Treasury Sec. Mnuchin says lobbyists "absolutely" defeated in tax process

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says President Trump hopes to sign the GOP tax bill by early next week, and argues the process that gave rise to the final version of the legislation is in line with Mr. Trump's campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

More than 6,000 lobbyists reportedly worked on issues related to the overhaul. On CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday, Mnuchin argued that figure was indicative of the scope of the 500-plus-page bill, and maintained that the bill is "absolutely" a defeat for lobbyists.

"Well, I think if it was up to the president, there would be a lot fewer of them. I mean, the reason why there are so many people working on it is, we've touched almost every single part of the tax code," said Mnuchin. 

He added, "If you look at the massive changes to this, we fixed a broken tax system. That's what this was all about."

President Trump on Saturday touted how "fantastic" the GOP tax bill will be for "middle-income people" ahead of anticipated votes in the House and Senate this week. Mnuchin said Sunday that middle class families will see the benefits of corporate tax cuts "right away," with February as the target for higher paychecks. 

"You're going to see happy days starting in February, where hardworking families see that they have more money. That's something that is absolutely critical. You're going to see cuts anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 for medium families of, with two kids. This is going to have a huge impact in the economy and it's going to have a huge impact on American jobs. You're going to see that right away," said Mnuchin. 

The secretary said that the administration is already working with the Internal Revenue Service to "update the tax forms and update the tax charts" which he says will be reflected in taxpayers paychecks this February. 

Lawmakers say the bill translates into a $2,059 tax cut for a family of four earning the median family income of $73,000, with larger cuts to rates paid by the richest Americans. Significantly, the final agreement also eliminates the individual mandate penalty under the Affordable Care Act, something the original Senate bill did but the House bill did not. 

House and Senate negotiators released the final text of their legislation Friday, after working out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the tax bill. The legislation establishes seven individual tax brackets, lowers the corporate tax rate and preserves the tax-free status of graduate tuition waivers, among other things. 

The House is expected to vote on the bill Tuesday, followed by the Senate. Mnuchin says the president signing the tax overhaul will be an "historic event."

"People said we wouldn't get this done. We're on the verge of getting this done -- the single biggest change to the tax system ever that President Trump is going to sign this week, and his priority all along has been fix a broken system," Mnuchin said. 

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital