Senator Bill Hagerty Explains Why He Put the Brakes on the Democrats Social Debt Bomb

Bill Hagerty


Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) to the newsmaker line to discuss his motive for blocking the passage of the negligent infrastructure bill and his will to recruit more Democrats to join him.

Leahy: Joined on our newsmaker line from Washington, D.C., United States Senator Bill Hagerty. Welcome, Senator Hagerty.

Hagerty: Good to be with you this morning.

Leahy: You are at the center of this pushback. You are leading the pushback against this 1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure, green new deal. You’ve tried to stop it. Tell us what you’ve tried to do to stop it and what the reaction has been.

Hagerty: I’ll tell you, it’s pretty lonely being the only one standing up to the machine here. I was told earlier this morning I need to get a food taster here in Washington. And certainly I need to step up my security detail inside the Capitol. And the hottest selling item here in Washington right now among the lobbyists in D.C. is a dartboard with my picture on it.

Leahy: Former President Trump is actually a big fan of what you’re doing. He sent a statement out late last night praising you by name for defending the America First agenda. That’s pretty big.

Hagerty: I appreciate his support. I’ve been pushing this since Thursday. Certainly, this is consistent with what I think the people in Tennessee want to see, what the people of America want to see. President Trump understands that.

He’s a businessman like me. He can see the flaws in this thing just as I do. And what this is setting up is an even worse deal for America. And it just takes a step back. And, Michael, you understand this better than almost anybody.

The Senate is supposed to be the world’s greatest deliberative body. If they drop a 2,700-page bill and expect us to digest that in a matter of days – the King James Bible on my desk is 1,300 pages. This is twice the length of the King James Bible.

Six days to look at that. We still don’t have the cost scoring. They keep saying it’s paid for. It’s paid for. And then on the same day, we get numbers from the congressional budget office, and that’s the office that’s designed to figure out what these things are paid for and what they’re costing.

American bubble. We find out that it’s not paid for. In fact, it’s not just missing the mark by a little bit, it’s missing it by a long shot. Over a quarter of a trillion dollars. And so I put the brakes on this.

I said, I am not going to let this go forward. And I am absolutely not going to expedite this. So they were trying to pass it in the middle of the night last Thursday night. I said, no way. The emperor has no clothes here.

And I know that’s quite unpopular. But the American public needs to see this. My colleagues need to deliberate on this. My 99 other colleagues need to understand what’s in this bill and why it’s missing the mark. And this has enabled me to have conversations like the one that we’re having right now.

I think the more the American public sees this, the more sunshine that we put on it, the more we realize this is just a distraction. It’s meant to set us up for the $3.5 trillion dollars extravaganza, the socialist debt bomb that Chuck Schumer and Pelosi really want to get to.

And this is making a lot of people, I think, very uncomfortable. And rightly so.

Leahy: Why are the other senators in the United States Senate not standing up for the very simple, common-sense American tradition of reviewing and reading the bill and debating its merits before you vote on it?

Hagerty: Each senator is going to have to make their own decision. But I’ll say this, one of the bipartisan team on the Republican side that was an author of this after he saw the CBO overview and had a chance to review it last night, decided that he’s going to vote against the bill. That’s exactly what I would expect to see.

Leahy: You’re talking about Todd Young from Indiana there?

Hagerty: Yes, exactly. He put a statement out last night. And if you look over into the House, those Democrats that are in swing districts are getting increasingly uncomfortable because they’re hearing the same thing that I am from our voters here in Tennessee.

They’re hearing that this bill does not work and they do not want to set this thing up for a bigger deal. And here’s what the bigger deal is. Nancy Pelosi made it very clear she wants this ‘bipartisan’ infrastructure package passed so she can hold us hostage in the House.

She’s made clear, I think she said there ain’t going to be an infrastructure bill until she gets her partisan reconciliation $3.5 trillion dollar completely socialist debt bomb. She wants to put the two of them together, and she’s going to hold one hostage until she can get the other.

That’ll put pressure on my colleagues in the United States Senate. Those on the Democrat side might be more moderate to step up in this 50/50 vote situation that they’ve tied up that requires Kamala Harris to break the tie.

They’ll pass that $3.5 trillion with 50 votes, plus Kamala Harris. She’s trying to tee this up to force this down their throats. I’m going to make it as hard as I can for them to ever get that done.

Leahy: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, voted to move this bill along yesterday. You were not one of those who voted to move it along. I imagine you’ve had some very direct and feisty comments with Senator McConnell. Tell us about those discussions.

Hagerty: Mike, I wasn’t elected by the people of Tennessee to be the most popular senator up here. I was elected to represent their interests, and I’ve been very clear with all of my colleagues that that’s what I’m going to do.

As a business person, I can see what’s happening. It’s the same reason President Trump came out in support of this. He’s a business person, too. We understand what’s afoot here. This bill doesn’t pay for itself.

It has got some infrastructure in it, but it’s got a lot more stuff that looks like the Green New Deal to us. This is something that I’m not going to vote to accelerate or move along in any way. I’m going to do everything I can to stop it.

Leahy: Just you and me here talking, Senator Hagerty. What did Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell say to you when you tried to stop this thing?

Hagerty: Look, I’m not worried about how popular I end up.

Leahy: (Chuckles) Okay, that’s a good deflection on that question. But let me ask you this. This bill appears to be moving like a railroad towards passage. Is that likely to happen? What happens next?

Hagerty: There is a process. I can only slow it down so much. But the last thing I was going to do was accelerate it. What they wanted to do was pass this the moment the negative CBO score came out. The moment that it was learned that this thing is over a quarter of a trillion dollars in the hole. They wanted to pass it and put it in the rearview mirror.

Pass it in the middle of the night so they could get to the $3.5 trillion thing over the weekend and bury that too. I’m not going to let them obfuscate this and hide it from the American taxpayer. We need as much sunshine on it as we can possibly get.

Leahy: Senator Hagerty, do you have one more tactic left in your bag here to keep it from coming to a vote as is supposedly going to happen late Monday night, early Tuesday morning?

Hagerty: There is a normal order of affairs. There’s a timeline that Chuck Schumer controls. I cannot stop that. But I can work as far as I can to get more and more of my colleagues to move in my direction. And they’re starting to move.

And I tell you what I’m hearing from the American public. They’re with me on this. And what I’m hearing from the people in Tennessee: they’re with me on this. And I hope that more and more of my colleagues in the Senate will hear that.

And I certainly hope that Democrats and swing districts over in the House will feel as uncomfortable as possible so when it gets over there, we can see they’ve got a very thin margin over there. We may see a different result.

Leahy: Senator Bill Hagerty, you may be a lonely man among the lobbyists in Washington, D.C., but you’re increasing your popularity among Tennesseeans. Thanks so much for being with us today. And good luck today.

Hagerty: Thank you. Thanks so much.

Listen to the third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.














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