Transcript for Two key Republican senators now in favor of tax bill
We want to move on to the major developments out of Washington. Including the Republicans who are on the cusp of passing a huge historic tax bill by the end of the year. If it passes it will be the first major legislative victory for president trump and the GOP but it comes as there are new developments in the Russia investigation. Matt dowd is standing by with analysis but start with David Wright right there at the white house. David, good morning to you. Reporter: Good morning, Dan and Paula. The holiday rush looks a little different here in Washington as Republican lawmakers scramble to pass a tax break before they break for vacation themselves and the pieces do seem to be falling into place. The president even pushing back his departure for palm beach hoping to sign that first big piece of legislation. Republican lawmakers believe they have the votes needed to pass the biggest tax overhaul in a generation. The house and senate compromise bill more than a thousand pages long. I know everyone's lives will be better off under tax reform. Reporter: Republicans can afford to lose two votes in the senate and still have the measure pass. With vice president pence breaking the tie. Tennessee's Bob corker was the only Republican to vote no on the initial senate bill. Insisting he couldn't support anything that adds to the deficit. Never, never ever, ever. Reporter: Now he's come around. So has Florida's Marco Rubio and Maine's Susan Collins making it likely this measure will pass. The final bill is expected to add 1.5 trillion to the deficit slashing the corporate tax rate nearly in half, but also doubling the standard deduction for those who don't itemize. The bill will still allow popular deducts for mortgage interest, student loans and state and local taxes but the caps on some of those deductions will be lower. The tax bill is one of two big items on the president's radar. Next week his lawyers are expected to meet face-to-face with special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, a rarity. The president's lawyers are hoping to hear that Mueller's probe into Russian meddling and possible collusion by the trump campaign S nearing an end. Not clear Mueller will oblige. There is absolutely no collusion. I didn't make a phone call to Russia. I have nothing to do with Russia. Everybody knows it. Reporter: On Friday ABC's Jonathan Karl and others pressed the president about whether he'd consider pardoning his former national security adviser who pled guilty to lying to the FBI and is now cooperating with the special counsel. Trump wouldn't rule it out. Would you consider a pardon for Michael Flynn? I don't want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn, yet. We'll see what happens yet. We'll see. Reporter: Getting back to the tax bill, the Republicans say for the average American family earning $75,000 a year it'll mean an extra $2,000 in your pocket. But the Democrats say that some of those lower and middle class tax cuts are like teaser rates on a mortgage. All of the individual tax cuts are set to expire in 2025. The corporate tax rates, the corporate tax cuts however remain. Yeah, there's a lot to be explained about the tax cut bill. Before we let you go senator John McCain is receiving treatment for his cancer right now. Our thoughts go out to him. Is he expected to be back in time for the vote, and if not, what kind of impact could his absence have on getting it passed. Reporter: Senator McCain is in the hospital at the moment. He is, of course, battling brain cancer. His friends and family say they hope he will be back on the job very soon but even if he doesn't make it back in time to vote on the tax bill, it's likely that the Republicans have the votes they need to pass it without him. Dan and Paula. David, thank you. We're pulling for senator McCain this morning. Let's bring in political consultant Matthew dowd. Matt, good morning to you. Good morning. Let's start here with general Flynn. What are the political risks for Donald Trump if he pardons Michael Flynn? Well, not to use -- not to overuse a monopoly analogy but he's taking a chance by presenting a get out of jail free card in the midst of this and I think it's either, one, Bob Mueller is not a dumb guy and my guess is Bob Mueller's gotten most of the information he needs from Michael Flynn if he's going to move any further on in that fear of a pardon of keeping the information, the fear of him getting a pardon so he won't cooperate I think is gone. I think it puts Donald Trump in an interesting position because you're basically holding out the promise of a guy that could be a witness against you that you might pardon them, so it is a question that somebody could ask, is there an obstruction of justice claim involved in just this promise of that possibly happening. A conflict of interest. Let's go back to the tax bill. Looks like this is going to pass. Could this be a huge victory? How big of a victory could this be for the GOP and trump. I think we have to separate a legislative victory which would be big from a political victory which I don't think it will be. The Republicans have fooled themselves to think that passing an unpopular tax bill pushed by an unpopular president through an unpopular congress is going to be helpful to them. If you take a look at the tax bill in 2010 when they passed Obamacare which was no benefit to them, the lowest point of Obamacare and the lowest pz of president Obama is higher than where trump is today and where this tax bill is today. I think it will create another part of the wave next year but it's a problem. I think it's going to be a political problem for the -- You don't think it boosts the economy in some way that -- That's what they're hoping for. I think what's gone on with the economy is there's a huge separation between what the economic indicators that we've all talked about and what the political indicators are. Right now Donald Trump's got a huge setting records on the stock market, unemployment at 4%. Everything there seems to be going well but two-thirds of the country think we're on the wrong track and 59% disapprove of Donald Trump on the economy. I dent think he's going to get any benefit on it. Thanks for your insight. Great to have you here. On set. A monopoly analogy today. Usually it's a sports metaphor. Something I don't understand but I got that one. You got monopoly. Yeah. You can do connect four. Tic-tac-toe. Checkers, not chess. Thanks, Matt. We want to stick with politic answer about to show you a moment in congress going viral
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