Tuesday, July 18, 2017 -- CUFI Highlights, Obamacare Survives, Disappointing Defense

CUFI Highlights

Words cannot express the tremendous excitement on display yesterday at the Christians United For Israel Washington Summit! (As you may know, I run CUFI's Washington, D.C. office.) Christians United For Israel was founded by Pastor John Hagee, and is the largest pro-Israel organization in America with more than three million members.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Summit via satellite. He thanked the attendees, saying:

"The many thousands who are in that hall, the many millions in the United States, the Christian friends of Israel -- you are always there for us. We have no better friends on earth than you. Thank you!"

On Israel's desire to see the world recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the prime minister said:


"We have a great city called Tel Aviv. . . But Tel Aviv is not Jerusalem. Los Angeles is a great city. Chicago is a great city. But they are not Washington, D.C. The capital of Israel is Jerusalem and the embassies of the world should be in Jerusalem."

Referring to the West's struggle against radical Islam, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Islamists hate Israel because it is "a free society built on the foundation of the Judeo-Christian heritage. Israel is the bulwark of freedom in the heart of the Middle East."

Vice President Mike Pence hit a home run with the audience of thousands during the Night To Honor Israel celebration. He expressed the administration's strong support for Israel, saying:

"President Trump and I stand without apology for Israel today. We will stand without apology for Israel tomorrow, and President Donald Trump and I will stand with the Israel always -- of that you may be assured."

The president and vice president are obviously pro-Israel, but there have been some concerns and some disappointment given the delay in moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Last night, Vice President Pence brought the crowd to its feet when he said:

"To the men and women of Christians United for Israel, this president hears you. This president stands with you. And I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is not a question of if, it is only when."

Addressing the threat posed by Iran, Pence vowed, "The United States of America will not allow Iran to develop a useable nuclear weapon. This is our solemn promise to the American people, to the people of Israel, and to the world."

Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer also spoke at the Night To Honor Israel celebration. The Jewish state is well-served to have Ron Dermer as its representative in America. He gave a rousing defense of Israel, noting that Israel has been fighting fake news for thousands of years. He said:

"Fake news always ignores the poison that has been taught, preached, and broadcast to a generation of young Palestinians. . . Fake news refuses to expose the Palestinian glorification of terrorists, the naming of public squares after mass-murderers, and the ghoulish practice of the Palestinian Authority paying a lifetime salary to terrorists who murder Jews."

Ambassador Dermer said that America was the backbone of support for Israel around the world and that America's Christians make that backbone "stronger and straighter."

He praised CUFI founder Pastor John Hagee for his "moral clarity," and declared, "Pastor Hagee and Diana, the Jewish people and the Jewish state owe you a profound debt of gratitude. May you and your family be blessed for generations and generations to come."

And I was extremely honored when Ambassador Dermer thanked me publicly as a "trailblazing leader" and "champion of the U.S./Israel alliance."

Obamacare Survives. . . For Now

Senate efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare died last night when Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) announced their opposition to revised legislation offered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. With Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote, McConnell could afford to lose only two Republican senators. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) were already "no" votes.

What happens next is anyone's guess. Sen. McConnell had indicated that he would consider a two-part process of repealing Obamacare now and replacing it later. But three GOP moderates -- Collins (R-ME), Capito (R-WV) and Murkowski (R-AK) -- said they opposed that approach too.

When Republicans were out of power, the divisions in the GOP were not always apparent. But now that they are in the driver's seat, we are being reminded that there are groups of moderates in both chambers of Congress who are making it almost impossible to pass a conservative agenda. (See next item.)

President Trump expressed his frustration with the Senate stalemate, saying, "We'll let ObamaCare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us." Don't hold your breath, Mr. President. Democrats have already moved on to single-payer socialized medicine.

In a series of tweets this morning, the president wrote, "We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans. Most Republicans were loyal, terrific & worked really hard."

To overcome the opposition, the president wrote that we need more conservative victories next year. I agree completely. CWF is working hard to make it happen!

Disappointing Defense

Last week's action in the House of Representatives on the National Defense Authorization Act is another sad example of being let down by "all of the Democrats and a few Republicans." Just consider these disappointing defense votes.

·  An amendment to strip Barack Obama's radical climate change agenda from our national security policy failed on a vote of 185-to-234. Forty-six Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against the amendment.

·  An amendment by my good friend Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) requiring the Pentagon to study "violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine" was defeated on a vote of 208-to-217. Twenty-seven Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against the amendment.

·  An amendment prohibiting the Pentagon from using your hard-earned tax dollars for "gender reassignment surgeries" was defeated on a vote of 209-to-214. Twenty-four Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against the amendment.

These votes reveal just how radical the Democrat Party has become.

All House Democrats think climate change is a national security issue.

All House Democrats have their heads in the sand when it comes to "violent Islamic doctrine."

All House Democrats felt that sex change operations were a good use of the Pentagon's resources.

On the positive side, more than 75% of Republicans voted right on all three issues. But these votes also reveal deep divisions within the GOP.

If moderate Republicans think that they are going to buy cover by bucking the party on votes like these, they are mistaken. There is nothing they can do to stop the left from going after them. Instead, all they accomplished was demoralizing conservative voters in their districts.

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