U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty on Build Back Better Bill, Biden’s Weakness with Putin, and Boycotting the Winter Olympics in Beijing


Live from Music Row Thursday 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 give his prediction on the passing of the Build Back Better bill, Russia’s position, Biden’s weakness, and boycotting the Beijing Olympics.

Leahy: We are joined on the line by Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty. Good morning, Senator Hagerty.

Hagerty: Good morning. Great to be with you.

Leahy: This build back better, debacle, they always pick up these names that are exactly the opposite of what’s going to happen with these bills. I don’t know. Is it $1 trillion? Is it $2 trillion? Is it $5 trillion? What’s the status of that bill? Is it going to pass? If it were to pass, what would happen?

Hagerty: Well, right now, it’s not going to pass. They don’t have the votes to pass it. That’s why we haven’t seen it. And they’ve been using budget gimmickry to get the number down that you’re talking about.

They’ve got it down below $2 trillion in terms of the way they scored. But as Joe Manchin put it, one of the leading Democrats on this, they’re using budget gimmicks to do this. Lindsey Graham has called for the Regional Budget Office to extend the score to 10 years, which is more typical, though the types of programs that they’re talking about usually never get turned off.

But on a 10-year basis, this is probably going to be a $4 or $5 trillion burden on the United States economy. We’ve already got rampant inflation, and they’re talking about more government dependency, more government involvement in your life, and the way they’re going to pay for it, to the extent they do, and they don’t have a very good way to pay for it, but a big chunk of this is by basically enlisting an army of IRS agents to go after Middle America.

So grandmothers and the middle class are going to be under constant audits. They want to have access to our bank accounts, and this is going to turn into a police state that Joe Biden has designed.

Leahy: What’s the likelihood that some version of this build-back better debacle will end up passing?

Hagerty: I think the likelihood goes down every day. The longer this thing stays open because the more you and I can have this conversation on the air, the more the American public finds out about it, I think the harder it is going to be for the Biden administration to ram this thing through.

Leahy: Well, that’s encouraging. Now you serve on the very influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A couple of questions for you on that. China somehow got the 2022 Winter Olympics starting in February. Lots of human rights abuses haven’t been addressed.

The Uyghurs are enslaved in labor camps reportedly, the tennis star Peng Shuai criticized the vice chairman of the Chinese Communist Party for a coerced sexual relationship. She’s not been seen since.

Biden’s response fits in the category of a stern letter to follow a diplomatic boycott. (Hagerty chuckles) Do you favor a complete boycott of the China Winter Olympics as a couple of other senators do or not? What are your thoughts on that?

Hagerty: Yes. I’ve actually called on the Biden administration to work with the International Olympic Committee to move the Olympics out of Beijing. That’s what they should do. We know it’s possible because we saw Japan postpone the Olympics for a year.

We ought to just postpone the set of Olympics as well and move it to a location that does have respect for human rights. That isn’t a constant predator militarily, diplomatically, or economically the way China is.

We should not allow our teams and our athletes to play a part in bolstering the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party. And that’s exactly what they’ll do. This will just feed into their propaganda machine and try to make China appear like a normal country when indeed they’re not.

Leahy: Yes, I agree with you on that. I think most of our listeners would agree with you as well, but it looks like it’s going to happen. What would the consequences of that be?

Let’s say the Olympics are held. NBC profits from it. All sorts of American companies profit from it. A month after those Olympics, will China then have enhanced international stature?

Hagerty: I think that’s China’s goal. The way you articulated it is exactly the way China would see it. And if our corporations decide that they’re going to bankroll this or they’re going to support it with their ad dollars.

We’re going to have all of this type of support that you just described. We’re going to be bolstering China, and that’s not what we need to be doing at this point.

Leahy: Did you see the report that in 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook cut a secret deal with the Chinese Communist government that involved about $275 billion?

Hagerty: I did not see that report.

Leahy: Well, we’ll send a copy to you of it, and then we’ll follow up on that. It looks like that there’s this unholy alliance between a lot of Big Tech American companies and the Chinese Communists. If we can switch gears briefly to Ukraine, what on earth is going on there? And what do you think the United States should do?

Hagerty: Well, Russia continues to step up. The number of troops on the border now exceeds 100,000, according to the most recent reports that I’ve seen. They are putting incredible pressure on the Ukraine border.

I think what they’ve done is put the United States and put President Biden in a very difficult position. I was loathed to think that Biden would get into a discussion with Putin this week, but he did.

In that case, Putin told him that here’s how things are going to be. Here’s, how NATO needs to behave. Here’s how the United States needs to behave. Putin has put himself in a position to dictate terms to the United States of America and to NATO.

Leahy: You said, Senator, something is very important. I apologize for interrupting. Your point there, Senator Hagerty, you said something very important. You think it was a mistake for Biden to have this conversation now with Putin. Tell us why.

Hagerty: Well, there was no positive outcome for the United States. We’ve allowed Putin to amass these troops. What we should be doing is strengthening Ukraine’s position right now. We should be bolstering our NATO allies to be speaking in unison with us.

And we should be telling Russia how it’s going to be not the other way around. But indeed, we’re moving into the wintertime. Our NATO allies in Europe are worried that Russia will cut the pipeline off, that they’ll make energy the biggest strategic weapon that Putin has.

That’s becoming more and more the case now that the Biden administration has allowed the Nord Stream Two pipeline to move forward. And what we see is Putin moving into a position of strength as Biden has put us into increasingly more positions of weakness around the globe.

Leahy: I look at this. And here’s what I think Vladimir Putin is saying to himself. I can’t believe what a weakling this Biden guy is. I’m going to run circles around him, and that’s my sense of it. Do you have that right or wrong? What are your thoughts?

Hagerty: I think you do. And Putin looks at the former Obama-Biden administration and what he was able to get away with it. That’s when he stepped in and annexed Crimea and the Obama-Biden administration just wagged their finger.

He knew better than to try that with President Trump. You know that. President Trump always puts us in a position of speaking from strength.  This would not have happened.

Leahy: Last question for you, Senator Hagerty. And again, serving on the very important Foreign Relations Committee. Is America going to be taken advantage of over the next three years of the Biden administration as all of this weakness is seen by our allies and our enemies? What’s the risk of something very bad happening because of the weakness of Joe Biden?

Hagerty: Well, I think the risk profile of the situation has increased dramatically. I’d say, particularly so since Afghanistan fell. After that, we saw a dramatic step up in China’s military planes flying through Taiwanese airspace.

That’s the point that Putin began to amass troops on the Ukraine border and step up that activity. What we’re going to see is very concerning coming out of Iran.

Leahy: And Senator Bill Hagerty, as always, thank you so much for joining us today. Come back again soon. Very insightful.

Hagerty: Great to be with you.

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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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2 Thoughts to “U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty on Build Back Better Bill, Biden’s Weakness with Putin, and Boycotting the Winter Olympics in Beijing”

  1. And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, a war monger. Ukraine is Europe’s issue…not the USA

    1. 83ragtop50

      Jeanine – Seems like that is what Roosevelt was saying the day before Pearl Harbor was bombed.