YCQM: April 14, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Darren: GOOD MORNING,
EVERYONE.
I'M DARREN.
RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
CLEANING COSTS.
WHAT WOULD PAY TO CLEAN UP WATER
WAYS.
THE TAXES UNDER CONSIDERATION.
WE DIVE DEEPER INTO A SENATE
HEARING WHERE THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL WAS GRILLED OVER THE
MUELLER REPORT BY SENATORS FROM
OUR REGION.
FAMILIAR MESSAGE, NEW FACES, A
LOOK AT BERNIE SANDERS' MEDICARE
FOR ALL AND THE DEMOCRATS NOW
LINING UP TO SUPPORT IT.
PLUS, TAX TIME.
DON'T BE SURPRISED IF YOUR
REFUND THIS YEAR IS A LOT LOWER.
AND THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS
MORNING.
THE CLOCK IS TICKING.
THE DEADLINE TO FILE YOUR TAXES.
AS SOME OF YOU ALREADY KNOW,
CERTAIN PEOPLE WILL BE MORE
AFFECTED BY TAX REFORM THAN
OTHERS, AND NOT ALL THE
SURPRISES ARE PLEASANT ONES.
THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT PASSED
IN DECEMBER 2017 ENACT ADD
NUMBER OF BROAD CHANGES.
IT INTRODUCED NEW TAX BRACKETS,
INCLUDED AN EXPANDED CHILDCARE
CREDIT, AND CHANGED THE WAY
ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS ARE FACTORED
IN.
JUST A FEW EXAMPLES.
SO HOW DOES THAT TRANSLATE INTO
LOWER REFUNDS OR PEOPLE ACTUALLY
OWING MONEY?
LET'S FIND OUT FROM MY FIRST
GUEST, STEVE TRENHOLM, A TAX
EXPERT FROM GALLAGHER, FLYNN AND
COMPANY.
GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> Trenholm: GOOD MORNING,
DARREN, THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> Darren: THANK YOU FOR BEING
HERE.
ABOUT 40 HOURS TO GO BEFORE THE
DEADLINE FOR MOST FOLKS.
DO WE GET, BECAUSE OF THE
PATRIOTS DAY, AN EXTRA DAY HERE?
>> Trenholm: YES, YES, A LITTLE
TIME FOR YOU.
>> Darren: I GOT MINE DONE THIS
PAST WEEK.
DID YOU GET YOURS DONE YET?
>> Trenholm: MINE'S DONE, NOT
FILED YET.
>> Darren: SO DON'T FEEL BAD IF
YOU HAVEN'T YET.
WHY ARE WE SAYING SOME PEOPLE
GET LOWER REFUNDS, SOME PEOPLE
HAVING TO ACTUALLY PAY?
>> Trenholm: FIRST OF ALL, AT
THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, THE
WITHHOLDING TABLES WENT DOWN.
THE WHOLE IDEA WAS TO GET MORE
MONEY IN PEOPLE'S POCKETS SO
THEY COULD SPEND IT.
THAT WAS ONE THING, YOU HAD LESS
WHELZ AND PROBABLY DIDN'T
EVEN -- WITHHELD AND PROBABLY
DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE IT.
THE OTHER THINGS THAT TOOK PLACE
WERE, AS YOU NOTED IN THE INTRO,
THE CHANGES TO THE WAY CERTAIN
TAXES ARE FIGURED, WHICH
ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS IS A BIG
DEAL AND THE LOSS OF THE
PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS IS ALSO A
BIG DEAL.
TYPICAL EXAMPLE, LET'S SAY
YOU'RE MARRIED, YOU'RE FILING
JOINTLY AND YOU HAVE ONE CHILD.
YOU ARE POSSIBLY -- AND YOU
DON'T ITEMIZE NORMALLY.
YOU ARE POSSIBLY AT A PRETTY
MUCH A BREAK-EVEN SITUATION
THERE, MAYBE A LITTLE BIT BETTER
BECAUSE YOU HAVE AN EXPANDED
CHILD TAX CREDIT.
BUT IF YOU ARE LIKE YOU AND I,
NO CHILDREN, PROBABLY ITEMIZE
AND NOW WE'VE LOST OUR
EXEMPTION, AND OH BY THE WAY,
THE CAP ON CERTAIN ITEMIZED
DEDUCTIONS WHEN YOU DO ITEMIZE
TAKES A BIG CHUNK OUT.
SO THAT'S BEEN -- AND I CAN TELL
YOU FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE,
BOTH WITH CLIENTS AND MYSELF,
THAT'S BEEN WHY TAXES HAVE GONE
UP FOR SOME OF US.
>> Darren: WELL, I KNOW FOR MY
OWN, WHEN I FINALLY FILED, THAT,
YOU KNOW, SOME OF THOSE THINGS
THAT I CHOCKED UP AS BUSINESS
EXPENSES IN THE PAST, SUPPLIES,
SUBMISSIONS OR GOING TO
CONVENTIONS, THAT KIND OF THING,
NO LONGER QUALIFIED AS ITEMIZED
DEDUCTIONS.
DO YOU KNOW THE REASONING BEHIND
THAT AND HOW BIG OF AN IMPACT
COULD OF THAT?
>> Trenholm: WELL, THAT WAS PART
OF THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT.
WHAT THEY DID BASICALLY WAS TAKE
MISCELLANEOUS ITEMIZED
DEDUCTIONS SUBJECT TO 2%
ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME, TECHNICAL
TERM, AND THAT'S YOUR
UNREIMBURSED BUSINESS EXPENSES.
THOSE ARE NO LONGER DEDUCTIBLE
AND THEY WILL NOT BE DEDUCTIBLE
UNTIL AFTER 2026 UNLESS CHANGES
COME DOWN.
THAT WAS ONE OF THE SUNSET
PROVISIONS.
IN YOUR EXAMPLE, FOR INSTANCE,
LET'S SAY YOU WENT TO A
CONVENTION, LET'S SAY YOU HAD
SOME CONTINUING EDUCATION, OTHER
JOB-RELATED EXPENSES.
IN '17, AS LONG AS THEY WERE
MORE THAN 2% OF YOUR ADJUSTED
GROSS INCOME, THEY BECAME AN
ITEMIZED DEDUCTION.
THOSE ARE GONE.
SADLY ENOUGH, I HATE TO SAY IT,
BUT TAX PREPARATION FEES ALSO
FALLS INTO THAT BUCKET AND --
>> Darren: I FOUND THAT OUT,
TOO.
>> Trenholm: I'M SURE YOU DID,
AND SO DO INVESTMENT ADVISORY
FEES, SO IF YOU HAVE A PORTFOLIO
AND YOU'RE PAYING AN INVESTMENT
ADVISORY, THOSE EXPENSES ARE NO
LONGER DEDUCTIBLE.
THE OTHER BIG CHANGE THAT TOOK
PLACE IS THE CAP ON STATE AND
LOCAL TAXES.
THOSE ARE CAPPED AT $10,000, SO
IF YOU OWN A HOME AND YOU HAVE
REAL ESTATE TAXES AND WE LIVE IN
A STATE THAT HAS A STATE INCOME
TAX, THAT UNFORTUNATELY, YOU'RE
PROBABLY AT THE CAP VERY
QUICKLY.
>> Darren: SO LET'S TALK ABOUT
WHETHER OR NOT PEOPLE ULTIMATELY
CAME OUT AHEAD.
I MEAN, YOU KNOW, WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT THE BRACKETS BEING LOWERED
HERE, BUT NOW OUR REFUNDS, NOT
SO GREAT.
ARE PEOPLE GOING TO MAKE OUT IN
THE LONG RUN?
>> Trenholm: SOME DO AND SOME
DON'T, AND WHEN I SAY THAT, IT
ALL DEPENDS.
IT DEPENDS ON HOW MANY CHILDREN
YOU HAVE.
IT DEPENDS ON WHETHER YOU USED
TO ITEMIZE OR DO YOU ITEMIZE
NOW.
SOME PEOPLE ENDED UP IN THE
ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX BEFORE
AND THEY'RE NO LONGER IN THE
ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX BECAUSE
OF THE TAX PREFERENCE GOING AWAY
FOR STATE AND LOCAL TAXES.
SO WE'VE HAD OUR SHARE OF
WINNERS AND LOSERS, BUT THE
MAINSTREAM PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND I
THAT DON'T HAVE COMPLICATED TAX
SITUATIONS, WE'VE SUFFERED A
LITTLE BIT OF A LESS OF A REFUND
OR A LITTLE BIT BIGGER OF A TAX
BILL.
>> Darren: LET'S TALK ABOUT
DONATIONS TO CHARITY.
I KNOW THE STATE DID MAKE A MOVE
TO TRY TO KEEP PEOPLE DONATING
TO CHARITY, VERMONT IS A PRETTY
GENEROUS STATE WHEN IT COMES TO
THAT.
BUT YOU HAVE SOME ADVICE FOR
FOLKS BECAUSE IT'S REALLY NOT A
BIG RETURN IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO
SORT OF GET SOMETHING BACK IF
YOU DO DONATE.
>> Trenholm: WELL, ONE OF THE
THINGS WE ADVISE OUR CLIENTS ON
IS TO MAKE YOUR DONATIONS WISELY
AS FAR AS THE TIMING IS
CONCERNED.
IF YOU NORMALLY DO NOT ITEMIZE,
YOU WOULD -- AND YOU'RE MARRIED,
YOU'D STILL GET $24,000 AS A
STANDARD DEDUCTION.
SO LET'S SAY YOU WERE GOING TO
MAKE A $20,000 CONTRIBUTION.
YOU WOULD NOT GET ANY BENEFIT ON
YOUR FEDERAL TAXES FOR IT AND
YOU WOULD GET A 5% TAX CREDIT OR
A THOUSAND DOLLARS TAX CREDIT ON
YOUR VERMONT TAX.
SO WHAT WE'VE BEEN TELLING
PEOPLE IS LET'S SAY THAT YOU'VE
DECIDED TO MAKE A FIVE-YEAR
PLEDGE OF $10,000.
MAYBE YOU WANT TO CONSIDER
MAKING THAT EITHER IN TWO
PAYMENTS SO THAT YOU GET SOME
BENEFIT OR IF YOU MADE IT IN ONE
PAYMENT, YOU'D GET TO DEDUCT IT
IN FULL ON YOUR FEDERAL TAX AND
YOU'D STILL GET THE MAXIMUM
$1,000 ITEMIZED DEDUCTION -- TAX
CREDIT ON THE STATE OF VERMONT.
>> Darren: A LOT OF FOLKS KIND
OF BANK ON THIS REFUND COMING IN
THIS TIME OF YEAR, YOU KNOW, TO
USE IT FOR HOME IMPROVEMENTS,
VACATIONS AS YOU AND I WERE
TALKING ABOUT JUST BEFORE THE
BROADCAST.
>> Trenholm: RIGHT.
>> Darren: WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND
TO PEOPLE NOW THAT THIS IS NOT
GOING TO BE COMING THROUGH FOR A
LOT OF FOLKS?
>> Trenholm: WELL, I THINK,
NUMBER ONE, IF YOU ARE JUST A
VERY SIMPLE TAX RETURN, MAYBE
YOU WANT TO INCREASE YOUR
WITHHOLDING EXEMPTIONS.
IF YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO GO
BACK AND MAKE MAYBE AN
INVESTMENT IN SOME -- MAYBE IT'S
TIME TO BUY A HOUSE AND GET SOME
ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS.
ONE OTHER KEY POINT, TOO, THAT
AFFECTS A LOT OF OUR ELDERLY
TAXPAYERS IN VERMONT IS THE
MEDICAL EXPENSE DEDUCTION.
VERMONT WENT TO A TAX BASE ON
FEDERAL ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME
NOW WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE
ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS.
THE ISSUE WE'RE DEEG IS THE FACT
THAT UNFORTUNATELY -- WE'RE
SEEING IS THE FACT THAT
UNFORTUNATELY YOU MAY HAVE ZERO
FEDERAL TAX BECAUSE YOU'RE IN --
LET'S SAY YOU'RE IN SOME SORT OF
ASSISTED LIVING.
YOU HAVE A LOT OF INTEREST AND
DIVIDENDS BUT THAT'S ALL EATEN
UP BY THE STATE TAX.
YOU MAY HAVE A VERMONT TAX DUE.
THAT HAS BEEN AN UNPLEASANT
SURPRISE FOR MANY PEOPLE THAT
ARE ELDERLY AND REQUIRE ASSISTED
LIVING OR SOME SORT OF MEDICAL
ASSISTANCE.
>> Darren: YOU DO THIS FOR A
LIVING.
FOR THOSE OF US WHO DON'T, IT
CAN BE REALLY CONFUSING TO SORT
OF LOOK THROUGH ALL OF THIS NEW,
YOU KNOW, TAX REGULATION
BUSINESS.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE BIG
TAKEAWAY, WHAT DO YOU THINK
PEOPLE AT HOPE NEED TO KNOW
ABOUT -- AT HOME NEED TO KNOW
ABOUT THESE NEW RULES THAT'S
MOST IMPORTANT?
>> Trenholm: I THINK AT THIS
POINT, GOING THROUGH THE 2018
TAX RETURN AND KNOWING THAT
UNLESS WE HAVE SOME SUBSTANTIAL
CHANGES, THAT THIS IS THE WAY
IT'S GOING TO BE.
IF YOU'RE MARRIED FILING
JOINTLY, YOU GET THE $24,000
EXEMPTION.
YOU NO LONGER GET -- I'M SORRY,
STANDARD DEDUCTION.
YOU NO LONGER GET PERSONAL
EXEMPTIONS.
KNOWING THOSE KIND OF THINGS AND
JUST BREEZING THROUGH THE
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE 1040 AND
THE VERMONT FORM, JUST FLIP
THROUGH IT AND CHECK OUT SOME OF
THE HIGHLIGHTS.
THAT'S GOOD BECAUSE I THINK A
LOT OF PEOPLE IN VERMONT ARE
VERY INTERESTED IN NOT JUST,
OKAY, WHAT DO I OWE OR WHAT DO I
GET, BUT THE WHY.
>> Darren: STEVE TRENHOLM, THANK
YOU VERY MUCH.
APPRECIATE YOUR TIME THIS
MORNING.
>> Trenholm: THANK YOU, DARREN.
>> Darren: COMING UP NEXT, NEW
TAXES THAT MIGHT BE PAYING TO
CLEAN UP THE LAKE.
THAT'S COMING UP, AND FIRST
WE'RE GOING TO CHECK IN WITH
SCOTT FLEISHMAN.
HE IS IN THE NEWSROOM WITH A
PREVIEW OF WHAT'S COMING UP ON
THE MORNING NEWS.
HEY THERE, SCOTT.
>> Scott: GOOD MORNING, DARREN.
MORE THAN 1300 RUNNERS HIT THE
STREETS MUCH BURLINGTON SATURDAY
FOR THE HALF MARATHON UNPLUGGED.
IT'S A SMALL TASTE OF WHAT WE
CAN EXPECT NEXT MONTH AT THE
VERMONT CITY MARATHON.
WE'LL TAKE YOU THERE.
SPEAKING OF MARATHONS, TOMORROW
IS THE BOSTON MARATHON.
WE SPEAK WITH ONE BARRE WOMAN
WHO HAS A CLEAR VISION OF WHY
SHE'S RETURNING.
>>> PLUS, IT'S NATIONAL AND
STATE LEARN TO SWIM MONTH.
SO WE SEE HOW YOU CAN TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF THE PROGRAMS IN OUR
AREA.
AND SPRING HAS FINALLY ARRIVED
AFTER THE WARM TEMPERATURES ON
SATURDAY.
DAVE WILL LET US KNOW IF WE
EXPECT TO GET ANY WARMER THIS
WEEK.
WE'LL SEE YOU AT THE TOP OF THE
HOUR.
>> Darren: KEEPING OUR FINGERS
CROSSED TO SPRING.
SCOTT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
COMING UP NEXT, WE DIVE INTO
MEDICARE FOR ALL, WHAT IT WOULD
MEAN FOR YOU AND WHY MORE
DEMOCRATS ARE NOW ON BOARD WITH
IT.
>> Darren: THE EPA SAYS VERMONT
NEEDS TO IDENTIFY A LONG-TERM
FUNDING SOURCE FOR WATER
PROJECTS THIS YEAR.
LAWMAKERS REJECTED GOVERNOR PHIL
SCOTT'S PLAN TO USE REVENUE FROM
THE ESTATE TAX.
SO WITH JUST A FEW WEEKS LEFT IN
THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION,
LAWMAKERS ARE TRYING TO FIND A
WAY TO PAY FOR $8 MILLION IN
CLEAN WATER PROJECTS AND IT
MIGHT MEAN COMING UP WITH SOME
NEW TAXES FOR YOU TO PAY.
OUR POLITICAL REPORTER NEAL
GOSWAMI BREAKS DOWN SOME OF THE
POSSIBLE FUNDING SOURCES.
>> STARTING TWO OR THREE YEARS
AGO, WE'VE BEEN LOOKING AT
DIFFERENT SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR
WATER.
>> Neal: IT'S CRUNCH TIME NOW.
HOW HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS
CHAIRWOMAN SAYS A DECISION WILL
BE MADE BEFORE THE END OF THE
YEAR.
>> I THINK PEOPLE IN BOTH THE
HOUSE AND SENATE HAVE BEEN
THINKING ABOUT THE FOISH A LONG
TIME AND I KNOW THE GOVERNOR HAS
AS WELL.
I'M PRETTY CONFIDENT WE'LL COME
UP WITH SOMETHING AT THE END.
>> Neal: THEY'LL HAVE TO MEET A
FEDERAL DEMAND FOR A LONG-TERM
FUNDING SOURCE FOR CLEANING UP
VERMONT'S WATERWAYS.
THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE IS
STARTING TO DISCUSS AT LEAST
THREE NEW SALES TAXES ON CANDY,
CLOTHING ABOVE $200, AND
SOFTWARE.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS HAVE BEEN
BRAINSTORMING OTHER IDEAS, TOO.
>> WE'RE THROWING OUT IDEAS AND
TALKING ABOUT VARIOUS WAYS WE
CAN RAISE THAT MONEY.
>> Neal: POLL CHESTER
REPRESENTATIVE PATRICK BRENNAN
SAYS EACH POTENTIAL TAX WILL
HAVE PROBLEMS, ESPECIALLY TAXING
CANDY.
>> VERY CONFUSING WHEN YOU TRY
TO DEFINE WHAT A CANDY BAR IS,
ACTUALLY.
YOU WOULDN'T THINK SO, BUT IT
IS.
>> Neal: THEY WARN THAT NONE OF
THE IDEASES ARE PROPOSALS YET.
>> WE DON'T MAKE ME DECISIONS.
WE WON'T NARROW DOWN THE LIST
UNTIL WE GET A BILL.
>> Neal: BRENNAN'S TOWN OF
COLCHESTER HAS 27 MICE OF SHORE
ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN.
HE KNOW FINDING THE FUNDS IS
IMPORTANT.
>> I DON'T LIKE TAXES SO I
HAVEN'T HEARD A GOOD IDEA.
IF IT AFFECTS THE PUBLIC, NO.
HOPEFULLY WE CAN COME TO SOME
CONCLUSION THAT DOESN'T HURT THE
PUBLIC THAT MUCH.
>> Darren: AND NEAL JOINS ME NOW
FROM THE NEWSROOM.
GOOD MORNING, NEAL.
>> Neal: HEY, GOOD MORNING,
DARREN.
>> Darren: SO THE GOVERNOR
WANTED THE ESTATE TAX.
WHAT HAPPENED THERE?
>> Neal: LAWMAKERS TOOK A LOOK
AT THAT AND DECIDED THEY DIDN'T
WANT TO USE THE ESTATE TAX
BECAUSE THAT PUTS POINT INTO THE
GENERAL FUND.
IT WOULD HAVE MEANT TAKING MONEY
AWAY FROM OTHER GENERAL FUND
OBLIGATIONS, SO THAT'S ON THE
BACK BURNER RIGHT NOW AND
SOMETHING THEY'RE NOT EVEN
CONSIDERING.
>> Darren: WHAT'S THE PROCESS TO
TRY TO COME UP WITH A FUNDING
SOURCE?
>> Neal: SURE.
SO THE BILL, THE CLEAN WATER
BILL IS ACTUALLY IN A DIFFERENT
COMMITTEE RIGHT NOW, SO THE
HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE
WILL GET IT PROBABLY NEXT WEEK
AND THEY'VE BEEN SITTING AROUND
THIS WEEK REALLY TRYING TO COME
UP WITH DIFFERENT IDEAS THAT
COULD, YOU KNOW, FUND THIS NEED
FOR CLEAN WATER FUNDING.
NOW, THE PROCESS IS THEY WANT TO
DIVERT SOME OF THE ROOMS AND
MEALS MONEY THAT GOES INTO THE
EDUCATION FUND OUT FOR CLEAN
WATER, AND THEN THEY WOULD FIND
SOME SORT OF SALES TAX REVENUE
THAT WOULD REPLENISH THAT MONEY,
ABOUT 8 TO $10 MILLION.
SO RIGHT NOW THEY'RE TALKING
ABOUT ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT
IDEAS.
THE LAST I HEARD, THEY WERE
APPROACHING 20 DIFFERENT IDEAS
THROUGH THE BRAINSTORMING THIS
WEEK.
THEY HAVE NOT DECIDED ON
ANYTHING AND THEY PROBABLY WON'T
FOR SOME TIME.
THIS MIGHT COME DOWN TO THE WIRE
BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A DIFFICULT
DECISION.
>> Darren: SOUNDS A LITTLE BIT
LIKE SHIFTING AROUNDING LIKE IF
THEY'RE TAKING FROM HERE, THEN
THEY HAVE TO FILL THERE.
IS THIS JUST SORT OF PART OF THE
PROCESS?
>> Neal: THEY DO THIS QUITE A
BIT WITH DIFFERENT FUNDS,
SPECIAL FUNDS ESPECIALLY THAT
THEY HAVE IN STATE GOVERNMENT,
BUT LAST YEAR THEY ACTUALLY PUT
ROOMS AND MEALS REVENUE INTO THE
EDUCATION FUND, SO THEY MIGHT
SNAG A LITTLE BIT OF THAT
BROADER ROOMS AND MEALS MONEY
AND APPLY IT TO CLEAN WATER
FUNDING AND THEN, LIKE I SAID,
TRY TO REPLENISH IT WITH NEW
SALES TAXES APPLIED TO NEW
ITEMS.
>> Darren: WHAT'S THE DROP-DEAD
DEADLINE?
>> Neal: THE EPA SAYS THIS YEAR
LAWMAKERS HAVE TO COME UP WITH A
LONG-TERM SUSTAINED FUNDING
SOURCE.
THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION IS
PROBABLY FOUR TO SIX WEEKS
REMAINING, SO THEY'LL HAVE TO DO
THIS IN THE COMING WEEKS.
THE GOVERNOR DOES NOT LIKE
RAISING ANY NEW TAXES FOR THIS.
HE SAYS HIS PLAN DIDN'T DO THAT,
IT SIMPLY TOOK FROM THE ESTATE
TAX MONEY THAT WAS ALREADY
COLLECTED.
THIS COULD BE THE ISSUE AT THE
END OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION
THAT PROLONGS THINGS AND
GENERATE AND PRETTY BIG FIGHT.
>> Darren: CHANNEL 3'S NEAL
GOSWAMI, OUR POLITICAL REPORTER.
THANK YOU.
ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR
SAT FOR TWO ROUNDS OF
QUESTIONING ON CAPITOL HILL THIS
PAST WEEK, FIRST BEFORE THE
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
AND LATER BEFORE A SENATE
APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE.
HE WAS THERE TO TALK ABOUT THE
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT'S 2020
BUDGET, BUT LAWMAKERS SPENT MUCH
OF THEIR TIME ASKING HIM ABOUT
THE MUELLER REPORT.
AND HIS DECISIONS ON WHAT TO
REDACT.
NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATOR JEANNE
SHAHEEN, THE SUBCOMMITTEE'S
RANKING DEMOCRAT, AND VERMONT
SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY, VICE
CHAIR OF THE FULL APPROPRIATIONS
COMMITTEE, MADE OPENING
STATEMENTS.
WHILE EACH MENTIONED ELEMENTS OF
THE DOJ'S 2020 SPENDING PLAN,
BOTH REGISTERED THEIR CONCERNS
THAT BARR COULD REDACT
INFORMATION IN MUELLER'S FULL
REPORT THAT MAY BE DAMAGING TO
PRESIDENT TRUMP.
>> I'M CONCERNED BY RECENT MEDIA
REPORTS THAT THOSE WORKING ON
THE SPECIAL COUNSEL'S TEAM
BELIEVE YOUR SUMMARY TO CONGRESS
GLOSSED OVER THE SEVERITY OF THE
DAMAGING ACTIONS OF THOSE IN THE
WHITE HOUSE, INCLUDING THE
PRESIDENT.
>> ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, THE VAST
MAJORITY OF THE SPECIAL
COUNSEL'S REPORT WILL ULTIMATELY
BECOME PUBLIC.
I THINK IT TENDS TO -- ANY
ATTEMPTS TO HEIGHT THE REPORT
FROM PUBLIC SCRUTINY ALONG THE
WAY WILL ONLY FUEL SUSPICIONS
RAISED BY MANY THAT THE JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT WHICH REPRESENTS THE
UNITED STATES IS PLAYING THE
ROLE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S
DEFENSE TEAM.
>> Darren: WHEN HER TIME CAME TO
QUESTION THE ATTORNEY GENERAL,
SENATOR SHAHEEN ASKED ABOUT HIS
PLANS TO LOOK INTO WHAT SPURRED
SURVEILLANCE OF THE TRUMP
CAMPAIGN IN 2016.
>>S WORKFORCE THINGS I WANT TO
DO IS PULL -- ONE OF THE THINGS
I WANT TO DO IS PULL TOGETHER
ALL THE INFORMATION FROM THE
VARIOUS INVESTIGATIONS THAT HAVE
GONE ON, INCLUDING ON THE HILL
AND IN THE DEPARTMENT, AND SEE
IF THERE ARE ANY REMAINING
QUESTIONS TO BE ADDRESSED.
>> AND CAN YOU SHARE WITH US WHY
YOU FEEL A NEED TO DO THAT?
>> WELL, YOU KNOW, FOR THE
SAME -- WELL, FOR THE SAME
REASON WE'RE WORRIED ABOUT
FOREIGN INFLUENCE IN ELECTIONS.
WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT DURING
ELECTIONS -- I THINK SPYING ON A
POLITICAL CAMPAIGN IS A BIG
DEAL.
>> Darren: BARR CITED LAWS
CREATED DURING THE VIETNAM ERA
TO PROTECT INDIVIDUALS AND
GROUPS FROM UNDUE FEDERAL
SURVEILLANCE.
WHILE HE DIDN'T SUGGEST THOSE
LAWS WERE VIOLATED, HE DID SAY
IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR HIS OFFICE
TO MAKE SURE THERE WAS AN
ADEQUATE BASIS FOR THOSE
INVESTIGATIONS.
>> AND YOU'RE NOT SUGGESTING,
THOUGH, THAT SPYING OCCURRED.
>> I DON'T -- WELL, I GUESS YOU
COULD -- I THINK THERE'S SPYING
DID OCCUR.
YES, I THINK SPYING DID OCCUR.
>> WELL, LET ME --
>> THE QUESTION IS WHETHER IT
WAS PREDICATED, ADEQUATELY
PREDICATED, AND I'M NOT
SUGGESTING IT WASN'T.
>> Darren: THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
OF THE UNITED STATES TELLING
CONGRESS HE BELIEVES THAT
FEDERAL AGENCIES SPIED ON THE
TRUMP CAMPAIGN.
AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, THIS
DECLARATION CONSUMED MUCH OF THE
REST OF THE HEARING WITH
LAWMAKERS ASKING FOR
CLARIFICATION.
WHAT DID HE MEAN BY SPYING?
AND WHAT IS THAT CONCLUSION
BASED ON?
>> I TRIED TO AT LEAST REFLECT
ON WHAT YOUR QUOTE WAS, THAT YOU
THOUGHT SPYING ON A POLITICAL
CAMPAIGN OCCURRED IN THE COURSE
OF AN INTELLIGENCE AGENCY'S
INVESTIGATION INTO RUSSIAN
INTERFERENCE IN 2016.
>> I THOUGHT THE QUESTION WAS
DID I HAVE ANY BASIS FOR SAYING
THAT.
>> I'M NOW ASKING WHAT THE BASIS
IS OR WHAT THE FACTS THAT ARE
LEADS YOU TO THAT THOUGHT.
>> OKAY.
I FELT -- I AM CONCERNED ABOUT
IT AND I WAS ASKED ABOUT WHETHER
THERE WAS ANY BASIS FOR IT AND I
BELIEVE THERE IS A BASIS FOR MY
CONCERN.
BUT I'M NOT GOING TO DISCUSS THE
BASIS.
>> AND WHAT ARE POTENTIAL
CONSEQUENCES FOR THOSE WHO
VIOLATED THE LAW?
>> IT DEPENDS WHAT THE FACTS
ULTIMATELY PROVE TO BE.
>> WHICH WOULD BE DETERMINED IN
A PROSECUTION?
>> POSSIBLY, BUT, YOU KNOW,
THERE ARE ALSO -- THERE CAN BE
ABUSES THAT MAY NOT RISE TO THE
LEVEL OF A CRIME, BUT THAT, YOU
KNOW, PEOPLE MIGHT THINK IS BAD
AND WANT TO PUT IN RULES OR
PROPHYLAXES AGAINST IT.
I REMEMBER WHEN THERE WAS A LOT
OF -- YOU KNOW, PEOPLE UPSET AT
THE FBI SPYING ON OR SURVEILING
CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS OR ANTI-WAR
GROUPS OR NUCLEAR FREEZE GROUPS
AND SO FORTH, AND AS A RULE OF
THAT, THERE WERE A LOT OF
SAFEGUARDS BUILT IN.
THERE WERE ALSO CONCERNS ABOUT
SURVEILING REPORTERS, SO
SAFEGUARDS HAVE BEEN PUT IN, SO
IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY HAVE TO
RESULT IN A CRIMINAL
INVESTIGATION OR A FINDING OF A
CRIME.
BUT PART OF MY RESPONSIBILITY IS
TO PROTECT THE CIVIL LIBERTIES
OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND I
THINK -- I THINK SOMETHING THAT
IS IMPORTANT IS THAT THE LAW
ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE
AGENCIES RESPECT THE LIMITS ON
THEIR POWERS.
>> Darren: WHEN HIS TURN CAME,
SENATOR LEAHY STEERED THE
CONVERSATION BACK TO THE MUELLER
REPORT AND BARR'S ONGOING
REDACTION PROCESS.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS BEEN
VERY CLEAR THAT HE DOES NOT
CHIEF A SITTING PRESIDENT CAN
BE -- BELIEVE A SITTING
PRESIDENT CAN BE INDICTED.
HE'S GONE ON RECORD SAYING THE
ONLY MECHANISMS TO REMOVE A
PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE ARE
IMPEACHMENT AND THE BALLOT BOX.
LEAHY PUT HIS EXPERIENCE AS A
PROSECUTOR TO USE, DRILLING INTO
WHO BARR CONSULTED FOR HIS
REDACTIONS.
>> HAVE YOU OVERRULED
MR. MUELLER OR HIS TEAM ON ANY
REDACTION QUESTIONS?
>> NO.
>> ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.
>> NO.
>> OKAY.
HAVE YOU DISCUSSED ANY SPECIFIC
REDACTIONS WITH THE WHITE HOUSE?
>> NO.
>> Darren: MULTIPLE TIMES DURING
THE HEARING, BARR DECLINED TO GO
INTO DETAILS, SAYING HE'D SPEAK
MORE AFTER THE REDACTED VERSION
OF THE MUELLER REPORT IS
RELEASED.
HE SAYS HE EXPECTS TO RELEASE IT
SOMETIME THIS WEEK.
>>> COMING UP NEXT, A LOOK AT
MEDICARE FOR ALL, WHAT BERNIE
SANDERS SAYS ABOUT HIS PITCH FOR
GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTHCARE.
>> Darren: BERNIE SANDERS AND 14
OTHER U.S. SENATORS INTRODUCED
THE MEDICARE FOR ALL ACT OF
2019, WHICH HE SAYS WILL
SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE HEALTHCARE
COSTS.
HEALTHCARE FOR ALL WAS A
SIGNATURE ISSUE FOR SANDERS
DURING HIS UPSTART 2016
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, BUT NOW
IT APPEARS TO BE GETTING
TRACTION WITHIN THE DEMOCRATIC
PARTY, EVEN ESTABLISHMENT
DEMOCRATS LIKE VERMONT'S SENIOR
SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY IS ON
BOARD AS A COSPONSORS.
>> HEALTHCARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT,
NOT A PRIVILEGE.
[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]
>> Darren: THERE WERE PLENTY OF
FAMILIAR LINES IN SENATOR BERNIE
SANDERS' SPEECH AS HE AND OTHER
SENATE DEMOCRATS KICKED OFF
THEIR LATEST RUN AT MEDICARE FOR
ALL.
>> WE ARE NOW SPENDING ALMOST
TWICE AS MUCH PER CAPITA ON
HEALTHCARE AS THE PEOPLE OF ANY
OTHER COUNTRY, WHILE AT THE SAME
TIME OUR LIFE EXPECTANCY
CONTINUES TO DECLINE.
>> Darren: SANDERS SAYS THE
MEDICARE FOR ALL ACT OF TWIPET
WOULD ENSURE -- OF 2019 WOULD
ENSURE THAT AMERICANS GO TO THE
DOCTOR OF THEIR CHOICE WHEN THEY
NEED TO WITHOUT GOING INTO DEBT.
IT WOULD LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG
PRICES BY LETTING THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATE WITH DRUG
COMPANIES.
AND IT WOULD EXPAND COVERAGE TO
INCLUDE HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED
LONG-TERM CARE.
>> IT IS NOT A RADICAL IDEA TO
SAY THAT IN THE UNITED STATES,
EVERY AMERICAN WHO GOES TO A
DOCTOR SHOULD BE ABLE TO AFFORD
THE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS HE OR SHE
NEEDS.
>> Darren: AS A FIELD OF MORE
THAN 0 DEMOCRATIC
PRESIDENTIAL -- 20 DEMOCRATIC
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES, SANDY
SOUGHT TO LING HIS SIGNATURE
ISSUE TO THOSE FACED BY THE
LARGER DEMOCRATIC COALITION.
>> WE ARE INVOLVED IN A GREAT
STRUGGLE, NOT UNLIKE THE -- THE
STRUGGLES OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT,
THE STRUGGLES OF THE CIVIL
RIGHTS MOVEMENT, THE STRUGGLES
OF THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT, THE
STRUGGLES OF THE GAY COMMUNITY,
THE STRUGGLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL
MOVEMENT.
>> Darren: SANDERS' PLAN HAS
ATTACK THEED THE SUPPORT OF 14
OTHER U.S. SENATORS, INCLUDING
PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY OPPONENTS
CORY BOOKER, ELIZABETH WARREN,
KAMALA HARRIS, AND KIRSTEN
GILLIBRAND.
>> NO MATTER WHERE I'VE BEEN IN
MY STATE, AROUND THIS COUNTRY,
THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE ON EVERY
PERSON'S MIND IS ACCESS TO
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE.
IT HAS TO BE THERE FOR YOU NO
MATTER WHAT, NO MATTER IF YOU
CAN AFFORD IT, NO WHERE WHERE WE
LIVE, NO MATTER WHAT.
>> Darren: PRESIDENT TRUMP AND
MANY REPUBLICANS REMAIN CRITICAL
OF A MEDICARE FOR ALL PLAN,
CALLING IT A DANGEROUS, FAR-LEFT
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT THAT WILL LEAD
TO THE RATIONING OF HEALTHCARE.
CRITICS SAY SANDERS' PLAN ALSO
COMES WITH AN ASTRONOMICAL PRICE
TAG AND THE LOSS OF HUNDREDS OF
THOUSANDS OF JOBS IN THE
INSURANCE AND MEDICAL
INDUSTRIES.
ED O'KEEFFE TALKS TO SENATOR
SANDERS ABOUT THAT.
>> SOUNDS EXPENSIVE.
>> WHAT'S EXPENSIVE AND
UNSUSTAINABLE IS THE CURRENT
HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.
>> AND WHAT IF I HAVE A PRIVATE
OR EMPLOYER-BASED INSURANCE
PROGRAM RIGHT NOW AND I LIKE IT?
>> YOU MAY BE ONE OF THE
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO LEAVES
YOUR JOB THIS YEAR AND YOU'LL
LEAVE YOUR PRIVATE INSURANCE.
YOU MAY BE ONE OF THE MANY
PEOPLE THAT FINDS THEIR EMPLOYER
HAS GONE OUT AND GOT ANOTHER
INSURANCE COMPANY TO COVER YOU
AND YOU HAVE TO CHANGE THAT, BUT
ESSENTIALLY UNDER MAYOR FOR ALL,
ALL PEOPLE -- MEDICARE FOR ALL,
ALL PEOPLE WILL BE COVERED BY
MEDICARE.
>> AND WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE
INSURANCE COMPANIES AFTER THE
PLAN IS IMPLEMENTED?
>> UNDER MEDICARE FOR ALL, WE
COVER ALL HEALTHCARE NEEDS, SO
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE THERE TO
DO THAT.
I GUESS IF YOU WANT TO MAKE
YOURSELF MORE BEAUTIFUL, WORK ON
YOUR NOSE OR EARS, YOU CAN DO
THAT.
>> SO BASICALLY BLUE CROSS BLUE
SHIELD WILL BE REDUCED TO NOSE
JOBS?
>> SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
>> Darren: THE PRESIDENT HAS
LAID THE GROUNDWORK FOR HEALTH
CARE TO BE A KEY ISSUE IN THE
2020 ELECTIONS.
BUT SANDERS SAYS HE WELCOMES THE
FIGHT AFTER A NUMBER OF
DEMOCRATS FOCUSED ON THE
HEALTHCARE ISSUE WHILE WINNING
CONTROL OF THE HOUSE IN 2018.
>>> THAT WILL DO IT FOR "YOU CAN
QUOTE ME."
THE CHANNEL 3 NEWS CONTINUES
NEXT RIGHT HERE ON THE WEEKEND.
TAKE CARE, EVERYBODY.
HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY.
CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY
CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC
www.captionassociates.com