‘Your World’ on defunding police, federal unemployment benefits ending

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This is a rush transcript from “Your World” June 21, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated. 

GERRY BAKER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Thanks, Martha. 

More than 440,000 Americans are losing their enhanced unemployment benefits this week, as eight more states shut them down, this as businesses are struggling to find workers as they open up. Why the White House today is saying that those benefits should actually continue. 

Welcome, everyone. I’m Gerry Baker, in for Neil Cavuto, and this is “Your World.” 

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Let’s start with Peter Doocy with more on the message the White House is sending — Peter. 

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Gerry, good afternoon. 

The message has changed a little bit in recent weeks. The White House is no longer leading with the line that there is no evidence available that these extended unemployment benefits, $300 a week in many places, were keeping people home. Now they are saying they don’t know. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

DOOCY: Does the White House think that the governors who are ending these extra enhanced unemployment benefits before they expire are doing the right thing or the wrong thing? 

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, we have continued to implement — or continuing to advocate to implement these unemployment benefits for the remainder of their tenure, which is just a couple of months. 

We don’t actually know because the data doesn’t exist yet what the impact of the implementation in these states is. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

DOOCY: But Republican critics argue they have seen plenty of proof, as job openings go unfilled in states where the $300 a week is set to continue through September as originally planned before vaccinations were widely available and before most parts of the country started lifting mask mandates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): You’re seeing states that are going to forego that. The unemployment claims are going down. And the opportunities to work are increasing. It’s a great opportunity for folks who are ready to get back to work. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

DOOCY: Now, the president is having his first meeting this afternoon with the head of the Federal Reserve, Jay Powell. But officials here say this is just a routine sit-down about maintenance of the economy — Gerry. 

BAKER: Peter Doocy at the White House, thanks very much. 

Well, my next guest works in one of those states where the unemployment benefit — the enhanced unemployment benefits will be cut the end of this week. He has been struggling to hire workers, Hal Craig, owner of Tostadas Homewood in Birmingham, Alabama. And he joins me now. 

Hal, thank you for joining us. 

HAL CRAIG, OWNER, TOSTADAS: Yes, absolutely. 

BAKER: So, you have been having difficulty hiring workers. Is that because these extremely generous additional unemployment benefits for the federal government are basically making it easier for people to stay home? 

CRAIG: You know, we actually were talking about that with a couple other restaurant owners. And we’re not sure if that’s the case or not. 

I know it is definitely the case in some other industries around Birmingham. In terms of restaurant work, though, we’re just seeing — we just think a lot of people, when the pandemic started, and people were laid off, we think they just went into different industries. 

But we are definitely intrigued to see what will happen when these things run out, if we will be able to hire some more people, because it has been a struggle. 

BAKER: You have been struggling. I mean, are you understaffed currently? I mean, what — how is it affecting your business? 

CRAIG: Oh, right now, yes, we’re definitely understaffed. 

We’re — and it’s a weird situation, because we’re actually seeing volumes — we’re busier than we were pre-COVID. But we don’t have the staff to handle it. So we’re having to slow the brakes and stop a little bit of marketing and just to try just control what we can. 

BAKER: As you say, the end of this week, we will — Alabama will be one of those states that cuts those additional benefits, up to $300, in addition to the state benefits. 

So you would expect, presumably, that that would make the prospect of going to work, going back to work, your being able to hire some more workers somewhat greater. 

CRAIG: We’re hoping so. 

Again, like I said, the people that we have seen in our industry, we have just seen a lot of people leave for other reasons. But I am keeping my fingers crossed that, when these things run out, that we will see people start applying for jobs again, because the wages are fair, and the hours are there. We just need the people who want to work. 

BAKER: How long have you been operating back at kind of the normal in Birmingham there, Hal? Has this been going on for — have you been operating like this for months? 

CRAIG: Yes, sir, it’s probably been right when — before the vaccinations came full spread, start happening, we were open, but we were still kind of limited menu, limited seating. 

Now we’re full-on capacity for the most part, with a full patio. We just don’t have the staff. And the staff we do have, they’re exhausted. They’re tired. And they’re stretched pretty thin. So, we’re having to come up with different things to make it a good working environment, where we can keep the people we do have. 

BAKER: Can you — are you able to afford — I mean, it’s been a tough time, I know, for a lot of places. 

Have you been able to afford to offer higher wages to attract more workers? 

CRAIG: You know, it’s one of those that it’s — at this point, we — normally, we’re not able to, but because business has been better, we can. 

We were able to offer more than we were a pre-COVID. It’s just not there. The people aren’t there to — they’re not accepting those. And our problem is, because we’re a local family-owned restaurant, as you would call it, we’re having to compete with the chains, the — I’m not going to name them, but they have chains now that are able to offer even more. 

So, when these people come back to work, their first opportunity, they can go to these chain restaurants and make a lot more money. 

BAKER: Very briefly, Hal, higher wages, if you — if a lot of people are having to pay higher wages, that’s obviously presumably impacting your costs. 

Are you having to push up prices? We’re seeing prices go up across the economy. Is that a factor for you? 

CRAIG: Yes, sir, you’re going to start seeing that. With — the higher wages definitely is impacting it. 

And then just in terms of the supply chain with food, and especially with the cybersecurity tax that just happened too, but you’re starting to see food costs go up as well. So it’s not going to be surprising in the future if you see a place with a $17 hamburger and fries. 

It’s just — the margins in restaurants are so razor-thin already. And it’s just a struggle to keep up with it as it is. 

BAKER: Hal Craig, we are seeing prices go up, as you say, pretty well everywhere across the economy. 

Well, very good luck to you, Hal. And thanks for joining us. And good luck with hiring those workers. 

CRAIG: Thank you, man. Appreciate you guys. 

BAKER: American Airlines is canceling hundreds of flights as it struggles with the staffing issues and demand for air travel surges. 

David Lee Miller is at New York’s La Guardia Airport with the very latest – – David. 

DAVID LEE MILLER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Gerry, we’re at Terminal B. And, as you can see, the COVID restrictions remain in place. 

And, as you mentioned, American Airlines anticipated that there was going to be a spike in the number of customers, but they didn’t think it was going to happen this quickly. Although it may look relatively quiet here in Terminal B at this hour, American Airlines says that it has seen a 600 percent increase in the number of people taking to the air than during the darkest days of COVID. 

Now, in order to alleviate the stress on the system, American says it’s going to cancel about 60 flights a day until mid-July. That’s roughly 1 percent of its regular schedule. Not a big deal unless it is your flight. And in a statement, the airline said — and I quote — “We made targeted changes with the goal of impacting the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re- accommodation.” 

The airline says there will be no surprises. These cancellations are not going to be last-minute, but days in advance. Passengers rerouted outside a four-hour window can receive a refund. 

The airline expects mandatory training of furloughed pilots to be completed by the end of this month. And the airline also says it is cutting these flights to increase the number of pilots that it has in reserve. 

Today and over the weekend, American canceled more than 400 flights in total. The airline blamed the weather, a labor shortage, maintenance issues and flight crews simply maxing out on the number of hours that they are permitted to work. 

And to put how much things have changed into perspective, consider this. Yesterday, a year ago, five million people took to the air, according to the TSA. A year ago yesterday, Sunday, they say it was more than two million people. And that is the highest number of travelers that the TSA has seen since the pandemic ended — Gerry. 

BAKER: Thanks, David. Yes, there is definitely demand surging. I reckon anybody who’s tried to book a flight in the next month or two will also know that prices, that airfares are going up too. 

David Lee Miller, thanks for joining us. 

Well, stocks are rebounding from steep losses last week. And the Dow broke a five-session losing streak today, gaining almost 600 points. Energy stocks led the way, with ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips all seeing solid gains. 

Consumers, as we have just heard, across the economy are being slammed by price spikes, but are price wars over Prime Day, Amazon Prime Day, that is, bringing some relief? We will find out next. 

But, first, with the border crisis escalating, how Georgia is now helping out. 

And after urging Vice President Kamala Harris to get to the border, Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar didn’t get any response. We will be live with an update from the border after this. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

REP. HENRY CUELLAR (D-TX): I have not heard from her office. I have talked to the White House, my White House contacts. But I have not heard from her. 

And, again, we’re ready to help her in any way. She just needs to get down to the border. We have invited her. I hope she can come down. Otherwise, she should have not been appointed border czar. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

BAKER: That was Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar telling “Cavuto Live” he still hasn’t heard from Vice President Harris after inviting her down to the Southern border. 

Meanwhile, states like Georgia are stepping up. We will speak shortly with Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, but first the latest from the Southern border. 

FOX News’ Bill Melugin is live in La Joya, Texas, with more — Bill. 

BILL MELUGIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Gerry, good afternoon to you. 

Human smugglers are some of the folks who continue to benefit the most from this crisis. And this weekend, we had the chance to embed with some Texas State Troopers, who brought us over to Roma, Texas and we got to see just how bad the problem is. 

Take a look at this wild video we shot, again, from Roma, which is about an hour west of where we are right now. In the middle of the night, we went out with them and watched as human smugglers brought raft after raft of migrants across the Rio Grande from the Mexican side and then dropped them off right at our doorstep on the American side. 

This happened over and over and over. Literally, it was basically a ferry service for the smugglers. And the smugglers had no fear of being caught. They were dropping these folks off just yards away from State Troopers, from Border Patrol and from National Guard. They were laughing. They were joking. They even took their head coverings off. 

They had no fear of being caught. And that just goes to show you how brazen these human smugglers are. Eventually, they took about 60 people across right in front of us just in the span of about 45 minutes or so. 

Take a look at this other video we have shot after everybody had been dropped off. Obviously, a Border Patrol bus can’t get down to those riverbanks. So, Border Patrol had to get all of the people together, all those migrants together, and literally march them up a hill, until they could get basically grouped together in another processing area, where there were more migrants who illegally crossed the river. 

So you had a group of at least 100 eventually just in one single spot in one night. 

And I had a chance to talk to a Texas State Trooper and ask him, why are you guys not able to grab one of these human smugglers right when they come up to the shoreline? He said, it’s a safety issue for the migrants. They’re worried that these ruthless smugglers will take it out on the migrants if they try to take — make a move on them. Take a listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

LT. CHRIS OLIVAREZ, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: But the challenge is when they’re bringing children and families. That’s happened before, where these smugglers they get very bold. 

And when they start fearing law enforcement and they feel like law enforcement is going to engage them, they will start pushing people, families, children off the rafts, and then it becomes a rescue operation. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

MELUGIN: And what you’re looking at right now is video we shot this morning from right here in La Joya, Texas, something we witness every single day in and day out here like clockwork, more migrants being apprehended.

A DHS source telling me that, on Saturday, in the Rio Grande Valley sector, one of the busiest stations alone recorded apprehending more than 1,400 migrants in one single day. That source told me those numbers are staying consistent for the past several days, remarkably high numbers out here in the Rio Grande Valley. 

We will send it back to you. 

BAKER: Bill Melugin, thanks very much. 

Well, let’s get right to Georgia’s lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, now. His state is sending resources to help with the border crisis. 

Thanks very much for joining us, sir. 

So, tell us exactly what your what you’re planning to send. 

LT. GOV. GEOFF DUNCAN (R-GA): Well, grateful for Governor — Governor Kemp in putting our border and doing our part as a priority and by sending our National Guard troops, a couple hundred folks down there, to help facilitate the safety down there and the security. 

You know, I think the alarming thing for me as an American is to see how quickly things have changed at the border in just a matter of hours of President Biden being sworn in. He’s unwound four years of effective border security and an immigration process at the border in just a matter of hours. 

And, certainly, that’s very scary for me as an American. 

BAKER: Did you get a request from the Texas governor or from any other authorities to do this? Or was this something you offered? 

DUNCAN: Well, certainly, our governor takes the lead on dispatching our National Guard. 

I know he’s taken a trip down there to the border. He’s worked closely with the governor of Texas and our National Guard here in Georgia. But certainly we want to do our part, because, look, it’s — we’re all in this together as Americans. All 50 states are under — in a crisis right now because of this border. 

And it’s hard to believe that just taking our foot off the messaging has allowed — the Biden administration let folks in the far parts of South America just even hear the hint that we have opened our borders and to watch these families be disrupted and these humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate, it’s troubling. 

And there’s got to be a better pathway forward for all of us.

BAKER: Your governor has been to the border, sir. Other governors have been to the border. Other leading political officials have been to the border. Vice President Kamala Harris is still a no-show. What do you make of that? 

DUNCAN: Well, certainly, she’s taken a lot of heat for not paying enough attention to the border and not being there. 

But, ultimately, I put this crisis on the backs of President Biden. If it was a priority for him and his administration, she would be there, along with other folks and part of his administration. 

But we as Republicans got to have a better pathway forward. And I think there’s an opportunity for us to really own this issue of immigration, and start to have conservative conversations on how we do two parts. I have got a book coming out in September called “GOP 2.0.” 

And we tackle some of these big issues around conservative things like immigration, that we need to start to talk about border security and how we better execute, and how we tackle the 16 million-plus folks here that are undocumented. It’s a crisis. And we need to start talking about it as Republicans.

BAKER: It certainly is a crisis. And, as you say, it seems to be one that has dramatically spiraled upwards since President Biden took office. 

Lieutenant Governor of Georgia Geoff Duncan, thanks for joining us. 

DUNCAN: Thank you. 

BAKER: Well, with consumers getting hit with price spikes, Republicans are hoping for a midterm spike. Pollster Lee Carter is coming up. 

Also, are Prime Day wars between America’s biggest retailers bringing shoppers some brief relief from those rising prices? We will see what Lydia Hu is finding out next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

BAKER: A big win for college athletes today, with a big assist from the Supreme Court. Could it open the door for money going directly to student athletes? 

We will be back in 60 seconds. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

BAKER: Price spikes vs. price cuts. 

With shoppers paying more at the store, Amazon and Walmart have been facing off to see how low each other can go, with consumers potentially the big winners. 

To Lydia Hu at a Walmart in Teterboro, New Jersey, with the latest — Lydia. 

LYDIA HU, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Gerry 

Amazon moved up its Amazon Prime Day event to June from July, when it’s usually held. So, it’s going to round out the second quarter with this big sales event. 

But shortly after it announced the days, today and tomorrow for this sale, Walmart came out to announce its competing sale, Deals For Days. So the two retailers are going to go head to head. 

And there’s a lot on the line here, because J.P. Morgan just recently came out with a projection that Amazon will overtake Walmart to be the largest U.S. retailer as soon as next year. And that announcement is coming after Amazon had a great 2020 in terms of sales, boosted by consumers who are shopping online, which accelerated Amazon’s growth to 39 percent of the e- commerce market. 

It also had a strong start to this year, reporting a profit of $8.1 billion during the first three months of 2021, compared to $2.5 billion during the same time last year. Now, these dueling sales between Amazon and Walmart will test whether consumers will continue to shop online with Amazon or perhaps we will return to brick-and-mortar with Walmart or other retailers that are also offering sales and discounts right now. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

HITHA HERZOG, RETAIL WATCHER: Certainly appeal — an appeal to go out to a store. So, I think that’s going to work to Walmart and Target’s advantage. 

But, long term, if they can’t figure out this logistics and retail strategy, they’re going to be on the sidelines watching Amazon dominate.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

HU: Now, retail sales were down 1.3 percent just last month, but projections for the year are strong. 

The National Retail Federation expects at least 10 percent or higher growth and retail sales through the end of the year. And analysts expect a good amount of that spending is going to happen right now between these dueling sales between Amazon and Walmart and these other major retailers — Gerry, back to you. 

BAKER: Thanks, Lydia. 

Well, while Amazon and Walmart may be bringing a little bit of price relief to consumers after all these price rises, it looks like Republicans are going to try to use the green to help them flip Capitol Hill back to red. They’re reportedly going to be focusing on price spikes as a major issue for the 2022 midterms. 

Is that a strategy that’s going to work? 

Well, let’s ask GOP pollster Lee Carter and Democratic strategist Kevin Chavous. 

Lee, let me start with you. 

We are seeing some of the biggest increases in prices across the economy that we have seen in decades. That isn’t good news for a lot of consumers and savers. Is it good news for Republicans at the polls? 

LEE CARTER, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: I think it could be good news for Republicans at the polls. I think it’s all in the way they frame it. 

I always say that you can tell who’s winning by who’s acting vs. reacting. If the Republicans purely react to the Democrats, saying, this is terrible, look at inflation, we’re just reacting to their bad policies, they won’t win. 

But if they use that as a launching point, if they say, do you feel better off today than when Donald Trump was president, yes or no? If the answer is that you don’t, then here is what we’re going to do to move things forward and get us back on track. 

They need to frame in positive terms and what they’re going to do. Right now, the Republican Party seems somewhat fractured. And it’s not enough for things to feel bad. They’re going to have to show, how are they going to make it better? 

BAKER: Kevin, I’m afraid some of us are old enough to remember the bad old days of the 1970s, when inflation really did spike under a Democratic president, President Jimmy Carter, and that had enormous political consequences.

Is the Biden administration going to pay the price for these rising prices? 

KEVIN CHAVOUS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, it’s an uphill battle for Democrats anyway in 2022, because we have the White House. So we’re already looking, historic — if history is any indicator, we’re looking at losing several seats. 

But I don’t think it’ll be because of inflation. After the year that we have had, where people were unable to go out, were unable to go have a meal, go to a ball game, have a beer and a hot dog, people are just looking to get out there. 

And I think that consumers will be willing to trade slightly higher prices for the ability to go out and enjoy life without restrictions. Biden is still polling very well. It has dipped a little bit, his approval rating, but it’s still around 50 percent. 

 And the support for the initiatives that he’s pushing, the Americans Jobs Plan, American Families Plan, both of those are still approved of by consumers or by voters at a two-to-three clip. 

So as long as he’s not spending money on things that the voters do not think are necessary, I don’t think a little bit of inflation will hurt him as we go into the midterms next year. 

BAKER: Lee, the Biden administration, and actually backed up by the Federal Reserve, keeps saying these price rises we’re seeing are going to be, as they keep telling us, transitory, they’re not going to — it’s just a result of bottlenecks caused by the return to kind of normality in the economy and effects from very low prices last year. 

Could find a situation where, the end of this year, into 2022, we could be back to normal rates of inflation and this political opportunity for the Republicans might pass by? 

CARTER: No, I think it’s possible. 

But I think that the concerns are still going to be there. And the truth of the matter is, there’s something called — the so-called ratchet effect, which is prices have gone up. Are we really going to start to see them decline? Are people going to say, OK, the cost of lumber went up, now it’s going to come down, now the price of windows is going to come back down? 

We haven’t necessarily seen that historically. So it’s going to be a concern on top of people’s mind, and I’m not sure that people are going to fully feel the absorption of the price shifts by the next year. 

And we’re starting to see that people are getting concerned about the economy. These things do factor in. Yes, people want to get out there again. But now that they’re out there, they’re noticing the price of gas is up, they’re noticing that their dollar is going shorter and shorter than it was before. 

And I think as we get into heating season and other things, and people are doing all these things, they are going to start to feel it. We also know people are doing work around their homes. And they’re starting to question that. 

So I think it is going to be tough for the Democrats to answer this one. 

BAKER: Kevin, just very briefly, as you look ahead to next year’s elections, prices more of a concern, or the crisis at the border and the immigration problems that we’re facing? 

CHAVOUS: Well, I think it depends on what state you’re in, of course, and what race you’re talking about. 

But I think the overarching concern will be prices and inflation more so than the border. I don’t think that people that aren’t in states that are on the border really feel the impact of any crisis at the border. But rising prices, if they do get out of control, that will certainly be a problem for Democrats. 

I just don’t see it getting there at this point. 

BAKER: Kevin Chavous and Lee Carter, thanks very much, both of you, for joining us. 

Well, a new report shows President Biden’s tax hikes could hit more than just the rich, as he keeps promising they will be the only ones who will be hit. 

And the Supreme Court handing college athletes a big win today. But is it a slam dunk to start paying these kids? We will have the latest next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

BAKER: Think President Biden’s proposed tax hike won’t hit the middle class, as he repeatedly promises, think again. 

To Susan Li from the FOX Business Network on a new study showing how much a lot of Americans could end up paying — Susan. 

SUSAN LI, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. 

Gerry, so, as President Biden tries to negotiate that infrastructure bill and figure out ways to pay for it this week, he also needs to be careful not to backtrack on his campaign promises to not raise taxes on individuals making $400,000 and less. 

So we know that the White House wants to hike that corporate tax rate up to 28 percent, tax capital gains like income, which will match the proposed top individual tax rate at over 39 percent. 

Now, despite most of these tax hikes aimed at the 1 percent, the middle class will be affected, according to the Tax Policy Foundation, indirectly impacted by higher rates on corporations. Even those making $75,000 a year, they will pay an extra $450. Nearly two-thirds of those low six figure salaries will pay more than $800, $2,000 for those making up to half-a- million dollars, and nearly 100 percent of those making over half-a-million dollars will have to pay more, of course. 

But the White House was pretty clear, though, on saying no to a hike in the gas tax. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

PSAKI: The president’s pledge was not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 a year. And the proposed gas tax or vehicle mileage tax would do exactly that. So that is a nonstarter for him. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

LI: So gas prices are already going up on their own anyways. We had oil prices crossing 73 bucks a barrel for the first time in almost three years. 

And that did help rally the Dow today to its best day in three-and-a-half months, best day for the broader S&P in four weeks. Higher oil also lifting oil majors like Exxon, which led the Dow rally. You also had the reopening plays like banks and cruise lines Japan as well. 

Threats of higher taxes, as you see there, Gerry, pretty much having no impact on Wall Street today with that near 500-point rally up on the Dow. 

BAKER: Thanks, Susan. 

Well, now from paying Uncle Sam to potentially paying college athletes. The Supreme Court voted 9-0 today against the NCAA when it comes to capping athletic scholarships. Schools are now allowed to pay student athletes extra money for extra education-related items. 

So, could this open the door for paying players outright in the future? 

Let’s get the read on this from sports agent Doug Eldridge. 

Doug, thanks for being here. 

DOUG ELDRIDGE, DLE AGENCY: Hey. Thank you for having me. 

BAKER: So, how big a deal is this for college athletes? 

ELDRIDGE: It’s significant. 

First of all, the fact that we get a unanimous decision seems pretty rare these days from the Supreme Court, much less on this. This is incredibly significant from the lower court decision indicating that artificial caps or restraints or barriers to education-related benefits was an antitrust violation.

In other words, anything that’s connected to a student athlete’s education should not be capped. But, more importantly, and to your question, this arguably does open the floodgates to the bigger issue, which is compensating student athletes for the second part, not just being students, but, rather, the athletic benefit that they provide a university, be it through salary or, more likely, an NIL, name, image and likeness, that we see on the horizon. 

BAKER: Well, what does it do that? 

I mean, because, as you as you say, the actual decision, it’s quite a narrow one, in that it refers to education-related items, such as scholarships and help for computer equipment and that kind of stuff. It doesn’t specifically or explicitly pave the way for direct payments to athletes. But is that next? 

ELDRIDGE: Well, it was the accompanying opinion written by Justice Kavanaugh, who said, short of all caps, in bold font, the NCAA is not above the law. 

And in any other context, to limit the amount of compensation or prohibit it altogether on the notion of amateurism would seem patently unfair, if not illegal, on its face. So what he was really saying is, give me the right case, and I would love to try this NIL, this name, image and likeness.

The NCAA has been banging on the door and begging Congress to get something enacted by July 1. Clearly, that’s not going to happen on the national level. And on that same date, six states, including key states when it comes to college athletics, California, Alabama, Florida, and some others, are already set to enact their own state-based legislation governing a student’s ability to make money off of their name, image and likeness. 

Now, we’re talking — not talking a salary for being an athlete, but rather the opportunity to capitalize and cash in on their marketability off the field, court… 

(CROSSTALK) 

ELDRIDGE: That’s what we’re going to see coming up. 

BAKER: Doug, we did get a statement from the NCAA, which reads, in part — and I quote — “While today’s decision preserves the lower court ruling, it also reaffirms the NCAA’s authority to adopt reasonable rules and repeatedly notes that the NCAA remains free to articulate what are and are not truly educational benefits, consistent with the NCAA’s mission to support student athletes.” 

That’s a kind of acknowledgement of defeat, but does it suggest a little bit of defiance too? 

ELDRIDGE: Yes, it certainly does. 

And I’m glad you mentioned that, because this is arguably the first time that we have seen the NCAA on its back foot. They have not only had fantastic legal teams, but they have had fantastic marketing teams to boot. 

For example, the name or moniker student athlete, that was literally created out of thin air by the legal team, in concert with some market analysts, to preserve the notion of amateurism. Just like Haagen-Dazs is not a real word in any language, it’s a marketing tool used to sell ice cream, this — the term student athlete was a marketing tool used to sell the notion that these are not professional athletes generating millions and now billions, plural, in terms of revenues for these individual universities and the NCAA as a whole. 

But we know that’s not the case anymore. March Madness generates $1 billion in revenue for a year. The bowl system doubles that. So this is a billion- dollar entity that’s been around for 115 years. 

BAKER: All right. 

ELDRIDGE: And it’s also significant because the last time the Supreme Court really weighed in was 1985. And that’s when they removed the cap on the number of times a school could be on national television. 

BAKER: Right. 

ELDRIDGE: Well, when that happened 30-something years ago, revenue has exploded, arguably creating the billion-dollar industry that we’re seeing today. 

BAKER: All right. 

ELDRIDGE: This is the beginning, not the end. 

BAKER: Doug Eldridge, thanks for clearing — clarifying that for us. Thanks very much. 

ELDRIDGE: Thank you. 

BAKER: Well, we have got concerts returning in New York. Are cruises from Florida next? The first test trip from Miami is out to sea. How’s it going so far? 

And forget defunding the police — why, after this weekend, more cities are turning to refunding the police instead. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): It’s beyond just the cruise. 

I mean, we have seen throughout this country government overstep its bounds in response to the coronavirus pandemic. And you can’t have an agency relying on flimsy legal authority to just keep an entire industry closed with really no path forward. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

BAKER: That was Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, of course, praising a federal judge’s decision that blocked the CDC’s very strict cruise rules starting July 18, that as the first cruise ship to leave a U.S. port since the pandemic took off this past weekend. 

Royal Caribbean is running a simulated voyage designed by the CDC to test health and safety measures. So, if all goes well, is it anchors away for the cruise industry. 

Travel expert Mark Murphy joins me now. 

Mark, thanks for being here. 

MARK MURPHY, TRAVEL EXPERT: Great to be here. 

BAKER: So, the CDC, as ever, does seem to be extremely aggressive in trying to insist on these additional rules, vaccinations, very tough rules for the cruise industry, which has been completely battered, obviously, the last year-and-a-half. 

MURPHY: Yes. 

BAKER: Are we finally — is it finally going to get — the cruise business finally going to get some relief? 

MURPHY: I think that federal ruling is key. 

I’m waiting for the grocery store clerks to get COVID tested every morning before they come in, in Publix or ShopRite, because think of all the people that go past them every day. They’re applying a rule and a policy to cruise lines that makes no sense, because look at the airline business. The airline business never stopped flying. 

So how do you differentiate? Well, in an airplane, you’re sitting shoulder to shoulder with somebody. On a cruise, you have a lot of outdoor space, a lot of outdoor air, lots of circulation. So it doesn’t make very much sense that this has gone on for as long as it has. 

I think the cruise lines kind of bid their time, which I think was a huge mistake on the public relations side. They should have been out more forcefully, basically screaming about this, because they destroyed this industry. And you look at the debt that’s piled up on these companies, it’s massive, just so they could get ready to sail and not go out of business in the meantime. 

BAKER: Do you think demand is going to come back to pre-pandemic levels for cruises? 

I mean, obviously, we were all very familiar with that — the story of the Diamond Princess, which was kind of like a little — kind of a little parable, really, for the whole coronavirus pandemic, and it was a pretty — pretty horrific experience for a lot of those people. 

But do you think those fears that people have about being on a cruise ship, maybe being enclosed like that, do you think they have gone? And do you think we will see a complete return to normal? 

MURPHY: Well, I think, when you look at the data on that Diamond Princess and the cruise ships that did have outbreaks, when you get down past the media hype, it wasn’t that bad, literally. 

It was terrible for those who were on board, because they were not able to get off. 

BAKER: Right. 

MURPHY: And that was the biggest issue. 

In terms of the spread of infection, it was very limited. So I think that demand is here. It’s huge right now. 

But I think Royal Caribbean and a lot of the cruise lines are making a huge mistake with these vaccine mandates, or to work around the new law with DeSantis, which I think is a great law, that the businesses can’t require you to get vaccinated to do business with them here in the state, the problem with that is now they’re saying, OK, well, we’re going to let everybody on, but if you’re not vaccinated, you’re a second-class citizen, and there are certain things you can’t do. 

And I think that is pissing off a lot of people. And I will tell you what. I will never go on a cruise as long as those are around. And I’m a travel guy, and I have been on I can’t count how many cruises. I will never go on a cruise under those scenarios. 

And I think there’s a lot of Americans — I had COVID. Over 100 million Americans are projected to have had COVID. They’re now saying, because they’re learning this as we go, that you have natural immunity that can last decades or a lifetime. 

BAKER: Yes. 

MURPHY: And getting the shot could actually be a negative. 

BAKER: Right. 

MURPHY: So I can’t cruise because I had COVID? And if you want me to cruise with open — no restrictions, I have got to do this. 

BAKER: Yes, these rules are bewildering. 

MURPHY: Yes. 

BAKER: And they do seem designed at times to absolutely make it as hard for people as they possibly can, including the cruise business market.

MURPHY: Yes. 

BAKER: Thanks so much for joining us. 

MURPHY: Thanks, Gerry. 

BAKER: Meantime, the White House has been banking on ramping up lithium battery production to support Joe Biden’s green agenda. 

But will environmental concerns get in the way? 

FOX News William La Jeunesse has the latest. 

WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Gerry, this is where presidential rhetoric on global warming meets reality. 

If you want electric vehicles to replace these, you need lithium, which right now we import from China and Chile. The problem is, lithium comes from mines which many environmentalists oppose. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) 

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The key part of an electric vehicle is the battery. 

LA JEUNESSE (voice-over): Batteries now made in China. President Biden can change that by approving two mining permits in Nevada. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lithium is vital to enable technologies that combat climate change. 

LA JEUNESSE: Lithium is a key element in batteries. The problem is, the U.S. produces just a fraction of what it needs to meet the president’s climate goals. 

BIDEN: The real question is whether we will lead or we will fall behind in the race to the future. 

LA JEUNESSE: Yet some environmentalists are suing to stop the mines. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This mine would destroy between 5,000 and 6,000 acres of this habitat. 

LA JEUNESSE: At this site near the Oregon border, another near California. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This plant is facing extinction. 

LA JEUNESSE: The Center for Biological Diversity wants Tiehm’s buckwheat declared endangered, delaying, if not killing the permit at Rhyolite Ridge. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think there are twin crises, the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis. Neither is more important than the other. 

LA JEUNESSE: But the company argues global warming is killing the planet. Thousands of plants died last year, not because of the mine, but ground squirrels looking for water, which is why other environmentalist favor the minds. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we don’t do something about climate change, the extinction of species is going to be much, much worse. 

(END VIDEOTAPE) 

LA JEUNESSE: So, the bottom line, Gerry, is, it’s hard to have it both ways, right, favored policies that eliminate global warming, but be against lithium batteries. 

One way or another, we’re going to make electric cars. Either those are going to be imported batteries are made here with a mine that means demand — back to you. 

BAKER: Thanks, William. 

Yes, a fine example of environmentalists eating their own there, I think. William La Jeunesse, thanks for joining us. 

After another bloody weekend with bullets flying, cities once pushing to defund the police are now turning to refund them instead. 

Why former Detroit Police Chief James Craig says we can’t stop there. He will explain. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

BAKER: The U.S. suffered yet another bloody weekend of shootings across major cities, including Chicago, Dallas and Oakland, California. 

This as new video released by the NYPD shows a wild shoot-out that took place in the Bronx recently. 

Aishah Hasnie is in New York City with more. 

AISHAH HASNIE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Gerry. Good afternoon to you. 

I was talking to a man who was voting early yesterday. He told me that he’s been assaulted on the subway three times in just one year. Crime is the issue in New York City’s primary happening tomorrow, especially as we’re now learning that a 42-year-old volunteer for the Eric Adams mayoral campaign was stabbed multiple times Sunday in the Bronx. 

It happened as Adams was consoling the family of two kids caught in the crossfire of this shooting last week. Nearly every single crime category in New York City is up from this time last year, voters telling me they’re angry that the NYPD was defunded by a billion dollars. 

They don’t like bail reform. And now local NBC is reporting nearly half of the arrests that were made over those riots and the looting that happened in Manhattan last year, half of those were dropped by the DA’s office. Business owners who saw their stores destroyed are furious about this. 

Now here’s a look at the top of Democratic contenders in this mayor’s race. They hit the streets today and the airwaves pitching their battle plans for crime. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

KATHRYN GARCIA (D), NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I have a plan to get 10,000 guns off the street and expand the Gun Suppression Division within the NYPD. 

ANDREW YANG (D), NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: We have to get mentally ill homeless people off the streets and subways of New York into better environments. 

ERIC ADAMS (D), NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: We need to go at the gun and gang violence in the city. And I’m the only candidate in the race that’s looking at, how do we have a long-term plan to stop feeding violence? 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

HASNIE: And, Gerry, what’s interesting is that thousands of Republicans have actually switched party affiliation to become a Democrat for this primary because they want to have a say — Gerry. 

BAKER: Thanks, Aishah. Yes, we will watch that results tomorrow with interest. 

Meanwhile, as crime spikes across the United States, many cities that once moved to defund the police are now pushing to refund them. 

Here to give us his read on this, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig. 

Chief, thanks for coming. 

JAMES CRAIG, FORMER DETROIT, MICHIGAN, POLICE CHIEF: Hey, great to be here, Gerry. 

BAKER: So, after — Chief, after a year of this defund the police insanity, should we be delighted that they have finally come to their senses? Or should we be angry that it took them so long? 

CRAIG: Well, we should be angry and we should still be concerned, Gerry. 

I’m going to tell you why. So, they realize that the defund movement wasn’t speaking to the people that live in vulnerable communities. But they still have this veiled strategy called ending qualified immunity. That, in effect, does the same thing. It dismantles a police department. 

So what am I specifically saying? Let’s look at NYPD. Their City Council voted to end qualified immunity. And what was the response? A significant increase in retirements and resignations. Chicago, they don’t feel supported, the men and women who serve. They’re leaving in high numbers. 

So we shouldn’t get excited. What some of these politicians need to do is understand that the way to get out of this rut is support the vast majority of the men and women who do this work. It’s that simple. 

BAKER: Yes. And, Chief, briefly, as you say, it’s come too late in many respects, this idea of restoring funding in some of these cities, because police morale has been hammered over the last year. A lot of police officers have left the forces, as you have said. The damage has been done. 

And it’s going to take perhaps years to repair it. 

CRAIG: Well, it’s going to take a while, Gerry. 

And the other thing that we shouldn’t lose sight of, going back to Chicago, 52 children under the age of 15 killed so far this year today. Where’s the outrage over that? Where’s the marches for that? 

(CROSSTALK) 

BAKER: Yes, do you think — sorry. Sorry, Chief, just very briefly, because we have got to go. 

But just do you think that there is a chance for these cities to resume some kind of peace and stability, just very briefly, if you would? 

CRAIG: Support the men and women who do the job. End bail reform as it sits today. And make sure that those who are committing crimes are held accountable, because, right now, there’s no consequences in their mind. 

That’s why the violence is up where it’s at. 

BAKER: All right, Chief Craig, thanks very much, indeed. We will continue to follow that story with great interest. 

So, that’s it for tonight. Neil Cavuto will be back tomorrow.

Until then, here’s “The Five.” 

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