What is Congress Really Doing During COVID-19? – With Barry Loudermilk: Where are the boundaries for our government during times of crisis? How can we protect our Constitutional rights? Is Congress still providing oversight for the executive branch? Tune in today to hear answers to these questions and more!
Air Date: 04/14/2020
Guest: Barry Loudermilk
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith and the Culture
You find your way to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live and we’re talking about all the hot topics of the day, everything that affects policy and faith and the culture. But we always look at those things from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. At this time, in our nation’s history, during this whole situation that we’re facing as a nation, it is so important to have perspective, so important to step back and look at the context of history, look at what the Bible says about these things and certainly look at what the Constitution says our government should be abiding by as it responds to a crisis such as what we face right now. So, that’s the perspective we bring you on WallBuilders live.
David Barton is America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton is a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. You can find out more about all of us and the program at wallbuilderslive.com. That’s our main website for the radio program.
You can also get a list of our stations across the country where you can hear us. And then also you can get some of the archives of the program. Which means you can dial back over the last few weeks and catch some of those shows you might have missed, as well as those Good News Fridays. That’s a really good one right now to go tap into. Good News Fridays from across the last year if you need to be reminded of some of the good news in America, now is a fantastic time to give yourself a little bit of a pick me up. So, check that out at wallbuilderslive.com.
And there’s also some links there on that homepage to further information on some of the issues we’re facing right now. For instance, there’s a link where you can go watch my series of videos on quarantines and the Constitution. What is constitutional when dealing with a situation like this? How far can government go? Which government should be doing it? In other words, who has the power Federal or State? And then how far can they go? I mean, is it constitutional for an entire State to be shut down because certain pockets of that state are dealing with an outbreak? The truth is we have never done that in our History.
Government is Crossing Too Many Lines
We are crossing all kinds of lines right now and how we’re handling this. And most of those abuses I would argue and most of those certainly overreaching measures that are being taken, all of those actually are being done at the Local and State level. The feds have done a far better job of staying within their constitutional boundaries, and attempting to help the states. We could certainly argue over whether or not the trillions of dollars being spent is within their boundaries.
But in terms of lockdowns and shut downs and now people getting arrested across the country for simply going for a drive or providing counseling as what happened with our friend, David Bynum, who will have on the program later in the week to talk about all of these things that are happening, you probably got questions about what’s constitutional and what’s not. I encourage you to visit wallbuilderslive.com today, click on that video, where I talked through that and it’ll take you to a series of, I think it’s five or six videos now, short videos that we’ve done as this process has unfolded and it’ll catch you up on the role of government.
No question. Government should be involved in some way. You know, look, you have something as bad as Ebola and, you know, 50% mortality rate and people can walk around giving it to others, you obviously want government to step in and quarantine and isolate the people that are sick. The question is, how far should government go? And we need to be asking those questions now that we have taken actions that have put 20 million people out of work and is destroying the livelihood of millions and millions of people and clearly causing all kinds of pain and damage and death. Let’s not forget the reaction to the virus is causing death.
And so anyway, we analyze those issues on a regular basis here on WallBuilders Live and we appreciate you being a part of that conversation with us. So, check all that out of wallbuilderslive.com today. And by the way, before we get to our interview for the day, let me ask you to check out one of the link at wallbuilderslive.com and that is the contribute button. Listen, when you donate to WallBuilders Live, you are helping to protect freedom, you’re investing in truth and freedom.
It gives us the ability to teach these things to people all over the country. It gives us the ability to train pastors and young leaders and legislators and Congressman, all of those things that we get the opportunity to do, it’s because of your donations that that’s possible. We are a listener supported program. So, thank you for supporting, especially during these tough times. And we know it’s financially tough on everyone out there and so when you give it means all that much more to us. Thank you. Thank you. We really do appreciate you.
Check that out at wallbuilderslive.com It can be a one-time or monthly donation, whatever you can do certainly helps us during what we’re facing right now. I think people are more hungry now than ever for truth and for constitutional perspective, biblical perspective, historical perspective. So, it’s really important that we get this message out there.
There’s a member of congress named Barry Loudermilk, we’ve had him on the program multiple times before. In fact, back when he was a state senator in Georgia, we got to know him well. He used to come to our legislators’ conference all the time and just a champion there in Georgia. Now, has become a champion at the federal level. And we really appreciate him. We really appreciate his leadership and the positions that he takes. Phenomenal stories of things that have happened to him and his family and how he’s persevered.
And so, we want to get a little perspective from him on what is happening in Washington DC right now, how Congress is dealing with all of this and maybe even some specific questions as several of you have emailed in, asking questions about how the relief package is going to work. So, we may dive into some of those details with him as well. We’re going to take a quick break. When we come back, Barry Loudermilk, congressman from Georgia will be with us right here on WalBuilders Live.
Hey friends, this is Rick Green from WallBuilders Live and I have had so many requests about what in the world could we be studying at home right now? You know, I got the kids at home, they’re normally in school. Or if you homeschool, you’re looking for additional material. One-Room Schoolhouse. It is a great new series WallBuilders is putting out where you literally get a tour of the WallBuilders library as Tim Barton and Jonathan Ritchie bring history to life. There’s a couple of resources on this.
You can go to YouTube and search for WallBuilders and look for One-Room Schoolhouse. You can go to our Facebook page and get it right there on Facebook as we do it live each Monday and sometimes additional days from there. And then you can also just go to wallbuilders.com, scroll down to the bottom and we’ll be posting the videos as they come out. This is such a great way to learn and a great way for you to share with others. Gather the family around, watch the One-Room Schoolhouse and learn some great history. It’ll be vitally important to restoring our nation and bringing back these principles that made America great in the first place. Check it out One- Room Schoolhouse at wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Good to have our good friend congressman, Barry Loudermilk back with us. Been too long, brother we got to quarantine the whole country to get some time together.
Unfortunately, that seems the way it is. But hey, it’s always an honor to be with you guys.
We appreciate you and appreciate your service. And you know, David, Tim, thought hey, let’s get Barry on this, just kind of get caught up on a little bit of the response to the bill, the stimulus, the things that are happening in Washington, the response and just kind of get your thoughts on where you see this thing going, we had some questions from our audience about how some of the specifics of the bill are going to work, so we can dive into some of those details. But first, just in general, how are you and your family doing?
You know, we’re doing well. You know, God is blessing us. And I just feel like this is a time that he’s really going to show his providence. It’s another moment in our history that I think we can actually go back and share with our grandchildren of how God has taken something like this and use it to make America stronger and the church stronger. And so, I think we’re going to come out of this, we’re going to be strong as a nation if we stick to those basic principles and ideals that our founders gave to us. And I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that from a federal standpoint so far.
I think you’re right and I appreciate that distinction, because, you know, I’ve been trying to explain to people the different roles of the Fed and the State and Local and whatnot. And it seems like to me and normally, is totally the opposite, right? Normally Local and State seems to have the balance and the Feds overstep, but the Feds have really stayed within their constitutional boundaries on this. Trump has refused to, you know, basically do a federal, you know, total national lock down, take over industry, all those things that a lot of people have encouraged him to do. So, is this weird, Barry? We say like we’re proud of our federal government, we’re really worried about our State governors right now.
A Businessman in the White House
Well, you know, I think it’s a combination of things of having a businessman in the White House, not a career politician, somebody who spent his life in the real world as a businessman. And the other aspect is the evangelicals and those that understand the true founding of our nation and the principles behind it that he has surrounded himself with, like my good friend, Mark Meadows, who is Chief of Staff now, before that, Mick Mulvaney. And I think it’s the advisors that he has around him that are also playing a big role in this. And I mean, he’s taken a ‘federalistic’ standpoint from the beginning of this. And we’ve had opportunities to talk with the President and the White House. I was on a phone call with Vice-President Pence just a couple of days ago. And they’re standing firm on this.
Tell us a little bit about how Congress is working right now with everybody at home. Do you guys get on, you know, conference calls or you all just waiting till the next time, are you all headed to DC soon? How does this all work for you guys?
Well, we were, as this thing really started breaking loose here in the United States, we were in Washington DC. We had a scheduled district work week, which is when everybody goes back home and they spend that week in the districts and work in their district office or doing whatever the various members do back at home, so we had that next week scheduled. So, we left on a Saturday and instead of coming back, they basically told us, look, you just going to stay there till further notice. And then we did have these stimulus bill that came over from the Senate that we had to go to make a vote on. So, they just needed a quorum, they needed about 216 of us to get there.
Working with the Departments
So, a lot of us from the southeast that’s easier for us to get to DC than, you know, West Coast states. So, enough of us went there to make sure there was a quorum for that, that to get through. Since then, it’s conference calls. We have multiple conference calls a day, sometimes it’s bipartisan, sometimes this with the republican, sometimes with the White House. Today, we’re going to have Health and Human Services; yesterday was Department of Agriculture.
So, every day we’re having some level of conference calls. Our committee meetings are being held over conference calls. They’re real more committee hearing. So, we’ll have the SEC Chairman on and it’ll be followed basically the same procedures we do in D.C if we’re actually having a hearing. Where there’s the seniority aspect, everybody gets a few minutes to ask questions. It’s just you’re doing it over the phone instead of there in person. It loses some of, you know, the aspect of that face to face communication, but yet we’ve been able to work through it. So, basically, Washington DC is a ghost town. I was amazed when I was there for that last vote. The halls which are normally bustling, in the middle of the day, I’m walking down the hall and I’m hearing my footsteps echo off the walls. It was very eerie.
Wow! It’s like I saw that of a movie. This whole thing is like something out of a movie. Okay, most important question of the day when you’re doing all these conference calls as a member of Congress, do you have to get dressed up in a suit or do you get to do these in your pajamas, like how does this work from home?
I get dressed every morning. Now, it isn’t what I’m dressing into, whether it’s my intention to get a few things done around the house in between, I don’t have to dress up. But quite a few of these, especially the ones I’ve been doing like, I’m scheduled to speak to a business organization. Well, now we can’t have the lunch meeting, so we’re doing it over video teleconference. So, you know, at least your top half has to be there…
Yeah, I was thinking about John Krasinski’s some good news thing he’s doing from home and he wears a suit on top and when he wears those old jams shorts on, you know, that’s…
I was actually at Fox News studios back about a year or two ago and one of the hosts which everyone would recognize was welcome to the studio with Jim shorts on and a coat and tie and shirt in the top.
There you go. There you go. Well, Barry, tell me your thoughts on because I know you’re loved the Constitution as much as we do and a great defender of it. You know, what do you say to folks at home right now about, you know, the proper role of government in a situation like this and, you know, where is that line as far as how far we should go or not go and you know, how we get back to a life of normalcy? That’s a lot of questions in one. But just your general thoughts, man, I know you’ve had to have been mulling this thing over.
A Historical Standpoint
Oh, absolutely for every aspect of it. And what helps is and I’ve communicated a lot with David on this. From a historical standpoint, there’s not an aspect of what we’re going through right now that we haven’t had some example of in our history and how do we respond to it? I mean, I went to a local grocery store recently and they’re rationing eggs and milk. And, you know, that happened in World War Two. We’ve been through rationing before. We’ve been through what, government-imposed rationing. This is just the free market doing it. So, we’ve been through aspects, we’ve been through economic collapse, we’ve been through pandemics. So, we do have some historical perspective. There is always a balance. You’re looking at the Constitution as it applies is defending our liberties and preserving the Constitution.
And so, there were facilities that our founders in their infinite wisdom, which I believe was providential is they gave ability to know that there would be extraordinary times that we would have to go through. This is one of those. In that limited powers would be shifted to the Executive branch during that time period, which is basically what we’ve done even with the stimulus bill is given the Executive branch more latitude to make temporary decisions in the face of an emergency. And so…
Even as you guys say, okay, here’s this pot of money and generally where we want it to go. We’re putting some trust in the executive branch in those agencies to administer the spirit of the law in what we’ve done, because we had to do it that fast, that type of thing?
Exactly. And one thing that is put into the… I like the stimulus package is a sunset provision. Which is either at the end of the declared national emergency or within one-year type thing. So, it’s for a specific set amount of time, but we still have the oversight. And that’s one of the good things about so many conference calls, the administration is keeping us well in the loop of everything that is going on. So yeah, I think for the most part, there’s aspects of the stimulus bill I don’t like, but yet it’s been, for the most part, very narrowly focused from the federal level, a little more concerning from some of the States and actions that have been going on there, but, you know, that’s a government that’s closer to the people and they can respond more effectively.
Right. Right. Totally. And yeah, I completely agree and I definitely have some problems with some of the State actions. But as far as what the Feds have done so far, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with how the President has handled this. I hate to get in too far in the weeds, but we did have some customer questions about this. The individual checks that are going out, my understanding is, it’s you know, $1,200 individual, $2,400 if you’re married and file jointly and $500, a kid that goes out. And one of our listeners said they were concerned that their 17 year old kid, there would be $500 for the 17 year old, but not the 18 year old who’s in college. Does the 18 year old then get the $1,200? I don’t know if you’ve gotten that far in the weeds on this thing or if they’ve given you much guidance on this. But some of our listeners are asking about it. And I guess we won’t really know till all of that, you know, comes in the mail over the next few weeks. But any guidance on where we can go to learn more about it? Or do you just know off the top of your head?
Modifying the Rules Daily
Well, some of that aspect, like the actual checks that are coming, there’s more law on precedent to that then there is like for this paycheck protection program. That part’s being rolled out. And they’re literally modifying the rules day by day, as the banks who are making the loans are coming back and saying, here, here’s a problem. This is just incredible the way this thing is working.
The way that they did these so-called stimulus checks going out, is we don’t want the government just randomly send money to people. Right? I mean, we don’t want to go down the road of socialism. So, what we looked at is, can we actually give an advanced tax credit to taxpayers and even expand that a little bit? So that’s what this is, is it’s actually a tax credit.
I mean, you’ve seen the federal government do that during natural disasters like Katrina and others, is given additional tax credit to people that are affected in that area. That’s what we did nationwide. There was already law in place specifying who can get these tax credits and is with the child tax credit law. So, this thing was attached to that so we could get it out very quickly.
And so, the rules governing it have already been in place for quite some time. And so, you know, there could be questions like, how come one child to get it and another one can’t? Well, some of it is keep in mind, this is the idea to supplement somebody who has been out, making an income and all of a sudden doesn’t have the income and so or the families and those who are tax payer. So, if you filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes, you’re automatically going to get a check just from where you filed taxes. You haven’t done the 2019 yet. Since the deadline has been extended, many people are waiting, they’ll use your 2018 filing.
And so as far as the children, if you have a 16 year old that you’re claiming as a dependent, then that child should be getting the $500. But if you’re not claiming them as a dependent anymore, and they get under the child tax credit, 16 is the oldest that you can get that tax credit. Okay? So, that’s why the cutoff is at 16 years old.
Now, a 17 year old, if they have taken a job, let’s say you got a 17 year old who has actually started in the workforce, just this year hasn’t paid taxes yet. They can actually, there’s a facility where they can apply, basically, they have to fill out a 1040EZ form just to send that into the IRS and then that will trigger a check coming to them. And so, the same thing with anyone who is not a minor anymore, even the maybe part of the household, they can actually file and receive some of that income or stimulus check.
I got you. So, they might have started working in January or February of this year, so they wouldn’t have had a tax return from last year. But then they can go ahead and go file basically an empty 1040EZ and say I didn’t make anything, but get me on record and then they would receive one of those.
The exemption would be is, if let’s say a 17 year old is actually being counted as a dependent on the married couple who are falling, then they wouldn’t be eligible to get really either. So, it’s kind of a catch 22 when you’re in that age, that 17-18 year old rank. But if they’re not claimed as a dependent and you’ll file a 1040EZ, saying, look, I’m really here, I’m in the workforce, I just haven’t been able to file my taxes yet, they will be eligible to receive the Check as well.
Well, and I would think is, you know, as big and bulky as this is, you know, and as quick as it, there’s going to be problems and there needs to be some level of patience and , you know, grace and how this is going to be roll out and play out and, you know, us keeping our joy despite the crisis that we face. And that’s really what I’d love to close out with, Barry. Just how do you keep, you’ve been through some extremely tough times that we’ve talked about here on the program, so what would you say to all the folks out there, that they are facing potentially financial collapse of their business? They’re just looking at tough times. And we faced tough times before, but maybe not our generation, like what we’re facing right now. How do you encourage people to get through this?
How Can We Make it Through?
I would say, pick up the scriptures and look what God said. I mean, Jesus told us don’t be concerned about tomorrow, be concerned about today. So, you know, look at the birds, how they’re clothed, you’re much more important than they are, I will take care of you. And the one thing through the things that my wife and I have been through as we’ve been on the show before, baseball, shooting, getting shot at back home, car wrecks, train wrecks, all these things, God has used this prepare me spiritually, I think for a time such as this. Because one thing I’ve realized is 80 times, the Scriptures tell us, don’t be afraid, don’t fear. And that we are to take joy in the tribulations and the trials that we go through, because it is God teaching us and we will learn. We’ll become experienced. We’ll become perseverant. We’ll be able to persevere almost anything. And so that is God making us leaders for his kingdom.
And so, you know, put your faith in God. Look, he owns all this, we don’t own any of it. And he’s going to provide for us. People that are worried about their mortgage, the banks have been told to allow deferments or forbearances. People who are worried about their rent, the apartment owners are working with it. Look, this is where community comes together. And this is where I think God is going to use this to actually set forth leaders of this nation, not just in a political sense, but in a philosophical, in a spiritual sense, going forward.
After the Quarantine
So good, so good. Alright, last thing, Barry, when this is all over and you can leave your house, what’s the first thing you’re going to do? What’s the first place you’re going to go to, fun thing you’re going to do, what’s the plan?
Well, we’ve been talking about that and I’m either going to go shooting or I’m going to go fishing, I think, you know. And so, we keep taking out these places that we’re going to go and just spend the day shooting or four wheeling or doing something outdoors. And so, and probably eat in a restaurant instead of just going, getting curbside pickup.
There you go. There you go. Love it. Very appreciate you, brother. God bless you. Thank you for your service in Congress. We appreciate all that you do, man.
Alright, Rick, we appreciate you all. Thanks.
Thanks to Barry Loudermilk!
Very Special thanks to congressman Barry Loudermilk for coming on and spending a significant amount of time with us. Hard to get a member of Congress or Senate to spend that much time with you, they get people pulling them from all angles. But I guess now that we’re all, you know, stuck in our home so he has more time. But I really do appreciate the congressman. In fact, we were talking off air about how we both feel like we have less time right now. We thought we’re going to have all this extra time during, you know, all these unconstitutional lockdowns, but all these lockdowns where everybody is staying home and in fact, we were both saying now, we’re putting in more of these long days and full days than they were doing before the coronavirus. So, it is just kind of part of the situation and certainly, he’s having to do a lot from home to deal with what’s going on in Congress and in his State as well.
Hey, listen, we appreciate you listening to WallBuilders Live and we hope that it is a benefit to you and your family. We know it is based on your emails and calls and the thank yous that we get. As people listen to truth and reason, it so much helps to put everything in perspective. You know, I used to get so high and so low. You know, high when times were good, low when the times were bad. And one of the best things, best influences of David Barton on my life was just kind of this even keel the steady, you know, look, God is in charge, duty is ours, results are God’s, but we don’t let those highs and lows control us and control our emotions. Instead, we keep our eyes on him and we do our duty and we do what he’s called us to do. And every day, we just get back at it and that attitude, that mindset over the last 20 years, believe it or not, finally, our hope gotten through. And I’m so thankful for the Barton family and WallBuilders and that perspective that they have brought to the culture.
What Is Congress Really Doing During COVID-19? – With Barry Loudermilk
Frankly, for 30 years, I’ve had the privilege of working with him for 20 years and it’s just a different mindset. So, I want to challenge you to think like that. Just recognize that during this time, God is still in control, he is still sovereign. None of this took him by surprise. And his truths and his principles don’t change, even in the midst of a crisis. And I would make that same statement about the American value system based upon his truth, that it doesn’t change. That there’s no exception in the constitution for viruses. We put a picture on our Facebook page the other day of the signing of the Constitution with a caption that said, by the way, guys, none of this means anything if there’s a virus. Which is you know, tongue in cheek, of course, that’s not true. Constitution still stands. Those truths and God’s words still stand and we need to stand for those truths. We need to defend them.
And so, we got some interesting programs coming up this week. Tomorrow, we’re going to have Brad Dacus with us from Pacific Justice Institute, going to talk about what churches and private schools and businesses can do during this time. On Thursday, we’ve got David Bynum with us we’re going to talk about his arrest on a site while giving counseling to an outside of an abortion clinic and arrested for that, even though he was obeying all the laws and even though his nonprofit is definitely falls under the essential services of the Homeland Security Act that all of these orders point to. So, David Bynum with us on Thursday to talk about that. And then Friday, for our Good News Friday, we’re going to have superstar, NFL star, Benjamin Watson with us to talk about some things as well. So, lots of great stuff coming up this week. Don’t miss it. Be sure to come right back here to wall builders live. We look forward to bringing you some more truth. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live …