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 explain the Restoring Law and Order Act he introduced with Senator Marsha Blackburn and discuss working with Democrats in Washington.
Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now. U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty. Good morning, Senator Hagerty.
Hagerty: Good morning, Michael.
Leahy: This week, you and Senator Blackburn introduced the new act called Restoring Law and Order Act. Tell us about that bill.
Hagerty: Senator Blackburn and I have been deeply concerned, Michael, about the crime wave that’s moving the state and the federal lack of response to it, if you will. So what our bill does is several things. They’re very common-sense.
Hire more police officers and detectives that allow states to better target violent crime. We put funding into law enforcement agencies that allow them to target drug-related crimes, particularly fentanyl.
Think about it, fentanyl killed over 69,000 people just last year here in America. And it will also require detaining and deporting illegal aliens who committed crimes here in the United States.
It’s hard for me to believe, but Democrats voted against doing just that in this last bill that we put forward. I raised an amendment that would require the deportation of illegal aliens who committed felonies here in the United States.
All Democrats voted against it. It would also use safety tools like bail and pretrial detention again, to prevent dangerous offenders from being back on the streets.
And one of the things that has just been deeply concerning to us is it’s going to improve the processing of what they call rape kits.
And you’re familiar with the tragic situation in Memphis with Eliza Fletcher. She was attacked and killed by a man who had been accused of murder over a year prior.
The rape kit used in his prior case, was sent to TBI. It was not processed in over a year. In fact, the results arrived the day Eliza’s body was found. Do you know what the results were? Guilty. The DNA matched.
He committed rape before, he would have been off the streets if that rape could have been processed sooner. So we’ve got to fix the situation within our agencies, get them properly resourced, put a shot clock on the processing of these kits to help detect these violent crimes, and put more police officers on the streets, not more IRS agents.
Leahy: On that question, Senator Hagerty, you look at that and the failure to process that rape kit for, I think, like nine or 10 months, was on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, a state agency. They say they didn’t have enough people to do it.
And you’re going to make federal funds available for it, which is, I think, fine, but isn’t that really a state duty? Isn’t it the state that dropped the ball there, not the federal government?
Hagerty: It is the state that dropped the ball, but using federal funds, we need to hold the states accountable. And this is about how we appropriate the funds and the accountability that we put along with those appropriations.
Leahy: Roger Simon has a question for you.
Simon: This legislation that you and Marsha Blackburn are proposing sounds great, and overdue by about 15 years. But how do you propose to get it through? Is this going to be another symbolic act? That’s the real problem that we’re having in this country. I mean, people have good ideas but …
Hagerty: You’ve got a great question, Roger. We’ve got it in the queue. But my expectation is that Congress is going to change in just a couple of months.
And if the current Congress won’t act on it, I’m hopeful that the next Congress will, we’ll have majorities in both the House and the Senate.
And then the more we inform the public, the more we put pressure on the situation. And I’ve sent a letter to President Biden outlining the concerns and outlining the steps that can be taken. We’re going to put pressure at every level and then defy Biden to veto this.
Leahy: Historically, Senator Hagerty, the United States Senate has been described as the greatest deliberative body in the history of the world. Now you’re in it; right now, I’m looking at it.
There are 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats. Senator Hagerty, it seems to me that every single one of those 50 Democrats is basically a lunatic. How do you deal with them?
Hagerty: It’s extremely frustrating. And there’s a procedural tool that they’ve been using that a lot of people don’t appreciate or understand. It’s called reconciliation.
And this is the process they used to shove through $2 trillion worth of spending in March of last year that set off this terrible bout of inflation, and they did it without a single Republican vote.
They’ve crammed all this money into blue states to try to bail them out. They have used this process again, most recently to come through, and basically institute, the Green New Deal under another name and call it the Inflation Reduction Act. If anything, it’s going to be the Income Reduction Act.
This is the same act that puts 87,000 IRS agents auditing all of us on the street. So these are the tools that they’re using, this reconciliation act that only requires 50 plus one vote.
Well, to the extent that we take control of the Senate, we have 51 votes. We’ll be able to come back and use the same procedure to undo as much of this as we possibly can.
Simon: How do you propose to publicize the new bill? You talk about it as essentially, at this point, until the election anyway – using the word propaganda is unfair, because it’s not propaganda on the right side. But as an editor of The Epoch Times, please send me a copy of this bill so I can help with the job.
Hagerty: Roger, we’ll certainly do that. Senator Blackburn and I held a press conference last week with a number of our colleagues, talking about this situation and bringing this information to the floor and the public.
Let people know in their own neighborhoods, in their own cities, that there’s a crime wave underway. It’s happening in Nashville. It’s happening in Memphis. People are aware of this. Anyway, what we’re trying to do is raise the attention to a national level.
I’ll be delighted to get a copy of our legislation to you, the letter that I sent to President Joe Biden outlining the problem and potential solutions. And we’re going to keep putting pressure on this, Roger.
And I would very much appreciate your help and getting the public awareness up, because I think with that level of awareness, it would be very hard for Joe Biden to veto this bill.
Simon: Well I’d love to see the reply letter. (Laughter)
Leahy: Senator Hagerty, let’s ask this question about the job of being a United States senator and interacting with the Democrats up there.
Do any of them seriously engage with you, personally, on serious matters or are they all just kind of in lockstep on this let’s destroy the United States of America game plan?
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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