David French of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America fill in for Jim Geraghty and Greg Corombos. They look at a U.S. district court decision that found the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be unconstitutional in structure. They commend Justice Roberts for joining the four liberal justices to protect Americans’ civil liberties from warrantless cell phone searches. They also consider the affects of incessant and inappropriate protesting. And they compare Trump’s new family detention policy to Obama’s, finding a difference only in outrage from activists and the media.
Former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., is thrilled to see President Trump ordering National Guard personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border but says the only way to fully stop the flow of illegal immigration is to make sure potential migrants know they have no chance for a job if they come here.
Tancredo served in the House of Representatives for ten years, where he became known as one of the strongest opponents of illegal immigration. He was a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008 and twice ran for governor of Colorado.
He says Trump is doing the right thing by calling up the National Guard.
“It’s a long time coming. I can’t tell you how glad I am to see it happen,” said Tancredo, who says the Guard can make a big difference.
“I think with National Guard, you do not have the posse comitatus issue,” said Tancredo referring to federal law that bars the military from being used as domestic law enforcement. “We use them a lot in areas of floods and fires and earthquakes and people who are causing trouble (through riots, etc.),” said Tancredo
Tancredo says the situation is urgent.
“We are being invaded, have been for a long time. The government of Mexico has participated in this for a long time,” said Tancredo.
Years ago, Tancredo saw firsthand in Arizona how the Mexican government facilitates illegal immigration into the U.S.
“I was with the Border Patrol and we were glassing the desert in Mexico. We saw two buses pull up, let the people out, who then swarmed across the line into the United States, into the desert mind you.
“Those buses were hired by the Mexican government. People on them were provided a bag of food, water, and…an explanation of what to do when you ran into a border patrolman. This was all part of a Mexican government activity and funded by them,” said Tancredo.
Tancredo says that posture from the Mexican government is directly relevant to the current border crisis.
“This idea that the Mexican government is aiding and abetting this caravan for instance is certainly not new. It is an act of a hostile, hostile neighbor,” said Tancredo.
What leverage does the U.S. have to persuade Mexico to stop exacerbating illegal immigration? Tancredo says it starts with trade. He says the length of the National Guard deployment could have trade implications.
“It probably becomes part of the bargaining that’s going on between the United States and Mexico in an around NAFTA. I wouldn’t doubt for a moment that the president is using this as another bargaining chip,” said Tancredo.
He says another effective tool could center on the money being sent back to Mexico and other Latin American nations from inside the U.S.
“The other thing you could is make it much more expensive to send money back home to Mexico. Presently, Mexican nationals in the United States send back about $25 billion a year,” said Tancredo.
When he was in Congress, Tancredo says that money wiring constituted the second largest influx of money into Mexico, second only to their national oil company.
However, Tancredo is adamant that there’s only one real way to solve the illegal immigration problem.
“You would pas a law mandating E-Verify for every business in the United States and then you have to enforce it. You’d have to make sure than if an employer that ignores E-Verify hires people even though they haven’t gone through the E-Verify process gets fined. If it happens a couple more times, maybe they spend time in the cooler. If you do that, you eliminate the draw,” said Tancredo.
But there’s a problem.
“Because it would work, you will never see it pass this Congress, at least this Congress,” he said, noting Republicans are a major part of the problem along with most Democrats.
“You’ve got Republicans who are as adamant in their opposition to actually securing our borders as any Democrat because they are what I call part of the Chamber of Commerce Republicans. They are just as much of a block to doing something significant,” said Tancredo.
Tancredo says he’s all for Trump’s wall but says that only addresses the symptoms rather than the cause of illegal immigration.
“Until you (enact E-Verify), you have to build barriers as much as you can. I’m all for them. Don’t get me wrong, but they will not solve the problem,” said Tancredo
A strong America means secure borders, free trade, and putting American citizens first when focusing on national security and job creation, according to businessman turned congressional candidate Paul Nehlen.
Best known for his high-profile but unsuccessful primary challenge to House Speaker Paul Ryan in 2016, Nehlen is already running against Ryan in 2018 and is author of the brand new book “Wage the Battle: Putting America First in the Fight to Stop Globalist Politicians and Secure the Borders.”
The book focuses on several major goals, including restoring American sovereignty and reinvigorating American economic nationalism and an America-first foreign policy.
Nehlen has Fortune 500 business experience and points to success in bringing companies to the U.S. from all over the world. He says America need policies that allow our workers to thrive because he knows they are second to none.
“Hands down, America is number one. We have got just a fabulous workforce,” said Nehlen. “There are pockets of great work forces out there. I worked in Poland a lot. They’re great. But there’s nothing the American work forces can’t do, unless they are hamstrung by our government.”
He says convoluted government policies that play favorites in the economy is hurting our competitiveness.
“If, like Speaker Ryan, you try to give certain corporations a leg up on other small and mid-size businesses, you’re really undermining America. We can’t have a strong military, we can’t have a strong nation unless we have strong trade,” said Nehlen.
Nehlen contends the current structure of our economy is a far cry from what it was intended to be.
“This country wasn’t founded on free trade deals. This country was founded on protecting our manufacturing base, protecting our natural resources, and tilting the playing field in the favor of our manufacturers. That’s not what’s happening now,” he said.
Instead, Nehlen says our current course has actually landed us in the midst of economic hostilities with multiple nations.
“We are literally at economic war with countries like China and South Korea and Taiwan, many of whom are manipulating their currency to undermine our ability to do business in the global marketplace. That has to stop,” said Nehlen.
According to Nehlen, even the recent history of American trade agreements shows the government is choking the freedom out of our trade relationships.
“Back in 1985, we negotiated a free trade agreement with Israel and it was 13 pages long,” said Nehlen. “Fast forward about 10 years, they passed NAFTA. It’s 1,700 pages long. Fast forward another couple decades, the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes along, 5,500 pages. There is nothing free about trade that is described in 5,500 pages. It just doesn’t happen.”
Nehlen is thrilled that Trump is more than making good on his pledge to eliminate two regulations for new one placed on the books, operating at a clip of scrapping approximately 16 regulations for every new one. But he says that success has a lot of people wanting to share the credit, including the Speaker of the House.
“We see Speaker Ryan trying to take credit for that now. He’s had 18 years in Congress and he’s abdicated his role to the executive branch. Now he’s trying to take credit for what the executive branch is doing,” said Nehlen.
Congress has yet to approve funds for the construction of a border wall, which was one of President Trump’s most common promises on the campaign trail. Democrats threatened to shut down the government when a spending bill was approved in April. Now, reports suggest Republicans are still reluctant to approve the funds.
Nehlen is appalled.
“I’m disgusted with this Congress not voting on the wall and essentially just attaching some spending which will get us about 60 miles of new border fence,” said Nehlen.
“It’s ridiculous. I’ve been to the border and there are areas of the border where there is – they call it Jurassic Park – the fencing looks like enormous spikes coming up out of concrete. Adjacent to it is your normal, run of the mill barbed wire, put up by ranchers to keep their steer from going into Mexico because the water is inches deep. To suggest we’ve got the border secured is absurd,” he said.
Getting the wall done is right at the top of an ambitious laundry list that Nehlen hopes to accomplish if elected to Congress.
“One would be to advocate for this wall. Another would be to advocate for national reciprocity for anybody who has concealed carry. If you leave your state and go to another state, you shouldn’t have to relinquish the ability to protect yourself,” said Nehlen.
He would also slam on the brakes when it comes to refugee resettlement.
“Nine voluntary organizations – they’re not really voluntary – are getting paid by U.S. taxpayers to move people, predominantly Muslim – 99-plus percent I might add – to the United States. We are funding our own demise right now. It has got to stop,” said Nehlen, who also wants Congress to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
“We have got to get the Muslim Brotherhood out of the United States. We have got to root them out. That will roll back 60 years of their efforts to undermine the United States from within,” said Nehlen.
One reviewer declared Nehlen’s book a plan of action for Trump-like candidates. It’s a label Nehlen welcomes.
“I am very flattered by that. That is exactly why I wrote the book, because we need hundreds of good, righteous candidates who believe in securing the border and putting American workers, American retirees, and American children first,” said Nehlen.
Ian Tuttle of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are cautiously optimistic as an amendment to the GOP health care bill gives more power to the states and brings more conservatives on board. They also discuss President Trump’s willingness to renegotiate NAFTA, and Ian explains why he’s concerned about Trump’s approach. And they dive into the effort by Democrats in California to bar businesses from future state contracts if they help to build a border wall.
Democrats are banding together in refusing to support any short-term spending measure that includes funding for a border wall, a move that could lead to a government shutdown in the near term and the implosion of the legislative filibuster in the U.S. Senate.
In December, the lame duck Congress and President Obama agreed on a spending bill to keep the federal government funded through April. That means lawmakers must pass another continuing resolution next week to keep the government running.
And while fiscal conservatives like FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon expects Republicans to get tough on spending heading into Fiscal 2018, he says this legislation ought to be moved in order to make way for President Trump’s big ticket items.
“I don’t think any Republican is that interested in a shutdown, they’d rather kick the can and move some of these larger priorities,” said Brandon, referring specifically to health care and tax reform.
“You’re going to see the repeal of Obamacare coming back to a vote this week,” said Brandon. “And then next week, I expect we’ll start hearing about fundamental tax reform,” he said.
But there’s a showdown already forming over this short term spending bill over whether to approve funding for construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says “elections have consequences” and the administration wants that funding in this bill.
Democrats claim Trump’s demand for that funding is a non-starter and is scuttling what they claim was excellent progress on a spending bill. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, R-N.Y., also feigned confusion over the request, noting that Trump repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for the wall.
Brandon says Democrats are refusing to deal, even when Republicans are offering to boost spending on their priorities in exchange for the border security funds.
“Republicans will come to the Democrats with an offer saying, ‘We’ll do this continuing resolution. We’ll even give you some more money for some of your welfare stuff if you give us more money to build the border wall,” said Brandon.
He says if Democrats won’t play ball with an offer like that, this relatively minor spending debate could have major repercussions.
“This little CR debate could end up being one of the most important political debates for the next few years, if not decade, if not longer,” said Brandon. “If Democrats balk at that deal and you start heading toward a shutdown, I wouldn’t be surprised if there would be an overhaul of Senate rules and a change in the parliamentary procedures.”
Yes, Brandon believes the intransigence of Democrats could lead to the obliteration of the legislative filibuster in the Senate. And he says we should know within the next few days whether that option needs to be explored.
“Over this weekend is the test to see whether Democrats will mildly work with the Republicans or if they decide to shut the government down because you have eight or nine Democrats who can’t vote for a short, short continuing resolution. That sends the signal that politics has changed. If Republicans are going to move their legislative agenda, you might see a change in Senate rules,” said Brandon.
While Democrats and some in the media might paint Trump and Republicans at fault for an impasse on the spending bill, Brandon says the GOP approach to this standoff proves which party really refuses to budge.
“I’m the one who’s been told, as a conservative Republican I’m the one who won’t deal. What I think is going to come out here is that Democrats decide, ‘We’re not going to deal.’ That means either that you’re going to have government that is absolutely paralyzed or you’re going to have to change some things so you can start moving some legislation,” said Brandon.
Brandon appears to welcome the idea, noting that if Democrats want to obstruct on a relatively minor issue, forcing the GOP to kill the filibuster would grease the skids for aggressive action on health care and tax reform. He says drawing the line over one of Trump’s top campaign promises makes sense and could trigger wins for conservatives on major issues.
“Republicans need to do something on immigration and the border. They’ve been screaming about it for so long, it has to get done. They’ve been saying we’re going to do something on fundamental tax reform. It has to get done. You’ve got to grow the economy. Finally, we been promising the American people for seven years we’re going to repeal Obamacare,” said Brandon.
“If you get all of those things done, this Trump presidency has been a success in the early part,” he added
Brandon says getting those things done is also key to the GOP having midterm success next year.
“Democrats will try to make the 2018 election based on a referendum on Trump. I’d like to make the 2018 election a referendum on three or four percent economic growth,” said Brandon.
But while Brandon says the big ticket items are more important than fights over short-term spending provisions, he expects a robust Republican effort to rein in spending when it comes time to fund the government for Fiscal Year 2018.
“We’re $20 trillion debt. It;s time to get that under control. The way to do that is to hold the line. You don’t add new spending and at the same time you grow the economy. If you have two or three years of three and four percent growth, almost every one of our problems gets better,” said Brandon.
President Trump has floated the idea of a border tax or border “adjustability” with Mexico to raise the revenues needed to fund construction of a border wall along America’s southern border, but the leader of the nation’s largest grassroots taxpayers group says the president must be careful not to punish American consumers.
“This is a very confusing and intricate issue, probably the most complex aspect of the tax reform discussion right now,” said National Taxpayers Union President Peter Sepp.
Among his first actions as president, Trump authorized construction of the border wall and once again vowed that Mexico would pay for it. After the Mexican president dismissed the idea, Trump and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer have both discussed the idea of a border tax on Mexican imports as high as 20 percent.
But Sepp says it is unclear whether they are referring to an actual border tax or a concept known as border adjustability.
“What we’re really doing here is reading tea leaves. This is a tea cup that goes very deep. We’re having a difficult time telling exactly what the administration wants to do here,” said Sepp.
The answer it critical because Sepp says the difference between a straight tax and border adjustability is significant. He says an actual border tax would not be good news for working Americans, since Mexico can simply pass along their higher costs to the people who buy its products.
“Taken in isolation, a border tax, where you have a trade deficit with a given country, you slap a tax on its goods coming into the country that’s aimed specifically at them, that could result in consumers having to pay more out of their own pockets here in the United States,” said Sepp.
Border adjustability is different.
“What (adjustability) tries to achieve is if you send something out of the United States for export and sell it abroad, it is not subject to U.S. tax. If you are bringing in goods, either finely finished goods or raw materials, to make something in the United States, you’re not allowed to deduct it anymore under border adjustability. It’s supposed to be a border-neutral way of handling economic activities,” said Sepp.
Sepp says that concept along with fundamental tax reform involving lower tax rates, full expensing of investments and allowing companies to be taxes only by the countries where they earn their money, could have some benefit.
“If you take an entire reformed system like that with border adjustability in it, you might be able to minimize some of the impacts on consumers,” said Sepp.
Trump critics allege that any such move to draw more money out of Mexico could trigger a trade war with one of our top trading partners. Sepp says that is unlikely unless Trump goes ever further and slaps new tariffs on Mexican goods.
“Those kinds of things always tend to invite some kind of retaliatory action. We need to be careful about how these kinds of policies are pursued. Sometimes a tariff might be justified if another country initiates a tariff against us. But for us to do that unilaterally from the start can complicate matters to a great degree,” said Sepp.
Trump’s first executive action on trade was the formal withdrawal of the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. Sepp says that decision is understandable.
“That treaty did have its flaws, a multi-lateral agreement involving something like a dozen nations, is going to be pretty complex by its very nature,” said Sepp.
But Sepp says existing and prospective trade partners would have a better idea of where Trump wants to lead on TPP if he listed reasons for the U.S. withdrawal.
“The problem is, by simply walking away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and saying, ‘Well, we’ll try bilateral approaches,’ that creates a great deal of uncertainty about U.S. trade policy going forward,” said Sepp.
“To be more specific about the flaws in TPP would have been helpful in sending signals around the world that the U.S. is still committed to free trade, but these are the particular problems that we have with an agreement like TPP,” said Sepp.
While Sepp says border adjustability is the thorniest issue, he wants to see Congress get moving on substantive tax reform while the opportunity is available.
“I think the momentum is still there. What needs to happen going forward is the tax writing committees – House Ways & Means and Senate Finance – need to have hearings on these specific aspects of tax reform. Answer some of the questions are causing a lot of fear and speculation, and then start to build a legislative consensus around a particular bill,” said Sepp.
“Right now, we have a blueprint for tax reform. That is not legislation. We need to get to the legislative part as quickly as possible,” said Sepp.
Greg Corombos of Radio America and David French of National Review cheer the many thousands of Americans marching for life and against abortion Friday in Washington. They also shake their heads at President Trump’s suggestion that a 20 percent border tax on Mexican imports might be a good way to pay for a border wall. And they discuss all the humiliating concessions and retractions Atlantic magazine has to make following its story suggesting ultrasound is used to deceive women into believing their unborn babies are people with heartbeats who can feel pain.
Brett Winterble, in for Greg Corombos, joins Jim Geraghty from National Review to discuss the bipartisan angst towards the current border crisis and the potential inroads for Republicans among new voters. They talk about Missouri Representative Todd Akin’s continued discussion of rape which puts him and the Republican party in a bad light. And they close by disucssing how they think it’s ridiculous that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls the border secure.