Rep. Kevin Brady optimistic about tax policies as Dow drops
House Ways and Means Committee chairman discusses long-term benefits of tax reforms and shares an update on upcoming budget vote.
This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 8, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, "YOUR WORLD" HOST: Right now, I want to go to Kevin Brady, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, of course, the man who got these tax cuts that propelled a lot of this activity that we have been seeing and is still convinced it will continue to return beneficial results, not only to taxpayers, but maybe the markets.
We shall see.
I know you're not a market guy, Chairman, but are you surprised by what's been going on?
REP. KEVIN BRADY, R-TEXAS: So, you know, I always have trouble predicting the market.
CAVUTO: You and me both, sir. You and me both.
BRADY: Yes. I apologize there.
What I'm certain about, though, this tax reform is working on investment, on optimism, on pay raises, in all the areas. And I think the good stuff hasn't even hit yet, which is so much of this is designed to bring jobs back, make those location decisions here to the U.S.
I think, long-term, that's where even the better economic news is. So, look, I know there will be changes in the stock market day to day. But the certainty of a new tax code and economic benefits, we're going to be able to rely on that.
CAVUTO: It's always in the eye of the beholder. I understand that, Chairman.
But are you worried now that, given these stock market gyrations, companies that were heretofore predisposed to sort of paying it forward and sharing the wealth with their workers might be less inclined to do so, that they might hold off for a while because they don't know how their stock looks, how this whole market environment looks, so they might get a little more stingy with that tax bounty there?
BRADY: Yes, great question.
And the answer is, I hope not. I visited with CVS' CEO today about their investment they're making in their workers and in the communities for the long-term. They really know what is driving this over the long-term, taking that approach, sharing it with their workers.
They're one of now 300 companies I guess doing that. And so I hope to see more of that in the short-term. But, again, boy, I just see the optimism back home, Main Street businesses.
And I guess, Neil, what I see are these one and two and three added jobs opportunities on Main Street. Boy, that is an awfully strong sign, too.
CAVUTO: Yes, and there's no doubt that that is happening.
In fact, when this phenomenon was going on long before the whole market discussion, and the president was predisposed to talk about the markets, you didn't lecture the president. And you didn't offer an opinion either way as to whether it's wise to talk up the markets when they're moving up.
But do you think he should have more focused on what was going on with jobs, that the improvements that you were seeing ahead of the tax cuts, through the tax cuts, that marrying himself as he said to the up markets set him up for being married now to the down ones?
BRADY: I think part of the whole point of tax reform was to talk about what its potential was to shake up that stagnant sub-2 percent growth.
BRADY: And you could tell the stock market was anticipating us actually delivering.
And then on days where they thought we weren't, you could see that sort of subside as well. So I think his whole point was, look, tax reform is having an impact. There's an optimism here.
And actually, again, I think with the stronger economy, where wages are going up — and we know the Fed has to normalize. You know, yes, the stock market is going to respond to that. But all that is a sign of a healthier economy, and that's good.
CAVUTO: Chairman, there's this battle going on for a two-year budget accord started in the Senate. Some of your colleagues in the House were dead set against it. I talked to many of your Freedom Caucus colleagues who to a man and woman say they're going to vote against it.
When I talked to Dave Brat, a member of that august group, saying, Neil, there's 40 to 60 others who are against it.
That's 100 no votes if he's right. Do you agree with that? Are you concerned, regardless what happens with the Senate and the latest developments on Rand Paul not liking, that this thing is not going to pass?
BRADY: I think it will. I haven't seen a recent vote count. I believe it will.
And here's why. One, we have to rebuild our military. That's what this vote is all about. We have to find some certainty in our budgeting that is lurching from C.R. to C.R. It's just not helping the economy, and it's not helping government as well.
Look, I share every Republican is — is concerned about the debt and the deficit. But bringing this down, closing the government won't solve that. What we think will are savings in mandatory programs.
And we know from the House we have got $800 billion of Medicaid savings just sitting in the Senate that wouldn't only wipe out these extra spending, but double that. It's ready to go over there. We would love to see some Senate action on issues like that.
CAVUTO: All right.
Mr. Chairman, thank you very, very much. We will see how it all sorts out later today.
BRADY: Yes, sir. Thank you, Neil.
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