WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today joined Bloomberg Surveillance to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine, and Democrats’ partisan, reckless taxing-and-spending sprees.
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Hagerty on the COVID vaccine: “I think we’re off to an incredibly good start, thanks to Operation Warp Speed. I don’t think there’s enough credit given to the progress that we made here at an unprecedented level here in America. In Tennessee, I’ve been very clear. I’ve taken the vaccine. My mother who is 89 years old has taken the vaccine. I lead by example. We continue to encourage people to take it. It’s a personal choice for folks, of course, but I’ve certainly been clear that I’ve looked at the data, and I think the right decision, certainly for me and my family, was to do just that.”
Hagerty on the positive outcome of the vaccine: “I think as we look at where we’re headed right now, the numbers continue to look much better in terms of fatality. And we just need to continue to talk about that positive outcome, that positive result, and encourage people to continue to get behind it. As school reopens, things get back into the swing of things. We’ll probably see another pickup in inoculations.”
Hagerty on the censorship of President Trump: “President Trump is having a hard time sending any messages, thanks to the censorship of Big Tech. His normal use of communication has been incredibly stifled. I think that’s incredibly troubling. In terms of his message to people, no one worked harder than President Trump to put a vaccine in place. I think people know that, I think he can convey that. He put a tremendous amount of work in place with Operation Warp Speed to make this vaccine possible, not only for America, but for the rest of the world. I think that’s an incredible example. He should talk about that when he can.”
Hagerty on today’s infrastructure vote: “Chuck Schumer today is planning to put a procedural vote in place to start the process on this yet we haven’t seen any text. We don’t know the content of it. I haven’t seen anything. This sounds remarkably similar to something that we’ve all seen before. You remember you have to pass the bill before you can see what’s in it? Obamacare 2.0, that didn’t work out well for America. We have a lot to see and a lot more work that needs to be done before I can comment on exactly what’s in the bill and how we should proceed.”
Hagerty on Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spending program: “I’ve been a businessman my entire career. I step back and look at this and say, what’s happening here? You’ve got a two path process. One that a lot of effort has gone into play. I respect my colleagues who’ve worked hard to put a bipartisan plan in place. But as you know, when you negotiate a deal, often what’s even more important is what you negotiate out of a deal. Yet, we’ve got the Biden Administration, we’ve got Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer talking about pushing everything that was negotiated out of the deal right alongside. In fact, Nancy Pelosi said that she’s not going to even look at the bipartisan deal unless the completely partisan reconciliation package is put forward too. I wouldn’t call it a reconciliation package. It’s just another reckless tax-and-spending program that they’re trying to shove through a massive program. Something that we’ve never seen before. And I think it’s going to have devastating effects on the economy.”
Hagerty on the need for more business people in Washington: “What we need to do is continue to convey what’s actually happening here. We need more business people like me in Washington. We have a hard time conveying the essence of what’s occurring here. But right now what we’re doing, because we’ve already seen a $1.9 trillion package move through on wholly partisan basis back in March of this year, that’s roughly 10 percent of our GDP. They’re talking now about dumping 20, 25 percent more of our GDP into this so-called infrastructure package. It’s going to be massively inflationary. We need to convey that. When you hear moderate Democrats like [Senator] Joe Manchin say he doesn’t want to put something through that isn’t paid for. He doesn’t want to increase the debt. These are things that we need to push back on and say, well, if it’s going to pay for itself, you’ve got to look at how they’re talking about paying for it. And they’re talking about crushing taxes on job creators. They’re talking about killing capital formation by putting capital gains taxes in place. Those types of policies are going to be devastating to our economy. The American public is smart enough to understand this. We need more business people talking about this in a way that’s rational and easy to understand.”