“Unfortunately, President Biden’s remarks tonight did little to allay my deep concern that he is simply disconnected from the feelings of the average American… The true State of our Union is a far cry from the picture painted by the President this evening… Yet I remain undeterred in my goal. I will continue to advocate for the Volunteer State and for a strong America.”
WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today released the following video and statement in response to President Joe Biden’s second State of the Union Address:
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Good evening. A few moments ago, President Joe Biden concluded his second State of the Union Address to the nation.
“I want to begin by saying that, in the House Gallery tonight, we were honored to be joined by the family of Tyre Nichols of Memphis, Tennessee.
“As our Nation now well knows, Tyre’s family has endured a tragedy that no family should ever be forced to bear.
“They deserve accountability and justice, which must be swiftly pursued, along with a full, independent investigation, to ensure that such misconduct never happens again.
“My prayers remain with Tyre’s family in this time of unspeakable grief, as well as with the community and citizens of Memphis.
“Regarding President Biden’s remarks, I will tell you that I was eager to hear the President address the current state of our nation, as it something I hear about constantly from Tennesseans across the state. Every day, I hear from Tennesseans who express their concerns about the direction of our country, their fears about the diminishing ability of their own family to make ends meet, and their deep frustrations for the State of our beautiful Union.
“Unfortunately, President Biden’s remarks tonight did little to allay my deep concern that he is simply disconnected from the feelings of the average American. Instead, through a series of distortions and distractions, he papered over the struggles of so many.
“The President’s picture of the State of our Union is one that denies the reality that so many Americans experience every day—from soaring prices at the grocery store and the gas pump, to how safe they feel within their own community, nation, and the world.
“The true State of our Union is a far cry from the picture painted by the President this evening.
“Indeed, physically, our nation has never been less secure: Under President Biden, there have been nearly 5 million known illegal border crossings—that’s more than seven times the size of Tennessee’s largest city, Nashville.
“Biden created America’s southern border crisis by purposefully ending the most commonsense border policies of the previous Administration.
“In his first 100 days, he froze border wall construction, halted deportations, and suspended the Remain in Mexico program.
“Senate Democrats have followed in lock-step with Biden’s strategy to collapse our border—including by blocking desperately needed border protection measures in last December’s Omnibus bill. They even blocked my amendment to add more resources to deport illegal aliens convicted of crimes in the U.S.
“This open border policy is yielding deadly repercussions for Americans across the nation. Every American town is now a border town.
“Drug overdoses are the number one killer of young people in America between the ages of 18 and 45, as the Chinese Communist Party has worked hand-in-glove with Mexican drug cartels to pump fentanyl across our wide-open border.
“Last year, I went to the Senate floor three times, to try to pass my Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act. This legislation would preserve Title 42 in order to fight America’s lethal drug crisis at the border. Yet each time, Senate Democrats blocked my life-saving legislation. Title 42 is one of the last tools CBP agents have to help secure the border. Once it expires, our border agents will be even more overwhelmed and outmanned than they already are, and the crisis will get worse.
“On the economic front, Americans are hurting.
“Tonight President Biden attempted to make baseless and insulting claims that our economy is somehow booming with record economic growth.
“But Americans know the truth.
“You shouldn’t take credit for our economy slowly recovering some of the jobs that Democrats’ pandemic lockdowns destroyed—of course only after Democrats were finally forced to abandon lockdowns and shuttered schools.
“Americans know the state of our economy every time they pump gas or shop at the grocery store.
“Prices under Joe Biden have gone up 13.5%. Essential goods are priced at record highs. Since the Biden Administration took office, inflation has cost families an additional $10,000.
“Biden’s tone-deaf claim tonight that our economy is strong comes as gas prices are rising yet again.
“The sky-high prices for essential goods have crushed Americans’ wallets and, for far too many, have made the hope of living out their American Dream feel out of reach.
“Biden’s fiscal calamity has been exacerbated by Senate Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree. From doling out more COVID stimulus money than could even be spent, to rushing massive amounts of American taxpayer dollars overseas to Ukraine without a clear plan or adequate accountability, to enacting their misleadingly-named ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ on a wholly partisan basis without a single Republican vote— inflation is a daily tax increase falling on the shoulders of the American people.
“Moreover, in the past two years, America has gone from a position of record energy strength, thriving and abundant in our own energy independence, to a position of weakness, asking foreign, often adversarial entities to help us with our energy needs.
“President Biden would rather plead with foreign tyrants and dictators for energy than work with American drillers.
“This full-fledged assault on U.S. energy started on day one of the Biden Administration. The Administration’s decisions to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline, stop oil production in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, and drain our Strategic Petroleum Reserves to a 40-year low have placed our national security at risk.
“Senate Republicans want Biden to unleash American energy and restore independence, but at every turn, Democrats have blocked it.
“Rather than addressing the many crises Americans are now facing due to this Administration’s policies, President Biden has sought to dodge accountability. He has infringed and trampled upon many of our citizens’ most sacred rights.
“Last year, it was revealed to all of us that this Administration colluded with Big Tech and cajoled tech companies to do their bidding and silence conservative voices.
“That’s why I introduced my Disclose Government Censorship Act, which would require the federal government to be transparent about when it works with Big Tech to sidestep the First Amendment and censor Americans’ speech. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked the passage of this critical legislation to preserve our First Amendment rights.
“I came to the Senate two years ago to represent and serve Tennesseans. Unfortunately, what I hear every day from Tennesseans is that under President Biden’s leadership, our country is on the wrong track.
“Yet I remain undeterred in my goal. I will continue to advocate for the Volunteer State and for a strong America.
“Americans deserve a government that protects their interests.
“I urge President Biden to wake up to the harmful and dangerous burdens that his policies are imposing upon our citizens and our great nation, and I will continue to hold him accountable where he fails to serve America’s best interests.
“Those of us who are fortunate enough to represent the citizens of this nation owe nothing less than our best efforts to ensure that we pass along to our children and grandchildren a nation that affords the same incredible opportunities as the one that our parents passed to us. I will continue to fight every single day toward this objective.
“Thank you, and God bless.”