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Shouting Match Erupts in Senate Over GOP Tax Bill; Police Release Video of Possible Murder Suspect in Tampa; DOJ Considers Refiling Charges Against Menendez Following Mistrial. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired November 17, 2017 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[11:30:00] SEN. ORRIN HATCH, (R-UT), CHAIRMAN, SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE: I resent anybody saying I'm just doing this for the rich. Give me a break. I think you guys overplay that all the type and it gets old. Frankly you ought to quit it.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D), OHIO: Mr. Chairman, the public believes it.
HATCH: I'm not through.
HATCH: I'm get sick and tired of it. It's not true. It's a nice political play.
BROWN: Well, Mr. Chairman.
HATCH: It's not true.
BROWN: With all due respect, I get sick and tired of the richest people in the country getting richer and richer.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATOR: Regular order, Mr. Chairman.
BROWN: -- and the middle class --
BROWN: We do a tax cut --
UNIDENTIFIED SENATOR: Regular order.
BROWN: -- over and over again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, with that, what's next for the Republican plan in the Senate?
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux joining me from Capitol Hill. Hey, Suzanne. What's up?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX: Hey, Kate your and I both have known Senator Orrin Hatch over the years. That is not like him to get that emotional and upset at all. But there were fireworks. And there's a lot of emotion behind this and what we saw folks do yesterday is scramble to get out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday, but they're going to have a lot of people and constituents to answer to, try to explain what it is that they're doing with the tax reform bill. They've got a number of challenges on the Senate side and as you said it goes to the Senate side. This is a proposal here that permanently cuts the corporate tax rate for big businesses but allows it to expire for Households and individuals. That might be a tough sell. This repeals the Obamacare mandate, 13 million people over 10 years, who would no longer have health insurance. Then congressional analysts, bipartisan, nonpartisan analysts, show it is actually the poorest people after 10 years who will see the biggest increase in their taxes. And so this is something that they'll be working on. They're going to bring it back after Thanksgiving holiday for a vote. And the Democrats are certainly working on their part to derail it -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: That is -- if anything is evident, that is all evident.
Suzanne, great to see you. Thank you so much.
All right. Let's discuss this, where does this head, is it going to look any different after turkey day? Jack Kington is here, CNN political commentator, former Republican Congressman from Georgia and former senior adviser to the Trump campaign. Emily Tisch Sussman is here. She is campaign director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. And Alice Stewart, a CNN political commentator former communications director for Ted Cruz's presidential campaign.
Congressman, first to you.
A big step forward for Republicans in the House, no doubt. Overnight, that moment between Brown and Hatch, you clearly don't -- I know who you agree with, don't agree with Brown, but as they head home for the holiday is that some effective messaging they're taking home?
JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATATOR: I don't know. Probably good politics for both of them. Those of us who have served with Sherrod and know and love Sherrod, he's a loud guy, brash guy, can be obnoxious. People who know Hatch know he's reserved. Both of them just wanted to get it off their chest after a long, exhaustive process.
In my opinion someone who has spent his life in sales this tax plan is as easy to sell ice or cold drinks on a high July day at NASCAR. This is a great tax plan. It cuts middle class tax cuts -- taxes for average families by anywhere from a $1000 to $4,000. It cuts the corporate tax rate and small business tax rate in order for us to create more jobs and expand the economy. This is going to be -- this is an easy sell. And if any Republican can't go back home and sell this, they shouldn't be in office. I think it's going to be a lot easier for Republicans to sell it than Democrats for Democrats to defend a no vote.
Emily, do you think that's the case? Do you think this is easier for Republicans to sell than Democrats when heading home?
EMILY TISCH SUSSMAN, CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS ACTION FUND: That is not the case. Republicans are struggling against the perception even though they are fully in control of the federal government, they can't govern. They can't get anything passed. They're desperate to try to pass anything. The thing that's going to be unfortunate for them is that what is in this proposal is deeply unpopular. Just the House vote they had yesterday, was a number of members of Congress who are actually going to raise taxes on their constituents through the state and local deductions. We know that bill moving through the Senate as well as the House as your reporter just mentioned it is going to increase taxes for those people who are making under $75,000 over the next -- for the next 10 years. That's really unpopular and not even close to what they are selling on it. If you look at the bulk of what's in the bill it is cuts for the top and corporations. That is very unpopular. And quite frankly not what people who voted for Trump thought they were voting for.
BOLDUAN: And if this was such an easy sell, I'm confused why so many Republicans who are at least right now voicing a lot of concern.
Alice, this is a long way from over in the Senate. Republicans have concerns in it, runs the gamut over keeping the Obamacare repeal in the bill, some over the fact that individual tax cuts expire, but corporate tax cuts do not, some over what this bill would do to the debt. And Bob Corker is one of those and he tweeted this - just yesterday, we were - "We're $20 trillion in debt, and it's party like there's no tomorrow time in Washington." He was specifically -- actually linking to a story about the budget and what Republicans and Democrats are talking about over the budget. But does that just in and of itself spell trouble for the tax bill?
[11:35:07] ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: As you say, Kate, it's far from over. And look, the House bill passed with flying colors without a doubt but the Senate, there's going to be a lot more conversations like we just saw and it's not easy. But look, the bottom line is, Republicans here in Washington, want two main things and they want to follow through on the promises that they've made, and the president has made. Reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent and also making lower taxes for middle-income Americans, that is the cornerstone of both of these tax proposals.
BOLDUAN: But to do both of that, it's hard to stay within the limits of what they're allowed to do on --
BOLDUAN: -- in the reconciliation rules. And why you have -- Jack, that's why you have the individual tax cuts expiring, that's not a good sell when you head home. Individual tax cuts you can expire. Republicans say when asked about that on the Hill, they say, that's 10 years out. There's plenty of time to fix that. That's the message?
KINGSTON: You know what, it's because of some arcane rule they call the bird rule in the Senate which is ironic because --
BOLDUAN: Arcane or not it exists. Arcane or not, it exists.
KINGSTON: But let me say this.
BOLDUAN: Answer the question, though.
BOLDUAN: That's how you're going to sell it? Enough time to fix the problem?
KINGSTON: I'm going to let you hold on to your money for 10 years and then we're going to extend it. Hold on to more of your money than my Democrat opponent wants to and if you want to spend more money --
BOLDUAN: But it's just, trust me? Trust me when members of Congress' approval rating is in the dirt?
KINGSTON: Here's what I say. The bird is in the hand if you don't want it because it's not perfect send your money to Washington, let those bureaucrats spend your hard-earned money if that's what turns you on. I trust you, I think you can do a better job spending your money. And by the way, when you spend your own money, both Kennedy and Reagan found out that the economy grows, more jobs, more prosperity and your paycheck gets bigger.
BOLDUAN: I still just wonder why do corporate rates stay permanent when individual rates don't. That is just a tough thing to sell.
Emily, Republicans, I've been asking a lot of Republicans this question which is, when do they stop caring about the debt and deficit. When did Democrats start caring about the debt and deficit when I hear them talking about it these days.
SUSSMAN: It's always been on the table as one of the concerns, but I think the reason it comes up so much when talking to Republicans is the stark contrast between the last administration. And when suddenly, they want to pass these big tax cuts, particularly permanent large corporate tax cuts, and they can't pay for it, and put in things like repealing Obamacare which does bring in revenue, and can't pay for any of the tax cuts, right. So I think it's such an incredibly stark contrast to where Republicans have been over the past couple years they didn't think we could afford anything, programs that were supporting the middle class and people but when we want to give tax cuts to the top debt and deficit is never discussed. Part of the reason it will be harder to pass through the Senate is because there are a couple Senators that seem to recall another day when they actually cared about this kind of thing.
BOLDUAN: Well, it's going to be very, very difficult for Republicans to pass this.
STEWART: I just can't wait to see what a good Thanksgiving dinner does to all the comradery in Washington.
KINGSTON: We're going to get it done.
BOLDUAN: It's going to be so much easier in December you're not coming up against any deadlines to get stuff done in December on Capitol Hill. None at all. Or actually a ton of them.
Great to see you guys. Let's see what happens next.
BOLDUAN: Any moment now, we're going to be going to Alabama. These are live pictures from Montgomery, Alabama. Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, she will be speaking. These women coming together to defend Roy Moore in the face of the allegations against him as, of course, the clock ticks down on that special election in Alabama. We will bring you these moments live. We'll be back.
[11:43:03] BOLDUAN: Four murders committed within a half mile area of each other in a Tampa neighborhood while the victims were walking alone. Still a mystery. Police don't know who did it, but they have new surveillance video released yesterday of the suspect. Who is this man, and can they find him before he kills again?
Joining me is Tampa's mayor, Bob Buckhorn.
Mayor, thank you so much for coming in.
BOB BUCKHORN, TAMPA, FLORIA, MAYOR: Thank you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: So, you have said that this now is a community held hostage. How is that -- how is it the killer has been able to avoid the police to this point?
BUCKHORN: Well, we think he knows the neighborhood very well. We think he knows the nooks and crannies and able to use the allies. We think he knows where the dogs are, where the fences are, where the abandoned sheds are. He's been able to evade us, and we literally certainly the shooting three days ago, our police officers were on the scene within minutes of that shooting, but yet he had vanished like the mist. And so we continue to saturate the neighborhood with hundreds of police officers and not going anywhere until we find this guy.
BOLDUAN: Of course not. Vanish like the mist, police have -- can say that all of these murders are connected but you're not calling it a serial killer, mayor, why?
BUCKHORN: Well, we don't know that they're all connected.
BUCKHORN: An awful lot of similarities, one can make that assumption in two of the cases given the video that we have brought to the media's attention. They are the same person. We're hoping as we went through that entire neighborhood in a House by House search after the killing of Mr. Felton, that the video that we is have attained, that our detectives are going through right now will lead to other pieces of video we can release but at this point it is the painstaking, plotting, day by day effort of good police officers.
BOLDUAN: I mean, Mayor, this has been going on over a month. The first killing was October 9th. I mean are you frustrated how things are going here?
[11:45:05] BUCKHORN: Kate, I'm frustrated, I'm mad. This is a community as we said before has been held hostage. These are four families who will not celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas this year because they've had a member of their family gunned down in cold blood for no reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I knew members of the Felton family. So for us, and for me, and for our cops, this is personal. And we're going to be there as long as it takes. Fortunately, the neighborhood has stood with us. They're not going to let evil take their streets over. Good will win eventually. It will take time. I can't promise you, Kate, that this won't happen again. But I can promise you that we are going to devote every resource that we have as well as all of our partners with the FBI, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the state troopers, the sheriff's office. Everybody is in here weighing in, helping us deploying men and women.
BOLDUAN: I mean, right now, Mayor, as you just said, you can't guarantee the safety of the folks in this neighborhood?
BUCKHORN: We can't. We can't until we catch this guy. This is a cold-blooded killer attacking and ambushing innocent people who just are walking down the street. So, no, I can't tell you for sure this won't happen again. But all I can do to the folks in that neighborhood is commit to them that we're in this foxhole and we were not leaving until we find the guy.
BOLDUAN: Anything else we can do, please let us know. It's terrifying. We're talking about Seminole Heights, we're talking about, Tampa, Florida.
Thank you so much, Mayor, for coming in.
BUCKHORN: Thank you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: My goodness. Terrifying.
We'll go from that and head from Florida now to Alabama. Any moment, Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, is going to be speaking live in defense of her husband. She has been his staunchest supporter, defender since allegations of sexual abuse and inappropriate behavior with teenagers has come to light. What will she say today? We'll bring it to you live.
[11:51:34] BOLDUAN: A mistrial but it's definitely not over. After 11 weeks in court facing federal corruption charges, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez walked out a free man when the jury deadlocked once again. He was asked if he had a message.
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ROY MOORE, (R), ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: To those who left me and abandoned me in my darkest moment, I forgive you. To those who embraced me in my darkest moment, I love you.
To those New Jersians, who gave me the benefit of the doubt, I thank you.
To those who were digging my grave so that they could jump into my seat, I know who you are, and I won't forget you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: What now? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling for an ethics investigation into Bob Menendez. And his legal trouble may not be over either.
Let's get to CNN justice correspondent, Laura Jarrett, who has been following the case from the beginning.
Laura, what is next?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the big question is whether the Justice Department will decide to refile charges against Senator Menendez, a do-over, if you will. They are looking at next steps and they could decide to drop some of the charges or stream line the presentation of this case if they wanted to.
One of the jurors told them the jury was split 10-2 in favor of acquitting Menendez. Take a listen to what he had to say.
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UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Jurors who are arguing he was guilty, what were the arguments they made?
UNIDENTIFIED JUROR: They just said he was guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you do what the judge said and ask each other why?
UNIDENTIFIED JUROR: There was nothing back. Just guilty.
When you are deadlocked out of the gate, I can't force someone else's opinion.
(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: Part of what happened here, I think, Kate, is the prosecution's entire theory was resting on this idea that Menendez was doing political favors for a wealthy friend. They never had that bombshell e-mail, that freezer full of cash, much less a cooperating witness. You combine that with the fact that the defense team kept hammering the two were friends and you get reasonable doubt -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Laura Jarrett, we will stand by and see where this goes next. Bob Menendez sees where he is going next.
Any moment, Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, will be speaking. We have been listening and watching as women have been lining up to defend Judge Roy Moore. When Kayla Moore takes the microphone, we'll bring that to you live.
[11:58:38] BOLDUAN: Voting is now under way for the CNN Hero of the Year. Here is one of this year's top 10 heroes. Watch
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COLLIE SWEENEY, CNN HERO: I'll see a kid who hasn't been heard yet. I wonder where was my real family. I found the family I was looking for in my streets.
If you spend enough with kids, you will find out they're going through the same thing I was going through, no mentors or positive role models. Ready for prison or the county morgue.
Keep your head above your head. Up, up.
Boxing teachers block out the outside noise.
This is an academic program.
You going home today?
We hold our kids to the same standard, in the suburbs, anywhere around the world. The stuff we're doing here is the stuff that should be done to everyone.
When I first met Jordan, I didn't see the kid everyone else saw.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I hadn't have found Collie, I think I'll be dead or in jail.
SWEENEY: Keep doing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a savior.
SWEENEY: Let's go. Just do it, Jordon.
I went throughout my life looking for my family. They have to come up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: That's Collie Sweeney, and you can vote for him or any other hero now, CNNheroes.com.
Thanks so much for joining me this week, today, and the week before.
"INSIDE POLITICS" with Dana Bash starts right now.
[12:00:13] DANA BASH, CNN HOST: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Dana Bash --