acquire u.s. companies compared to u.s. companies buying foreign countries? that is a reversal of a few decades ago, and something we have got to reverse. greta: senator, can we just back up to what you said one we were talking about health care and you said three committee chairman went rogue. why reference their chairmanship? what does that have to do? sen. perdue: every senator has a sacred vow to their constituents, and they will represent that vote and represent their democracy to the best of their ability. that is what we do in a representative democracy. that is sacred. beyond that, inside a caucus, you have leadership.
that leadership is made up of a few people who are in acknowledged positions, but also the chairman of all of the committees. that is really where all of the power of the senate is. the ranking member and the chairman of the committees that determine what bills get debated, what bills get to the floor, and what we are going to do. as a group, leadership in the republican party in the senate decided early this year that we would do this this way. there chose reconciliation. they chose not to go on a committee. everybody pretty much agreed with that. later in the day, as we got on these bills, we saw a couple of chairman go sideways. greta: should they lose their chairmanship? sen. perdue: i am not going that far, but i do know the republican party does not have as much control over a chairman as a democratic caucus does. those rules are different. that is up to the individual caucuses. that is something i am not ready to say yet, but i do believe we need to have more recourse. joe: if i could press on that,
obviously, there are chairmen voted against the bill, but at the end of the day, the majority leader is the person who is supposed to corral the party and bring consensus. do you put as much fault with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell as you do with the three chairman who voted against the health bill? sen. perdue: we have two issues, you have a leadership issue and a membership issue. some people put their self interest in front of the national interest on this health care deal, frankly. this is after a lot of reflection. i was very disappointed we did not pass that bill. i worked very hard behind the scenes on the working group. i was not a member of the working group, but they invited anybody to come. many of us did. i was in every one of those meetings. i listened to the discourse. i saw what we were doing in the bill, and i got behind it. it really would have solved several things. accessibility, affordability, the pre-existing condition, and it would have put medicaid on a sustainable path. the path we are on right now with medicaid is not sustainable. i think the way you evaluate
leadership over time is result. that is all i can say. if you continue to not get results, then you have to you have to evaluate it. it is like in the real world. in the real world you have something i call the performance pyramid. you never get to the top in military, sports, medicine, business without being able to perform. in politics sometimes seniority is the ruling criteria. then it is not necessarily tied to results the way it is in the real world. tamar: what would you need for senate majority leader mitch mcconnell do to see him perform? how much of that is tied to the tax bill, or how much have we already seen where you can make a conclusion? sen. perdue: let me give you some examples. back in june or july, i wrote a letter to mitch, the leader, and we had 11 other senators sign the letter. it acknowledged that we had a
lot to do. at that point, we still had the debt ceiling debate, we had end of the year funding which was coming up on september 30, we had reconciliation and a budget to get done, and we had to fund the government. we felt like we needed to stay d.c. for the five weeks in the august break instead of going home. to his credit, the leaders said, well that makes sense to me, and , we will do that. so we committed to the first two weeks and said we will review that and see where we are and hold the next weeks. four days into that first week, a deal was struck between the democratic leader and the republican leader where 66 confirmations given to us on that day. i was presiding that afternoon for a couple of hours, and in that couple of hours, we did all the formal paperwork to get 66 people confirmed in one day. the irony of that is that up to that point we had something like 44 people confirmed through seven months of laborious work because this is the slowest confirmation process in our history since george washington was here. the reason is because this is
the first time a minority party has not waived the third 30-hour debate rule. when you're on a nomination for 30 hours, that is four days. you cannot do anything else. that just slowed the whole process. another reason they wanted to stay. to give the leader credit, he stepped out and did that. we just did it again a couple of weeks ago. we sent another letter and said we think we need to be here now through the end of the year, nights and weekends. he immediately agreed. we were going to do that last week, and we made a notice of it two weeks ago, and guess what. last week we got for us to get courts and judges confirmed in one week and that was historic. tamar: your own name has come up in some socially conservative circles about potentially running for leadership. would you ever be interested in running for a senate leadership position and even potentially the majority leadership? sen. perdue: that is flattering. i hear people talking, but right now we have leadership. we have a tax bill that is being debated right now.
that is my only priority right now is to get results for the president. i want to do whatever i can to make this president successful. i think every person in america, whether they are a democrat or republican, should hope he is successful because that is the future of our country. when president obama, another party was in office, i hoped he would be successful. this is a situation where we have a leadership right now, and my role is as the only fortune 500 ceo in congress, i try to add value on the topics that i have experienced in the real world, like the tax debate. i have lived with that and so we were able to bring value to that conversation. that is my role right now in the senate. greta: the president, according to some reports i have read, appreciates your background and your business background. in fact, when you won in 2014, your senate seat he reached out , to you and you struck up a friendship. how often you talk to the president, and have you ever disagreed with him and told him so, and what issue was it?
sen. perdue: yes, the border adjustment tax. this president is nobody's choirboy. neither was winston churchill, or for that matter eisenhower or harry truman. i personally think we have an individual in the white house right now that can break eggs in washington and help us break through this gridlock, which is what the american people want. the situation with the president is he looks to people who agree with him and to people who he disagrees with. you asked about an issue. the border adjustment tax is one that i came out early, back in january when it was first discussed in the house and was , in the white house with one of the first leadership meetings. i am not in leadership, obviously, but i was invited because they were going to talk about tax. i know the president and i had talked about that, so he had me in the conversation. i don't presume from the president. he is the busiest man in the world. when he calls, i answer the
call and try to give the advice i can. he knows, and he does not want yes people around him. it is the most amazing thing, when you sit in the white house in the oval office in a meeting, he listens about 80% of the time. but when the meeting is over, he concludes with a summary of what everybody has agreed to do. that is what we do in business, in the real world. this is a guy moving at a bureaucratic pace, and he does not want to fully understand the rules of the senate and house. he does not need to. his role as leader of the free world is to push us as hard as he can to get results. greta: how often do you talk to him? sen. perdue: it depends on what the topic is. on tax, we talked a lot, and immigration as well. greta: once a week? sen. perdue: i wouldn't quantify it. we have had a 40 weeks so far this year. i do know that he and i have a standing bet to get on a golf course soon. i will tell you that. greta: what is the bet about? sen. perdue: he promised to give me strokes. we will see. joe: you mentioned the tax bill a few times. the house bill has been out as
of right now the senate plan is not available. the house plan has analysis shown it is kind of a mixed bag for middle income families. some could see increases and some could see decreases. that has been what republicans say is the main goal of this effort. you are also trying to deal with the corporate rate and cut the corporate tax. would you ever consider delaying the corporate tax implementation in order to provide more relief to middle-class americans? sen. perdue: absolutely not. joe: can you explain why? sen. perdue: the best thing i can do for the american worker is to help american companies, small and large, become competitive again on the international competitive stage. we have lost our competitive position over the last 30 years. it has been a slow walk, but we are here. we have the highest corporate tax rate. we are the last country to have competitive again on the a repatration tax. these are absolute hindrances to the american worker competing with people abroad. if we do the tax bill we are talking about in the senate, the average increase is somewhere between $4000 and $9,000 a year.
that has nothing to do with a code for individuals. that is solely on the anticipated growth that is being projected if we do some of these things we are talking about in terms of getting competitive. there are three parts to this tax bill. the first is repatriation. we have almost $3 trillion stuck overseas in u.s. profits. that money gets reinvested over there. we want that reinvested here. we are the last country in the world to do that. the second facet is the corporate tax rate. 35%. it is the highest corporate tax rate in the 39 oec countries except for one. all of the other countries in the world have declined. in 1986, when the last tax bill was done, that was a long time ago, 31 years, but we were the third lowest corporate tax rate in the world at that point. now, where the highest. what that does is put u.s. businesses, large and small, at a tremendous disadvantage with other countries, and here is how. if you look at the beer industry in st. louis, it was primarily
owned by the belgians and the brazilians. why? because they were able to come in and use the tax differentials between their effective tax rate and our effective tax rate here to pay for an acquisition of a u.s. company. do you know that today, of all the transactions in the world in terms of mergers and acquisitions, two thirds of them are foreign countries buying u.s. countries? we have to change that. those two things alone will benefit the american worker better than anything else i can do -- we can do. the individual tax cut is something the president says is important. i think it is. it will not drive the economy like the first two things will, but here's why it is important. we need to bring parity here. we are going to achieve a lot of that. remember, about 52% of house goers don't pay federal income tax today. some 10% pay about 70% of what we collect today.
the other part of that is that we collected more in taxes last year, $3.5 trillion, then we ever have. the year before it was a record and the year before that it was a record. also at the same time, our government has gone from $2.4 trillion in to $4 trillion last 2000 year. that is one republican administration and one democratic administration. this is not a partisan comment. it is just the reality that the federal government has exploded. most of it is on the mandatory side. joe: you mentioned the corporate tax rate. most corporations don't pay the full 35% because of the way that the tax code is. you are a former ceo. if you were the ceo at a time of this corporate tax rate cut going into effect, how specifically would you manage the business in order to make sure that your workers would see the income increases that republicans are promising would happen based on this trickle-down theory? sen. perdue: the increases come from a growing economy that creates more demand for the jobs.
that is not something that a ceo says, well i am getting this money back and i will pile it in. it is a strategy move. the demand for products is going up and the demand for workers is going up. the natural thing of remaining competitive to attract good quality labor means that you have to increase compensation. we see that time and again. that is common economics in a capitalistic society. that is why i say the biggest impact on the american worker will be to get our companies, small and large, to be repetitive with the rest of the world. joe: so is that directly where you see the corporate tax savings going is to higher incomes? traditionally, some of those savings have gone to shareholders, and there has been criticism on republicans for pursuing that. are you confident, can you say definitively that this tax plan would increase incomes for americans? sen. perdue: absolutely. i have lived that world. i will try to explain how it happens. it is not that i get a dollar back and i am going to give half of that to labor. what it is, if you get that money back, it is capital. it gets invested in equipment,
training, software, all the things that make you more competitive. what happens is, the demand for products and services goes up, that creates more demand for more workers. therefore, the supply and demand of workers changes, and then the price you have to pay to be competitive to attract good workers goes up. that is how that equation works. by the way, i have no problem with a company -- and we are not putting restrictions on when you get this money back what you have to do with it. i do not think it is the role of the federal government. goodness gracious. the business acumen of the political environment in washington is not what the acumen is of the business community. therefore, i do not want them telling the business community how to invest that money. the reason is, when you get that money back, if some of it goes to dividends or shareholders, guess what, that money gets reinvested as well. there is a compound effect of bringing $2.5 trillion in a
one-time deal and then some $500 billion to $600 billion every year after that. there is a compound impact of that. here is why. first of all, there is a leverage impact. that is equity. you bring equity back and it gets reinvested. but it is normally invested with debt. that is equity and debt that gets invested, so you get a multiple. sometimes it is three or four times that. the second multiplier is that the ancillary industries that support whatever your investment is -- let's say i build an r&d center in boston, that is the construction cost. once you start operating, there is more labor, training costs, so the multiplier effect is where you get the geometric increase here. tamar: you often talk about what you see as a debt crisis in this country. you also supported a budget that based on the tax plan, it paves the way for up to $1.5 trillion adding to the deficit under this tax bill. how do you square that, and how you view this change now that
you have an ally in the white house? sen. perdue: no, my views have not changed and neither has his. he is as dedicated to this debt crisis as i am. let me square something here. the $1.5 trillion is not added to the debt. that is an investment so that we can get at the debt. the debt has several solutions to it. $20 trillion of debt, people can't relate to that. we have over $100 trillion of future liabilities also we have to talk about just in the next 30 years. that is medicare, medicaid, social security -- pension benefits for federal employees, and the interest on the debt. that is exploding away from us. as a matter of fact, social security and medicare have to be saved. their trust funds go to zero in less than 14 years. that is unconscionable, but it is a reality. when you get to the $1.5 trillion over here, that is the static scoring of what this bill would do. $500 million of that is policy versus law issue we are talking about. the other is, if you believe you
are going to grow and that would pay for this, 4/10 of 1% in addition to the gdp from 1.9% to 2.3% more than pays for this level of investment. that is the way i look at it. that is the proper way to do it. the debt to me is the number one crisis in america. the fact that we cannot fund health care research, we can't fund our military at the level we need to, these are just manifestations of decades of intransigence in terms of dealing with these long-term liabilities. greta: we have time for three more questions. senator, if i could, i want to ask you about the politics of this tax bill and getting the votes. the speaker of the house today said, trust me, we will get this over the finish line when it comes to the house republican version of tax reform. the senate will have their own version. republicans in the senate. can you say that you will get it over the finish line? where are the votes? sen. perdue: i feel like we are going to get this passed. i am optimistic. greta: how many votes are there right now?
sen. perdue: i think we could get 51 votes or 52 votes. if we get 50 votes, then we will bring along six or seven democrats as well who want to be counted with us on this because they believe in the capitalistic system, and they believe if you free up this capital and get it reinvested, it will increase jobs and wages. so that type of economics they believe in. i think if we get this to a 50-vote rule and they see it is going to pass, then we will pick up some democratic votes. on our side, we just had a presentation made by four members of our finance committee. not by the staff, but the members themselves. remember, we are doing this bill in regular order as well. it will be in committee. there will be plenty of other amendments in the committee. it will be marked up, and hopefully, the following day or after the thanksgiving break, we will vote on the full bill and there will be amendments that week as well. this is a regular order bill. i am more than hopeful. i am optimistic. i'm optimistic we get the votes this time.
joe: you had mentioned funding medical research and funding the military. the appropriations process, the committee itself has not even passed all of the spending bills out to be taken up on the house floor. you have not, besides the defense bill, there has not been much activity on appropriations. why this year as the showing on spending has been so poor? has it been because of the chairman of the committee? is it because of leadership? what is the reason why? sen. perdue: that is a great call out, joe. that is why am saying this is a budget process and it is broken. since the 1974 budget act was passed, it has only worked four times to fund the government. we used 198 continued resolutions to fund the government past a due date like the end of the fiscal year. you realize we have passed 12 at bills to fund the government today. this is a broken system.
this is a travesty, fraud perpetrated on the american people in my mind. this year is unusual, and that we used two reconciliations. the 2017 budget and the 2018 budget or just reasons to get to a reconciliation. that is all they were for. but in normal years, when you do budget and authorization and appropriation, the budget is not a law. it is just a resolution. the majority crams down the throat of the minority their version, a political version of what they think the spending should be in the next 10 years. we have $315 billion of annual expenses a year that are not authorized today. the state department went for 15 years almost without being authorized. then you get to appropriations. the minority says, well, you didn't want us play in the budget and we don't believe in the numbers anyway, so we are going to play here every -- here. therefore, they push -- and both sides do this. you get to the end of the fiscal year and you have to do a continued resolution which devastates the military.
this is the primary cause, i believe, of this debt crisis long-term and the reason why the government grows from $2.4 trillion to $4 trillion in 16 short years. joe: some of those bills are bipartisan bills. why are they not moving? sen. perdue: let me give you an example. last year, i am on the budget committee, they passed 27 to nothing. 27-0. it was a unanimous appropriation bill that they passed out of the armed services committee. we tried to six times to get that bill on the floor, and it was blocked six times. that is obstruction by anybody's definition. both sides have it done it, when they are the the majority or minority, but it is just being done more now. the call here is to get to an eventually neutral platform to allow us to get a budget done. we have democrats and republicans working behind the scenes right now to get that done. i have been for two years -- we formed a group on the republican side and started working on what it took to get there. now we have several democrats and several republicans who all
agree, and some are ex-governors who had balanced budget laws to deal with. they understand how important this is. i am very optimistic that once we get past tax and we get into next year, this president is very focused on the long-term debt. he knows first we have to get the economy going and then we'll move on to other things like the budget process and possibly social security and medicare eventually. greta: senator purdue, unfortunately we are all out of time. thank you very much for being this week's newsmaker. sen. perdue: thank you very much. greta: we are back with our reporters. tamar, let's begin with the prospects of tax reform. house ways and means committee is wrapping up their vote and markup of the legislation. what happens next, and when will the senate act? tamar: first it has to go to the senate floor. that is the plan for next week and the margin forever is very tight. i believe they have less than
two dozen votes that the republicans have to work with. i know that some republicans from higher tax states like new york, new jersey, and california are very much worried about the elimination of the state and local tax deduction. it will be interesting to see if leaders have to make it in -- make any changes to the bill to win them over. from there, the markup starts in the senate. the margin for error is tighter. greta: what are you hearing about the differences between the two bills, between house and senate republicans? where are the dividing lines? joe: it is interesting because senate republicans will say there bill is very similar to the house bill. while that is largely true base of what we have heard, there are some similarities but there are major differences potentially teeing up between the house and the white house. the senate bill, from what we know, would repeal the state and local tax deductions. the house would at least keep a
portion of that on the property tax side. if i am a house member from a high tax state and i see the senate pushing forward a bill where it is a full repeal, that would worry me. what comes out of the next week as the senate moves forward while the house is still trying to wrap up work will be something that will be very important to watch and see how that dynamic plays out. greta: senator david purdue, a former fortune 500 ceo, what is his role in the tax push? tamar: he is a close ally of the president. it feels like the president is relying on him to figure at the landscape in the senate. how many votes are at play. what issues are bogged down negotiations. not only that, the senator is looking to him on immigration issues. there is a whole bill to overhaul the immigration system i know they are looking to get
in early in the new year. there are a lot of different falls in the air -- balls in the air with senator perdue. greta: what did you make with his relationship with the the dutch purdue is his closest ally. it seems like they are talking all the time, trying to get -- perdue is his closest ally. they are trying to get stuff done. predicts he will see six democrats vote yes along with the republicans. in your reporting, what are you hearing? joe: that is the common refrain you hear from senate republicans paired i wouldn't completely rule it out. you have quite a few republicans.
i wouldn't completely rule it out. you have quite a few senators who very well could end up supporting this. they have kept their options open. what is interesting about the senate bill is that there are quite a few provisions that have obtained democratic support in the past. it will come down to what the full bill looks like. this will be a lot more difficult for some members of the democratic party to completely rule out as opposed to health care, which they would immediately say they wouldn't support it because at the end of the day, republicans are looking to gut the four caret. greta: they have the affordable care act. greta: i think it will protect an arab unity. -- air of unity. the joe: they don't want to see the same things pop up in health care. tax is extremely complicated. it is a state-by-state issue on a lot of provisions. when we see the whole package come out, you could see defections from a few individuals for a variety of reasons. it will be up to leadership to corral that to find tax goes.
-- find a path forward. what is interesting about sen. purdue were his comment about mitch mcconnell, because there were whispers about the future is at stake with the tax bill, and if it does not get done, you could to cause for him to step down. greta: thank you both for being part of newsmakers. i appreciate it. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, >> this week on cue and day, we look at the lives of a jewish justices, who served on different courts. our guest is the author of jewish justices of the supreme court. of my bookhe themes anti-semitism, from the time
of many judges. as judge was notoriously anti-semitic. -- from his vantage point, hoover had the audacity to nominate cardoso. he wrote a letter to rupert, saying how dare you. >> tonight, on 8:00 eastern, on day." q "queuing --."&a. public in effect tonight on afterwards. >> this is my 15 minutes. speaking onday, not behalf of the fbi, any intelligence agencies, on behalf of anybody but myself. i would like to say that i hope
and pray i am speaking on behalf of the millions of muslim 1.7 billion across the globe that don't think radically. want them to feel comfortable in a stand up and say, that is not a religion. that is what is being worked by al qaeda. not the only voices. >> muslim american federal agent , who requested to remain anonymous, talks about his experience fighting thomistic terrorism in america with his insidemerican radicals: an fbi undercover agent. " watch afterwards i tonight at 9:00 eastern, on c-span twos book tv. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ >> c-span's washington journal, live every day, with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, reuters correspondent america --
a reuters correspondent discusses tax reform on capitol hill. then, scott call, and an american-made movie producer, talk about the state of u.s. manufacturing. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern monday morning. join the discussion. >> watch c-span this week, as congress debates tax reform. the senate finance committee begins they revealed monday at three clock p.m. eastern, live coverage on c-span3. the house debates its bill on thursday. live coverage on c-span. get details about both bills at c-span.org/congress, and listen to live coverage of tax reform using the free c-span radio app. science anduse technology -- and technology subcommittee discovere--