ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Balance of Power on Bloomberg TV to Discuss Russia, Federal Reserve, Justice Breyer’s Retirement

January 28, 2022

NEW YORK—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today joined Balance of Power on Bloomberg TV to discuss Russia, President Joe Biden’s misguided policies, and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement announcement.

*Click the photo above or here to watch*

Partial Transcript

Hagerty on the Pittsburgh bridge: “I certainly don’t regret the decision because the bill that was presented to us had only 23 percent of hard infrastructure. It fell far short of paying for itself as it had been advertised. So again, adding more and more debt to the backs of our children and grandchildren. I’m for hard infrastructure. If you take to account what happened in our home state of Tennessee, we had a bridge crack in Memphis as well. Our state department got that—our state transportation department—got that fixed very rapidly. I hope to see that happen in Pittsburgh. You know, the permitting timelines, the federal money’s going to be slow to arrive, but I hope the state will be able to get to the fore right away. And my heart goes out to those that were injured in this collapse.”

Hagerty on the infrastructure funds allocated to Tennessee: “I think the state’s going to do its best to try to find an appropriate way to allocate those funds to build our infrastructure. Again, I’m not against infrastructure. I just would like to see a clean bill come through that actually is paid for and doesn’t have so much superfluous features to it as the one that we saw here.”

Hagerty on the need to demonstrate resolve over rhetoric toward Russia: “I think Russia has seen enough of rhetoric from this Administration. We need to actually demonstrate our resolve. It’s certainly appropriate, I think—and I would do it myself—I would go ahead and initiate sanctions now before Russia takes the next move.”

Hagerty on methods of sanctioning Russia: “There are a variety of ways to do it, whether it’s personal, whether it’s sanctioning industries that are in a position to feel that pain, but we need to demonstrate our resolve at this point. I think the Russians have had enough of our words. If you think about Vladimir Putin’s perspective, everything’s been dealt, you know, every card has been dealt in his direction this way as a face card. You look at what happened at our southern border—as soon as Biden came in, our border collapses. The policies toward energy—you’ve had a situation where he kills the Keystone XL Pipeline and basically takes on the oil and gas industry here, raising prices of oil and gas around the globe. That benefits Russia dramatically, the second-largest producer of energy. The [New] START Treaty negotiations—where we got nothing for it in a five-year extension to Putin. The Russians were able to attack the Colonial Pipeline.”

Hagerty on sanctioning Russia financially: “I think it will have a dramatic impact, certainly on industries there in Russia. That’s a very big move. I know that’s one that they’re talking through with the banks right now, but there are a number of things that could be done. For example, imposing the sanctions for Nord Stream 2 that we’ve mandated through Congress and the Biden Administration has waived. These are the types of things where [President Biden] has the opportunity to step up and do something right now, and he should.”

Hagerty on Federal Reserve nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin: “I want to have the benefit of having the hearings that are coming up first, but I’m very concerned about the rhetoric that I’ve heard from her in terms of contorting financial regulations to achieve certain political goals.”

Hagerty on the Biden Administration’s use of financial regulations to advance their political agenda: “Well, the problem would be in what we’ve seen from writings from a number of people in the Biden Administration, their willingness to actually somehow define the regulatory construct to bring into account, you know, climate regulation. We saw it with Operation Choke Point in the Obama-Biden Administration. We’ve seen them show their willingness to use financial regulations as a means to accomplish political objectives. And that’s not appropriate.”

Hagerty on Biden’s nominee to replace Justice Stephen Breyer: “I think the Biden Administration and the Democrats are seeing the same polling that I’m looking at, and that is that they’re going to lose the Senate in November. So, they’ve rushed and pushed [Justice Stephen] Breyer out. We’ll see what type of candidate they put forward, but I can assure you of this: whatever candidate they bring forward, I’m going to be looking for someone who’s going to interpret the Constitution as it was written, not how they think it ought to be written. I’m not looking for someone that’s going to legislate from the bench. I’m going to look for someone that will interpret the law.”

Hagerty on Biden’s commitment to nominating the first Black woman to the Supreme Court: “Look, I’m not against it at all. I just want to see a qualified candidate come through. That’s the most important criteria.”

Hagerty on Biden’s appeasement policies emboldening our adversaries: “I don’t know where [President Biden] gets this rhetoric, because America had come back strong in the previous Administration. President Trump was for America and putting our interests first and foremost. President Biden has demonstrated a policy of appeasement. If you look at what’s happening with respect to China, Russia, Iran, North Korea—every one of them has stepped up their aggressive activities. After the fall of Afghanistan, we’ve just emboldened our allies—I mean, emboldened our adversaries even more, and we’ve made our allies more concerned about our resolve.”

Hagerty on using sanctions rather than troop deployment to demonstrate American resolve: “No, I think the sanctions is the more appropriate way to go. That’s what the discussions are underway right now. That’s what I should have hoped to have seen from the Biden Administration much earlier than this. But again, they need to move now to demonstrate our resolve before Russia takes action, rather than wait till after it’s happened.”