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Joe Biden And The Census – With Tony Perkins & Phil King: Why does Biden want to reward sanctuary cities with additional congressional seats and additional federal funding? Could Biden’s Executive Order be overturned? How does the census affect the allocation of government resources and political power? Tune in to hear Tony Perkins and Phil King discuss the important issue of redistricting.
Air Date: 02/03/2021
Guest: Tony Perkins & Phil King
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
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. You found WallBuilders Live, where we talk about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith, and the culture, all of it from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. And we are so glad you’ve joined us today. I hope that you will share this program with your friends and family.
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He 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.
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It helps amplify our voice; it helps us to add stations, helps us to get this information in as many hands as possible. We sure appreciate you being part of that. Excited today to have Tony Perkins back with us from Family Research Council. Tony, thanks for some time today, man.
Welcome Tony Perkins
Rick, great to be with you again.
Well, very, very important article. This is one of those issues most people don’t pay attention to, but has a huge, huge impact on what policy ends up actually turning out to be. At the federal level, for sure, you’ve got a great article, “Joe Biden, Come to your Census”. That’s CENSUS, us I love it, one of the best titles you’ve ever come up with. What in the world is going on? Why is his executive order going to change what Congress could look like?
Well, Rick is you know, every 10 years, we do a census in this country, and then state legislatures based upon those numbers will turn around and they will draw political lines for Congress, for State Representative, state senator seats, and so that’s all based on numbers. And there’s so many seats in Congress, and it’s divvied up every 10 years based upon population.
So what’s happened based upon the census data that was done, you have states like California and New York losing congressional seats, in fact, California set to lose, I think one seat first time since they become a state, and that’s going to shift over to other states like North Carolina, Florida, that are conservative leaning states, meaning that this shifts the balance of Congress. I mean, you have, right…
And that’s for good reason, right, Tony, when people have voted with their feet, they’ve left these states that are falling apart and gone to states with good policy?
People Have Voted With Their Feet
High taxes, high regulation, people saying, you know what, enough of this, I’m moving. I’m moving to a state that’s friendlier in terms of regulation and taxes. So you have based on the current census data, you have about 188 districts that are kind of in play that will go Republican and about 73 Democratic that are being adjusted based on this.
So, it benefits the Republicans. And again, as you said, it’s because people have voted with their feet. But here’s what’s happening. What Joe Biden is doing is retro-tweaking.
He’s going back on the census data and wants to count illegal immigrants. You see, that’s how California in some of these others have been able to capture these additional congressional seats, is that they’ve counted about 2 million illegal immigrants in their population numbers, which then gives them additional seats in Congress, about two additional seats.
And that’s based upon on citizens, not on people who are eligible to vote, but on people who are illegally in those areas. And so under Donald Trump’s direction, what the census did is only counted those who are here, legally. Again, what Biden wants to do, he wants to go back and change that which could completely change the outcome of the census.
Yeah, in fact, you point out in the article, I mean, even just for California, potentially more than 2 million additional numbers for California would give them potentially three more congressional seats than they would have gotten if illegal aliens were not counted. And just from a common sense point of view, and I mean, the Constitution doesn’t specifically say illegal or not illegal or any of those things, but just from a common sense point of view.
Should Illegals Be Counted?
I mean, it does say not to count Indians not taxed, which is a way of saying somebody that’s not on the voter rolls, not being taxed, not part of the system legally anyway. So just common sense-wise, isn’t Trump’s argument right that we shouldn’t be counting them if they can’t vote and they’re here illegally, why would they be counted in the census?
Right. And think about it this way, Rick, where you have states that are refusing to enforce the laws as it pertains to immigration, Sanctuary Cities in California, Sanctuary Cities in New York City. So we’re going to reward them by allowing them to count the individuals that they’ve allowed to come in and stay in their cities illegally? We’re going to reward them with additional congressional seats and additional federal funding? Something’s wrong with that picture.
And this has not, correct me if I’m wrong on this, but I think when the Supreme Court in December, they didn’t actually rule on the merits with whether or not they would be counted. They just didn’t stop Trump from moving forward with that, they said it wasn’t timely yet. So the Supreme Court hasn’t actually ruled on this. There’s a possibility you think that Biden’s executive order could get overturned?
I think it is. I mean, it could be challenged. I think, you’ve got a number of state attorneys general that are ready to challenge these executive orders that affect their state. And this clearly, this clearly is one of those that would impact those states. Yeah.
Another Battle Is Coming
Yeah, no doubt. And then you also talk about in the article before I let you go, even if, regardless of what happens on that federal fight for those numbers, which determines how many members of Congress you get in each individual state, either way, then at the state level, there’s another battle coming where each state legislature actually draws those lines to decide where, let’s say they have 10, they’ve got to divvy that up across the state.
And so that battle is very important too, as far as how those lines are drawn, to determine what who the people are in each of those 10 districts, and how many of those districts will be leaning Republican or leaning Democrat?
Yeah, it’s kind of deep into the weeds for most people, but it’s an important process, because you can draw these lines, and I was a part of this when I was back in the legislature in Louisiana. You draw those lines, and you can draw them in such a way that you get a very conservative district, or you can draw them so you get a moderate district.
And what we’ve seen happen in the state of Louisiana over the 25 years that I’ve been involved in politics there is that we’ve gone from a state that had mostly Democratic congressman to a state where we only have one Democratic congressman out of our entire delegation.
Part of it is a population demographic shift, but it’s also the fact that the conservatives have begun to dominate the legislature, and they’re in control of drawing the lines, and it makes a difference.
It does. It does. Alright, a lot to watch on this. Tony Perkins, folks, you can go to frc.org, get on Tony’s email, make sure you’re following what these guys are doing. They’re on the front lines, and they help keep us informed and give us good action steps as well. Tony, appreciate you, brother. Thanks for coming back on so soon.
Absolutely. Rick, thank you. Have a great day.
You too. Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know but it gets frustrating because they don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive! with David Barton and Rick Green. And it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed.
We take you both to Philadelphia, the cradle of liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders library, where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.
We call it The Quickstart Guide to the Constitution, because in just a few hours through these videos, you will learn the citizens guide to America’s Constitution, you’ll learn what you need to do to help save our constitutional republic.
It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive! with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now and wallbuilders.com.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us, now with us our good friend, State Representative, Phil King from the great state of Texas. Phil, hey, man, thanks for some time today.
Welcome Phil King
You bet. Glad to be here.
Hey, we’re talking about one of your favorite subjects, redistricting the Census, you’ve been knee deep in this for quite a few years, served on the redistricting committee and chaired it and been involved in that for the Texas side of things. So we wanted to get your perspective on this as well. We’ve been talking about the census itself, and we were really talking mostly about the census with regard to apportionment.
How many people live in each state so we can divide up those congressional seats? But the census actually serves a larger purpose as well. Right? How does it affect the way dollars flow from government?
Well, yeah, that’s a great point, Rick, we need to make and differentiate between redistricting and between the census. So the Founding Fathers in the US Constitution and I assume all constitutions and statutes in every state, the US Constitution requires that every 10 years, we have a census, decennial census, and the Founders intended for everybody to be counted. Now, there are a couple of exceptions in that that were no longer really apply, such as how you counted slaves and how you counted Indians that were not taxed.
But the objective was to count everybody in the country, to do a census. They also wanted redistricting that take place. And the purpose of redistricting was simply to equalize the population within voting districts.
For example, if a US congressional seat had 100,000 people in it, and because everything’s growing so fast, next door, the next door seat had 200,000 people in it, well, the congressional seat with 100,000 in it, that voters vote is worth twice as much as the person living in the district with 200,000 population.
And so the Founders and every state, every 10 years, want all the political voting districts redrawn to balance out all that population, so you have one person, one vote, which actually was articulated further under the 14th Amendment. So the purpose of census is to find out who lives here, that helps allocate government services. In our modern day, it sends a lot of money back to the States.
There’s all these federal programs where we spend all our money from the Texas, for example, and then we want as much of that back as we can. We didn’t want to do that in the first place. We want to get it back. A lot of it comes back in federal programs, whether that’s food stamps, or whether it’s education funding, or whether it’s flood control, funding, whatever it is, a lot of that comes back on a per capita basis, a population basis.
So every state wants everybody and needs everybody counted. One, they want to draw back as much of that federal money as they can. But also, we just need to know who all we have here, so we know how to allocate government resources, schools, all the things that a government has to think about and providing services, we just need to know who’s in.
So a census, then it covers more than just what the Constitution, doesn’t even call it a census, calls it an enumeration, so the enumeration is for the purpose of allocating political power really to decide how many people are in each district, who gets more representatives in Congress or in a state legislature? The census has taken on much more than just the enumeration because of the allocation of dollars at both the state and the federal level, am I understanding that right?
I think that’s basically right. I mean, I think, when the Founders wanted a census, they wanted it for a lot of reasons, not just so they could reapportioned congressional seats. And that apportionment, when we talked about that, that’s when you take the total population of the country, and look at how much populations in each state and then mathematically, then those 435 US congressional seats are divided up between the 50 states based on their population.
And so I think they were thinking more than that, although that was certainly the main reason. But they just also, I’m assuming, wanted to know who was here to so they know how to allocate government resources and how the country’s growing and all those things. So I think it’s always had a broader purpose. The political purposes, no one had assigned congressmen, federal government assigned Congress members to each state.
What Trump Was Attempting to Do
So is it possible to do both? In other words, to say, you know, only people that are here legally will be counted with regard to apportionment, because that is a voting power and issue and should only be citizens that would be involved in that, and then the total number can be counted with regard to how dollars are allocated? Could you do both, I mean, even…?
Yes, and that’s what President Trump was attempting to do. What President Trump and Mitch initially wanted to do was put a box on the census survey that you checked whether you are a citizen or non-citizen. Because my understanding of it is, it’s gotten real confusing and complex.
But remember, the Supreme Court ultimately said he could not do that. He could not put that box on the census form.
So I think what he was intending to do, my understanding is, is he wanted to allocate the US congressional seats based on not total population, but based on the population of US citizens, not including the numbers of those who are not here as US citizens. And that would have dramatically change Texas, we’re going to pick up three new congressional seats if the apportionment is based on our total population of Texas. If apportionment was based on citizens only, we probably only get one new congressional seat, if any.
Congressional Seats and Federal Funds
So the count itself was going to take place no matter what, the count was already in, right? We know how many were here and he was trying to change the counter, only count those who were not illegals with regard to divvying up the congressional seats. And then at the state level, you could do it however you want it, I guess, at that point?
Right. For example, the Texas constitution says that, for the House of Representatives, Texas Legislature, Texas House, it clearly says that we are to count all persons. Now with regard to the State Senate, it’s kind of silent on it, but there’s case law out there that requires us to count all persons. So when we sit down on our redistricting committee this year and draw the Texas House and Texas Senate, law requires us state laws to draw those districts based on total population, anyone that lives here.
And again, that’s totally different from the president, now Biden, determining how many congressional seats are in each state, and what President Biden has done has reversed Trump’s order, and said no, when you apportion the congressional seats, you will include people who are not citizens of the United States, in divvying up those congressional seats, you’ll count everybody.
How does that timeline work? If Trump was doing that back in December when the numbers were due, but now Biden is changing it, will it actually be changed at this point? Has the apportionment not actually happened yet as far as how many each state gets?
Well, that’s where I suspect there’s been strong political maneuvering. So the Census Bureau was supposed to, by law, deliver that that data to the President. They usually get it to him early December, if I recall, but they’re required by statute, they were supposed to get it to him by December 31st. And then the President, his administration would mathematically divide that up and announce how many congressional seats are going to go to the different states.
Well, the Census Bureau came out said we can’t get it done. Now, allegedly, that’s because of COVID. But, you know, I don’t know. I know, everything else got slowed down for COVID, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Then they said, well, we’ll get it sometime in January.
Well, then they never got it to President Trump before he steps out of office, now that you’ve got different people in charge of the administration, the Census Bureau is now saying it will not have the apportionment data to us. And they’re saying they’re correcting the errors, and all this, they may well be.
I really don’t know. I’m just a suspicious person. But they say that they will not have the even the apportionment data to the President until March, and that the states who by federal statute, are supposed to get their data by April the 1st.
And by the way, the data is very complex. It’s not just you have this many people in your state. It breaks it down where they live, how many per household, age, sex, and on and on. So it’s very complex data. The Census Bureau now says they will not meet the April 1st statutory deadline under federal law, and that they will not get the data to us until after July 30th.
What Took So Long?
And you got understand, people start registering to run for office in November. And so that’s a very short window for the data to get to the States, it to get plugged into their software systems, but also, because they get, actually, broken down to the voting precincts, the census tracks. We’ve got to go draw maps, and then once we draw maps, then those have to go to your election administrator who has to realign.
So, that you know when you go in to vote, you’re voting in this House District, in this state senate district and this board of education district, in this city council district and this county and all that, all that has to be realigned. And that takes months…
Yeah. Help me remember, Phil. Wasn’t there a time either 10 years ago or 20 years ago where the primaries had to be moved back and everything because of that data not being fast, or am I remembering that wrong?
I’m wanting to say it was the 2012 election, but it may have been the 2016 in Texas, or 2014, is right around…
Because the courts have intervened, and redrawn, and all that, right?
The court, there was lawsuits involving some of the maps that have been drawn they couldn’t get, the court require them to be redrawn. That couldn’t get done in time for people to file for office and so the court itself ordered the primary backed up, I believe, in Texas from March.
I think it got backed up to the May, and in the run off the course got backed up until late June, if I recall or July. So we’ve been there before and there’s a precedent for doing that. And I will not be surprised at all if the legislature or the courts in Texas, and probably other states don’t back up their primaries in 2022 to allow for more time for maps to be drawn and dealt with.
Yeah, well, without question, the delay is going to allow Biden to do it the way that he wants to do it and then eventually, it’ll get to the States. And man, you know, we’ve been great friends for a long, long time, you know, I’m a term limits guy, and always crack jokes about institutional knowledge and all that.
But here’s one of those cases where I am so glad you are still in the House and that you have the institutional knowledge when it comes to all of this redistricting. So I know David Barton is going to have a good time gigging me with that and saying, oh, wait a minute, it sounds like you were for not term limits for a moment there. Phil, we appreciate you, man. Thanks for coming on today.
Apportionment, Census, Etc.
You bet. Thank you.
Back with David and Tim Barton. Alright, guys, we had Tony Perkins on and Phil King talking apportionment, census, enumeration all these words that apparently mean a little bit different things. But the idea is, we count everybody and then we figure out okay, do we count illegals in the actual apportionment which I definitely think we should not.
But, then we do need to count them when it comes to how we spend the money because the states are being forced to spend money on education and other things, whether it’s illegal or illegal person. So I think I have a vague understanding of what’s at play here. But we also know what’s going to happen politically, is that everybody’s going to get counted in both categories with Joe Biden’s president,
Well, let me throw out a thought to me that just strikes me is very interesting. We’ve talked before about how that America has so advanced with technology. You know, we’re talking after we had Charlie Duke on, the moon walker on Apollo 16, how that he said in our smartphones today, we have more technology than they had in several rooms of computers back then trying to get them to the moon and back safely.
So how come we got all this technology and we cannot turn out a census on time, when we’ve done that for how many decades before with old technology, and even no technology? We get it out on time, and now we’ve got all the technology and we can’t get it out on time.
And the data has already collected. All the census stuff, they have finished the work on the census, all you got to do is run the machines and turn it out. So how come that’s not happening?
And you know, then I start thinking, well, I’ve seen some of these elections, Phil King, this will be his third redistricting session that he’s been through. So he’s been through this plenty of times. The one I was first involved with him on, we had 23 different lawsuits in that thing.
And the courts got in, they said, well, we’ll redraw the lines for you. And then suddenly, all these democrats had just a great opportunity for election. As a matter of fact, several seats turned over as a result of courts redrawing lines, and even eight years after the census, the courts were still redrawing some of those lines. I mean, it’s crazy.
So I don’t want to see it go that way. But my goodness, is this crazy or not that you have this technology and you can’t get it done? That’s what strikes me as the most amazing thing in this.
It’s the Swamp
It definitely gives room for the politics part of it. Like, Phil alluded to that some of this just a suspicious guy as he said, is definitely being maneuvered by the politics. And of course, you know, the Census Bureau is just like any other federal agency, it’s the swamp. I mean, it’s filled with bureaucrats that most of the time lean Left.
And so, you’d be foolish to think and naive to think that they wouldn’t have their biases get played out and the timing of things to best advance what they believe in. And I think that’s what we’re seeing happen here.
Yeah, it’s certainly something that even hearing Tony and Phil, you get the sense that there is a lot more complexity to this, and maybe there should be. We’ve talked before that there might be some amendment process, would be very helpful to clarify these things. So there’s not the room for there to be a disparity of thought in the way the procedure and operation happens.
This should not be a complicated process, and yet, it has become a complicated process over time. Dad, I think you’re right. I definitely think there will be some political maneuvering in this. The fact that this did not get back to Trump in time, it does make you suspicious was that part of the swamp where people didn’t want a Republican to be able to help navigate this and get records back to these republican run states and whatever else. Nonetheless, it’s going to be interesting to watch going forward.
Joe Biden And The Census – With Tony Perkins And Phil King
Well, I’ll add too. It was a federal law that said you have to have it turned in but whatever day in December, and that federal law was passed some years ago with less technology, knowing that that would give them plenty of time to get it in. And that was plenty of time to get it in without the technology we have today. So to blow past that deadline and to blow past it by 7-8 months, that doesn’t pass the smell test, quite frankly.
Well, guys, I mean, that’s an education today, I got to tell you on the whole census thing. Let’s not forget the Constitution’s Word is enumeration. So it is all about counting who’s here. That’s the main constitutional purpose. We’ve certainly as government has grown, expanded that purpose into how we allocate all of these dollars.
So it does make it more complicated and certainly more political. So it might be another good Foundations of Freedom Thursday topic and future Thursdays to even cover this further. But we sure appreciate all of you that have joined us today. Thanks for listening today. Hit our website, wallbuilderslive.com, make that donation and also grab some of those archive programs that you may have missed.
We appreciate you listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.