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House Passes GOP Tax Overhaul Bill; White House Daily Briefing. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired December 19, 2017 - 14:30   ET


[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You heard some applause and I think a little bit of booing from the House floor as this Republican tax plan has officially passed the House.

And, Maeve Reston, over to you.

Heads on to the Senate. And I asked Abby, but I'll ask you the same question because we know the White House press briefing has been waiting to begin contingent on this vote. It passed. What sort of messaging are you expecting from the White House this afternoon?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, this is such a rare moment for this administration where she can come out and give good news. What's been so remarkable about this bill is that the messaging around it has been really quite terrible. I mean the stories that you see are constantly about how this is going to help the Trump family or his, quote, unquote, "donors." And she has the case to come out here and say American people are better under the Trump administration. That they have delivered on a major piece of legislation finally. The fact that they accomplished so little throughout this year with the exception of the regulatory agenda and loosening regulations is just been a huge struggle for the Trump White House. And now she can come out here and gloat and walk through the ways in which they think this will help the economy. Which is already doing pretty well. But they really have a lot of convincing to do today, obviously, as we are seeing from these poll numbers. And I think you are hearing mitch McConnell we are just star start go to make the argument. So far, the messaging has been terrible.

BALDWIN: Mark, over to you.

You've seen the polling, according to the CNN polls out tonight, opposition to the bill has grown 10 points. So 33 percent of the Americans say they favor this. Despite all of that though, just reading Phil Mattingly from this morning, it looks like it's been full barrel ahead for these Republicans, go, go, go, let's pass this thing. Why take that gamble?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, because, look as Paul Ryan had said in the floor comments last hour, they had to, they gave a promise and said they would follow-through on it. And in fact, they have done so. But I do think what's important about the numbers as we do talk about the lack of support for the bill, over all there is lack of support for the bill and we have seen a drop of 10 points as you noted from November to today, which is amazing, right, that's a huge drop. However, if you look at the Republican support for the bill, that actually went up over the past month. And right now, it is 76 percent of Republicans support the bill, so if you are a Republican Congressman right now, if you are Republican Senator, and you look at that support from amongst your base, that's actually a pretty good number given the fact as Maeve was pointing out messages around this bill has been incredibly bad. And I think that have you to look at the White House and say that the White House hasn't necessarily been a great wing man for Congressional Republicans in all of this. So as we have been saying and been talking about, this vote today is going to have ramifications in 2018.

I think David Chalian is right when he says I don't think it's going to be the ad that is done. However, you will see Democrats and liberals try to excite their base by noting that this tax cut is actually going to help the wealthy much more than it would help the middle class.

BALDWIN: David, we have some live pictures there up on the Hill and waiting for the White House briefing to begin. I don't know if we hear from some of the members momentarily in this win with, what was it, 227 yeas to pass it.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICS DIRECTOR: Nice 10-vote cushion there.

BALDWIN: Yes. And curious we did see the vice president pass in the hallway a bit ago. What's his role looking ahead to the Senate?

CHALIAN: He is the president of the Senate. That's his nature. That's where he gets his paycheck from. So he is the presiding officer of the Senate.


BALDWIN: David, forgive me. Here's Sarah Sanders.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETYARY: -- the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. That brings us one step closer to the president making good on his promise to deliver tax cuts for Christmas. We are looking forward to the Senate vote later this evening, and the president will be monitoring these developments throughout the day.

As December winds down, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to look back at what has been, by any measure, a historic year.

Nearly 1.7 million new jobs have been created, and the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1 percent, the lowest rate in 17 years.

The stock market reached a record high more than 60 times, and closed above 24,000 for the first time in history.

We've rolled back 22 regulations for every one new regulation, saving taxpayers over $8 billion and liberating America's economy from the grip of bloated government. We've withdrawn from or began renegotiating the trade deals that once threatened to destroy American industry and shipped our jobs around the world.

SANDERS: We finally set up our nation on a path to not only energy independence, but energy dominance. We approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, directed the EPA to end the job- killing war on coal, and upon the tax bill's passage, will have opened up ANWR to responsible energy exploration.

The president has protected America's communities. We've seen the lowest level of illegal border crossings on record. We ended the Obama administration's dangerous catch-and-release policies, restoring law and order both on the border and in the interior. And we've designed and built eight wall prototypes for the border wall.

We've taken unprecedented steps to tackle America's opioids epidemic by directing the declaration of a nationwide public health emergency.

And we promoted peace through strength.

Under the president's leadership, ISIS has lost nearly all of its territory and its most important strongholds in Iraq and Syria. We've restored old alliances, forged new ones, begun rebuilding our military, and made it clear to the world that there is no greater ally, no more fearsome adversary than the United States of America.

We've reshaped the American judiciary for generations. Justice Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court, and 22 judges have been confirmed, including a record-setting 12 circuit judges.

We protected life by reinstating and expanding the Mexico City policy that protects $9 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion.

And this evening, hopefully, upon passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the president will have delivered the most significant tax cut in the history of the nation, and repealed the Obamacare individual mandate.

SANDERS: The president has delivered on promise after promise, issue after issue, time after time, and we're just getting started.

As some of you may have seen yesterday, Disney World debuted its animatronic President Trump for its famed Hall of Presidents. In the president's remarks for the exhibit, which he recorded here at the White House earlier this year, he said, "From the beginning, America has been a nation defined by its people. It's why our founders began our great Constitution with three very simple words: 'We, the people'."

In the coming days, political analysts will write and the talking heads will discuss what this year means: what it means for the president, what it means for the Republican and Democrat Parties, and for the never-ending political theater in Washington, D.C. But I would encourage everyone to take a step outside of the Beltway bubble, and consider what this year means for the American people.

To the forgotten men and women around our country, you are forgotten no more. This president is with you 100 percent, and as this year has already proven, he will never let you down.

And with that, I will take your questions.

John (ph)?

QUESTION: Two questions on tax reform, both of them quick, if I could.

First of all, what's the schedule for signing? I understand this may not happen until after the Christmas break.

SANDERS: Look, we're still working on the details of the signing, but first, we want to make sure it gets passed. That's what we're focused on right now, is helping make sure we see this through to the finish in the Senate. And then we'll announce plans on what a -- a signing would look like, and where it would take place following that.

QUESTION: Second question: the carried interest provision. This is something that -- this is a loophole the president promised again and again and again to close. The carried interest loophole is still there in this bill. Why did the president not insist on getting rid of that?

SANDERS: Look, the president was focused, and he laid out what his four biggest principles were that he wanted to make sure were part of any piece of legislation. We feel that the piece of legislation where it is now certainly answered and addressed that. That was (sic) been our focus all along, and what we've continued to talk about consistently here, and every time we've talked about taxes.


QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah.

The president has said that this tax bill is going to cost him a fortune. It's actually not the case. How does he figure this is going to cost him a lot of money?

SANDERS: Look, we expect that it likely will -- certainly on the personal side, it could cost the president a lot of money.

SANDERS: Again, the president's focus hasn't necessarily been at all on himself, but it's been on those four principles that we laid out; number one, and priority number one, being that it helps the American middle class. We know that this bill does that, and that's one of the biggest reasons that the president has supported it, been engaged and will look forward to signing it, hopefully in the coming days.

QUESTION: But he says the benefit from pass-through deductions, top- rate tax reduction, estate tax exemption is doubled. He's going to make money on that. SANDERS: Look, again, this is a tax plan that we hope benefits all Americans, primarily -- and priority number one is middle-class Americans. That has been this administration's focus.

We feel like that is certainly addressed and -- been prioritized in this legislation, and we're going to be very excited to sign it, hopefully in the coming days.

Matthew (ph).

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah.

Early reports are indicating that that fatal Amtrak derailment out in Washington, similar to the 2015 derailment in Philadelphia, could've been prevented by positive train control, which Congress backed in '08, mandated was supposed to be on all lines by 2015. That's been pushed back, and it's only on a quarter of passenger lines right now.

Is this White House considering any steps to speed up the implementation of positive train control to stop these kinds of accidents?

SANDERS: Right now, we're continuing to review and investigate exactly what took place yesterday. And once we have a more detailed determination on that, we can take steps to prevent things like this from happening in the future.

John (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks a lot, Sarah.

You ticked off a number of accomplishments that you see the president has made in this first year in office. Why are his approval ratings mired in the mid to upper 30s, despite those accomplishments?

SANDERS: I think oftentimes because, while the president and this administration has been very focused on how we can better help the American people, I think oftentimes the media is focused on other things; certainly not talking about the growing economy, certainly not talking about the crushing of ISIS, not talking about the creation of jobs.

If you look at the amount of time that is spent on negative coverage of this president, 90 percent of the coverage is negative about this president when, as you just said, I listed off a number of things that have been pretty historic in nature in this first year.

And if people were focused a lot more on those things in the media, I think that his numbers would be a lot higher. We anticipate that they're going to go up as more and more of these things continue to happen, and particularly as more and more people start to feel the impact of the booming economy, the tax cuts that'll take place later tonight and go into effect in the first part of February.

I think those are all things that are going to help boom our numbers. QUESTION: And separately, Sarah, just if I may, Matthew Petersen, since we last met, withdrew his judicial nomination. There's been a viral video of his inability to answer some basic legal questions that went up before his confirmation hearing.

How did he, sort of, slip through the cracks? Why was he nominated?

And are you doubling up your effort here at the White House, over at DOJ to make sure that your judicial nominees can answer those basic questions when they go up to the confirmation hearings?

SANDERS: Look, the president's judicial selection process has led to a historic pace of confirmations, including 12 circuit court justices and a Supreme Court justice.

Every administration has individuals that don't go all the way through the process. We've had 60 nominees, and only three that haven't gone through this process.

That individual has withdrawn. And we're going to make sure that we fill that spot with a really strong and good, qualified candidate.

Dave (ph)?


Where was the president watching when the House voted? And did you see his reaction? What did he do?

SANDERS: I'm not sure. I'll have to circle back with you on that. I was getting ready to come out. I was watching to make sure I didn't make you guys wait too much longer. (CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... one thing on nominations. Can you explain, now that we're near the end of the year, why the president has submitted far fewer names to the Senate for nomination than his predecessors at this point in his term?

SANDERS: Look, we've been focused on filling positions as quickly as possible.

But at the same time, the president has said before he doesn't think that every single position in the government needs to be filled. He's going to cut back on some of those positions. We've been focused on some of the top-priority places, and we're going to continue filling out individuals.

But we've also seen a massive slowdown and obstruction by the Democrats. Hopefully, they'll continue to push our people through, particularly in -- individuals that were held up, whether it's in the judiciary or something that falls under the national defense profile.

Blake (ph)?

QUESTION: Thank you. Let me ask you a couple questions, pick up where John Roberts left off. He asked you about the carried interest loophole, and you said essentially that it fell within the president's four main principles that he laid out.

How is keeping the carried interest loophole, or at least a portion of it, good for the middle class?

SANDERS: Look, the big priorities that we had -- I'll go back -- were make it easy, make it fair, win again and bring it home. We feel like this tax legislation certainly does that.

There were provisions that were put in place that directly help and benefit the middle class. They see more of their money come home. They see childcare tax deductions double.

There are a lot of things that are going to impact the middle class, and we feel like those things address the need to really help give them that boost, and we think that this absolutely will.

QUESTION: Let me ask you this way.

The -- an individual who makes roughly $83,000 would pay about 24 percent with their rate. Somebody who benefits -- a millionaire, tens of millions, potentially hundreds of millions, if not more -- still might pay 24 percent on that money.

Does the White House believe that somebody who makes $83,000 paying as somebody who's potentially hundreds of millions -- do you guys believe that is fair?

SANDERS: Look, again, I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth on a detailed hypothetical situation that I don't have in front of me and that I can't quickly do the math on.

But I can tell you, we feel like this plan fully addresses helping the middle class, giving the majority of middle-class Americans more of their money back. And that's what we've been focused on, and we feel confident in that.

Jordan (ph)?

QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.

I actually wanted to ask about UFOs.


Several media reports this week disclosed -- sorry.



SANDERS: I was going to say, I don't know if that's a coincidence or not. I fell like I already want to pass on this question, given that you've got aliens sitting among you.


QUESTION: Several media reports disclosed the existence of a secret Pentagon program that was researching UFOs. Funding ran out for that in 2012.

Does the president believe in these instances of UFOs? And would he be interested in restoring funding for that program?

SANDERS: Somehow, that question hasn't come up in our back-and- forth over the last couple days, but I will check into that and be happy to circle back.

Jennifer (ph)?

QUESTION: Has the president made sure that the IRS has the resources it needs to implement these new tax reform rules?

SANDERS: We understand that they're fully prepared to take action immediately, and that people will see the benefits of this tax package start at the first part of February. And we've confirmed that with the IRS.


QUESTION: Just to follow up on a couple of questions, were you saying that this particular judicial nominee who's withdrawn after this viral video of his inept performance at the confirmation hearing didn't properly go through your preparation and vetting process?

SANDERS: No, I didn't say that.

I said that we have been focused on pushing forward good candidates. We've put forward over 60 nominees. We've had three individuals that have had to withdraw. That individual was one of them. And we are focused on making sure we fill that position with somebody that would...


QUESTION: ... confirmation hearing, based on your process, you thought he was prepared?

SANDERS: We, again, are looking always for the best and brightest. And when we felt like that wasn't necessarily the right person for that position, he's -- has withdrawn his nomination. We haven't continued to go forward.

That is pretty standard in most administrations. In fact, every administration prior to us has had to withdraw nominees. We've had to withdraw three out of 60.

SANDERS: Look, I think a lot of people are focused on just those three, and not at the overwhelming number. The president has had his nominees confirmed at a historic pace -- on that effort, and many of them with bipartisan support, including the 12 members of the circuit court and the Supreme Court justice.

QUESTION: And a follow-up on Cecilia's question: You don't disagree with what she said about the personal benefits that will accrue to the president, based on provisions in the tax cut bill?


SANDERS: I said that we expect...

QUESTION: ... they will benefit him personally?

SANDERS: Look, I said that in some ways, particularly on the personal side, the president will likely take a big hit. But on the business side, he could benefit.

But the biggest focus for this White House is been to make sure all Americans are better off today, after this tax package passes, than they were beforehand.

We really focused on invigorating the middle class and making sure they got more of their hard-earned money, and we think that that will happen in this package.

Phil (ph)?

QUESTION: Sarah, you said the focus is on the middle class. Why was one of the last provisions put in lowering the top bracket?

And did the president support that? And why did -- if he did not support it, why did he not insist that that not be added at the end?

SANDERS: Look, the -- some of the back-and-forth -- we respected the process. A lot of that took place in the House and Senate. We've been engaged in that process.

But we laid out what our four priorities were. We wanted to make sure those happened. That was our focus in the process, and we felt like those priorities were met.

QUESTION: Does that (ph) help the middle class, to lower the rate for the bracket for the top individual earners?

SANDERS: Some economists think that it does. And I'd be happy to refer you to some of them that would give you a very deep --


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: -- the most important pieces of legislation that Congress has passed in decades to help the American worker, to help grow the American economy. This is profound change. And this is change that is going to put our country on the right path.

For all those millions of men and women in America who are living paycheck to paycheck, who are struggling to get ahead, help is on the way. For all those businesses that are tied with one hand behind their back in this global economy, having a hard time compete, help is on the way.

I want to thank Chairman Kevin Brady. I want to thank all the men and women who made this possible. This has been a long work in progress. And what this achievement marks is a promise that this majority made that is a promise that this majority is keeping.

We said in 2016 that it would take real tax reform for families and businesses to get the American economy growing. And we were serious. And the American people placed their trust in us to do this work for them.

And today, we're making good on that promise. We are fulfilling that promise. And this promise, being kept today, is one of the most important things we could do to get the U.S. economy growing faster, to help people get bigger paychecks, to have a fairer tax system, and simplify the system so people could have more peace of mind.

So, Kevin said it the right way, on January 1, Americans are going to wake up with a new tax code. In February, they're going to see withholdings go down so they see bigger paychecks. And April 15th will be the last day they have to comply with the old bad system.

This is a good day for America. This is a good day for workers. This is a great day for growth and we're very excited about this moment. Thank you.


REPORTER: So you have said that you've spoken often about the tax cuts that families will see in the first few years of the plan. What can you say about the tax cuts that individuals will see in the end of the next decade? Because the JCT analysis showed that some lower --


RYAN: Sure. So, obviously, our -- we have every intent to making those permanent. Because of the Senate rules, you know why that sunset is there. So, it is obviously our intent like times past to make all those permanent.


REPORTER: So, the impact will be bigger?

RYAN: Kasie?

REPORTER: Congress doesn't have the greatest track record of planning to do something later and then follow-through. How can you guarantee Americans that they are still going to see the benefits of this tax cut?

RYAN: Look at what we've done right now. We were planning on doing this tax reform bill all year long last year. We worked on it all year. We ran on in it in 2016. We spent 2017 working on this legislation.

And here it is, we're getting it done. This was a promise made. This is a promise kept.


RYAN: Yes?

REPORTER: Mr. Speaker, does the lack of Democratic support mean that this tax overhaul is vulnerable the same way that the Affordable Care Act was vulnerable and ultimately changed today by --

RYAN: I think the comparisons are non sequitur because the Affordable Care Act proved to be extremely unpopular. The Affordable Care Act proved to reduce your health care choices, to raise premiums to make health care unaffordable.

This is going to do the opposite. This is going to grow the economy. It's going to increase paychecks. It's going to increase take-home pay. And that I believe is going to be very popular.

Thank you very much, everybody. I appreciate it.


SANDERS: -- the governor has made previously, that every time they've asked, the federal government has delivered.

We want to continue to be partners with them with this, and make sure that we rebuild. And that's what we're doing.

And that's why the president has sent two members of his Cabinet directly to deal with that and be on the ground in Puerto Rico, to further assess and see what other necessary actions we have that we can take.

QUESTION: And on the taxes situation, Sarah, I'm just -- you're getting a lot of questions about what will benefit the president, what won't benefit the president. I get that he doesn't want to release his taxes. That would obviously put all of these questions to rest.

So can you just elucidate why -- for 2016, the president can release his taxes. Why won't he do that and put all of these questions away, back up what you're saying, prove that what you're saying is correct? That's the way to do it.

SANDERS: As we've said many, many times before...

QUESTION: I can ask (ph) a different question...

SANDERS: ... the president's taxes are still...


QUESTION: ... not whether he will, but why won't he?

SANDERS: ... under audit. And until that is completed, then we wouldn't move forward on putting his taxes out.

John (ph)?

QUESTION: I guess I'm asking the why part of it, Sarah. I don't mean to belabor it, but I understand that the president wants to wait until after the audit. I'm asking why.

SANDERS: I don't think it's that complicated. As long as they're under audit, he's not going to release his taxes. His taxes are under audit, so he's not going to release those taxes.

John (ph)?

QUESTION: Even though, if (ph) these questions are asked, he's aware of (ph) that?

QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.

SANDERS: I think we've addressed this a number of times. I'm not sure why answering it another time will make the answer any different.

John (ph)?

QUESTION: I have two questions on Russia.

First, the Kremlin has recently threatened Twitter with a complete shutdown throughout Russia if it continues to carry the Twitter account of what they call undesirables, notably the dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Open Russia group. They've made a similar threat to YouTube recently.

What's the administration's reaction when the Russian government wants to shut down American-run businesses bringing in expression of opinion to their country?

SANDERS: Certainly, generally speaking, we would not support a government shutting down American businesses. And I don't know why this would be different. But I'd have to look into the details on that specific action and request that they've made.

QUESTION: The other thing on Russia: Senator Rubio has introduced legislation to name the street in front of the Russian embassy here after the slain Russian dissident Boris Nemtsov. Senator Corker has blocked it.

Does the administration have an opinion on this at all? SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of.

Nina (ph)?

QUESTION: I wanted to ask you about the path forward on the Export- Import Bank. Now that the Senate -- a Senate committee is saying that Scott Garrett's name is -- shouldn't go forward, does the White House think that it needs to name someone else to run?

SANDERS: We're going to work with the committee on a path forward that hasn't yet been determined. We're certainly very disappointed, and the Senate Banking Committee missed an opportunity to get the Export-Import banking fully functioning again. We're going to work with them to determine the next steps.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) by his name, or someone else?

SANDERS: More generally speaking, just a path forward. We'll let you know if it's going to be with that individual or a different plan.

SANDERS: Brian (ph)?

QUESTION: Sarah, just a couple of quick follow-ups.

First, on -- Matthew (ph) -- he was asking about Amtrak, there was a budget request, as I understand, from the president, for $630 million reduction in the long-distance Amtrak routes. In -- and because of the accident in Washington, do you plan on revisiting that issue?

On Matthew Petersen, the three that were turned down -- it's our understanding that they had close ties to the White House. So are you going to try to change the vetting process?

And then, finally, on the one on UFOs...


SANDERS: Let me just start and do one at a time, because I'm not going to remember all of those questions.

QUESTION: OK. The one on UFOs is the last one.

SANDERS: If we have to -- we'll see if we can get to all of that.

The first one was on judicial nominees?

QUESTION: Well, the first one is on the Amtrak...


SANDERS: This is why we didn't skip and let you take three (ph).


SANDERS: So, on Amtrak, as I -- as I told Matthew (ph) a few minutes ago, we're going to wait until that investigation is complete and there's a more thorough review, and we'll talk about next steps once that's done.

In terms of the judicial nominees, I've walked through that a couple of times now. We have put through 60 -- nominated 60 individuals. Only three have had to withdraw, or not gone forward in some capacity. And that's pretty standard for any administration. Every administration ahead of us has had similar challenges where they've either withdrawn or not gone forward.

QUESTION: Because of their ties to the White House, because it's looked upon as those were friends of the White House, and that's why they got that nomination, are you going to change the vetting process, or are you going to look at it more closely? SANDERS: I think, if we were so focused on friends that were close to the White House, those individuals would be moving forward, and not having withdrawn.

James (ph).

QUESTION: Sarah, the new set (ph) National Security Strategy specifically calls out Russia for using subversive tactics to interfere with the affairs of other countries. Why didn't the president use that kind of aggressive language in his speech yesterday?

SANDERS: Look, the president has weighed in on Russia and his feelings on that a number of times.

The policy and the strategy put forth in that very detailed paper was that of the president, and it reflects his views. And, you know, he's -- didn't read every single page of it word for word.


SANDERS: I'm sure you're all thankful for that, because we certainly could have. Maybe I should do that for the next briefing.

But look, the president's been clear what his position is. We've been tough on Russia. We've put sanctions on Russia. We've imported energy and impacted them in a big way. The president has not been soft in this process.

He chose to focus on different things in the speech, but those things were included in the National Security Strategy because they're important, and they're part of the administration's viewpoints.

Jill (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah.

Two things.

First thing, I just wanted to go back to the Scott Garrett issue. Does the president at this point regret having nominated someone who advocated previously getting rid of the Export-Import Bank to lead it?

SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of.

I'm going to take one last question. Sorry (ph). QUESTION: And then -- and then I also just want to ask -- Andersen (ph) -- the president spoke with Prime Minister May today. Did they have any discussion at all about the president's planned visit? Have you settled on any timing for a potential visit?

SANDERS: That invitation has been extended and accepted, and we're working with them to finalize the details, which we expect to announce soon. And we'll keep you guys posted on that once that's finalized.

Last question, John (ph)? QUESTION: Sarah, yeah, the president did say that this tax cut bill would cost him a fortune. That was false, right?

SANDERS: No, because, on the personal side, this actually could impact the president in a large way and...

QUESTION: Has he looked at how it would balance out, corporate versus personal, if he's going to come out ahead?

SANDERS: I'm not sure if he's done a side-by-side, but I know that there are a number of provisions that would negatively impact the president personally, and so we contend that those comments are still very consistent.

However, like I've said, our focus has been on the middle class, and that is what we think is delivered in this tax package. And we very much look forward to seeing it passed later today and signed at a date...


QUESTION: ... think the bill is...

SANDERS: ... soon. And we'll be sure to keep you guys posted on that.

QUESTION: ... why do you think the bill's so unpopular?

SANDERS: Thanks so much, guys.

[14:59:09] BALDWIN: OK. Jim Acosta there, senior White House correspondent question with the last question.

Let's be precise what they were talking about with regard to President Trump and how he benefits, and we won't totally know because the man hasn't released tax returns. And despite our CNN polling saying today 73 percent of you would like him to, this is the piece that was new from Sarah Sanders. She said, now that the tax bill -- she said it could help President Trump on the business side, but that the primary focus of the White House, you heard her, is to make sure all Americans are better off today than they were beforehand.

All of this coming off the heels of the big win for Republicans. So far, on the House side, the vote they had nice 10-vote cushion. They needed 217. They got 227 yeas. So we now know the next move for this massive tax reform heads on to the Senate. And presumably, to the president's desk as early as tomorrow.

I've got Mark Preston and Maeve Reston and Sunlen Serfaty over on Capitol Hill.

Mark Preston, to you.

I mean, we were talking about the messaging. And as we've listen to both --