Hagerty Delivers Floor Remarks on Democrat Efforts to Launch their Big-Government Socialism Fantasy

October 5, 2021

Hagerty recaps the step-by-step plan he predicted on Aug. 7 that Democrats would follow—almost all of which they have—to accomplish their goal; Says it only takes one Democrat to say they won’t participate in this scheme to stop it and get our fiscal house in order

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor demonstrating how his August 7th warning, which outlined the step-by-step process Democrats would take in their effort to permanently reorient our economy toward socialism, has essentially come to pass. Hagerty further addressed the disastrous implications for the nation if Democrats accomplish their goal of passing their reckless tax-and-spend spree.

*Click the photo above or here to watch*

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Mr. President:

On August 7th, I came to the Senate floor to oppose the expedited passage of what is known as the bipartisan infrastructure bill.  I did that for several reasons, including because it was obviously going to be taken hostage and used by Democrats to impose big-government socialism on America.

In those August 7 remarks, I said, quote:

“I am frustrated with this legislation . . . because it is tied to the Democrats’ real ambition, which is their multi-trillion-dollar march to socialism that they will unveil right after this infrastructure legislation is passed.

“Democrats have admitted this is the plan.

. . .

“They previewed Phase 1 of this scheme in March when they spent $1.9 trillion dollars in the name of COVID Relief.  Of course, 90 percent of it had nothing to do with COVID.  It was really just a payoff to their most loyal political supporters.  Sadly, it is now causing the highest inflation in decades, which is a daily tax on every American buying goods and services.”

I went on to lay out Phase 2, the step-by-step plan some Democrats are using to launch their big-government socialism fantasy. 

Step One, I said, was to change the conversation to trillions.  Make billions sound small.  Condition the Congress.  Condition the Media.  Condition the people.

That has happened.

Step Two, I said, was to tell everyone that the United States needs infrastructure.

That has happened.

Step Three, I said, was to redefine the term “infrastructure” to include big-government socialism programs.  Really muddy it up.  So that no one could understand what they were actually talking about.

That, Mr. President has happened.

Step Four, I said, was that, when more reasonable Democrats in the Senate balk at some of the more expensive or egregious items, promise them a two-track process, one for hard infrastructure, and one for social programs.  Confuse the situation further.

That has happened.

Step Five, I said, was to negotiate as much of the Democrats’ socialist wish list as possible into the infrastructure track.  Then, put the rest of the wish list into the big-government socialism bill.

That also has happened.

Step Six, I said, was to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill through the Senate as quickly as possible.  The Trojan Horse would then be through the gates.

Unfortunately, that also happened.

Step Seven, I said, was to hold that infrastructure bill hostage in the House of Representatives until everything they couldn’t get into the infrastructure bill—meaning the trillions of dollars in big-government socialism programs—also passes the Senate.

That is what we all see happening right now, just as I predicted in early August.

Step Eight, I said, was for the President to say that he wouldn’t sign the infrastructure bill into law if it’s not accompanied by trillions of dollars in big-government socialism programs.

This has also happened.

Step Nine, I said, was to get the big-government socialism part passed by circumventing the filibuster in the Senate.  This would require abusing an arcane loophole called reconciliation to pass trillions of dollars in big-government socialism with only 50 Democrat votes.

Step Ten, I said, was to give more-moderate Democrats political cover to support the parliamentary trick and big-government socialism spending.  To accomplish this, radical Democrats in the House are threatening to shoot the hostage—which is the infrastructure bill that passed the Senate—a bill that more-moderate Democrats strongly support.

Mr. President, these final two steps have not yet been executed because some Democrats see the peril in following the instincts of the most extreme elements of their party.

On September 27, the most radical House Democrats, backed by Speaker Pelosi, stated that they were “committed to voting for the infrastructure bill only after [their big-government socialism bill] is passed.”

On September 29, one of the most outspoken of that group made it even clearer, saying: “[S]everal months ago, we had an agreement with . . . everybody else throughout the entire party . . . we will move forward on this $3.5 trillion. And that we will link the [two bills, meaning the bipartisan infrastructure bill] and the [big government socialism bill].”  In revealing this, she confirmed that the far-left has been manipulating everyone involved in this process.

When I laid out Democrats’ plans here on the Senate floor in August, I used the word “abracadabra” to illustrate the sleight of hand Democrats were attempting to pull off, saying that the American people might not even notice—until it’s too late—that their wallet has been stolen and their country has been fundamentally changed.

Fortunately, Mr. President, it seems the American people are wising up to the trick.

The question I asked at the time, Mr. President, and the question the American people should think about is this:

If all of these policies and all of this spending is so good, why does getting it done require a parliamentary house of mirrors?

The answer to that question is that many Democrats know the big-government socialism bill is unpopular and bad for the country.  Otherwise, the hostage-taking wouldn’t be necessary.

This radical dream of big-government socialism is stalled out at the moment.  So, at Speaker Pelosi’s direction, President Biden drove up Capitol Hill on October 1, and, according to one representative, told House Democrats: “in order to get the [infrastructure bill] done, we have to get this agreement on the [big-government socialism via reconciliation].” 

According to a House Democrat, the President said that he wanted “both bills to go at the same time” and specifically praised the far-left House members, who were “exuberant” following the remarks, according to a Congressional Progressive Caucus member.

In other words, the far-left is in charge, and President Biden embraces that fact.  His actions have made clear that the infrastructure bill is merely a tool to pass the big-government socialism legislation.  Both must pass or neither will pass. 

Rather than using his platform to defuse the hostage situation, President Biden is egging on the hostage-taking, and he’s demanding big-government socialism as the ransom.

Following President Biden’s meeting with House Democrats, Politico quoted a Democrat observer who said: “The fact that the president came to the Hill and whipped against his own bill is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.” 

It is very strange, indeed.  But it underscores the sad reality that the far-left is in charge of the Democrat party.  What we’ve witnessed these past nine months is the biggest bait-and-switch in American political history.

The American People didn’t vote for big-government socialism in 2020.  Yet, the Biden Administration proudly proclaims that it is the most radically left-wing administration in American history. 

According to Politico this morning, President Biden held a call with progressive House members yesterday in which he told them he was “getting more and more frustrated” with moderate Democrats.  For what?  Refusing to be steamrolled by an agenda most Americans don’t want?

Democrats’ extreme politics are eclipsed only by their incompetence, from Afghanistan, to inflation, and from energy dependence, to a border collapse.

Why?  Because far-left radicals are dictating the agenda and calling all of the shots. 

With respect to this infrastructure hostage situation, the only question now is: Will every Democrat pay the ransom of big-government socialism? 

And what’s included in this ransom? 

First, Democrats are currently haggling over the topline cost.  Will it be $3.5 trillion, $2.5 trillion, $1.5 trillion, or somewhere in between?  Again, all involve trillions of dollars with a “t”.

The number they use is irrelevant because the legislation actually costs far more when you peel away the budget gimmicks.

The overall cost of the bill is only $3.5 trillion because Democrats are pretending—for budget projection purposes—that many of these costly programs are simply temporary and will terminate in a few years. 

Ask any Democrat whether this bill just includes some temporary spending that will soon phase out.  How will they vote when it comes time to prevent the program from expiring?  Once you turn this spending on, you will never be able to turn it off. 

This is like valuing the cost of your home using only the down payment and ignoring the 30-year mortgage that follows.

Current estimates are that $3.5 trillion really means more like $5.5 trillion, and that’s just in the first decade.

Yet all of Washington is currently obsessed with negotiations over where this phony number will land.  This is another distraction, a tactic to divert your eyes from what’s in the bill.

No matter what number is used, the total cost of this bill is vastly higher than they claim—tens of trillions of dollars over my and your children’s lifetime.  That’s before even accounting for inevitable cost overruns, waste, and program expansions.

And of course this means most of the big-government socialism bill will be debt-financed because the bill will cost far more than projected, even in the short-run.

Given our current debt of nearly $30 trillion, allowing the fuse to continue to burn on this new, inflation-fueling, economy-crushing level of debt borders on insanity.  It’s the kind of thing that toppled world powers of the past.  

Now is the time to get our fiscal house in order or at least avoid making it worse.  It’s as if Democrats want to solve the problem of a burning house, not by throwing on water, but by throwing on 50 gallons of gasoline and explaining that 50 gallons of gas is better than 100. 

As obscene as Democrats’ spending habits have become, focusing only on cost, however, obscures the more insidious, destructive nature of big-government socialism.

Without careful oversight from the American people and their elected representatives here in Congress, government bureaucracy can’t help but serve its own interests.  Over time, the bureaucracy has fed itself, becoming ever more powerful, ever-more hungry, and ever-more-present in the lives of the American people.

Many Democrats believe in feeding the bureaucratic beast.  They want the government to grow, and they want Americans to be ever-more dependent upon government, from cradle to grave. 

They want permanent government control over:

  • Child care;
  • Preschool;
  • Raising your children;
  • Health care;
  • Energy;
  • Jobs;
  • Employers;
  • And the list goes on. 

This will mean that Americans must turn to big government for more and more of life’s necessities.  And big government will increasingly control the lives of Americans, beginning in their formative years.  Once the federal government is in charge of funding preschool and daycare and has crowded out the competition, you’d better believe the federal government will be providing the lesson plans for your children, as well.

And this legislation will dramatically expand the welfare-entitlement state, meaning that it will provide even more incentives for American workers not to work, at a time when small businesses are desperately searching for workers.

It will fuel inflation, pile more debt on our children and grandchildren, and drastically increase taxes and regulations on all Americans.

More fundamentally, and more sadly, it will move America closer to a European-socialist model, where government dependency replaces opportunity, and where the dignity of work is lost.

The strength of America is our unique system—our spirit, our work ethic, and our compassion for one another.  The foundation for all of this has been the freedom to pursue our dreams thanks to the system of free-market capitalism—a system that has spread the American Dream across the globe.  That dream spread because our country offered something different.

This plan to spend tens of trillions of dollars fundamentally threatens the American system and the American Dream, not only by jeopardizing our fiscal stability, but by ushering in big-government socialism, which, if history is any guide, tends to crowd out everything else, including, and perhaps especially, opportunity.

The American people have proven that they will flourish, if permitted to do so.  In this sense, the only thing that can stop the American people is America’s government.  For the Senate to participate in imposing such self-inflicted wounds on our country would be profoundly sad.  History would not look kindly upon it.

However, one point from my remarks this summer remains just as true today:

“It only takes one Democrat to end this insanity, to stand up and say he or she won’t participate in this scheme.”

The American People and their children and grandchildren would no doubt be very grateful.

Mr. President, I yield the floor.