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Is the Stimulus Package Just a Far-Left Wish List?

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
March 8, 2021 12:00 pm

Is the Stimulus Package Just a Far-Left Wish List?

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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Today on Sekulow, the Senate passes its version of COVID relief. Now it goes back to the House.

The big question, will Americans ever get any relief? The good, the bad, the ugly in the current legislation. We'll talk about it all today on Sekulow. Live from Washington DC, Jay Sekulow live. Phone lines are open for your questions right now. Call 1-800-684-3110.

That's 1-800-684-3110. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. Alright, welcome to Sekulow. So the Senate, over the weekend, came together and passed, just on the slimmest of partisan margins, a COVID relief plan different than what the House passed. So this will now go back to the House. What we wanted to walk through today is to see, okay, it changed obviously from the House to the Senate. So what will arrive at the Senate? What is good?

Well that's very slim actually. It is important I know for a lot of you and that's actually the part that most Americans are concerned about that are hurting right now. But it is a very small part of this horrendous piece of legislation. The bad parts of it and the downright ugly.

I'll start with the downright ugly. There's no Hyde Amendment protections in this whatsoever, which means that the dollars that come out of this, your taxpayer dollars, that flow back to community health centers and Obamacare accounts and COBRA plans, etc. They'll be able to use that money directly for abortions unless the House were to change that, which is hard to imagine because the House is controlled by Democrats and of course it's not something that Joe Biden is concerned about because he's controlled by Planned Parenthood.

So understand that in this, maybe Thanh, I'm going to go to Thanh Bend in Washington D.C. The first time that I can remember with a kind of a reconciliatory budget bill this large that does not include the Hyde Amendment regardless of where we are politically and partisan wise. Because usually I guess there's been one House or the Senate that's been controlled by Republicans. Yeah Jordan, it's really the first time in more than 40 years that a relevant spending bill has not had this protection.

Now our listeners know this, maybe some Americans don't. The Hyde Amendment is generally most applicable to the Labor H appropriations bill because that's where most of the spending dollars that could be used on abortion get spent. Now Jordan, when you have these extra spending bills like this stimulus bill is typically that protection goes ahead and attaches to the bill because some of the accounts in there could go to health community centers, things of that nature.

Jordan, the most relevant example here is the five stimulus bills that were passed last year in a bipartisan fashion, all of those had the Hyde Amendment language and protections attached to it. This did not, Jordan, in my view, there's a lot of really bad stuff in here, but in my view this is the worst policy change in this bill. And honestly it's a finger in the eye of the pro-life community. And it also sends $50 million under Title X directly to Planned Parenthood, Than. So we're talking about unleashing this money for Planned Parenthood to receive, for people to use for abortions, which oftentimes that would go to Planned Parenthood facilities. And then a $50 million direct payment under Title X to Planned Parenthood. Now this is what's in the Senate bill that's bad, there's a lot more that's bad we'll go through as we continue on the broadcast. But again, just when it comes to that life provision, when it comes to being pro-life or just the idea that regardless of where you are on the issue, our taxpayer dollars shouldn't fund the ending of an unborn child's life. And that because so many Americans feel strongly about it, it's not something we should force them to have to pay for. So it's not only unleashing the funds to be available to use for abortions, there's a $50 million direct payment in this Senate plan. Now it goes back to the House. Interesting, Senator Paul, we've got to give him credit for this, Senator Rand Paul, he got concession that Planned Parenthood would not be eligible for those paycheck protection program loans.

They tried to do it last time, they're having to pay that money back, but you've got to be really vigilant here because the House is going to try to put that back in. And the Senate would accept that probably under the current way the Senate is structured, so we have to watch very closely there. We'll talk about timelines as well. Rick Grenell, our Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy will be joining us in the third segment of the broadcast as well.

So you don't want to miss that. And we've got, of course, our matching challenge this month of March, double the impact of your donation to the ACLJ. We're on top of all these issues.

Double your impact. Donate today at ACLJ.org. We'll be right back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. All right, welcome back to Sekulow. So we talked about just some of the bad that is in the Senate's version of the COVID relief bill, which is, in fact, not a coronavirus bill at all.

Let me explain why. There's a $350 billion state and local government bailout in here. There's a $130 billion bailout to schools, but only 5% is going to be available this year when schools actually reopen.

We talked about no-hide amendment protections. We talked about the $50 million to play in parenthood. There's $30 billion for transit grants, $1.5 billion for Amtrak, $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, $12 billion for foreign assistance.

I don't even know what that means exactly. We have to dig into that. $12 billion. $50 million for EPA environmental justice grants.

My gosh, there's barely been any air travel or car travel for so long. This is when we're going to need $50 million in justice grants. You know how quickly the government goes through $50 million at an agency like that? It's like a ton of money for taxpayers and zero money to the government. It's like nothing.

Here's some of the good, just so you know if you're out there and you're wondering, what is this going to do for me? Well, there are direct payments. It's $1,400 a person at adult and children. They phase out if you make $75,000 a year individually or $150,000 a year or less as a couple, and it fully phases out at $80,000 or $160,000. So it starts at $1,400 and it begins phasing out at $75,000 a year for a single person or $150,000 a year for a couple. So Than, on that point, when it says adult and children, does that mean that the children would also receive technically $1,400?

It does. They leveled the difference between adults and children under this bill. So theoretically, a family of four, Jordan, that was underneath all of those income thresholds, each of those four would get $1,400 for a total of $5,600. So $5,600 for a family under that, and of course you could have a single parent family, so it could be that they're making more but still would qualify. Extended federal unemployment insurance at $300 a week through September 6. This was a mansion compromise right then. This is one we'd have to watch because a lot of people are wondering just specifically about this because whether it's an incentive for people not to seek jobs as things keep reopening, and he got it lowered I think just from $400 to $300, but also shortened the time period.

Is that right, Than? This was really complicated, Jordan. This is actually what caused the longest roll call vote in Senate history on Friday. They were actually voting on the minimum wage amendment. The outcome of that vote was not in doubt, but there was a debate between Senator Manchin, you're correct, and Senator Portman.

Senator Portman wanted a $300 federal extension through July. The Democrat deal on the table was either $300 or $400 through October. They actually had a disagreement on their side of the aisle on the amount, but the extension was through October. Joe Manchin liked Rob Portman's amendment better, so he was going to vote for that, and he essentially, Jordan, derailed the whole process for about 12 hours.

Ultimately, here's what happened. They passed the Portman amendment for $300 through January, and then they came back and Joe Manchin agreed with Democrats that he would extend it out to September. So the compromise was that the federal portion of unemployment insurance would be extended out until September, and Jordan, I know we're going to circle back to this later, but let me just put a pin in this for a second. This is an example of how on the pro-life provisions we talked about, if any of the Democrats who pretended to be pro-life, if they actually wanted to fix the pro-life provisions, they could have done it, because Joe Manchin got his change on the unemployment insurance.

Right. It could have been done. Hyde amendment could have been there. It's not, and it's not going to be put back in by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

The votes aren't there. Now, the $50 billion for small business, then, I mean, again, the House may try to come back with something completely different. Again, new amendments, new changes, and then the Senate's going to have to go through this again?

Well, if they want to, they could. I mean, that's certainly part of the legislative process. I don't expect they will, Jordan, basically because they got 99% of their wish list in this bill.

So here's what I'm hearing. I'm hearing that the bill has not been received yet in the House. When it is received, it'll be teed up for a vote. It could happen as early as tomorrow, or it could push into Wednesday.

Jordan, I think, now look, I hesitate to make any guarantees, but I think the most likely scenario is that the House is just going to accept this and send it to the President's desk. Now it's the American Rescue Plan. It's not really about because it was so little for COVID. So that $50 billion for small business, is that in the PPP loans?

Is that what we're talking about, Dan? It's not just PPP loans. There's about $7 billion in there for the Paycheck Protection Program, which is not fully exhausted yet.

There's also another version of it. A lot of it goes to restaurants, Jordan, others to small businesses, and honestly, some of it to large corporations as well. Okay, and then the final, and this is all left that's COVID-related, is $20 billion for testing and vaccine distribution. I think everybody can agree that's wonderful. The vaccines are getting out there more quickly.

That's great. But I mean, Dan, that basically closes out what this, is it $1.2 trillion now? Is that what we're at now? $1.9 trillion is what we're at. That closes out the COVID portion, correct?

Pretty much. I mean, you're going to get different people that think that spending for the National Endowment for the Humanities is COVID expending. So you're going to see estimates anywhere from 10 to maybe 35% of this bill is COVID-related. But in my view, Jordan, that's pretty much the end of it.

And I would just note this. I mean, $1.9 trillion in a COVID stimulus bill, and how much of it is spent on testing and vaccination. $20 billion.

Think about that. At the most liberal, most pro-supportive of this bill, only 35% of it, a third of it, is actually going towards COVID relief. And as Dan said, with all those different COVID portions, only $20 billion going to really just making this over, getting this done with in America for the most part, so we can get back to life.

But it does, there are, again, there's bad things in this. And, Dan, I mean, in a sense, we don't expect the ability to stop this in the House. The Senate, Joe Manchin, others didn't step up. Yeah, they really didn't, Jordan.

And I would maybe just circle back to the conversation that we had. That 12-hour debate between the minimum wage and the unemployment insurance, it should illustrate for the American people that when Democrats chose to go this path, the reconciliation path, they knew they could get 90 votes on a COVID stimulus bill, but they wanted a liberal wish list. But when they did that, Jordan, they were operating in a 50-50 Senate where any single senator could say, I will not vote for this bill unless I get X and name their provision. And Joe Manchin did that when it came to unemployment insurance. So, Jordan, we now have to look at every senator that voted for this bill, all 50 Democrats, and say, you are responsible for every provision because if you oppose that provision and you wouldn't support for that bill, vote for that bill with it in there, you could have gotten it changed. And it changed as Joe Manchin did. But, look, I don't want to heap just praise on Joe Manchin because there was an opportunity, Jordan, and an amendment offered by Senator Lankford to fix those Hyde Amendment provisions that you were talking about. And, yes, three Democrats, Tim Kaine, Joe Manchin, and Bob Casey voted for it. But, Jordan, it took 60 votes to actually incorporate that language. And none of those three senators, including Joe Manchin, were willing to do what Joe Manchin did on unemployment insurance and say, I will not vote this bill out of the Senate unless you make those changes.

Any one of those three, Jordan, they could have accomplished those changes if they really wanted to. And it just tells you where they really are on the party line, where they really are on the life issue, is they're not pro-life. They're not, they aren't. To this point that they're even saying, they weren't willing to say just that our taxpayer dollars shouldn't be spent. Our federal budget shouldn't be spent funding abortions directly.

That was something they didn't care about. So, you don't have to be pro-life to accept that position. You just have to think that, you know what, this is such a controversial issue. We don't need to send $50 billion to Planned Parenthood, and we don't need to make them eligible for, you know, up to, all these funds that are available through community health centers, Obamacare accounts, COBRA plans, not restricted at all, to directly pay for abortions.

Because there's no Hyde Amendment restrictions. So now we're paying for abortions overseas, now we're paying for abortions in our own country, and I'm sure the House will love the fact that they get to vote and keep this in their provision. This will be one of the most pro-abortion pieces of legislation in a very, very long time. It is a bailout to Planned Parenthood as well. Give us a call at 1-800-684-3110.

That's 1-800-684-3110. If you've got questions about how this will affect you, listen, I understand that there's a lot of people that are saying, yeah, I know there's a lot of bad stuff here, what's the good? Is there any good that we can find? We talked through the relief that we'll get to Americans. Our issue with it is that instead of spending an entire bill on that, they're doing a bill that at worst is 10% related to that, at best is 35% related to that, and that's like if you include an endowment to the National Endowment for the Arts as part of COVID relief.

Which again, I wouldn't, so I'm more of the 10% side, and this will actually cost taxpayers about $5600 each because this is a $1.9 trillion bill. We're taking your phone calls. Rick Rinnell, our Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy will be joining us live in the next segment. He'll be joining us about all this information that was released by the Biden administration about Saudi Arabia and Jamal Khashoggi and the dangerous nature.

He just got a new blog up at ACLJ.org about politicizing intelligence information and releasing it to the public. We are taking your calls. 1-800-684-3110. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, Planned Parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. But whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Alright folks, in the second half hour, we're going to spend time getting back into and taking a lot. I know a lot of you are calling in now, so hang on because we're going to answer your questions on what is in this, what the Senate did in the COVID relief, which is really not COVID relief anymore. It's about the American Rescue Plan because they couldn't really call it COVID relief anymore because it's only 10% of the legislation. So we talked about the ugly, the bad, and the little bit of good in there for Americans.

I know that's the part people are concerned about the most. But Rick Renell, I did want to get to this issue because this is very interesting. It's something unique that we bring to you at the ACLJ by having Rick Renell as a Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy. He has a new piece up. We're about to talk.

Rick's joining us live right now. It's a new piece up at ACLJ.org called The Biden Team Overruled Career Intelligence Officials on the Khashoggi Murder in an Effort to Appease Iran. And Rick, I thought you start this off so interestingly because you got requests from Republican members of Congress that are very supportive of President Trump, Congressman Gates, to put more information out about Khashoggi when you were Acting Director of National Intelligence. And you wanted to be very transparent.

You thought there was an over-classification going on in the intelligence community. So you had your officers go back not once but twice to review the information and you decided no, there was no more information that could get out. So why do you believe the Biden Administration ultimately put out all this info blaming the Saudi Crown Prince? Look, I am somebody who believes in transparency and I think my tenure at the DNI track, you could see that. You could see that I was pushing for greater transparency, for declassification, for the release of information. I think the public deserves as much information as we can give unless we're going to reveal a source or a method. And so I was eager on the Khashoggi incident, the Khashoggi killing, to make sure that we could release as much information as possible to the public. So as you say, I outlined what I did twice. I pushed career officials to say, are you sure? Let's look at everything. And I was told by career intelligence officials there's nothing more that we can share that would help and not damage U.S. national security.

And I was adamant about pushing this. There is only one explanation for the repackaging of the Khashoggi file now, which is that the Biden team wanted to do this. They overruled the career intelligence officials who warned that it was not smart. And they did it because they have this plan with Iran to show the Iranians and the Europeans that they can play more fair. And this is a dangerous situation when you manipulate intelligence for political gain.

And that's exactly what they did here. So you believe it was done not to try and, you know, realign some relationship with Saudi Arabia or get KSM, the crown prince, under control in the Biden administration's view. You think it was the Jake Sullivan types who wrote the JCPOA, who is now the national security adviser to Biden, that they did this to appease Iran.

I mean, so it takes people. I just want to get people to that step because it's a big it's a step for them to think, oh, it wasn't really about just embarrassing a Saudi leader like the crown prince or but it was but it had a further in our relationship with Saudi Arabia. But it had a bigger point, which was to to please Iran, if you will.

When you politicize intelligence, you repackage or you say things or you edit in order to gain some sort of political gain, not to make the United States more secure. Our relationship with the Saudis is very complicated. We had a very low point when the Khashoggi murder took place. What I can say, and I want to be very careful here, is that we made our views very clear during that low point of diplomatic relations. It was a very tough time, but the United States was crystal clear and we we made sure that there were follow up.

Again, this is hard for me to talk about without revealing intelligence, but we made sure that it wasn't just a diplomatic conversation. Let me just leave it at that. And so we've moved on from that. Right. We've learned we've adjusted some things, but the reality is to repackage it now without having new information. And that is very clear. There's nothing new that came up. It was a repackaging of old information so that the Biden team could show the Iranians some sort of political asset.

And I find that to be very troublesome. And lastly, Jordan, let me just say the D.C. media that constantly covers intelligence issues and screams manipulation every time someone has Russian salad dressing. They should absolutely be all over this because this is a slippery slope. The Biden team just got away with manipulating intelligence. And you say it's manipulating because nothing new, releasing it publicly for purposes of appeasing Iran. And that, you know, you very carefully said that the Saudis got the message loud and clear.

Steps were taken loud and clear. But we didn't want to, of course, destabilize what was already a tough relationship with the Saudi Arabians, which had been good and which was which was being rebuilt to be good again. And yet, you know, on that front, too, I mean, this has got to throw that all that hard work that I know you can't get into great detail on on Rick. But this has got to throw all that hard work kind of out the table as well. We're kind of probably at another low point with Saudi Arabia's.

For sure. Look, we were making progress on the Abraham courts and that included some progress with the Saudis. Let's be very clear on that.

And this now completely damages all of the work that we've done. And let me just make two quick points. One, the Europeans love this because the Europeans are looking to have trade with Iran. They don't have the same threat level that we do with Iran.

So listening to the Europeans too much on this is a dangerous path because we have different threat levels. And second, this comes on the heel, this manipulation of intelligence comes on the heels of the Hunter Biden laptop issue, where 50 former intelligence officials told the world in Washington, D.C. that Hunter Biden's laptop was Russian disinformation. That was wrong. There was no evidence to that.

It was a political opinion that was used right before the elections. And that has never been dealt with either. We have a whole group of Washington, D.C. intelligence reporters who are ignoring the politicization of intelligence. And I find it very troubling.

And it's going to get worse. That's my final question for you, Rick. And again, Rick Rinnell is a senior advisor for national security and foreign policy, as you know, with the ACLJ because of your financial support to the ACLJ. And it's just think about this segment alone.

You're not going to get this information anywhere else and be able to kind of dive into it from your very own ACLJ team. The final question is, I mean, if this is just kind of the beginning of this, Rick, to me, that's just nerve-wracking. I don't know if you can say it, but are there kind of like other areas where you could see them trying to just grab intelligence about another country or another place to hurt, to try and appease Iran or appease China? Well, I think you just hit it right there, appease China. I mean, look, every time we hear that Russia is a crisis and every time we hear things like the Hunter Biden laptop is Russian disinformation, this is the Beijing line. You ask yourself, why is Eric Swalwell and Nancy Pelosi and others constantly pushing this Russia narrative? It's the Beijing line. That's what China wants us to do. Look over there.

Don't pay attention to what they're doing. All right, folks, you need to check out it. Just post it up at ACLJ.org.

Rick Rinnell's new blog, The Biden Team Overruled Career Intelligence Officials on the Khashoggi Murder, and here's the kicker, in an effort to appease Iran. Rick, as always, thanks for joining us. Folks, we will be right back. Second half hour of ACLJ coming up. Remember, Month of March is our matching challenge month. You double the impact of your donation. Whatever you donate online, we have a group of donors ready to match that for the entire month of March. Donate today at ACLJ.org.

At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Live from Washington, D.C., Jay Sekulow Live.

And now, your host, Jordan Sekulow. That was, you know, if there's a reason to support the work of the ACLJ financially, and the broadcast is obviously not just the only reason to do so. We do a lot of work. This is just our hour to be able to talk to you about some of the issues, some of what's going on in the world, some of what we're doing at the ACLJ, answer questions for you, like this COVID relief, which is now the American Rescue Plan. But to have someone like Rick Rinnell as part of the team who can break down for you and get to the level of where, you know, he's being careful about what he's saying because he's a former acting director of national intelligence.

But this could show you matter about how this was, even though, you know, we knew this was all intel that was available, and it was initially not released because it could harm the national interest. He goes through it in the new piece he's got up at ACLJ.org, and that's exclusive content for the American Center for Law and Justice, so read it. I'm about to tweet it out at ACLJ.org. But we're able to do that because of your financial support of the American Center for Law and Justice. Bring in experts like Rick Rinnell to join the ACLJ team.

Bring in experts like Mike Pompeo, a former secretary of state and CIA director, to join the ACLJ team. Be part of our matching challenge today. We have a matching challenge the entire month of March. You can double the impact of your donation by donating in the month of March.

What does that mean? We've got a group of donors. Say everything that comes through the month of March, we will match those donations. Go online to ACLJ.org, donate today. It's why we're able to continue to expand our team with these experts, senior advisors to the ACLJ, and bring you information you will not get anywhere else, and break down that information that you will not get anywhere else. And that's what you're seeing them do publicly for us, whether it's writings or on the air. We're also able to assist us in the work that we do, not on TV, not on radio, not that we would be writing about right away. It's because of your support we're able to bring those kind of folks in to the ACLJ team, not as guests of the broadcast, but as team members.

Join with us, support our work at ACLJ.org. I mean, we're going to get into COVID next, but I just thought what Rick said, and the dangers of the Biden team, politicizing intelligence, it's one thing to talk about how you can do that. And certainly we've seen that over time and time again with the dossier in Russia, Russia, as he said, you know, anybody that orders Russian dressing as Russian salad dressing gets, you know, the intelligence reporters want to write about. But yet when it's the Biden laptop, it's poo-pooed, and even though all that's known now to be true and accurate and verified, you blame the Russians to protect the Chinese, because the info was not about Russia.

It was about doing work with the Chinese and like Ukrainians. You blame, you know, you blame again on, you put out this information, which again, as Rick said as best he could, we did what we needed to do to the Saudis to let them know the consequences of this and what it would it be if you ever tried to do this again, is what I kind of interpreted Rick saying, and things were starting to improve again. They were on track with the Abraham Accords. They allowed the Israeli flights over Saudi Arabia to get to the UAE.

They still do that today. And now you throw all that out the window so that you can have something that Iran can use against the Saudis. I mean, think about that to me. And this is just the beginning of the Biden administration. What a window into that decision-making process, right, Jordan? I mean, you've got this horrible atrocity, the killing of Mr. Khashoggi. You've got to balance that, though, with diplomatic relations with two different countries. And, you know, what's so telling to me, you know, Rick had to be careful here. I don't have any access to any of that information. But what I can say conclusively, which I think you could kind of read through his comments as well, is the absolute worst thing that you could do is come to a decision, come to a conclusion based on what your hostile enemy wants you to do.

Jordan, we've heard both Secretary Pompeo and Rick talk about this. A healthy, strong America is good for the entire world. Well, guess what makes us less healthy? Guess what makes us less strong? Guess what makes the rest of the world less strong? Is when we make our decisions based on those who want to destroy us, how they will react.

Jordan, that is never the right way to approach that decision. I know four of you have been holding on the line. Jan, Cindy, Frank, and Ken, we're going to start getting to your calls when we come back.

Couple lines open, 1-800-684-3110. If you want to talk about what Rick talked about, if you want to talk about the COVID, the American Rescue Plan, because it's so little about COVID, we will take your calls on that as well. We get back, 1-800-684-3110 to talk to us on air. Share this if you're watching it with your friends and family.

If you're watching it online, share it with your friends and family. We'll be back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, the play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift.

Music YouTube, Periscope, see you later on Rumble. We'll clip that as well so you can share just that interview. But again, click that share button now because you're not going to get this information anywhere else. So it blew me away. And there's a piece up as well at ACLJ.org that is new information about this as well that Rick was working on his acting director of national intelligence on the Khashoggi matter, trying to be as transparent as possible to the American people. I mean, you can use the word he hated, the idea of this overclassification of everything to try and keep things from the American people that they should be able to know. And yet in this matter, he thought, and he explains it in the blog, check it out at ACLJ.org.

It's posted right there today. I do want to get to some of your phone calls now. We've also got Wes Smith joining us in the studio. Harry's joining us in the studio as well. We've got Dan Bennett. Let's go to the phones.

People have been holding on the longest. First, Jan in Oregon on Line 1. Hey, Jan. Hi.

Thank you for having me. I'm a senior. I'm up in my late 80s. And I'm concerned about this rescue plan.

I'm hearing a background radio. That's okay. We hear you fine. We hear you fine. Okay.

Okay. Anyway, this rescue plan is bothering me because I'm seeing many people on fixed incomes that are fixed. I mean, they are our retirement income. And they're just getting a nest egg. It's like Christmas.

The need... I have been through many pandemics, healthy situations. I'm 88. And I am a retired nurse and have worked very, very hard all my life. Pay my bills.

I don't receive anything. But I want you to know that this is very perplexing how we are spending money like there's no tomorrow. I agree. And I think that you care, Jan. I love to hear the fact that at 88 years old, you care because you care about your country, your children, your grandchildren.

And the idea that these are so... even when they limited to an extent... I mean, remember, under President Trump, people got more money. Let me make that clear. President Trump got more money directly to the American people. But even here, when they tried to limit Harry, who would get the money, they're not taking into account people on fixed incomes.

It's just you hit this level, you get this check. Absolutely. And so you can argue that the bill on its face is A, discriminatory. B, it is disproportionate.

Why? Because it allocates a significant amount of money to unions, and it constitutes a bailout largely of blue cities. It's also important to keep in mind that at the last minute, as I understand it, Chuck Schumer added what might be called a perfecting amendment, which gives an additional $10 billion to cities. And it provides that Janet Yellen will spend that money according to her discretion. So she can actually spend up to $195 billion on poorly managed cities in the out years. So at the end of the day, the so-called COVID-19 relief bill has nothing to do with the coronavirus, has nothing to do with stopping the spread of this disease. It has everything to do with the infection called the Democratic wish list that is going to infect Americans for years to come.

I mean, look at this. There's $20 billion in here total. Out of $1.9 trillion, there's only $20 billion for testing and vaccine distribution. So for creating new tests and for getting these vaccines out, which are now available and becoming more available, that's wonderful. But you would think, hey, maybe shift another $100 billion that way or $200 billion that way and maybe everybody that is eligible to get a vaccine or should get a vaccine would have one in the next three weeks and then America could really get back to work and we wouldn't be talking about next year, Dr. Fauci. We'd be talking about next month. And I hope that, again, that some of those estimates are true about May, but hey, what about March? But instead of spending money there, and still, yes, they're doing these direct payments, the $1,400 that starts phasing out, depending on your income levels.

Some unemployment insurance extended through September 6 at $300 a week. It's only at best 35% of the bill. That's if you include the $200 million for the National Institute for Museum and Library Services, the $135 million for National Endowment for Humanities, and $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. But there's $1.5 billion in here for Amtrak.

This is why they changed it. They're not even calling it COVID relief anymore. That's just a tiny part of what is now the American Rescue Plan. It's like Harry said, it's the left wing's wish list and it's going to cost the American people, I think, long term when it comes to actually getting better jobs, getting jobs again, and all sorts of issues. Our economy, the stock market, 401Ks, because it's money that didn't, it's not all about just getting money directly to the American people.

In fact, that's one of the smallest provisions. And to the caller's point, you know, presently the United States has a $28 trillion debt. Last year alone, $3.3 trillion was added to that debt. And yet we're looking at a bill that is so convoluted, hundreds of millions of dollars has nothing to do with COVID COVID relief. This bill, as Harry indicated, is not about COVID. It's about using a health crisis as an opportunity to push through a progressive wish list. This whole bill is another step, a significant step by progressives in Congress towards a welfare entitlement state, which Jordan is just another name for socialism. They want more and more government control. And part of the way the government gets control is by providing things and there are always strings attached. But this bill is so little about COVID and so much about politics. And back to that one thing you mentioned, the $352 billion for state and local governments. Many, many local and state governments actually did better in tax revenue last year than they did the year before, including California, Arizona, Virginia, Colorado. They have more money than they've ever had before.

None of that gets taken into account. But on top of this, let me take Cindy's call in New Hampshire and we'll take your phone calls 1-800-684-3110. That's 1-800-684-3110. We've got a full segment coming up as well. 1-800-684-3110 to talk to us on the air or put your questions in through YouTube. Hey, Cindy.

Hi, how are you doing? Good. The reason that I called is I am registered voter. I'm an independent voter. And I appreciate all the work that you guys do.

It's tremendous. What can an individual do? I've written to my senators, I've done all that, had no impact whatsoever.

I did say I'm planning on campaigning for the first time in my life. Well, that's one thing, Cindy. I think you hit on it right there. There's a couple things. So at the ACLJ, we'll be looking at whether there are provisions to legally challenge on behalf of our members or if there's someone else that contacts us. So we'll be looking at that. This bill is still not in its final form.

So we can't start yet because then we can start kind of highlighting some areas to look at. It's not in its final form. But then I think what Cindy hit on that was most important was this is a direct result of the elections. Getting a package like this when Democrats had control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, and it's still taking them this long because there were a few moderates who ultimately buckled on most things except for trying to ram through a minimum wage and fire the Senate parliamentarian.

That's about all they didn't do. And to do it without a normal process, which would have had to take 60 votes, they never would have gotten on this. So it's a wish list they're getting, and it's a direct result of the elections.

Yeah, you know, I honestly think, Jordan, this answer is probably applicable to both Cindy and Jan who called just a minute ago. I mean, the way you have recourse is you send elected officials to Washington, D.C., who actually care about spending, who actually care about saddling the next generation with extra debt. You know, Jordan, I get teased from time to time for caring about these spending bills when a lot of people, quite honestly, you know, if there's something in it for them, they're willing to look the other way.

We've got to turn that around. But Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution says that Congress is the ones with the power of the purse. They get to control this spending.

So, Jordan, the good news for both Jan and Cindy is they actually have the power here. It takes a lot of work. It takes listening to shows like this. It takes digging into the weeds of legislation that passes. But then ultimately you've got to go back to your elected officials and say, why in the world did you vote for that wasteful spending at this time?

Why didn't you at least spend it on the emergency that was at hand? And Jordan, if they don't have a good answer for you, the only recourse, the right recourse anyway, it's time to replace them. Yeah, exactly. I mean, this is, again, we're going to take more of your phone calls. I mean, this one is tough. We're going to look at what could be legally challenged here.

We're not going to like lay down and say up. But the reason it got through is because of elections. And so you can try to go into courts and limit certain provisions, challenge certain provisions, but the way they did it was reconciliation, which was the narrow of narrow.

It all had to survive the parliamentarian's ruling as well about whether it was legal or not and right to do under the Senate rules. And all of this did that got through. We'll be back. Give us a call.

1-800-684-3110. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, Planned Parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. We go to Ken in Florida on Line 4. Welcome back to Sekulow, folks. We got a lot of people on the line.

They've been holding on. Thank you, Ken, for holding on, because this is an interesting question as well. On Joe Biden, who has been the executive order President. Donald Trump was called that, but it pales in comparison to what Joe Biden has done. Hey, Ken, welcome to Sekulow. Yeah, how you doing, Jordan? My question is, because I'm a senior like the others that have spoken, and I actually worked the elections down here in Florida, which actually went flawless.

They did. Total chain of custody. Anyway, my question was more or less, what is the ACLJ able to do at this point relating to blocking? You know, are you all hand-picking specific executive orders? Because again, I'm a senior that has actually been wiped out. My job ended last July because of COVID, and I've been working in the background trying to get re-employed.

So this unemployment scenario is, I'm unfortunately a long-term unemployed person at the moment, not because I want to be. But anyway, my question is, I'm going through retraining, but my question for you guys is, how are you all focused as the ACLJ that I know that I've supported for 20 years? What are you all doing about all these executive orders? Are you all targeting lawsuits on all of them, including what you're going to be doing with this?

I don't think it necessarily would be on all of them. I mean, some are within the President's power, you just don't like. Like the reversal of the Mexico City policy. We don't like it, but historically, you know, that's been the President's prerogative. So the fact that President Trump went in there, signed the Mexico City policy, actually buffed it up and made it more intense so that our taxpayer dollars didn't go to fund abortions overseas. Joe Biden, right away his first 10 days or so in office, got rid of the Mexico City policy.

This bill funds mortgage plan parenthood, but I don't want to get stuck there thin. We are looking at every one of those executive orders right now, and then you choose what to challenge in court, what executive orders were kind of tied to legislators. Like there's some, one that came out on the election laws and voting laws, it's tied to H.R. 1, and there's going to be, of course, a lot of legal challenges there. I could point that one out right away as something we'll be looking at very closely, which is the changes to our election system at the federal level, which our Constitution is pretty clear about. Most of that should be done at the state level. Yeah, we're going to aggressively combat H.R.

1. Hopefully many of those don't become law, but if they do, yeah, Jordan, a lot of those would be very ripe for challenge, and we would certainly do that. But you're right, when it comes kin to the executive orders, there's going to be a wide range. There's going to be some of them that do have proper rooting in statute. You know, Congress has actually given the executive branch the right to make the change. Jordan's correct, the Mexico City policy is a perfect example of that. There are going to be others that we're going to look at the underlying statute, and we're going to say, no, there absolutely is no grounding for that. And by the way, this has been an ongoing challenge, but the Title X funding that we've talked about, that's a perfect example of that.

The authorizing statute in that situation specifically says that an abortion provider cannot access those funds, and yet they continue to access them. So we're going to have to go through, just as Jordan said, and see which ones have rooting in statute and precedent, which ones don't, and which ones we're able to challenge. So that's what we're doing right now. And again, this is all coming at us fast. We were preparing for it already back in the wintertime. After the election, we started preparing already for what the Biden team would bring forward, what we could challenge, and what we'd have to challenge through government affairs, what we'd be able to challenge in court. So stay tuned for the in-court portion, the government affairs portion as it continues on. Mimi on YouTube wrote in, and Harry, this is something I think it just angers a lot of people, why couldn't they just do a COVID relief bill and put this, even if they want to do this by reconciliation, have this debate done separately, why tie COVID to it, and was it just to kind of, I think it was to sell the American people on this, because hey, you're going to get a check. So don't look at all the other stuff we're doing.

I think your analysis is spot on. At the end of the day, Democrats do not appreciate the work of average working men and women, particularly average working men and women who live in so-called flyover country. These are individuals who earn between $40,000 and let's say $90,000 a year.

They often do not necessarily have a college degree. Democrats are focused on two large constituencies, elitists who have gone to elite colleges, and globalists, and particularly global corporations. And so the Democratic agenda is focused on helping entities, perhaps like Amazon, or perhaps some of the companies located in the Silicon Valley, and helping elites in Washington feel better about themselves. They are not fundamentally interested, this is my view, in helping the American people.

And that was one of the reasons why President Trump was elected in 2016. And so now I think history is beginning to repeat itself, and the Democrats are using the fig leaf of COVID relief in order to advance long-term ideological interests that they have in controlling government, ultimately controlling elections, and ultimately preventing the American people from exercising their vote within the realm of a constitutional democracy. You know, I think, again, I want to continue to take calls, these final two calls of the day. First to Frank in Connecticut, then to Tom in California. Frank, first, welcome to Sekulow, you're on the air.

Thanks, Jordan. Hey, my question is on this $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. Originally it was $1.9 trillion, but they had removed some items. Is it still $1.9 trillion, or does that price change?

Fan? Yeah, it's essentially still $1.9 trillion. This is one of the problems with passing it in this range. We actually don't have a brand new score from CBO, but one of the reasons, Frank, why those provisions were stripped, including the minimum wage one, probably the one that's on your radar, is that they did not have a significant impact on the budgetary score.

Therefore, they weren't eligible for this. So it's difficult to give you an exact figure what it's going to cost, but the estimates in town are still right around $1.9 trillion, a pretty unbelievable sum, Jordan. Yeah, I mean, it is unbelievable. Let me go to Tommy on Line 6 in California. Tommy, welcome to Sekulow. Thank you for taking this call.

I appreciate it. As lawyers, would you guys agree to sign an agreement without understanding it or be able to explain it to me? Absolutely. That's the first part of it. No, I mean, that would be malpractice.

You'd lose your license to practice. But second question, Tommy. So then the second part of my question is, as representatives of the voters, do each of these senators and House representatives understand what they're committing the taxpayers to be responsible for in this $1.9 trillion bill? I think that to some extent the special interests were so involved, and I get everybody's thoughts on this quickly, the special interests were involved, I think they were lobbying pretty hard to put in certain. I don't think that they understand how it all works, but I think that they know who asked them for what. They knew it was a giveaway to the people that they've already been beholden to, Jordan. Now, do they know every word of that 600-page bill that was dropped right before they voted on it? No. That's how things work in Washington, D.C. It's broken, Jordan, but it's not the first time that's happened.

All right. You know, I think, Wes, Harry, quickly, people are going to like getting the stimulus check. They're not going to like what flows from it. Do you think it actually ends up hurting the Democrats, because it's a wash because of the check? Probably a wash, but, you know, their motive behind it. Remember Rahm Emanuel said, never let a crisis go to waste. They're using this crisis to get this other stuff in.

Harry? Well, I think Wesley is correct. I think at the end of the day, there are so many provisions in this bill, the American people will probably forget that they will be putting the bill down the road. Well, keep following, folks. Support our work, ACLJ.org. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-17 16:06:07 / 2023-12-17 16:29:39 / 24

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