ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Cavuto: Coast to Coast to Discuss the Potential Rail Strike, Chinese Protesters

November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined Cavuto: Coast to Coast on Fox Business to discuss the Biden Administration and Congress’ response to the potential rail strike and the protests in China.

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on the potential rail strike: “I think it’s particularly rich to see President [Joe] Biden take a victory lap back in September. You know, he claimed that he’d resolved the question. Clearly, all it was was a political maneuver to get past the midterm elections, and as soon as we’re past the midterms, it’s all falling apart. Senators [Roger] Wicker and [Richard] Burr put forward a resolution back in September that would’ve addressed this. [Senator] Bernie Sanders blocked that. We were ready to deal with it at that point in time, but the White House failed. The White House decided to declare a victory, and indeed it was a false victory. Again, [it was] just politically oriented, and now he’s dumping it back at the feet of Congress. So, we’re looking at now potentially a two-billion dollar a day impact—that’s the current estimate. I think the knock-on effect could be substantially higher, and if you think about it from the perspective of my home state, Tennessee, we’re a big transportation state. Take Memphis alone—the rail traffic that comes into Memphis, the barge traffic that goes out, the truck traffic that goes out, the air cargo that goes out. This will have massive knock-on effects [on] transportation all over the country and even beyond.”

Hagerty on Democrat leadership’s misplaced priorities: “Well, this Congress has a lot of wasteful things on the docket when we should be focused on getting the government funded. We should be focused on the National Defense Authorization Act, which has, again, been kicked back to Thanksgiving. This is terribly irresponsible, and now we’ve got a rail strike that’s landed at our feet too. So, this is a matter of priorities, and what we have is management here in Congress—and I’m talking now about Senator [Chuck] Schumer and [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi in the House—at this point, they have decided to keep everything on hold—wait until the very last minute. And now we’re going to have a tremendous amount of pressure to get a lot of important things done while they still have things [on] the docket that are much less important—messaging bills, that type of thing that are just going to slow us down. It’s a matter of priorities. The Democrats need to get that right.”

Hagerty on preventing a rail strike: “Well, in terms of January, that’s going to be too late for this rail strike. The White House has indeed failed, which it looks like it has. We’re going to have to deal with this right away. December 9 is the deadline there, so we’re going to have to move on this very expeditiously. People will stop putting cargo online almost immediately. In terms of what happens in January, we’re working on that right now. But right now, we’re also very focused on what’s happening in Georgia on December 6.”

Hagerty on the Biden Administration’s Big Tech hypocrisy: “Look, Apple has tremendous market power, and for them to have the sort of standard that was just described, to take away the Airdrop feature that’s being used by protesters in China right now to transfer information. You’ve got a White House right now saying at least, they should say a lot more­, but at least they’re saying they respect the right of folks to protest. Yet Apple is removing the main tool that they use to transfer information only in China. The way that upgrade worked only hit iPhones issued in China, so [it is] very [much] targeted for China. There, again, a tool that the Chinese Communist Party is using to shut down communication. Yet back [in] America, you’ve got them, you know, taking massive market power and using it at least to threaten a company like Twitter that has a tremendous voice in the public square here in America. I think that this double standard is very, very concerning. It could easily land here, but you’ve got the White House saying they keep a close eye on Twitter, and they’ve got a closed eye on Apple when it comes to China.”

Hagerty on mounting aggression of Communist China: “There are a tremendous number of things that we should be very concerned about. The CCP doesn’t represent the Chinese people—we’re seeing that on television right now. They represent their own interest, and they have been amazingly aggressive, not only against their own people that you’re seeing unfold right now, but they’re being aggressive toward us as well. Just yesterday, the USS Chancellorsville was doing a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea, sailing into the Spratly Islands. The CCP came out with massive protests and pressure pushing back that we shouldn’t be there without their permission. Just a few days after [President Joe] Biden met with Xi Jinping—maybe the day after—you have the Chinese Communist Party sending their own warplanes in the vicinity of Japan, very close to Okinawa. That’s aerospace that we utilize because we have a massive U.S. military presence there. They’re being extraordinarily provocative in the region; they’re being very aggressive in terms of what they’ve always done—intellectual property theft, unfair competition, and now you see the military aggression mounting as well. This is of great concern, and we’re going to have to deal with it much more forcefully than the White House has been willing to do thus far.”

Hagerty on the crisis at the southern border: “Look, the White House has ceded control of our southern border, Mexico’s northern border, to these billion-dollar cartels that work in partnership. These are criminal cartels, multi-billion dollar criminal operations that work in partnership with the Chinese Communist Party to ship fentanyl into America. They are killing our kids. We need to do whatever we can to stop this. The White House has been looking the other way for two years. We’ve probably got five million people in the country illegally right now just since Biden took office. It is a national security crisis of epic proportions, so I’m for anything that we can do to seal and secure that border.”