ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Kudlow to Discuss Sanctioning Russian Gold, Combatting China

March 24, 2022

‘[Fentanyl] is a weapon of mass destruction that China’s unleashing on America.’

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined Kudlow on Fox Business to discuss his effort to increase sanctions on Russia and the inadequacy of Democrats’ efforts to counter China. 

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on the Biden Administration’s failure to lead: “I think what you see is a default back to the old ‘leading from behind’ position. Again, you mentioned the gold sanctions. It’s taken the Congress to lead that… Senator [John] Cornyn and myself, Senator [Angus] King, Senator [Maggie] Hassan—the four of us have sponsored this bipartisan legislation. We had a call with Secretary [Janet] Yellen last night. Now the [United States Department of the] Treasury stepped up to do what we need them to do. Our legislation will move through to actually sanction Russia’s gold, but the Congress has been pushing this Administration to lead. If you think about it, what we’re finding out is that Vladimir Putin has done more to unite NATO than certainly anybody here in the Biden Administration… President Trump is certainly being vindicated. He called on NATO to strengthen itself the entirety of his Administration. Finally, it’s happening. They should have done this much sooner; perhaps we wouldn’t be in this position. But what we have, I think again, is the Biden Administration backsliding toward the old… position of leading from behind.”

Hagerty on supporting Ukraine: “Congress actually has appropriated a tremendous amount of resources, both humanitarian aid and lethal aid. The job right now is to get it there from an operational standpoint. That’s where the Administration should be focused so that we continue to arm the Ukrainian people. They’ve shown a tremendous amount of resiliency here. And I think that President [Volodymyr] Zelensky has actually certainly motivated his own people, but he’s learned that putting Ukraine first is working for him and his people, but it’s also motivated the entire world. You see the, you know, the free nations around the world coming to his aid, coming to his support. And everybody wants to see this resolved in a way that has the Ukrainians win.”

Hagerty on his bipartisan push to sanction Russia’s gold: “We’ve got bipartisan support right now. Again, our call with Treasury Secretary Yellen moved them to a point to take some affirmative action today. We’re going to close all of that in together with this legislation. So, I feel very confident that we’ll get it done. Again, we’re trying to basically seal off all avenues that Russia may have to circumvent the sanctions, to continue to put pressure on their local economy, and to cut off their ability to continue to fund this war.”

Hagerty on increasing pressure on Russia: “We need to do everything we can to close these loopholes, whether it’s coming in secondary sanctions on banking, dealing with the alternatives, its swift system, which I’m in favor of. What Holman Jenkins described is also a model that we’ve used with respect to Iran, Larry. You’ll remember that. That was the model that several nations used when they were buying oil from Iran before we imposed the secondary sanctions there. There are plenty of ways to get at this, but we need to do it now. We need to do it quickly.”

Hagerty on the need to address the fentanyl crisis in the China competition bill: “We are losing so many to overdoses and deaths due to this fentanyl that’s coming across this porous southern border that the Biden Administration has created. Larry, you were there at the G20 [summit]. I remember talking with you in Buenos Aires. When President Trump asked President Xi to commit not to send this fentanyl to the United States, he did. But what has he done in return? He’s moved it through Mexico. Again, now that the Biden Administration has collapsed our southern border, we’ve created this porous system where the fentanyl is flowing into the nation. If you ask sheriffs in my home state of Tennessee, they will tell you, Larry, that each month is worse than the month prior in terms of overdoses and death from fentanyl. This is a weapon of mass destruction that China’s unleashing on America.”

Hagerty on his recently-passed semiconductor legislation: “I have put legislation through, and all of my Senate colleagues have joined me… [to] fast-track legislation to greatly compress the permitting timelines for semiconductor fabrication here in America. We’re taking it from five years, which is far too long. By the time a plan is actually permitted here in the United States, the technologies move past it. It’s obsolete. So, we’re compressing that timeline from five years to 18 months.”