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BREAKING: IRS Billion Dollar Budget Hangs in Balance.

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
December 22, 2022 2:03 pm

BREAKING: IRS Billion Dollar Budget Hangs in Balance.

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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December 22, 2022 2:03 pm

BREAKING: IRS Billion Dollar Budget Hangs in Balance.


Today on Sekulow, the IRS on the naughty list this Christmas as their billion dollar budget hangs in the balance. We'll talk about that and more today on Sekulow. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. All right, there's a lot to talk about today on Sekulow. We're joined by a number of guests as well who are going to be talking about the issues, whether it's the omnibus, a win at the Sixth Circuit by the ACLJ just yesterday evening. Again, you had Zelensky addressing Congress meeting with President Biden. A lot of that has to do with the budget as well. I mean, Dad, there's just a lot going on and we've got great people to discuss it. JB McCuskey, the State Auditor of West Virginia is going to discuss the omnibus with us and the difference between how they handle it at the state level versus how we're handling it at the federal level with the 1.7 trillion, 4,000 pages. Definitely have to vote on it before you read it.

That's for sure. And then what's not there, of course, is something that, again, we talked about how in the previous legislation in the Inflation Reduction Act, there was 80 billion set aside for 87,000 new IRS agents. But what we talked about with Senator Lindsey Graham and other members of Congress was, and even Claudia Tenney, who we said, you know, that hasn't been appropriated yet. It hasn't been in a spending bill yet, like an omnibus. Well, the IRS is being called a big loser right now because instead of the 87, the $80 billion they were going to get, they will only be receiving, that's still $12 billion for the tax agency, but that's $275 million less than this year.

Yeah. And it's, listen, 80 billion and you get 12 billion three. I mean, it sounds like a big number.

That is a reduction of 80%, which you know what that means? And this is important. 87,000 new IRS agents? Not likely. That is not where they're going to be able to spend their resources. Listen, folks, we have been on this, our government affairs office in Washington. We've been working on this. And I think this is, I mean, of course the bill's not done yet.

The omnibus is not passed yet, but this is a big, I think, a big win for the American people. Their budget has been cut. So their usual increase in budget is going to be lower than it was for fiscal year 2022. They will get less money in 2023. So they're not hiring revenue agents. No, I think they'll just be operating. And we know how they operate.

Not so great. Exactly. This is a big win. Look, the American people were outraged about this.

Members of Congress were outraged about this. This is really positive. It is a positive because we know that those 87,000 new agents were going to be targeting you, middle-class Americans, small business owners. You talked about the gig economy, people who work off tips, people who work off of, again, musicians, artists who don't have regular incomes and reporting.

And so, and again, you were talking about those Venmo transactions, all of that. That's who that group was going to go after. And they're not going to be there.

There's no way. They don't have the budget. No, I mean, look, the Hill, and this is interesting, the Hill, what made the cut in Congress is 4,155 pages and what did not. And out of the bill, increase for IRS funding.

So this is, again, it's a great way to start this program off today with a win. And then we got another one we're going to talk about a little bit later involving a pro-life issue with the Sixth Circuit. Big win there on the pro-life issue. Big win against the IRS.

This is your ACLJ at work here, folks. Yeah, I want to take your phone calls on the omnibus, 1-800-684-3110 on the IRS. You can get your calls in now on the, if you watched the Zelensky speech or you saw parts of that, your thoughts on that, the Patriot missile system, we're going to get into that later. We've got both Mike Pompeo and Rick Grenell in the second half hour of the broadcast to go through that with us to help us understand exactly what it means to deliver a Patriot missile system to Ukraine when the Russians say that means that now we're directly involved. That it escalates it to where the U.S. is now directly involved in this war. Now, we've been funding the war.

But it's different when you put your missile system in there. I don't know. We'll talk to Mike Pompeo, Rick Grenell to discuss it because that's why we have senior advisors like Rick Grenell and Mike Pompeo so we can give you a real analysis. Don't forget the matching challenge for the ACLJ. That's at Any amount you donate. But I need to say the last couple of days, folks, you've really come through for us. This is when it really counts. We're down to the last seven days. Any amount you donate, we get a matching gift. Before we come back, we'll take your calls.

800-684-3110. We told you about a positive right now in the omnibus. It has not been voted on yet at the federal level and that is the significant cut to the IRS. They are not getting the $80 billion. In fact, it's right now at $12 billion so there will not be space for 87,000 new IRS agents. That's actually less money than the IRS got last year. I mean, I'd like to see them get even less money than that. But it is a win. They're on the loser list right now when you look at Washington, D.C. papers about who's a winner and who's a loser in the omnibus.

But I wanted to kind of contrast this with what happens in the states with this kind of legislation because at Congress, we're used to these run-up to the holidays, 4,000 pages, $1.4 trillion. Let's vote on it at 2 in the morning tonight, which I have a feeling is likely what's going to happen, with remote voting so they don't even have to be there to vote. And I wanted to bring in a good friend of mine, the state auditor of West Virginia, J.B. McCuskey, who is also an ACLJ alumni. He's also an attorney and spent time with us at the American Center for Law and Justice before going into public life in West Virginia. And J.B., I just wanted to start off right off the bat. You are really angry about this omnibus because of the reforms you put in place in West Virginia.

Tell people about it. Yeah. So let me start by saying this. The American people are all losers with this omnibus bill, right? So what happens in Washington is they wait till the very end of the year and they pass a 5,000-page, $1.7 trillion pork-laden bill. And then they say, if you don't vote for it, we're going to shut the government down, right? That's not how grown-ups govern. That is a pathetic attempt at governing that is designed to allow people to put whatever pork they want in a bill and reduce the total level of transparency to the American people to zero. And interestingly, it reduces the amount of transparency to the other members of the legislature, essentially, to zero when you force people to vote on something that they couldn't possibly have enough time to read on Christmas Eve. You know, JB, you did something in West Virginia that's the exact opposite of this process.

I've been tweeting it out this week. But for people who are outside West Virginia, I think it's even something they should take a look at. You created this government transparency website so that people would know exactly where money was going, how it was being spent, how it wasn't being spent. And you had counties buy into this, municipalities buy into this, the state government buy into this. And really, you spent your time and have spent your time as state auditor reforming that office so that it better serves West Virginians.

Tell people about that. Yeah, so we started off with something called the West Virginia Checkbook, and what that does is it puts every single expense and every single revenue of the state online in a searchable database for every citizen to see in real time. And what its greatest utility is, it levels the playing field between the general public and the bureaucrats who spend their money. And what that has morphed into recently is we created something called the West Virginia State Budget Book. And on January the 11th, when the state budget is released, it will immediately be in a searchable website for every legislator and every single person, every media member to be able to see all the way to the line item end exactly how the government is proposing to spend the money that they're taking away from the people of West Virginia. And to me, Jordan, if little old West Virginia can provide this level of transparency and, importantly, accountability, the federal government, who just is trying to spend one point seven trillion of your dollars, should at least be trying to do that. And they're not. And there's a good reason for it.

And they don't want you to know. You know, it's interesting, J.B., you said that because we jumped on when they had the reconciliation, the omnibus bill that they've got now, and then the predecessor, which authorized the 80 billion dollars to the IRS. Fortunately, our team found that issue and we went very aggressive publicly about it. We talked about it to our constituencies.

We broadcasted about it. And that one's now, when they come to the appropriations bill and the omnibus, it's out. They're not going to be able to. They're getting 12 billion instead of 80 billion. But it goes to your point when the American people see where their money is being spent, you know, you could really affect change.

We call us all of a sudden. It doesn't make a lot of sense. Transparency is only useful when it leads to accountability. And the reason that I'm so passionate about transparency is every single person that lives in the state of West Virginia has the right to vote for the other guy if we don't do what we promise.

Right. And the only way they can ever figure that out is if the government opens its books and says to people, I'm proud of what I've done with your money and I want you to be able to see it, too. And if you're not proud of it, then you do things like the federal government does when you're funding underwater baskets leaving in, you know, off the shore of Alaska to the tune of 300 million dollars or whatever it is.

They, of course, don't want you to see that. Yeah, I mean, JB, we've got here, you know, it looks nice at first to people, 1.56 billion to Customs and Border Patrol for border management requirements. If you stop there, you think, OK, maybe they're going to increase Border Patrol security and 339 million dollars to the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to ICE. But then you read for, quote, non detention border management requirements and the funds are prohibited for using to require, maintain or extend border security technologies and capabilities unless it's just for the paperwork processing. So it looks like there's a lot of money going to Border Patrol and ICE, but it's not going to secure our border. Right.

It's a myth. Right. And so what we're really working on here is this concept of performance based budgeting and where we're moving to is on the site.

What will happen is you can go back to 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, see how much every single thing the government's supposed to do. They they allocated and then put the metrics of their success next to it. So the public can see we gave you a billion dollars to to to to build roads.

Right. And if the next year was a billion one, the next year is a billion two, the next year is a billion three and the roads are worse. Then we know it's not a spending problem and it's a process problem. And what I found in my 10 years in government is that the bureaucracy, whether it be state or federal, hates to to actually tackle a problem. And what they love to do is say, I'm failing. And the federal government fails at everything it tries. And the state government isn't a whole lot better when they say that I'm failing.

They walk into the legislature and what do they say? They don't say I need to fix what I'm doing. They say I can't do it for that amount of money. And so the people that fail the most demand the most money. And we end up funding the biggest failures the most.

And that is backwards. You know, JB, people in who are listening to our broadcast right now, many in West Virginia, but those outside of West Virginia, too, may be interested to see exactly what you've built so that they can ask their state governments to build the same thing. And also put pressure on the federal government ultimately to build a similar kind of program. As you said, if a state the size of West Virginia can do it, your state can do it, too. Where can people go? Where do they go online to check out the checkbook and to see how the resources are being spent in West Virginia? And again, also, where can they go to find out more about you?

Sure. So it's That's And they can find every single county, every city and every special report that we have. One of the really important reports that we have there is something called the Economic Development Report. And so this is our first real foray into this performance-based budgeting. And so all the tax incentives that we give to companies that move in, we now have the promises that they made. So you can see whether they actually created the jobs, whether the tax revenue that was promised came. And we can see if we're actually getting our money back on our investment for all of our economic development projects. And that's just the first step, right? And if people want to see what the West Virginia Auditor's Office is doing, they can either go to or they can go to

All right. So And then, of course, again, the WV Checkbook. And, Dan, you said how impressive it is because they're also looking at when you get the tax breaks. And we live in one of those states, too. They get tax breaks? A lot of tax breaks to develop in Nashville. What do we get for it as the taxpayer? And is it actually happening when you get the tax break? Well, as I do, my wife and I own a small business, right?

And so it's maddening to sit there. You grind every day making payroll. We sell clothes. And then you look in and some giant company comes in out of nowhere and they don't have to pay their inventory tax for the next 20 years. Well, what about the people that were here fighting for West Virginia the entire time and made it possible for these big companies to come in? And it's time for everyone to understand that there are two kinds of businesses.

There's legacy businesses and new ones. And we need to support them all. You know what, J.B., we appreciate your public service. As Jordan said, you're an alumni of the ACLJ, which is great.

We've got alumni of the ACLJ now out in real positions of influence. J.B., thanks for being with us. Have a Merry Christmas to you and the family, okay? You all have a Merry Christmas, too. And thank you so much for chatting. I love it. All right. Thanks, J.B. And, again, I just wonder, it's the contrast.

It is the contrast. So if they could do it in West Virginia with much more limited resources, obviously. I mean, it's the federal government versus state government.

You could do this at the federal level. Folks, because we found the $80 billion, it's down to $12 billion, which means no $87,000 I do. But there's still crazy stuff here.

Oh, there's a lot of crazy stuff in there. But the point is, what J.B.'s doing is opening the eyes of the citizens of West Virginia. What we need to do is open the eyes of the people of the United States of America. Yeah, I think people would love to know, like, when the U.S. gives a big tax break to one of these big tech companies like Intel, can you track how many new jobs have been hired in that city? Did they build the school? Have they built the new roads? Did they invest in the infrastructure?

At what point are they at? You know, if they've already been operating for years, are they also meeting the goals that they promised to get the tax incentive to be in business there? So again, I just want to bring you that example, because when you talk omnibus, you think federal. This is going on in your states as well, dealing with big budgets, too, that affect you very directly.

So, again, check that out. The WVU checkbook is really impressive that JB's been working on since he became a state auditor. Again, we're proud to have ACLJ alumni in positions like that, sometimes thankless positions like that, a state auditor, who are really working hard for their folks. We come back. We're going to be talking about a big win at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, ACLJ, for life, for speech. Support our work. Double the impact your donation at

We'll be right back. Welcome back to Sekulow. Folks, we want to go right to a huge ACLJ victory in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. You heard Frank Mannion on the last couple of weeks talking about this case, and we got kind of an early victory from the Sixth Circuit. You argued this thing, Frank, December 8th, and about two weeks later you got the opinion, which is a pretty good sign. Tell everybody this is a great victory. Congratulations. Tell everybody what happened.

Sure. I mean, I just said, Jay, we just argued it two weeks ago. I felt pretty hopeful after the argument that we'd get a victory, but I didn't expect to get one in two weeks. But, anyway, we argued this case on behalf of two sidewalk counselors in Louisville who were challenging a buffer zone ordinance that Louisville enacted about a year and a half ago. We filed suit immediately. We lost at the district court. We filed an immediate appeal of that. We argued two weeks ago, and yesterday the Sixth Circuit unanimously agreed with our position rejecting the positions that the district court had taken.

I mean, just to give you an example, there's an argument in this case called geographical over-inclusiveness that we made. The district court basically scoffed at us for even making the argument, and it turns out that three members of the Court of Appeals based their opinion on that argument, and it's an argument that we've been trying to make for years in these buffer zone cases. And I got to give credit to our colleague, Jeff Surtees, because he's been pushing this argument for seven years in our Third Circuit case, included it again in this case. I kind of looked at it as maybe an afterthought because the Supreme Court did in McClellan, but sure enough, here it is. It's the primary basis for the Sixth Circuit striking down the Louisville buffer zone.

Now, this is a great victory. And you know, CeCe, the sidewalk counselors, this is not protest. This isn't demonstration. These are counselors. I think it's important for people to understand what is happening here.

Absolutely. So the sidewalk counselors are, you know, people that, of course, hold the pro-life sisters of life. I mean, obviously, other pro-life counselors, and they provide personal, caring, compassionate information, consensual conversations with women who are going into abortion clinics.

They pass out literature. They pray with them if people agree. So it's not protesting. It's not blocking. It's literally providing the other side of the story and allowing these women who are going into these abortion clinics to actually make an informed decision and not just have one side of the story.

You know, Frank, I was thinking about this. I read the opinion. The opinion's great, by the way.

I mean, it's a really well-done opinion. What's the next move for the city of Louisville here? What do you think they do? Well, they really should just repeal the ordinance because they're not going anywhere with this opinion. I mean, we've got law of the case here that rejects every position they've taken so far. I wouldn't be surprised if they repeal it.

But I don't know. They've taken some pretty hard-lineā€¦ You don't think they'll go to the Supreme Court? You don't think they'll take it up on cert, do you? I don't think so. I think they'll wait and see what happens here.

You know, they may repeal this and enact a Hill v. Colorado ordinance, which will attack also. Absolutely. Well, listen, this is a great win for life, Frank. We appreciate your hard work on this, yours and Jeff. Congratulations. Merry Christmas to your family as well, to you and your family.

And a great wait as we start ending the 2022 and we approach 2023. Like ending on a positive note, and this is certainly one. Thanks, Frank. Thank you, Jake.

Merry Christmas. You know, we wanted to bring on people that ask you, where's Than Bennett, our Director of Government Affairs? Why has he been on the broadcast? And Than is joining us now. He's been with us for 16 years as Director of Government Affairs.

And I've got to say, he's taken us to a next level. One of those things was bringing in members of Congress to join our briefs. And that's something we've gotten used to now at the ACLJ, but you can understand the relationships that that builds when members of Congress are saying, I want to put my name on an ACLJ brief going to a federal court or going to the U.S. Supreme Court. He's also built out a government affairs team and right now, Than, I'll give you the opportunity, but you have decided that, you know, after 16 years in politics to change it up.

Yeah, Jordan. Hey, Jay, it's great to be on with you today. It's fun to be back in this seat that's really been one that I've enjoyed for this hour most days for the last 16 years. But you're right, Jordan, you and I had a conversation back in July and we just thought our family believed that God was calling us to a new work. And I will just say this, I would be remiss, Jordan, if I didn't start this response by taking the opportunity to say publicly what I've said to both you and your dad privately. And that is that it has been the greatest honor of my professional career to serve alongside you these last 16 years. I look back, Jordan, with just incredible awe at everything that we've been able to have a chance to engage together.

I'm very grateful for the investment that you all have made in me. And just to speak a little bit to the team that's going to be taking over here in Washington, D.C., Jordan, one of the things that we really set out to do together over these last few months is make sure that the ACLJ was in a stronger position when this time came, when it was time for us to step away. And Jordan, I think we've pulled that off. This team is ready to go. Quite frankly, they're running hard already. They're greater in number.

They are greater in diversity and experience and expertise. So I'm really excited about the path ahead for the ACLJ. And of course, I'm very grateful to the both of you for the last 16 years having served together. Love to talk a little bit about what's ahead, but I wanted to start there, Jordan, just saying thank you to both of you and to the entire ACLJ team. I'll miss you and always hold you close. Thanh, you know, we appreciate your hard work, your dedication, as Jordan said, you built that office and it's in good hands. You're right. You've done great on the transition. That's a big part of this. But I want to talk about what you're doing now because, you know, look, we've been not only colleagues, but we've been friends for almost two decades.

So we've known each other a long time and we've worked together for a long time. So I wanted to get a sense from you and tell our audience, these people love you, they support you, they pray for you. What's the next move for the Bennett family? Yeah, so excited about this, Jay. We've got a big crisis in this country and it is more than 400,000 kids in the foster care system. And Jay, Lord willing, most of those kids will end back up with their biological families. That's always the main goal, but Jay, there are close to 120,000 of those kids that that's no longer an option for them. So they face one of two realities. The first reality is they will turn 18 and quite literally become homeless if they age out of the foster care system. But Jay, when that happens, they inevitably become one of two things.

They either become engaged in criminal activity or the victim of a crime and oftentimes both. So it's a very tragic situation. But the good news, Jay, is there is a very tangible solution that we can step into. That second way is if they are adopted into a forever family, our family has seen this miracle up close and personal. And so we are dreaming of a day where instead of a big waiting list of foster kids who are waiting to be adopted, Jay, we're dreaming of a day where there will be a waiting list of families waiting for a child to enter that situation and be in need of that. So just very concisely, we've set up a nonprofit, it's called a Fearless Life. We're going to recruit families to adopt from foster care. And then Jay, we're going to raise funds on the outside to pay for those adoption costs so that if a family steps forward to enter this mission, we're going to make sure they can go through that adoption and training process at no cost.

Listen, folks, this is a really important work. This is something that's been on Than and his wife's heart. They're now putting their thoughts, prayers into action, which is always what we appreciate at the ACLJ. And I'm going to encourage you to support Than going forward and his family in this new work. We've got a website that's up, which is the easiest one to go to right now.

Which is- Yeah, the easiest one right now is thann It's T-H-A-N-N, and we're showing it now for those watching the broadcast. People can already begin donating to get this organization off the ground.

A Fearless Life. And Than, I just want to say, you're like family to all of us at the ACLJ. We know that's not the end. We'll be in touch, and we know that we'll have to rely on Than in the future as well with the contacts he's made, the work that he's done.

His phone will still be ringing from those of us at the ACLJ. But just people can already start supporting your work. That's right, Than. Yeah, then go to thann They can give to A Fearless Life.

They can also click another button to sign up for a newsletter and keep posted. Jordan, let me just say this. Our family loves yours.

We love the ACLJ family. Godspeed to you all. Merry Christmas, and guess what? We'll be around. Absolutely. Than, we appreciate your service.

Merry Christmas to your family. Folks, we encourage you to go to thann and support his great work. You've heard him on this broadcast for years. Great insight. Their family's being called to a new ministry. We think it's great.

No, it is. Than is the reason why. Getting into the budget, getting into those items, that we've been able to do all of that work. We're leaving it in a much bigger and better than before. Thank you, Than. We'll be right back. Keeping you informed and engaged, now more than ever, this is Sekulow, and now your host, Jordan Sekulow.

Hey, welcome back to Sekulow. So again, that's send off for Than Bennett, but again, you can go to thann Stay up to date with him. I know if you've been a long time listener or viewer of the broadcast, you want to do that, and he's got that new newsletter. He did mention that briefly up so you can really stay up to speed as the organization launches.

He can help you get off the ground as well. We're thrilled for Than and thrilled for his family. And he really did leave the ACLJ Government Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. in a bigger and better situation.

He really did. I mean, the staff is twice the size. Budget's twice the size. In fact, it's expanding greatly. We're going to announce that today, but we're expanding our capabilities in two cities of big significance.

We'll get to that in the first of the year. Yeah, and I could say something that's, you know, today's example, after this radio broadcast today, I'm going to be on the phone with Senator Hagerty, who's all with us. We hosted Sean Hannity's broadcast with his general counsel about the ACLJ working on a piece of legislation with them. I mean, that's the kind of work that Than helped us set up over these last 16 years to get to that point. It's really, it's really very important. I want to announce two things, though, again. If you've been following this IRS and budget and 87,000 new agents, good news for you, good news for America, frankly, those 87,000 agents are not getting hired because you know what the IRS got instead of 80 billion, 12.3.

That's still a lot of billion, but it's not a lot, enough billion from them to make that kind of hiring. So good win, again, because we were able to find it and then take action on it. Now, a big win out of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on life. The case was just argued two weeks ago. We already got the decision.

I mean, this is huge. CC, tell everybody about the case. This is, folks, this is the ACLJ in action here. We're talking about legislation. Now we're talking about a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals win. That's the court right below the Supreme Court.

Right. So abortion distortion, again, was on display with a buffer zone law, which basically says outside an abortion clinic, there's a radius that you cannot come if you have pro-life speech. So it was a speech, a ban on speech, pro-life speech.

And we represented these passive, compassionate counselors that want to provide the other side of information, the pro-life side of information. And like you said, I think it was in two weeks, we got the opinion and the Sixth Circuit struck down and said, that ban, that buffer zone cannot stand, that it's not a legal law that can stand. It's interesting because I'm trying to think if we ever had an opinion where we've argued a case and two weeks later we got the decision.

And we've had a lot of quick decisions, but I don't think, other than like emergency stays and injunctions from a court of appeals, I don't think so. But the good thing about this was in the Dobbs case, Justice Alito writing in the majority opinion said he questioned the decision of the Supreme Court in a case we were involved in, Hill v. Colorado, where they approved a buffer zone, the court did, over objections and dissents by justices. The court said, Justice Alito said it had distorted the First Amendment jurisprudence, and this is the first case.

So basically, kind of sub-salento overturned Hill, really. I mean, he obviously said it distorted First Amendment jurisprudence, so he made his position and the majority of the justices' position clear because that's in the opinion. And then, to have the Sixth Circuit come out as the first case post-Dobbs at a court of appeals and say, hey, there is no right to silence speech just because it's on the pro-life message. That's a huge, huge win for life. It's a huge win for the First Amendment, for the freedom of speech, and it just shows that tenacity is the issue here. Jeff Surtees, Frank Mannion worked that case up.

They did a great job, and we got a great result, and that doesn't happen. Whether it's stopping the 87,000 IRS agents or defending the pro-life counselors on a sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic, that doesn't happen without support from people like you. That's right. We've got a matching challenge right now at, and listen, we know times are tough economically and they're uncertain with inflation and the stock market, but we also know that people put aside resources to make their charitable contributions at the end of the year to the organizations and ministries they support. If you've had to cut back a little bit this year, we just want to remind you that because of the matching challenge, you may be effectively able to donate the same amount you usually give. So if you usually were donating $100 at the end of the year, but this year you can only donate $50, well, we have a donor that will match your $50 donation. That's what the matching challenge is all about. So donate today at so we can continue not just to do our work, but to expand the work of the American Center for Law and Justice. That's at Donate today.

Take part in that matching challenge. We'll be right back on Sekulow. Welcome back to Sekulow. It is great to have our Senior Counsel for Global Affairs after yesterday's events, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joining us today with Zelensky at the White House, then Zelensky addressing members of Congress. The last time I remember anything like that with a world leader was Netanyahu addressing members of Congress. Secretary Pompeo said the Biden administration said it would provide another $1.85 billion in military aid to Ukraine and that it includes a Patriot missile defense system.

There's a lot of buzz that's been circling about this potentially happening. What does the Patriot system do and what's the significance of this gesture? I think people, you know, they're just confused because they've heard the threats from Russia if we put this kind of system in place.

Well, Jordan, it is a significant system. It is important and it will change the context of the battle in the sense of now the Ukrainians will have a full-scale capability to defend their own civilian populations. Remember that the Patriot missile system is a defensive weapon system. No more intense to or is capable of attacking Russia or any place else. It is designed for area coverage, point coverage of defense against Russian missiles, against Iranian drones, against Chinese technology that might be deployed on the battlefield by the Russians, against energy and utilities and churches and Ukrainian civilians, innocents.

I'm glad we're providing it. We are months and months too late in doing so. And I think having this defensive capability for the Ukrainians will hasten the end of this bloody conflict.

Let me ask you this, Mike. One of the questions that are really being asked right now is, is there an end game in sight here? Which includes the possibility of a ceasefire, which would, now the Russians look at this time of year, the winter, as their best opportunity to advance.

So and you're a West Point grad, so you could address this. Do you see any movement with Vladimir Putin? You've been in the room with the guy, you've talked to him, you've negotiated with him.

I mean, there's few people in the world that have had the experience you've had with him. Do you see any movement chance here? It sure doesn't look like it. But I always, Jay, you know this too, it's always darkest before you get to a good outcome. And a good outcome for the world would be Vladimir Putin deciding he was gonna be part of a ceasefire plan. That would be a good thing.

Then we can come up with solutions, we can stop the death and destruction. I don't see any evidence of that, not only his rhetoric, but his actions on the ground. He's traveled to a place called Belarus that I traveled when I was the Secretary of State to meet with its leader, Lukashenko. He seems intent on continuing to pursue what was his original objective, attacking into major parts of Europe. We should not underestimate the Ukrainians have had enormous success. But don't think for a minute the Russians are gonna give up.

He still has the same intentions, his capabilities are diminished. But counter-offensive, as you talk about my time at West Point, I've watched military conflict. These things have a way of changing on a dime, and the Russians are intent on doing that. They're recruiting people from all across the world to come fight alongside them, and they have Chinese, Iranian, and Iranian support to continue to underwrite this mission.

I wanna ask about that too. That is, I wrote a book called Unholy Alliance, which was Russia, Iran, and Syria. But this one you just named would be the super unholy alliance. That is a scary thought that the Chinese, Russian, and Iranians are playing out of the same playbook here.

It's funny you say unholy. Russia claims it's a Christian nation, although he has co-opted the Russian church in ways that are just pure evil. The Iranians have their mullahs, and the Chinese are, in fact, unholy. And don't permit any religious freedom inside of their country, but they have a shared interest, that bloc, that totalitarian bloc has a shared interest in attacking Europe and undermining democracy in the world. And so we shouldn't think about this as just Russia going after Ukraine.

This is, in fact, that very unholy alliance you described, adding the Chinese Communist Party trying to undermine our way of life here in the West. Secretary Pompeo, do Americans need to worry about the rhetoric coming out of Russia, that this, by just delivering this system, the Patriot missile system, that we have escalated this conflict and now they see us as 100% directly involved, and that means that we are potentially a target of their aggression, whether that's military or cyber attacks? Do we need to take that threat seriously?

Oh, Jordan, absolutely. That's why it is so sad to me that we lost the deterrence, right? When you think about this, we're now scrambling to try and help the Ukrainians defend themselves from a invasion of their nation.

We would have been far better off with American leadership, European leadership too, the Europeans haven't done enough, need to do more, but strong leadership from the West that would have prevented this very moment. And so as you hear Putin use this rhetoric, some of it's a bluster, at least has proven so, so far, but we have to prepare for the worst. We need to be prepared to defend against everything Vladimir Putin threatens to do. We have the capability, the capacity to do that, Jordan. Americans should know that. We can absolutely help the Ukrainians deliver on good outcomes, and this matters an awful lot to people all across our country too.

It seems a long ways away, but make no mistake about it, this Russian effort, there's an energy component to it, there's a way of life component to it, and then there is this, right, since I was a young soldier back in the 1980s, the late 1980s, there is this intent on the Russian empire to continue to expand, and they now have a partner in the Chinese Communist Party that makes that even more possible. Mr. Secretary, we appreciate you serving alongside us at the American Center for Law and Justice, and we want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, and again, thank you for your insights, thank you for your help on so many important issues. It's been an honor and continues to be you too. Thanks, Mike, we appreciate it. So long.

All right, very good. I'm going to go back to the omnibus bill because there's an abortion component in there. That there's willing to spend, explain what an omnibus bill is quickly, Jordan, people that don't know. Well, this is the way to fund the government, so you have all this legislation all year, like you say you pass the Inflation Reduction Act, and you say we're going to spend 80 billion on 87,000 new IRS agents, but that's not the act that actually funds the specific activity. Now, how this is supposed to work is not supposed to be last minute. We talked about that with JB, who's a state auditor at West Virginia, it's not supposed to happen always in the middle of the night at 2 a.m. with 4,000 pages that no one can read. Staffs are trying to go through it, and that's how things are getting kicked out, some of the parts, but there will be things that people had no idea were in here. I mean, that's how it's written because when you get 4,000 pages of a budget, guess how many pages that really is when you have to look at all of the statutes that imply that? Probably 16 to 20,000 pages.

I was going to say 20,000. Yeah. Now, with funding for abortion-related services, folks, you're not going to believe this one, but you need to know this is how we find these things out.

Cece? Yeah, it's ridiculous. So what they have in this bill is that not less than $575 million, not less than $575 million... Well, half a billion dollars.

Right. And not less than that, should be made available for family planning, reproductive health, which we know that those are code words for abortion, including in areas where population growth threatens biodiversity or endangered species. So this is basically saying, let's save the frogs by killing babies.

This is disgusting, actually. I mean, they're putting in an omnibus language, a law that says, we're going to give you at least a half a billion dollars, and that goes to Planned Parenthood, all the groups that do abortions. And we especially want that money to be available for family planning in areas where population growth impacts biodiversity and endangered species. So if you've got an endangered species, we're going to make sure there's more money available for what? Terminating the life of an unborn child.

Yeah. And putting animals and insects above human life. And whatever biodiversity means, by the way.

Who knows what that even means? What it means is that this is this idea that there's too many people, which has always been part of... The left. The left and part of Planned Parenthood's idea is there needs to be major population control. But if you actually look in the Western world, there's less people.

Yes. And you know what happens when there's less people and you have all these government programs like Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid and families are having, instead of three or four kids, they're having one and a half, there's not gonna be the same kind of resources to pay for all of the baby boomers. No, it's true.

And then... So there is this... I've noticed in my generation, the people who can afford it, and I think that's... Because children are expensive now, and we talk about that a lot, is that they are having more kids. Yes, I think that's true. But I do realize that the Western world specifically, if we are going to combat radical Islam, I think the country that has the highest birth rate now is Chad in Africa, with an average of eight children per family.

This is gonna be a very different world. And we talk about whether it's Christian, Muslim, but who's dominant and who's not? If you look at Asia, it's places like South Korea, highly technically advanced, great allies of the US, but they are not keeping up with their population, and it's because of this. But the idea that you would have population growth, threatening biodiversity, and endangered species to take out the life of a child, it's unthinkable. No, it's abortion distortion, it rules, abortion rules, and we see it even in this omnibus bill.

If you're trying to keep a fish, or some fish species, which by the way, they could figure out how to do in a lab anyways, then keep a child alive. It's unreal, folks. That's why at the ACLJ, we're dedicated to defending life. We're doing it in the courts, in the legislatures, at the federal level, at the state level. Your support means a lot. We're in a matching challenge campaign, folks. We're down to the last basically eight, seven, eight days here, Any amount you donate, we're getting a matching gift for, which means if you donate $50, we get another 50 from another donor, that's 100. So go to

That's Your support makes a huge difference. Back with the last segment, coming up. All right, ladies, welcome back to SEC Hill. We're joined now by Rick Rinnell, who's our senior advisor for foreign policy and national security, to give a little different take on Zelensky, the funding to Ukraine. There's also an additional 40 billion that's in this omnibus that could be going to Ukraine on top of the 1.85 that was announced by President Biden yesterday. We saw this historic address last night. I know that that can pull at the heartstrings of people, even if they have been questioning kind of where is this war going. So Rick, I just want to go to you first on your reaction to yesterday's events, both Zelensky at the White House and then Zelensky addressing members of Congress. Look, I think watching the war in Ukraine, everyone is extremely concerned.

Your heart breaks. But the question is, what do we do now? What can Americans do? Can Europe step up and do something, this is Europe's neighborhood.

That's the key here. And we also give them billions of dollars, and we need to make sure that that money has been well spent already. I am actually very concerned that we don't know where the money has been spent. And we're already talking about giving additional billions of dollars. And this is something that Congress is used to.

They just keep writing checks without knowing exactly if the money has been spent very well. And that's the biggest concern for me. There's no question that this is a war that Putin has hurled on the Ukrainian people. We definitely want to help. But I think that we have been helping and pushing the Europeans aside, and the Europeans haven't been helping enough.

Once again, we're training the Europeans to just sit back while the Americans rush in too fast. You know, it's interesting, Rick, because I've had a pretty significant amount of experience dealing with Ukraine. It was the subject of legal action that I was involved in previously, as everybody knows. So obviously, I studied the issue significantly, and Ukraine's had a lot of issues on corruption. I mean, a tremendous amount of problems there.

Hopefully that's being resolved, and I think Zelensky is trying to do that. I do feel bad for the people of Ukraine, because this war was brought to them. But I don't understand why the Europeans... Well, I mean, I do understand, because they think they've got somebody in the White House that's going to let them do this without spending money. But this affects the Europeans.

It's getting cold everywhere in the world right now, because winter is upon us. The Europeans, it's in their backyard, like you said. It affects their energy, which affects their heating capability. It affects their petroleum, and it affects their breadbasket. Plus, Ukraine's a huge producer of wheat.

So here's the question. With all of that being said, your theory is the Ukrainians are in a terrible conflict, and the Europeans are saying the Americans will fix it. Yeah, we keep training them to do that. Remember, I was US ambassador to Germany. Germany has the largest economy in Europe. Germany has a budget surplus. Germany is not spending enough on NATO spending.

They're not meeting their obligations. And all we heard from Chancellor Merkel for 15 years was that it was of paramount importance that European borders not be rewritten. She put everything into this mandate that when European borders are rewritten, Europe must respond.

Well, the European borders in Ukraine have been rewritten twice by the Russians. And this is a sole responsibility of the Europeans to respond to that. Now, when Russia comes in, of course, America is the number one funder of NATO. NATO exists to blunt the offense of Russia.

We know that, and it's very important that we contribute. But this is a European first problem. Europeans should be out front, and they are not. But again, Jay, we keep teaching the Europeans to sit back because we rush in.

I'll finish with this. I'm really concerned that the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has no plan. He's acting like the Secretary of Defense, and our entire government is only talking about defense issues and military issues. Where is the peaceful diplomatic strategy?

I don't see it. Yeah, and Rick, that's another part that I think a lot of Americans get concerned about. It's not that they don't want to help. It's that they want to be helping in the best way possible, see an end to the conflict, so that the kids stop being killed, the women and children, and soldiers as well in Ukraine, so that this conflict in Europe comes to an end. But then we get some pretty intense threats from the Russians, specifically relating to the Patriot missile system, saying this escalates it to where we now see you, and we were already funding most of the war already for Ukraine, but now we see you as an active partner, like you're on the battlefield once you install that Patriot missile system, and it's in use. And that scares the American people.

And what I asked you as a former acting director of national intelligence, should it scare us the way that it scares me? And not just that Russia's going to send a nuclear weapon to the US, but that they could attack our electrical grids, the ability of just what they could do to injure us that's non-military. Look, I'm a diplomat, and I'm always pushing to have really tough diplomats at the negotiating table. If you want to avoid war, you've got to have really tough diplomats. We've seen the left, the Democrats, mock tough diplomacy for way too long. I am concerned about Russia that's on the offense, but the United States government as a whole can absolutely combat that. We should not be worried about the United States government response, but within the US government, there's an arm of the military through the Department of Defense, and there is an arm of diplomacy through the State Department. The State Department is what I'm concerned with because they're completely MIA. We have to have tough diplomacy, and we cannot always just be rushing into war.

This Biden administration constantly only has one option, and it's a military option, and it's a very scary one that they constantly keep using. You know, Rick, I appreciate your insight on this. And one of the things we do with the ACLJ, and Rick, you know this, you've been now involved with this for a while, is that we understand the nuance of all this, the nuance of diplomacy, the nuance of peace through strength, but you've got to be strong, but you've got to also have diplomatic channels. And I think it gives the ACLJ a bit of a unique role in this space because people like Rick Rinnell and others, and our team has had a lot of governmental experience as everybody knows over the last seven years and even before that. So Rick, we really do come in at the ACLJ with a kind of a unique perspective and also an action plan so we're not just talking about it. One of the reasons I joined the ACLJ is because I'm somebody who likes action, not just talk. And I've been on the other side, I've been in government watching the ACLJ actually take action, action that affects policy and decisions. I mean, I'm thinking of the Pastor Brunson issue alone. But what I would say to people is we're all frustrated. Conservatives are incredibly frustrated. If you want to support an organization that is not just talk, that is actually filled with lawyers who take action and who stop the bad policies coming out of the Biden administration, I would just say, please support ACLJ, it's a great organization. They're not wildly spending money. I'm really proud of what we do and the work that we do, and it really makes a difference and that's why I'm a part of it.

It does. Rick, we appreciate it. Thanks for your family. I know you're traveling and give our best wishes to your family as well and Merry Christmas. Thanks, Jay. We're gonna tell you this as we close this broadcast out today, your support, and I couldn't have said any better than Rick Rinnell, your support is making a huge difference. If you're able to donate, matching challenge campaign,, that support will make a huge difference. We'll talk to you tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-22 21:56:49 / 2022-12-22 22:18:46 / 22

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