WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees, today joined America Reports on Fox News to discuss the Russian fighter jet that clipped a U.S military drone, causing it to crash, and President Biden’s unserious defense budget that fails to adequately enable us to combat Communist China.
Hagerty on the importance of dealing with adversaries from a position of strength: “I absolutely think [the U.S. response] should be more forceful. Again, we need to be demonstrating resolve at every turn here. We’re talking about Russia. We’re dealing with Communist China. We need to be dealing from a position of strength. And talking about the climate implications, the environmental implications of this, we’re talking about a situation where the Russians have downed a U.S. Military aircraft. This is very serious. I think our resolve should be far, far stronger at this point […] [Defense Secretary John Kirby]’s exactly right. This will have absolutely zero deterrence effect on us. We need to be able to move as we please, and we’re going to continue to do that. I think John Kirby’s right in that regard. I would just like to have seen an immediate and clear and very forceful response to this, and that’s what we’ve been missing.”
Hagerty on the Biden Administration not keeping up with China’s military in its budget proposal: “I think the most important thing, though, is to look at what’s in the Biden budget. Again, it’s not kept up with inflation—I think that’s a deep concern as you raise—but this budget should be focused on hardware, on training, on new platforms that are necessary to beat and outcompete Communist China. Instead, this budget talks about energy efficiency [and] mitigating climate risk. We need to be talking about lethality and effectiveness here […] I’m deeply concerned about the budget as well, and I think what we need to do is look at this program by program and make certain that we’re focusing in on those programs that make us more effective, allow us to work more closely with our allies, and put our adversaries at a real disadvantage. And, again, doing these programs that are focused on climate risk—and you’ve heard about the pronoun discussion and training that’s going on in the Pentagon—we need to be focused on lethality and competence here. And regardless of what the top line budget is, we need to take a very deep look, a deep probe, into what it will take to stay ahead of and to continue to now compete [against] Communist China.”