WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking and Appropriations Committees, today joined Cavuto: Coast to Coast on Fox Business to discuss today’s interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve and the debt ceiling.
Hagerty on today’s interest rate increase: “I do think that we need to be quite careful right now in terms of the environment that we’re in. This afternoon, at two o’clock, we’re expecting to hear from the [Federal Reserve]—likely another quarter-point interest rate raise there. We’ve already seen what’s happened in terms of…banks that have not done an adequate job of managing their interest rate exposure. I certainly hope we’re at the end of this, but we’ve seen some significant disruptions and a lot of variability introduced into the marketplace that I don’t think is deserved.”
Hagerty on the risk of more banks failing: “I think that’s a real concern, and I’ve spoken with members of the banking sector at every level. I certainly think that the larger too-big-to-fail banks have been instructed not to be preying upon the regional banks. But I think that the regional banks—certainly the ones in my state [which are] very well run—but they’re fighting hard to retain their clients right now, and they’re going to get pressure from loan officers from these larger banks. It’s inevitable that that’s going to happen. I do think, though, that their local touch that their service levels—the fact that they know the markets—is a real competitive advantage that’s going to continue. But I do think that there’s a real pressure that you just cited there. We need to be cognizant of it.”
Hagerty on bringing the House debt ceiling bill to the Senate floor: “The House Republicans have already passed a bill. What we need to do is focus on this bill. We need to bring it to the Senate floor and begin to address it, amend it if necessary, but begin to address this right now. I hope that [Senate Democrats are] going to get a little dose of reality here. Because if we don’t begin to do this, the markets are going to do it for us. If we don’t begin to address this out-of-control spending, the markets will do it for us, Neil. And you know that’s not going to be pretty if we let it get to that stage.”
Hagerty on the need to address the debt ceiling immediately: “The way things work here in Washington, and we’ve seen it with the banking failures, too, there’s a whole group of people here that like to leverage any crisis to try to accomplish whatever their policy objectives may be. And I hate to see us careening toward a crisis again. We should be getting on this debt ceiling situation immediately, if not sooner. We’ve been given an X-date now at the beginning of June. I hope that we turn our attention to it as soon as possible.”