ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street to Discuss Inflation, Biden’s Middle East Visit

July 18, 2022

NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees, joined Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street on Fox Business to discuss the Democrats’ attempt to tax the American people with their reckless spending amid record inflation and President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East.

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on Democrats’ push to tax Americans facing historic inflation: “It’s amazing how the far left of the Democrat party continues to push and push us toward the cliff of a recession. And [Senator] Chuck Schumer seems to be completely tone deaf in this regard. The Consumer Price Index that came out 9.1 percent this week—I mean, inflation is out of control right now and it’s accelerating, Maria. Then if you think about where we are in terms of our economy, we’re at the precipice of a recession, and this package would’ve just done everything to push it over. Thankfully, [Senator] Joe Manchin has been sober enough within the Democrat party to say, ‘Look, we’ve got to step back, this will be suicidal.’ Does that mean that Chuck Schumer will stop? Probably not, but they’re going to have to trim it down. They’re going to have to find something that Senator Manchin will agree to. But the last thing you would do, Maria, as you head into a recession, when the economy is in this bad of shape, is raise taxes on job creators. And certainly, we don’t need to see any more of this green new energy investment going on, and more regulations that are constraining oil supply and making our economy far worse. The pain at the pump is enormous.”

Hagerty on how Democrats want to pay for reconciliation at the expense of the American people: “[The Democrats’] desire to pay for it is to lump more taxes on the backs of Americans, on corporations—who do they think pays these taxes? It’s higher prices, more inflation that they’re going to precipitate through all of this. Less investment is going to occur as well, so the supply chain problems we’re experiencing are not going to get addressed. It’s extremely troubling that they are so detached from reality as they continue to push this stuff forward. It’s a blessing, I think, that if we can get this proposal to raise taxes off the table right now, if we can actually begin to refocus on what’s driving the inflation, which largely has to do with constraining the supply of oil and gas. But I tell you, I was very disappointed this week. I had Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in front of me, and the new Consumer Price Index numbers just came out 9.1 percent. I asked her, how high do gas prices have to get? How much pain does the American public have to feel before they will take their foot off the throat of the oil and gas industry here in America, and begin to allow capacity to expand, to begin to give us some relief? She would not commit at any level to do that. The Administration here is completely out to lunch.”

Hagerty on unspent COVID relief money further fueling inflation: “Maria, you are very perceptive to focus on this because you’re exactly right. There’s inflation baked into the pipeline because these state and local governments have not yet deployed the funds that—the massive amount of funds—that have been shoved into their coffers. Again, this all started back in March of 2021 with the Biden Administration and the Democrats, on a wholly partisan basis, shoved through this massive 2 trillion-dollar package. And there is still a great deal of inflation baked in because of the money that still lies in the coffers of these state and local governments that has not yet been put into the economy. When it does come in, it can only do one thing: more upward pressure on prices, more inflation.”

Hagerty on Biden’s trip to the Middle East: “My expectations have not been high from the outset. When President Biden ran for office, he said he wanted to make Saudi a pariah state. The conversation that you heard about him insulting the leadership there, I did not think that was a great way to set the ground with important allies in the Middle East. You don’t see that kind of conversation taking place with respect to China with far worse human rights issues there. But suddenly, you’ve got a Biden Administration waking up to the reality that we do have to deal with our allies. The problem is that the Biden Administration has continued to press this Iran deal that makes no sense for America, that is going to be devastating to our allies. And I think that creates an environment and circumstance that makes it very hard for him to make progress. We also are coming from a position of great weakness. If you think about where we were under President Trump, when we thought about America first, rather than leading from behind, we were in a far stronger position to work with our allies and with our adversaries. Now he’s going hat in hand with a terrible economy with gas prices through the roof. We’re not going to do anything domestically to relieve that problem, but he’s going to go and ask them to start pumping more? I think we’re in a very tough situation there. So again, my expectations have not been high about this trip.”