Senate Confirms Lloyd Austin as First Black Defense Secretary

The Senate on Friday confirmed Lloyd Austin as the Pentagon’s first black defense secretary in a bipartisan 93-2 vote.

Only two Republicans, voted no — Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Mike Lee (UT). Those not voting included Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC); Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV); Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS); Jerry Moran (R-KS); and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

There was more opposition to Austin’s nomination in the House, but only the Senate has the job of confirming senior-level presidential appointees.

The relatively light pushback against Biden’s nominees so far from Senate Republicans shows their willingness to work with the Biden administration.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Friday on CNN that he was voting in favor of Austin because “presidents should get real latitude in filling terms with qualified, mainstream people of their choosing.”

Austin’s Senate confirmation hearing was uneventful. Democrat senators pressed him to root out white supremacists and extremists from the military — which Austin said he vowed he would do, while Republican senators pressed him on being firm against China.

Austin tweeted shortly after he was confirmed:

Austin immediately began work at the Pentagon on Friday.

Shortly thereafter, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement:

President Biden called Secretary Austin this afternoon, shortly after his arrival at the Pentagon. The President congratulated the Secretary on his swift confirmation and thanked the Secretary for agreeing to serve the country again. Secretary Austin expressed his gratitude to the President for his trust and confidence and for his support during the confirmation process.

Austin, 67, is a retired United States Army general who last served as former commander of U.S. Central Command during the Obama administration.

After leaving the military, he sat on the board of defense contractor Raytheon Technologies. His ties to Raytheon had raised concerns, mostly among Democrats.

What also raised concerns — among both Democrats and Republicans — was his military service only ending in 2016. Current law requires a defense secretary to be out of uniform for at least seven years, in order to preserve the principle of civilian control of the military.

Both houses of Congress had to pass a waiver for Austin to allow him to serve, which they did on Thursday.

The Senate passed a waiver on a 69-27 vote. Fourteen Senate Democrats voted against a waiver for Austin, and 13 Senate Republicans voted against the waiver, as Breitbart News reported Thursday.

More Democrats had voted against a waiver for former President Donald Trump’s first defense secretary Jim Mattis in 2017. Sixteen Democrats and one Independent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), voted against a waiver then, while all Republicans voted for a waiver, except for two not voting.

Sixty-three House Republicans voted against granting Austin a waiver, including those who went on the record to oppose his nomination. The Republican Study Committee, the House conservative caucus, had laid out in a lengthy memo its reasons for opposing Austin’s nomination.

However, the waiver passed in the House on a largely bipartisan 326-78 vote, with 63 House Republicans voting no. Democrats had put up far more opposition to a waiver for Mattis during the Trump administration, with 150 Democrats voting no.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook.

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Charles Hurt: With Impeachment, Congress Trying to Overturn Future Elections

The last time these slinking mongrels in Congress impeached President Trump, a deadly disease from China was stalking our country, poised to pounce and kill close to 400,000 Americans.

In those crucial early months of the global pandemic, our federal government ground to a halt as Democrats in Congress pursued with blind fury a hotly partisan and clearly futile effort to remove Mr. Trump.

Democrats failed. Mr. Trump survived. Everyone knew the outcome of the fake charade from the start.

But as Democrats dawdled, bloviated and fawned for the cameras, the pandemic prevailed. If you want to know why Democrats are so hellbent on blaming the China virus on Mr. Trump, it is because the blood is actually on their hands.

Now comes Round Two of hopeless impeachment.

Still, the pandemic rages. This time they all know it. Yet, still, they pursue Mr. Trump with an ISIS-like zealotry in an effort to remove Mr. Trump a few days before he leaves office anyway.

Truly, these are the most fundamentally dishonest and unserious people ever to hold elected office. They are a mockery of self-governance and precisely why Mr. Trump got elected in the first place.

You might say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presides over a circus of untrained animals and diabolical clowns, but that would be an unkind insult to clowns and penned animals, frantically pacing back and forth, back and forth inside their confined cages.

Speaking to her social media mob, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York laid out Mr. Trump’s impeachable offenses.

“A lot of people have drank the poison of white supremacy and that’s what Donald Trump represents,” she said. “Just is.”

That’s right. There is the evidence. There lies the proof. Forget hearings. Forget a trial.

“Just is.”

Hang him high!

If you really want to stir up one of these impeachment fanatics, just ask them to point to the one single line in Mr. Trump’s speech from before the raid against the Capitol that “incited” the violence.

They go full Adam Schiff and start making up quotes and manufacturing language that the president never used. Also, they refuse to acknowledge that the president implored his supporters to protest “peacefully.”

The reason they cannot hold hearings or hold a trial is because any such due process would prove that no such premeditated incitement of violence occurred.

If anything, it was unpremeditated incitement of peaceful protest — also known as our constitutional right to free speech, free assembly and the right to petition your government. Peacefully.

Among the clowns in Congress scrambling to shift blame for the mess they have made in Washington onto Mr. Trump are 10 Republicans in the House. One of them is Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who is in the chamber because her father, Dick Cheney, was vice president.

I guess we should be thankful that finally someone in the Cheney family has found an “armed insurrection” that they are not lustily in favor of. Maybe Ms. Cheney would have been more enthusiastic about this eruption of violence if more American soldiers had been killed or maimed and it had cost taxpayers $2 trillion.

Another impeachment zealot is Rep. Jim Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat. To his credit, at least he is honest about his motives.

“This president must be impeached and convicted,” he thundered. “And he must be prevented from ever attempting to seize power again.”

There you have it. This is not even about removing Mr. Trump from office in the final week of his presidency. It is all about preventing him from ever running for office again.

In other words, Congress is scrambling to overturn the next election before it even happens. They are desperate to deny American voters the right to elect Donald Trump again.

Talk about an insurrection.

No wonder Liz Cheney is so excited about it.

• Charles Hurt is opinion editor of The Washington Times. He can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com.

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D.C. Mayor Bowser: Dem-Led House, Senate Will Pass D.C. Statehood, Bring it to Biden’s Desk

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told  “Just the News” on Friday that the Democratic-led Senate and House will vote in favor of statehood for the District of Columbia and send the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk, who has expressed support for D.C. statehood in the past.

Bowser said, “The nation’s capital, the federal enclave, continues to exist as the nation’s capital and everything outside of those new boundaries becomes the 51st state. Our congresswoman – we had our first successful vote on statehood in the House of Representatives last year. She reintroduced the bill. She has a record number of sponsors.”

She continued, “It is going to be reintroduced in the Senate in a couple of weeks, and we expect to have a favorable vote in the Senate as well, and then it goes to the president of the United States. We have made a big focus to President Biden to support D.C. statehood and make it part of his 100-day agenda.”

She added, “Just like you, we pay the same federal taxes as every citizen of the fifty states of the U.S. expect we do not have two senators. We literally have no one to speak for us in the Senate. We have to have full representation.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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Joe Biden: ‘Nothing We Can Do’ to Change Pandemic’s Trajectory for ‘Several Months’

President Joe Biden on Friday lowered expectations of his administration’s ability to affect the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the coming months.

Biden made the remark during a press conference addressing the signage of two more executive orders: one aimed at increasing food stamp benefits and the other for workers’ rights. 

“If we fail to act, there will be a wave of evictions and foreclosures in the coming months as this pandemic rages on,” Biden said. “There’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.”

Biden’s remark comes after the president signed an order mandating both masks and social distancing on federal property — a directive he and members of his family appear to have violated shortly after enacting it. On the day of his inauguration, Biden, first lady Jill Biden, along with several family members took photos with masks — and one without.

Earlier Wednesday, Biden said, “Wearing masks isn’t a partisan issue — it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives.” When asked Thursday why the Biden family went maskless for a photo, White House press secretary Jen Psaki replied dismissively.

“He was surrounded by his family, we take a number of precautions but I think we have bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time,” Psaki explained. “I think he was celebrating in the evening of a historic day in our country and certainly he signed the mask mandate because it’s a way to send a message to the American public about the importance of wearing masks.”

When pressed on why Biden did not lead by the “power of his example” regarding masks, Paski shot back, “The power of his example is also the message he sends by signing 25 executive orders, including almost half of them related to COVID.”

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Biden Admin Previews Fight Against ‘Serious Threat’ of ‘Domestic Violent Extremism’

President Joe Biden has asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to begin enhanced assessments of the threat posed by “domestic violent extremism,” according to the White House.

“The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced at a press briefing Friday afternoon.

Psaki said that Biden had tasked the ODNI to request a “comprehensive threat assessment” of domestic violent extremism, including ways to strengthen government capabilities to monitor the threat.

“The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary recourses and resolve,” she said.

Psaki said that the Biden administration would prioritize “facts” and “objective rigorous analysis” claiming that the government could still maintain “respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities.” She stressed, however, that President Biden wanted to dramatically increase the level of intelligence and law enforcement directed at domestic violent extremism.

“We need to understand better its current extent and where they may be gaps to address so we can determine the best path forward,” she said.

Biden’s National Security Council, Psaki said, would ask three of his national security advisors, Joshua Geltzer, Liz Sherwood-Randall, and Russ Travers, to lead a policy review to properly “enhance and accelerate” the government threat of domestic violence.

“This considered NSC convened process will focus on addressing evolving threats, radicalization, the role of social media, opportunities to improve information sharing, operation responses, and more,” she concluded.

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Chuck Grassley Urges Biden to Condemn Violence in Seattle and Portland

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is prodding President Joe Biden to speak out and condemn the recent wave of protests and violence that has erupted in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, respectively.

Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, took to social media as protests continued in both cities Thursday. He highlighted that Biden, himself, has yet to address the unrest.

“I’m waiting for Pres Biden to condemn violence/looting/arson last two days in Oregon & Washington state,” Grassley wrote on Twitter:

The GOP lawmaker’s comments came after protests in Portland and Seattle turned violent this week. On Wednesday, only hours after Biden was inaugurated, more than 150 protesters gathered in Portland for a planned march on the city’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility, the Oregonian reported. The protesters, who claimed their desired goal was to see Biden “abolish ICE,” proceeded to march on the facility waving Black Lives Matter and anti-fascist flags.

Upon arriving at the ICE facility, the protesters burned not only an American flag, but also one emblazoned with Biden’s 2020 campaign symbol:

The situation quickly escalated when law enforcement deemed the protest an unlawful assembly and attempted to disperse the crowd. Federal law enforcement was forced to deploy tear gas in an effort to quell the unrest.

Overall, police arrested 15 individuals for rioting, disorderly conduct, carrying a concealed weapon, or inciting violence against law enforcement. People were also arrested for attempting to attack the Oregon Democratic Party headquarters.

Violence also erupted in Seattle following Biden’s inauguration. Protesters dressed in all black and carrying batons lit an American flag on fire in the city’s downtown section while attempting to march on an immigration facility, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. KOMO-TV, a local Seattle news outlet, captured video of the rioters damaging government buildings and businesses while using batons and umbrellas to shield themselves from police:

Despite the protests generating widespread damage, the Biden administration has yet to address the violence. At the  White House’s first two press briefings on Wednesday and Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki fielded no questions on the topic.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis Orders Return of Florida National Guard Troops: ‘They’re Not Nancy Pelosi’s Servants’

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced early Friday morning that he ordered the return of Florida National Guardsmen from the nation’s capital following reports of troops being forced to evacuate the Capitol building grounds and wait in a parking garage after an alleged mask complaint from a Democrat congressman, emphasizing they are soldiers and “not Nancy Pelosi’s servants.”

“Last night, I ordered our Adjutant General to bring Florida National Guard soldiers home from the National Capital Region,” the Republican governor announced:

“They’re soldiers. They’re not Nancy Pelosi’s servants,” DeSantis said during a Friday morning appearance on Fox & Friends.

“And this comes on the back end of them trying to investigate the backgrounds of our guardsmen,” he continued. [In] Florida, we did not let them go into their political beliefs. I thought that was totally inappropriate. I thought it was very disrespectful for people who are clearly patriots.”

“So this is a half-cocked mission at this point and I think the appropriate thing is to bring them home,” he added:

Troops were reportedly forced to evacuate the Capitol grounds over an alleged mask complaint lodged by a Democrat congressman, Rep. Will Keating (D-MA), who reported the incident to the Capitol authorities earlier in the day.

As Breitbart News reported, Keating reportedly “commented out loud that masks were required to be worn at all times in a federal building” after spotting the maskless National Guard member in a cafe. The National Guard member reportedly responded, “I appreciate my freedom,” a source told Breitbart News:

According to Politico, one unit “was abruptly told to vacate the facility on Thursday” and “forced to rest in a nearby parking garage without internet reception, with just one electrical outlet, and one bathroom with two stalls for 5,000 troops.”

“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service,” a Guardsman said, according to the outlet.

“Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage,” the Guardsman added. “We feel incredibly betrayed”:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has also ordered Texas National Guard troops to return home, making the announcement Thursday evening:

Roughly 25,000 troops arrived in D.C. to assist local authorities with security for President Biden’s inauguration.

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Nolte: Biden’s Already Betrayed His Own Mask Mandate and the Troops

His Fraudulency Joe Biden has only been president a few days and already he’s betrayed our troops and proven he does not believe his own mask mandate is necessary.

Apparently it happened like this… Just like His Fraudulency and His Fraudulency’s dim-witted Press Secretary, a member of the National Guard was not wearing a mask on federal property and some Democrat congressperson freaked out. This resulted in those National Guard troops charged with guarding the U.S. Capitol (from a non-existent threat) being forced into the Capitol’s underground parking garage.

Here’s a photo of this disgrace…

How do you like that under His Fraudulency’s administration terrorists at Guantanamo Bay have better accommodations than our own warriors?

Goddamn Democrats.

Which brings me to His Fraudulency’s mask mandate…

All this National Guardsman is allegedly guilty of is exhibiting the example set by his own Commander-in-Chief, whose been all over federal property without a mask (in direct violation of his own executive order).

Oh, and not only is His Fraudulency running around on federal property without mask, so is His Fraudulency’s family. Were they force-marched into the parking garage last night?

Our collapsing country spends, what?, around two trillion dollars a month on boondoggles like studying the mating habits of wombats and Obamacare, but His Fraudulency can’t do for our own troops what President Trump did for New York — you know, spend a few days building a field hospital for our boys, or something similar that could double as a barracks with beds and other basic comforts?

Couldn’t we at least spring for some cots?

How about some air mattresses? Can we fit those in the budget?

A yoga mat? Food?

Twitter / @CawthornforNC

But you see, to people like His Fraudulency (CNNLOL’s Jake Tapper is another good example), our troops are props. They’re not even human beings to these narcissistic monsters. They’re props used only to further their own sick ambitions.

Per the far-left Associated Press, there was never any evidence of any kind of attack on the U.S. Capitol during His Fraudulency’s inauguration, but His Fraudulency decided he needed tens of thousands of troops as props to 1) make it look as though all Trump supporters are terrorists, and 2) ensure he was not peacefully protested. So he turned Capitol Hill into a war zone and then forced our boys to lay down on cement. Which, by the way, looks like a violation of the Geneva Conventions:

The premises shall be fully protected from dampness, adequately heated and lighted, in particular between dusk and lights out. The sleeping quarters shall be sufficiently spacious and well ventilated, and the internees shall have suitable bedding and sufficient blankets, account being taken of the climate, and the age, sex, and state of health of the internees.

As far as His Fraudulency’s mask mandate… Just like pretty much every other Democrat on God’s Green Earth — including His Holiness Dr. Frauduci just yesterday— His Fraudulency is proving that he does not believe masks are necessary. Sure, he signed an executive order forcing everyone else to wear a mask, but His Fraudulency is 987-years-old, was just sworn in as president, and already he’s been caught countless times, not only running around without a mask, but violating social distancing rules.

People who believe masks are necessary to save lives wear masks.

People who believe masks are unnecessary do not wear a mask.

It’s that simple.

And Joe Biden and Jen Psaki and Dr. Frauduci do not wear masks.

What more do you need to know about what they really believe?

Let me be clear about something… Due to my wife’s health, I wear a mask. I was wearing a mask when that serial liar Frauduci was telling us not to wear masks. I don’t know if masks are necessary, but because I don’t know, when I’m indoors around other people, I always-always-always wear a mask. Even so, I’m not a Mask Nazi. Why should I care if other people choose to not wear a mask or choose to not social distance? What other people do has no affect on me. You know the risks. Go do what you want.

But check out His Fraudulency with no mask on federal property…

White House

Joe Biden is forcing us to wear masks when his own behavior proves he does not believe mask are necessary and he treats terrorists and illegal aliens better than our own troops.

Welcome to Barry Obama’s third term.

 Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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Blue State Blues: 9 Ways Joe Biden Has Already Broken His Promise on Unity™

President Joe Biden made Unity™ the theme of his Inaugural Address. He mentioned the word “unity” no fewer than eight times. That is the standard to which his administration must be held — and it is a test that Biden is already failing to meet.

(The other theme was Truth™ — a promise broken hours later, when Press Secretary Jen Psaki lied about the “Muslim ban.”)

In December, I suggested nine ways Biden could demonstrate a commitment to unity. Here are nine ways he has failed:

1. Impeachment. Biden could put a stop to Democrats’ foolish and divisive impeachment effort, which seeks to hold a trial for former President Donald Trump even though he is no longer in office. Some experts say that such a trial would violate the Constitution. But even if it did not, the article of impeachment ignores the fact that the Capitol riot was pre-planned by extremists and did not result from Trump’s speech. All it will do is let Democrats carry out political revenge.

2. Smearing opposition as racist. Biden claimed in his Inaugural that Americans were divided because of “racism, nativism, fear, and demonization.” He did not mention any of the left-wing forces that divide us, such as the anarchist rioters of Antifa, the “democratic socialists” of the Squad, or the “cancel culture” in general. Hours later, Antifa — which Biden had dismissed during the campaign as just “an idea” — attacked Democratic Party headquarters in Portland.

3. Supporting the “cancel culture.” In his speech, Biden supported what he called the “right to dissent peaceably,” but he also attacked what he called “[l]ies told for power and for profit,” calling on Americans to “to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.” As Biden knows — since he pushed for it — there is an ongoing attempt to censor conservatives on social media and in general, on the faulty pretext that they are guilty of misinformation. His attack on “lies” supports that effort.

4. Vetting members of the National Guard for political loyalty. The incoming Biden Administration had the National Guard soldiers assigned to protect the Inauguration vetted for their political views. Twelve of them were removed from their posts after investigators discovered what were described as “inappropriate” messages online or in personal texts. There was never any indication of an actual threat to the President-elect. Politicizing the military sets a terrible precedent.

5. Issuing an executive order on transgender athletes in sports. The participation of biological males in women’s sports is highly controversial, even on the left, because it makes it more difficult for female athletes to compete on a level playing field. It is an issue that Americans are still debating. Rather than allowing each institution to make its own decisions about this divisive issue, the president imposed his will — and the will of LGBTQ activists — on communities across the nation.

6. Falsely accusing Trump of implementing a “Muslim ban.” Jen Psaki claimed, falsely, that President Trump’s “travel ban” on terror-prone countries (previously identified by the Obama administration) was a “Muslim ban.” She added that it was “a policy written in religious animus and xenophobia.” That is not only false; it is divisive. The idea for the ban came up after the Bataclan massacre in Paris in 2015, amid legitimate concern that terrorists would infiltrate refugee inflows.

7. Making immigration the top priority of government. As Byron York of the Washington Examiner noted, Biden’s many executive orders on Day One tended to emphasize the common theme of radical immigration reform. Just as Obama used the pretext of an economic crisis to introduce health care reforms that actually slowed economic growth, Biden is using the pretext of a crisis to enact Democrats’ divisive ideological agenda, as millions of Americans are out of work.

8. Canceling the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL is a win-win project. It creates tens of thousands of jobs on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. The Obama administration found that it would be safe for the environment. And it brings Canadian oil to the U.S. rather than to China. Yet Biden canceled it to appease the radical environmental base of the Democratic Party, killing jobs and creating upheaval in the relationship with one of America’s most important allies.

9. Removing the Winston Churchill bust. President Biden can decorate the Oval Office as he wishes — including with a bust of Cesar Chavez, a Latino leader with whom he had no known previous association. But in removing the Churchill bust, after President Barack Obama triggered a national uproar by doing the same in 2009, Biden has deliberately poked a finger in the eyes of Republicans — and the British. Biden also removed the flags of the branches of the U.S. armed forces.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Sen. Robert Menendez: CEOs Must Pressure Amnesty Opponents

President Joe Biden’s pro-migration amnesty bill cannot pass Congress unless business leaders actively pressure and police both politicians and media outlets, says Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who is leading the Senate push.

“Let me close by saying to my friends in the business community: We need you to give it everything that you’ve got,” Menendez told amnesty advocates Thursday, January 21. He continued:

We need you to make it clear through your words and your actions — and your dollars — that you will not lend your support to politicians or platforms that stoke fear, spread xenophobia, and stymie prospects for reform.

For example, Menendez said business leaders should suppress any mention of the “amnesty” term during the public debates over the amnesty bill:

It will take the business community making it very clear that they really want to see immigration reform [by showing] that it’s not Item Number 10 in a list of 10 initiatives, [but] that it’s up there on [Item] One or Two. Also it will take the business community to make it very clear — as they are saying that this [amnesty] is a priority — that they’re not going to allow those who will call any reform [an] amnesty from the get-go …

I know I have some [Senate] colleagues that if 10 angels came soaring from above [to declare] that [this] reform is not an amnesty, that they would still say, “Oh, we don’t agree with the 10 angels: It’s amnesty.” Well, we can never proselytize those individuals. But for those who are open-minded and believe they have ideas about what immigration reform should be, what it looks like, what it should include … We have an open door.

Most media outlets already bar their reporters from using amnesty in articles about immigration amnesties. For example, the Associated Press’s January 20 report described the amnesty as “an immigration bill that would give legal status and a path to citizenship to anyone in the United States before Jan. 1.”

Menendez spoke at a video teleconference hosted by the American Business Immigration Coalition.

The amnesty bill would provide citizenship to at least 11 million illegal migrants — and also accelerate the inflow of foreign blue-collar and white-collar workers into Americans’ jobs. In fact, the bill would allow an uncapped, unlimited, and open-ended inflow of foreign graduates into the jobs, careers, and homes needed by American graduates. The flood of cheap labor and government-aided consumers would spike profits and real estate value, so boosting Wall Street investors at the expense of American wage-earners.

Support and pressure from business leaders are not enough to get the bill passed, Menendez said. “We need to have, not just the business community, but our faith leadership and our advocacy groups collectively speaking strategically to everyone.”

Menendez insisted the amnesty is popular among voters, even he listed all the benefits that special interest groups can get. But he also insisted that the groups hang together and not make private deals for their own benefit:

We need to make the case to the American people, although in poll after poll we see when the question is raised, we see a majority of Americans in support of reform. But we need to heighten that.

We need to strategize and look at these different sectors of the economy that will be helped by reform. Who do they represent? For example, when we talk about farmworkers, [the] growers should be big advocates of immigration reform. And most growers happen to be Republican. We need for them to put their effort into the overall [amnesty] reform effort. We need the high-tech community who will benefit from the reforms we are proposing, to be an advocate of the overall [amnesty] reform movement.

The bill will not pass unless the president gets involved, he suggested: “We all need the president to call in members to make the case, to hear their views, and to embrace some of them.”

Menendez suggested — but did not say — that Biden will push hard for the amnesty bill:

When I had discussions with the incoming Biden administration about immigration reform going back to when the President called me to support him last year. This was one of the first questions that I asked him, “How serious are you about immigration reform?” And I believe he is very serious.

It makes a difference when you have leadership in the White House who will put political capital on the table to try to make things happen. The President has many leavers whether or not he uses them has been the question in the past. For the most part, they haven’t been really used. I believe he will. …  If I thought that this was just a messaging bill that was going to go absolutely nowhere, then I wouldn’t have lent my name to it. I don’t have the time to spend on a messaging Bill and I don’t want to be a messenger of something that isn’t going to happen.

The bill also needs at least ten of 50 GOP senators, he admitted:

We will need, beyond Democrats, we will need Republicans to come to this with a different spirit, that every legitimate effort for reform is not amnesty. Now for those who want to use it as a way to pursue their political [GOP] aspirations I can’t overcome that.

He repeatedly told his supporters that the bill is facing an uphill battle:

This will be tough. I’m not Pollyanna about this. I have been in the Congress, between the House and the Senate for 29 years. I understand how the process works in both institutions, and it will take a lot of hard work.

The underlying problem for Democrats is that the bill is deeply unpopular because Americans are growing more worried about their wages, their children’s’ futures, their fragmenting communities, and the increasing consolidation of wealth and power in a small, self-selecting elite.

The vast majority of Americans tell pollsters that the federal government should ensure Americans have decent jobs before allowing companies to import more foreign workers.

The polls show Americans’ deep and broad opposition to cheap labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into the jobs needed by young and old Americans.

The multi-racialcross-sexnon-racistclass-based opposition to cheap labor migration co-exists with generally favorable personal feelings toward legal immigrants and toward immigration in theory — despite the media magnification of many skewed polls and articles that still push the 1950’s “Nation of Immigrants” claim.

The public’s preference for civic solidarity is decent and rational. Migration moves money from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to real estate investors, and from the central states to the coastal states.

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