ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Mornings With Maria on Fox Business to Discuss New Effort to Stop Fentanyl Crisis, Banking Committee Hearing

June 22, 2023

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking and Foreign Relations Committees, today joined Mornings With Maria on Fox Business to discuss his letter urging the Biden Administration to sanction Mexican government officials for enabling Mexican drug cartels to smuggle drugs into the U.S. through the southern border and today’s Senate Banking Committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell.

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on today’s Banking Committee hearing with Chair Powell: “I think we all agree that he’s been dealt a very tough hand by this Administration. He’s dealing with record-breaking inflation policies of the Biden Administration, particularly with respect to energy, [which] have driven inflation through the roof. So, he is trying to address this. I’m going to be very interested to see how he’s thinking about inflation, the pace of inflation, also unemployment, and the labor force participation rate in the face of what we see is real stress in the banking system. He’s got some real challenges here. The comments that he made in the House of Representatives, I’d like to draw that out a little bit more to see how hawkish he really is in terms of rate environment. Again, he talked about the pace not being as important, but what we’ve seen, Maria, is a pace of rate increases that we’ve not seen in the past 40 years. We’ve seen the steepest curve ever, and it’s put a tremendous amount of stress in the banking system. So, I’m going to be focused very much on where his thoughts are there, particularly at the regional bank level, and how he sees this unfolding.”

Hagerty on pressing the Biden Administration to sanction Mexican government officials to combat drug cartels: “Since [President] Joe Biden’s not going to fulfill his own responsibility, we ought to put pressure on [Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador], the President of Mexico, to step up and take control of his own northern border. At this point in time, the Mexican cartels controlled the northern border of Mexico, and by default, they control our southern border because Joe Biden’s given the order for us to step away. The result of that is massive immigration. We’ve had over 170 different nationalities apprehended at our border since Joe Biden became President. That’s a massive national security risk, but the fentanyl crisis is the worst of all. We’re losing children every day in America. We’ve got to address it. This Administration has not been serious about it, so we should use tools to put pressure on our border neighbor, Mexico, to get their officials to step up. President [Donald] Trump was able to do that effectively dealing with AMLO. We need to see the Biden Administration step up and effectively address this through the Mexican government […] These cartels are multi-billion dollar entities. They’re working in partnership with the Chinese Communist Party, by the way, in this drug industry that is, again, killing Americans. And every day we let this go on, they become stronger and stronger. I met with Mexican Foreign Minister Barr about this. He is losing control. He’s losing control of their nation. They need to step up. We need to put every bit of pressure and give them the tools to step up and acknowledge the fact that they’re under immense pressure from the United States government. Right now, they’re getting no pressure from the United States government. So again, I’m looking for every tool possible to try to stop the crisis at our southern border. Putting pressure on the Mexican leadership is one of those tools. We need to be deploying every tool we possibly can.”

Hagerty on holding Secretary Mayorkas accountable for failing to secure the southern border: “What we’ve seen is a complete dereliction of duty by the Biden Administration, specifically with Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas at the point of the sphere. I understand exactly where my colleagues are in the House of Representatives. The difficulty we’ve got here in the Senate is that we don’t control the Senate. That’s why 2024 is so critically important. That would allow us to exercise clear oversight and take executives like this, that are responsible for major agencies, and deal with them in an appropriate manner. Alejandro Mayorkas is able to do this with impunity because we don’t have the tools. We have a Democrat leadership here in the Senate that will not bring them forward, will not allow us to bring them in, and exert proper oversight. So, I’m in favor of any tool that will put pressure on this Administration to do their job.”