ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Your World with Neil Cavuto on Fox News to Discuss his Opposition to the Omnibus Spending Bill and Democrats’ Abject Failure on the Border

December 21, 2022

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Appropriations and Foreign Relations Committees, today joined Your World with Neil Cavuto on Fox Newsto discuss his opposition to the four-thousand-plus page $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill that Congressional Democrats are attempting to jam through Congress before Christmas. He also discussed the Biden Administration’s abject failure to fix the crisis on the southern border with Title 42 on the verge of expiring.

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on his opposition to the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill: “They dropped a 4,000-page bill on us just yesterday morning. We’re still trying to work our way through it, Neil. I think the process itself is quite broken here. As you know, there are many things that are in the bill I’m certain that I would be for, but there are definitely things in there that I would be against. One of the things that’s most critical is our southern border. All we have is a plus up of a couple of billion dollars. The Democrats are saying that that’s to help support our border patrol, but all it’s being used for is to expressly file more people into the country, to process more people in. They expressly forbid any expenditures to actually secure our border, but they do allow expenditures to actually move more of these migrants into the nation.”

Hagerty on ICE sending single, adult male illegal immigrants to Tennessee: “Our governor’s office found out yesterday and informed Senator [Marsha] Blackburn and I that this was the case. They haven’t told us how many people are coming. All they’ve told us is that they are single adult males that are coming into our state. Are they felons? Are they involved in any way in drug trafficking? Are these people that are on the terrorist watch list? We don’t know if they’ve been vetted, and they’ve not provided us with any information. You remember how the media covered, with bated breath, what was happening at Martha’s Vineyard when just 50 immigrants arrived there. That’s one busload. They’re not willing to tell us what’s happening here at all. The migrant crisis, as they called it, in Martha’s Vineyard has its own webpage, its own Wikipedia page, and I am waiting to see if the mainstream media gets as upset and excited and worked up over what’s going to happen here in Tennessee as they were with Martha’s Vineyard.”

Hagerty on Senate Democrats blocking his legislation to preserve Title 42 and stave off the upcoming tsunami of drugs and migrants coming across our open border: “I went back to the Senate floor for the third time today, Neil, to bring up my legislation that will modify Title 42. I agree with the district court when they said you can no longer rely on the pandemic because the pandemic is over. Title 42 is basically on health concern. I think one of the biggest health concerns we’ve got is drug overdoses from Fentanyl, and my legislation would modify Title 42 and allow border patrol to use the threat and the concern of fentanyl importation and fentanyl smuggling as a reason to turn these people back. Without Title 42, the border patrol has nothing left, and they’re going to be completely overwhelmed. You’re going to see what is a tidal wave right now at a number like 7,000 people a day become a tsunami with more like 15 to 16 thousand a day, which means the Customs and Border [Protection] will be completely overwhelmed. They’ll be processing paperwork, and the drug smugglers will have just free reign in terms of pushing more and more fentanyl into our country, killing more of our kids.”

Hagerty on how the omnibus provides funding to protect and defend other nations’ borders and sovereignty while failing to provide to defend our own nation’s border and sovereignty: “That’scertainly the sentiment of people in Tennessee as well. The amount of money that will be in this omnibus bill is well more than an annual budget for my home state of Tennessee. We’ve done this time and again—we’ve left way ahead of NATO and our allies that are more proximate to the problem. And we’re dumping a tremendous amount of money to secure another nation’s sovereignty to protect their borders. Yet we will not put adequate funds to protect our own borders. In fact, we’re spending funds now in this new omnibus bill, roughly close to 2 billion, to actually accelerate the processing of people. I mean, their goal in terms of dealing with the problem just means that they don’t want long lines to get in long lines that will be susceptible to being filmed by a camera. So they’re trying to accelerate people in and they want more funding to move them to states like Tennessee, as we just discussed.”

Hagerty on why he believes Republicans should not pass a funding bill in the lame duck session and should instead wait until Republicans take control of the House: “That’s a sentiment I share with [Leader] Kevin McCarthy. I think that we should have given Republicans a chance with the shorter-term vehicle to move it into early next year. That would give us a chance and, frankly, more leverage. You know, I’m a business person, Neil. I don’t like to give up leverage unless it’s necessary. But here we have a situation where it’s going to be done. It’s been done in a way that hasn’t involved what they call regular process here. We haven’t properly vetted it. We just had a bill that exceeds 4,000 pages dropped on our doorstep yesterday morning. We’re still working our way through it, and we’re going to vote tonight.”