By Timothy Doescher and Tommy Binion
Editor’s note: Tim Doescher, host of “Heritage Explains” podcast, talks with Tommy Binion, vice president of government relations at The Heritage Foundation, about the massive spending bill currently being debated in Congress. Read a lightly edited transcript of their interview or watch it:
Tim Doescher: We do a podcast. We do this livestream and Tommy [Binion] is always, he’s kind of like a utility player on the team. You know, it was like, “Hey, we need Tommy to talk about something,” and so we bring Tommy in.
Tommy Binion: If all you need is a dorky explanation of what’s happening on Capitol Hill, I’m your man.
Doescher: Yeah. And that’s the other thing, he actually knows what’s going on. So that’s cool. The best part about this, though, is right now, I think they call C-SPAN the original reality TV. Yeah.
And if what was happening right now on Capitol Hill were to be quantified, we would probably call this “sweeps week” because what’s happening over there is huge.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen the number $3.5 trillion being thrown around all over the place. It’s a big number. It’s really hard to even, for me, to comprehend what that means. But really what this is, it represents the latest spending package that Democrats are pushing in Congress.
And it’s truly a game-changer. It’s called the Build Back Better and American Families Plan. And really what it is, is it’s a radical partisan list of ideas that represents the largest tax-and-spending plan in U.S. history. Huge. Big, big, big. And it’s the left wish list. And it’s, again, a game-changer.
So, Tommy, can you just catch us up a little bit? What are they proposing? How are they proposing it? And what’s it looking like currently?
Binion: Yeah, it is a really compelling week on Capitol Hill. I have said, and I believe, that this is one of the most consequential weeks of Nancy Pelosi’s tenure as the speaker of the House. And not just this time, but throughout her career, in the times that she has served as the speaker of the House.
And when you think about the consequential weeks that she has faced, that’s really saying something. I believe that the reconciliation package, which is the socialist wish list of today’s Democratic Party, [$3.5 trillion] in spending, cradle-to-grave welfare, everything they want on climate change, everything they want on immigration, all packed into one bill, is the most threatening legislation in our lifetimes.
It is a fundamental makeover of the federal government, expansion of the federal government. But more than its direct impacts, I am concerned about its indirect impacts: [$3.5 trillion] in spending dramatically increases our risk of out-of-control inflation, which means affordability.
If your weekly bill for goods and services isn’t getting less and less affordable as the weeks go by, you are unique. Most of us are experiencing an increase in prices like we haven’t experienced in our lifetime.
And so, that bill exists. They are negotiating amongst themselves over what’s in it, but it is inextricably linked with this other bill, the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Doescher: Now, we’ll dig into that just quick. But I just wanted to pivot here and let you know we’re taking questions. Tommy’s ready to take them. I’m ready to ask them for you, and our buddy Phil is going to put them up there on the screen for us as they come in, Tommy. So, we’ll be tracking that. …
So, I was actually confused about this myself as I was preparing. So how is this infrastructure bill … And again, infrastructure is kind of one of those things where, it’s a popular word polling-wise.
Politicians like to say, “I’m fighting for infrastructure.” And so, I’ve even heard some Republicans are in favor of this infrastructure. So, this is separate from reconciliation.
Binion: Separate and linked.
Doescher: OK, explain that.
Binion: All right. So, the reconciliation bill, the Build Back Better plan, the $3.5 trillion bills, they’re not done negotiating what’s in and what’s out. And this other bill, the “BIF”—bipartisan infrastructure framework—I’m going to call it the “BIF” for short, exists.
It has passed the Senate. It has been negotiated between Republicans, a handful of Republicans, and Democrats. It has the president’s support. It will not change in the House. It’s ready to be voted on in the House.
Nancy Pelosi promised a group of Democrat moderates that they would get a vote on that bill this week, but they’re not done with the reconciliation bill.
And so, the socialists in the House that really want the reconciliation bill say, “Not so fast. We’re going to vote ‘no’ on your BIF until you give us our socialist dream bill, the reconciliation package.”
And so, Nancy Pelosi’s in between this rock and a hard place, where she’s got the moderates on one side saying, “You promised us we’d get a vote on infrastructure this week.” And in exchange for that promise, by the way, they took a tough vote on the budget resolution.
And now she’s got progressives saying, “No, we’re going to vote ‘no’ on your bipartisan infrastructure deal unless we get reconciliation.” Those two bills have been linked their entire existence.
The same scenario played out in the Senate. They enable each other politically. Moderates need to be able to vote for the infrastructure bill to give themselves cover for the socialist bill. Socialists need to be able to vote “yes” on reconciliation to give themselves cover for voting on the infrastructure bill.
They’re politically linked, and now they are linked in terms of the horse trading and the logrolling that goes on in Washington, D.C.
Doescher: And that’s the thing, because as I hear, you can read about this and say, “Hey, there’s confusion happening right now.”
Nobody knows which way this is going to go. Is Pelosi going to be able to whip people to vote the way she wants them to vote? And the more cynic in me says, “Well, of course she is, because this was the same argument or debate that we were having during Obamacare.”
Remember, Bart Stupak up in Michigan. They were able to throw in [a ban on public funding of abortion] at the last minute to get his vote in. So, I’m just thinking that, is this thing already just baked in, ready to go?
Binion: I don’t think we’re there yet, right? Because what I’ve just described, the interplay between infrastructure and reconciliation, that’s sort of a world within the world, right?
The broader question, the existential question for Nancy Pelosi to answer is, on what set of policies can I get [Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.,] and [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.,] to agree on?
So, that’s the moderate wing of the Democratic Party and the socialist wing of the Democratic Party. What is the universe of policies where I can get them to agree?
That’s the puzzle she’s trying to solve. There may not be an answer to that question, but Nancy Pelosi, for all her faults, is an extraordinarily competent legislator.
And she knows that’s her goal, is to figure out what is the highest common denominator between those two wings of the party, and that’s what she’s working toward. That’s what Kyrsten Sinema and [Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.,] had been going to the White House this week, trying to figure out.
That’s all happening behind the scenes. And that’s why I say, hey, this is the most threatening legislation in our lifetime, and it’s still threatening.
Doescher: Taking your questions, Tommy Binion here, one of the most fine people I know here at The Heritage Foundation.
We had a question come in from a viewer in Texas.
Binion: Is that, like, just, I’m just fine?
Doescher: Fine … I mean, there’s many different definitions to the [word] fine.
Binion: Right, no. I know. I’m probing.
Doescher: Yeah, no, no, no. It’s good. I appreciate you turning it around on me. What I mean by “fine” is, you really encompass the best.
Binion: Ah, well, thank you.
Doescher: You’re the best and the brightest of what we have to offer.
Binion: Just making sure it was a compliment, because you don’t always know. You don’t always know.
Doescher: Yeah, no, it’s great. But Texas, we are moving to Texas. Viewer in Texas.
Binion: I’m not moving to Texas, but OK.
Doescher: No … But he or she, or whoever it is, Phil, I’m sorry, I don’t have it here. But I probably should’ve asked this question right up front. Is anyone going to stop it?
Binion: Is anyone going to stop the reconciliation bill?
Doescher: Yeah, that’s the question. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Binion: We don’t know. This bill has no Republican votes. There are zero Republicans with even an inkling to consider supporting this bill. And so, the question is for two groups of people, are the moderates, a handful of them exist in the Senate, going to vote for a [$3.5 trillion] socialist wish list bill? And then or if the moderates in the Senate are able to negotiate that bill a little bit toward the center, are the socialists in the House going to vote for that bill?
Let me answer the question this way, though. What are the bill’s vulnerabilities? Why would Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin think about voting “no” on this bill?
Doescher: Folks, in the business, that’s what we call a pivot. So, Tommy’s pivoting. Yeah. Go ahead. Go ahead.
Binion: All right. So, what’s so bad about this bill? What are its political vulnerabilities? This level of spending dramatically increases our risk of inflation, which is a hot button politically.
Everybody knows that costs are going up and everybody’s worried about it. And by the way, everybody understands the link or potential link between higher government spending and higher inflation. People instinctively understand that.
This bill also raises taxes on just about every American. What the Democrats want you to believe, which is fundamentally dishonest, is that this bill raises taxes on America’s richest people and biggest corporations.
Those corporations, most of them, don’t pay taxes now, and the revenue provisions of this bill won’t cause them to pay taxes. So, the idea that this is going to recoup some revenue from the Apples of the world, it’s just dishonest.
That isn’t what this bill does. Instead, this bill raises taxes on America’s small businesses and American families. And so, your prices are going up and your affordability is going down because of taxes.
They move to more government dependency, more welfare, cradle-to-grave welfare.
Can we make Americans dependent on the government from the time that they are born until the time that they are dead? That is the Biden family plan in a nutshell. That is in this bill.
And then can we make Americans’ lives impossibly inconvenient? Can we regulate American small businesses to death in the name of climate change policy that will not affect the climate?
That is how I describe the Green New Deal. That’s in this bill. And I think that’s why, ultimately, if this bill goes to the ballot box next November, Americans are going to reject it, which is why I hope there are some sensible Democrats that are going to get out ahead of it and reject it now.
Doescher: And that really is what it comes down to is, I see leadership here, like you said, very consequential for Speaker Pelosi, because they do have those midterms coming up, and they really haven’t had much success in implementing their radical left agenda. So, this really is seen as probably the last stand here.
Binion: Yeah, no. I …
Doescher: Or maybe not.
Binion: Well, this threat that they will pass a reconciliation package is going to persist at least until next summer. Until they get it done, it’s still going to be a [sword of] Damocles hanging over our head.
Binion: The political risk, the political vulnerability goes up as we get closer to the midterms, but we can never count our chickens.
Doescher: Yeah. Questions are coming in like wildfire here, so let’s get to it here. Chris said, “Where are they going to get funding from?” Which would probably lend to raising taxes.
Binion: Yeah. So, first of all, they …
Doescher: Or maybe they won’t fund it. Maybe they’ll just print it.
Binion: They are going to raise some revenue, but Tim’s right. They’re not going to pay for this bill in any sense of the word. The Democrats believe, the chairman of the [House] Budget Committee, [Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky.,] said recently that the federal government doesn’t have limits on how much it can spend.
It’s called the modern monetary theory and what they believe is, the federal government, there is no gravity on the amount of debt they can put us in. They can spend money up on the Hill, and the feds will print the money, and the level of our debt doesn’t matter.
Binion: That is what many of the socialist Democrats believe, and that is what their chairman of the Budget Committee said this week.
Doescher: Wow! We were even talking about it. We had a meeting today talking about the trillion-dollar coin.
Doescher: You know, where they print a trillion-dollar coin to just circumvent debt-ceiling issues or whatever.
Doescher: I was just thinking, like, we’re in la-la land here, if we’re posing something like that. It’s insane.
Binion: It is insane, but not if you start from where they start, which is that spending and debt don’t matter, which is a fundamental misunderstanding of the American economy.
The big question on the coin is, what do you do with it when you mint it? You just flip it off a building somewhere, then I’m walking down the street, and I get to find a trillion-dollar coin. If so, I’m OK with that.
Doescher: Yeah. But it’s just as long as, I mean, you know it’s taxable income, so just remember that. OK. And they would make a special tax bracket just for you.
Binion: At the end of the day, what we are talking about is the tax burden on our kids and grandkids.
Doescher: That’s right.
Binion: The debt has consequences. And what the Democrats will refuse to tell you about it is, that that’s all it is. It is the tax bill that our kids and grandkids will face. And by the way, when those generations are facing this tax bill, economic growth will not exist.
Doescher: Yeah. Another question coming in: This is from Facebook. Thanks for watching. By the way, this is really, really great to be able to interact with you on this.
We don’t have a name. So, if you want to include your name, great. If you want to include your location, awesome. We’ll try and put some funny story about when we last visited wherever you’re from. But regardless, this person on Facebook says, “What does a good spending package look like?”
That is a great question.
Binion: Well, let me answer it this way. The time and place for the federal government to be spending money, I think, on the basis of the Constitution, on the basis of federalism, on the basis of the 10th Amendment, and on the basis of sort of the right size and scope of the federal government, in addition to the debt burden, is much more narrow than it is construed by today’s Congress.
I would rank amongst the federal government’s top responsibilities national defense. And so, not every dime that is spent on national defense is something that gets my endorsement.
But for the most part, I believe in peace through strength, and I believe in a military that is well-equipped, that is lethal, and that is ready to protect us when needed.
And so, I guess the pithy way of answering your question—”What does a good spending bill look like?”—It has a lot to do with national security.
Some of the ways the federal government spends money on welfare are in need of dramatic reform. So, I could see a welfare reform bill that had some spending in it that I think would get an endorsement.
But folks, we need to tighten our belt way more than we need to look for positive ways to spend money.
Doescher: That’s good. Thanks, Tommy, for that. Coming in, another question. This is great, because I bet a lot of people are trying to figure out a way to combat a talking point such as this. “When the Democrats say this bill will pay for itself,” it says, “I don’t see how the math works.”
Binion: It’s because it doesn’t work.
Doescher: Yeah. OK.
Binion: This bill will not pay for itself. The underlying argument there is that the stimulus spending in this bill will have a stimulus effect. It’s just not true.
Doescher: It’s just Keynesian. That’s just Keynesian talking points.
Binion: It’s Keynesian economics. You cannot spin your way into economic growth. As conservatives, we don’t believe that that is possible. But more than that, it will have the opposite effect of paying it for itself, because inflation will go up, and our lives will suddenly be much less able to afford the things in our lives that we need to afford.
Doescher: Yeah. We call it job-killing. We call this a lot. And Ron wrote in a question or comment, he said, “If they’re eliminating jobs and businesses, where are their funds going to come from?”
Binion: No. It is exactly right.
Doescher: It’s a great point, Ron. Thank you for that.
Binion: It has a chilling effect on the economy. It has a stifling …
Doescher: Do that one more time, effect, chilling.
Binion: Yeah. … It’s like Wake Forest’s defense, just stifling the ball right there.
Doescher: Right. OK.
Binion: No. 24 in the AP Poll, by the way. Go, Deacs. [Demon Deacons football team].
Doescher: You told me you were going to get a “Deacs” …
Binion: I did. I got it in there.
Doescher: OK. You got it in there.
Binion: Got it in there.
Doescher: Yeah, OK. But back to Ron. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go ahead. Yeah. Great point, Ron. Thanks for that. Very good. Next question we have coming in here. Wow! This is great, man. Phil, you are doing an awesome job. This is awesome. “Is it possible that we just flat-out run out of money?”
Binion: We’re already there. We are in $28 trillion of debt. And so, we are at a place now where the annual deficit could outpace [gross domestic product], which is a scary place to be.
Our entitlements are going to be insolvent inside of this decade, and those facts about our fiscal situation put a crunch, a squeeze on the good places where we can spend money, like the question before. At some point, our level of debt, our national deficit every year squeezes what we can spend on national security, which becomes a national security risk, and we’re there now.
Doescher: Yeah. I’m just curious, because we see this coming, and somebody else wrote in a question on this, and I actually had it written down, too, because I wanted to know how this is going to play into this.
The term “government shutdown” seems to always rear its head when the left wants the right to agree to something that they may not want to agree with.
They’ll say, “We’re going to shut the government down.” And then you have monuments closing, federal parks closing, all that stuff happening. Do you see that being a factor here in negotiating this whole thing?
Binion: Yeah. So, on a separate track, it is very much a factor. In order to spend this much money, we’ve got to raise the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling was suspended until Aug. 1 of this year, at which time the national debt limit became whatever the debt was on that day.
And then, basically, Treasury has been keeping our debts afloat by moving paper around. They’ll no longer have that ability come Oct. 18.
And so, something needs to happen on the debt ceiling. Well, it’s OK to lift the debt ceiling under certain circumstances, but when the socialists on the Democratic Party are threatening to move a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, the debt ceiling becomes a permission slip for that spending spree.
And so, the shorthand way of explaining what happened over the summer was the Democrats came to the Republicans and said, “Will you give us permission to do this spending spree? Will you raise the debt ceiling?”
The Republicans said, “No. If you want to pass reconciliation on a partisan basis, if you want to do this entire makeover the federal government, this massive spending package all by yourselves, do it. But then you got to do the debt ceiling all by yourselves, too.”
Trouble with that is, they don’t want to admit what they’re doing. If they lift the debt ceiling on a partisan basis using the reconciliation tool, they’ll have to do a dollar-figure debt-limit increase.
In other words, they’ll have to say, “We’re increasing the debt limit by [$8 trillion] or $10 trillion,” which will be two or three times the largest increase in national debt ever, which is a political problem for the Democrats.
So, they are desperate to get the Republicans to go along with a debt-limit suspension, where they just say, “The debt limit doesn’t count for this amount of time.”
And so all that [is] to say, then they pulled the legislative blackmail, where they said, “You either suspend the debt ceiling with us, or we shut down the government.”
And this time around, the Republicans stood strong and they said, “Try it.” They called their bluff. They played a little chicken. And now the Democrats are going to pass a continuing resolution without the debt ceiling on it, which is a big win to take that blackmail tool away from the Democrats.
Doescher: Got a lot of people chiming in, a lot of people leaving comments. I was told Linda from Raleigh, [North Carolina,] is watching. Linda, thank you so much for tuning [in]. I love Raleigh. It’s a great town. I ran an ultramarathon there, believe it or not. So, Linda, your hometown is great. Mike H. from Maryland is watching. Mike, thanks for being on.
We also had a comment for Minnie, who’s watching on … . Minnie, that’s a cool name. I love that. All right, welcome, Minnie. That’s great. She says, “Most of us don’t even know how to write these numbers. Washington has gone crazier than ever.”
Yes, yes, it has. And we live here. So, we’re the crazy ones.
Binion: It’s an exponential curve, if you can picture an exponential curve. We have been talking about out-of-control, runaway federal spending for decades now, and it’s so much worse in 2021 than it was in 2011.
It’s impossible to quantify the difference in the exponential curve where we are. But we are in a death-defying mode, where we are staring down a debt crisis and, and, and threatening to spend more, and we’ve got the House Democrat Budget [Committee] chairman saying things like, “There’s no limit to how much we can spend.”
Doescher: Doug from Facebook, “Who is the accountant that controls how this insane amount of money is spent? We are talking trillions here, not millions, not billions.” In all caps with three exclamation points, Doug says, “TRILLIONS!!!”
Binion: It’s impossible to keep up with. It is literally impossible for the federal government to keep up with, which is one of the reasons, it’s a lesser reason, frankly, but it’s one of the reasons why we can’t spend this much. But, yeah, hundreds of billions of dollars evaporate off of balance sheets.
Doescher: I want to get a little bit more into this, because I think, and we are coming up on the Halloween season here, I think to communicate to people why this is such a scary thing, other than talking about spending money we don’t have, which is very scary because it makes prices rise, inflation goes up. All that stuff is very scary. But what is some of the stuff specifically that’s in here?
I know they’ve got a laundry list of things. We mentioned the Green New Deal, but what does that mean for our everyday lives?
Binion: Well, it means a lot of things.
Doescher: It doesn’t have just the Green New Deal stuff, but other stuff in it, too.
Binion: Yeah. No. Well, let’s start with climate. There’s two basic features to the socialist agenda on climate. One is to subsidize all forms of energy that they believe to be green.
Now, I’m not familiar with an energy subsidy that worked the way the left says it works. Now, if you are, you can put it in the comments, and we’ll see if we can fact-check it.
But for the most part, these alternative energy sources, they wouldn’t exist without government subsidy. And then many of them have a larger carbon footprint because of the cost of production of that type of energy than fossil fuels in the first place.
And then, third, even if we switched over to entirely what they call renewable energy sources, the effect on the climate would be essentially nil.
And so, it is first and foremost the ability for the left to subsidize their friends in that industry. That’s feature No. 1 of their climate agenda.
Feature No. 2 is to punish their enemies. I don’t know why that they are the enemies of American small business, but they have decided to make it impossible to do business.
Doescher: And it’s funny because, take tax credits for electric vehicles. Who buys a Tesla? It’s somebody who lives in Orange County, California. They make over $250,000 a year, and they’re going to get a tax credit to, now, I think it’s going to be something like $12,000 or something like that if the Democrats have their way.
And who pays for that tax credit? It’s somebody in Idaho or somebody who’s making way less than that. So, it’s really the less [well-to-do] subsidizing the way, way, way rich.
Binion: Yeah. Well, so they are subsidizing their friends, but the kicker to that is there’s no effect on the climate.
I’m not aware of a credible argument that electric cars are … . They’re really cool. Don’t get me wrong. I think they’re awesome. But I’m not aware of an argument that says that they’re going to save the planet.
And so that’s feature No. 1. Feature No. 2 is to regulate small businesses out of existence, to make most of their business practices illegal.
And again, the effect isn’t there. Where else are they going to spend money? The Biden Family Plan, I’ve called it several times, cradle-to-grave welfare. But what it is, is increased dependency on the government.
You’re going to get all of your life needs, your child care, your health care, your education. All of the things that people need in life, they want you to get it from the federal government, rather than from the community, rather than from our society, rather than from the marketplace.
And I don’t think I need to tell our audience the devastating effects that that has.
Doescher: Yeah. We’ve documented this many times here at [The Heritage Foundation], that the fact that work-for-welfare has gone, effectively.
They will extend the welfare for those who are not working indefinitely, forever, and drive us back to where we were. We’ve seen what it’s like to not have to work for welfare. We know what it was like. Just look pre-1996, it was happening left and right.
Binion: Yeah. In terms of the requirement of responsibility that we, as a society, put on people, talk about exponential curves.
That’s been basically obliterated, using COVID as a pretext. With the eviction moratorium and the level of unemployment benefits that have gone out the door during COVID, personal responsibility is no longer something the federal government appears to be wanting or valuing at all.
Doescher: Yeah, this is interesting. We might have actually just answered this. A viewer on YouTube … By the way, hi, YouTube. It’s great to see you. When was the last time their policies have been about facts?
Maybe it was the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. I don’t know, but it’s been a long time since.
Binion: Yeah. Whatever you say is the reality that lends itself to a certain policy outcome. That’s why we’ve got to be … .
We can’t necessarily start with criticism of socialist policies. We have to start with criticism of what they offer to be the situation in the world.
We have to start by asking honest questions about what the economy needs, what the climate needs, what our country needs in terms of immigration.
We have to start there before we can jump to the answers. They want to do the inverse.
Doescher: Yeah. Steven … on Facebook had a good question. What happens when a country goes bankrupt? I mean that’s basically … . I mean, we could make an argument that we are currently that way, but maybe it has to do with when people stop buying bonds.
Binion: Yeah. Well, it’s a death spiral, and it’s a squeezing effect, right? You won’t be able to get loans. You won’t be able to access capital for new spending projects. You won’t be able to get credit for using credit cards, right?
So, the financial system is built on the availability of money from the Fed to American businesses. So, when that availability of money evaporates, so many features of our financial system—banking, credit cards, business, loans, mortgages—start to crumble.
Then the entire economy, which leans on that, starts to crumble. Businesses can’t survive. People are losing jobs. Then that has a multiplying effect.
When I was in school, when we learned about the Great Depression. It was a series of dominoes, one after the other. One thing caused another, and so, when we worry about a debt crisis, that’s what we’re worried about.
We’re worried about a series of dominoes that is devastating that leads to a place much worse than the Great Depression that is almost impossible to recover from.
We don’t have a house of cards as an economy, but we are dependent upon our financial system, which is dependent upon our solvency. So, if we go bankrupt, we got a problem. That’s the first domino.
Doescher: Laura lamented that it’s sad seeing what—she’s on Facebook—sad seeing what is happening to our country.
Yeah, that’s very, very true. Give us something optimistic. I want to go somewhere optimistic here. … [Inaudible] are doing good, right? That’s a good thing. But Laura needs a pick-me-up. Laura needs a pick-me-up. So, give Laura a pick-me-up. Come on.
Binion: We’ve been talking about politics and policy and all that goes into that, but when you watch college football on Saturday, there’s happy fans in the stands.
Those people, plus the people who make up the United States of America, the people you see on your TV screens, the people you see in your civics clubs, the people you see in the carpool line, at the grocery store, your neighbors and friends, they love this country.
Binion: They’re not done fighting for it.
Doescher: Yeah. It’s funny. I’ve been watching more football than I ever have. I’m not typically one that’s watching ESPN all the time. I’ve said that before here, but I’ve been really, really intrigued.
This is bringing a whole new people. [NFL stars Peyton and Eli Manning’s] commentary, this is a fantastic thing. I was wondering what you had on that. I haven’t talked to you since.
Binion: Look, the Manning cast is awesome. People love it.
Doescher: Yeah, totally.
Binion: It’s an example of how we can come together and enjoy our culture, enjoy our society. I love it, but I’m a football geek.
Doescher: Well, once a year here in D.C., we have the Congressional Baseball Game. I guess this is a big deal over there on the Hill. I don’t know much about it. Are you going to be there today? What’s going on?
Binion: I won’t be there.
Binion: But it’ll be at [Washington Nationals] Park, and it’s an annual tradition. Republicans play Democrats. It’s a partisan affair. It is the Republicans versus the Democrats, but I think to most of us, the Congressional Baseball Game took on a new meaning a few years ago when there was a shooting at the Republican practice for the baseball game.
So, when you watch tonight and you see, the cameras will show [Team Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.,] will be seated together.
Binion: … I think that will be a really powerful moment. That’s what I’m looking forward to most, that signal of resilience and absolute rejection of political violence, which I think Steve Scalise is uniquely suited to do. I will be very proud to see him on the field tonight.
Doescher: Well, Tommy, it’s not been an easy “Explains” for you. I mean, there’s so much going on over there.
Binion: Yeah, those were not easy questions.
Doescher: No, I mean, of course, the people watching are not letting you off easy. So, I hope that you see me in a better light now, or maybe you don’t, since I read the questions. Darn it, but anyway, I just wanted to thank you for coming in here. Thank you for doing this.
Binion: You didn’t have to answer any of the questions.
Doescher: I know. That’s what I’m saying.
Binion: Does anybody have any hard questions for Tim?
Doescher: Sure. Go ahead. If you have any hard questions for me, we’re going to be broadcasting for another 10 seconds.
Binion: Oh, I see what you did there.
Doescher: I have plenty of time.
Binion: Thanks, folks.
Doescher: Plenty of time to answer these really, really tough questions. Exactly. So, anyway, folks, thank you so much for watching.
We will be back shortly, and we’ll of course let you know through Facebook or through YouTube. So, Tommy, again, thank you so much for being here.
Binion: Go [inaudible].
Doescher: Go [inaudible]. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’m telling you, man, it is never, ever easy to … .
Originally published by The Daily Signal. Republished with permission.