NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today joined Mornings With Maria on Fox Business to discuss his legislation to reallocate funding to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome after Iran-backed Hamas terrorists savagely murdered 1300 people in Israel, including 30 American citizens, and the Biden Administration’s irresponsible appeasement of Iran.
Hagerty on his legislation to replenish the Iron Dome: “What we’ve been doing is sending money actually into Gaza. Last [Congress], I actually put up legislation that would reprogram those funds—this is after the 11-day war when rockets were coming from Gaza into Israel—to take those funds, billion dollars worth of U.S. taxpayer money—and reprogram to replenish [the] Iron Dome. I’m going to be bringing that right back to the floor of the Senate; I don’t think I’ll have the same objection from Democrats that I had before, at least I hope not.”
Hagerty on the Biden Administration’s appeasement strategy emboldening Iran: “President [Joe] Biden is managing the conflict there in Israel and Gaza the same way he’s managing our southern border. It’s a disaster. He should be up on his facts. Israel’s already said they’re not going to occupy Gaza. He ought to understand this too: Iran would not be in a position to make the threats that they’re making were it not for the appeasement strategy that he’s engaged in since he came into office. We saw this unfold under the Obama Administration. Appeasement brought about the violence that we saw in Gaza in 2014 [and] 2015, the disastrous Iran deal, the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] that they brought forward. Thankfully, President [Donald] Trump tore that up. We went to maximum pressure. Maximum pressure was working. We ought to impose every sanction that we possibly can right now. Instead, Joe Biden is talking about potentially pausing the payment of $6 billion while he’s looked the other way in terms of sanctions enforcement and allowed Iran to enrich itself to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. That enrichment, that non-enforcement of sanctions, has allowed Iran to support proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah and deliver the type of wrath that they’ve delivered to Israel right now. This is the biggest loss of Israeli, of Jewish lives that we’ve seen since the Holocaust.”
Hagerty on supporting Israel’s right to defend itself: “They have a very competent military. We’ve been very effective in terms of working with them. I think what we need to do is step back, give Israel the headroom, and allow them to do what they need to do, and give them the moral support to do that. It took Joe Biden 48 hours to get around to the fact of acknowledging this.”
Hagerty on Hamas preventing civilian evacuation from Gaza: “It’s amazing what Hamas is doing. Their leadership should be called out on this. The Israeli forces, the IDF [Israeli Defense Force], have called for civilians in Gaza to leave, to evacuate. Hamas leadership that are sitting in the comfort of five-star hotels in Qatar are telling their people to stay. They want to see the carnage; they want this to feed their propaganda machine. The blood is going to be on the hands of Hamas leadership. We need not allow the public to forget that because there’ll be a massive propaganda machine underway as soon as the Israeli forces move on the ground in Gaza. Remember what Trey just told us.”
Hagerty on Iran’s role in the attack on Israel: “With respect to the weapons, I tell you, after what happened in Afghanistan—the Biden policy failures there, the evacuation of Afghanistan that left $80 billion worth of American equipment on the ground—I wouldn’t be surprised that some of that equipment from the world’s largest now arms bazaar doesn’t make its way into this conflict, that our own equipment might find its way into the hands of these terrorists in Gaza […] We don’t know [where American equipment is in Afghanistan]. And again, that goes to the irresponsibility of this Administration. They just look the other way, and all they do is spin rather than think about the strategy. With respect to Hamas, though, let’s not forget the fact that Hamas is funded by Iran. During the Trump Administration, we executed the maximum pressure campaign that choked off the flow of funds to Iran. We took the flow of funds down to a trickle. They weren’t allowed to sell their oil on the black market. In fact, Hamas and Hezbollah were going broke; that was widely reported in the media. Joe Biden comes back into business in 2021; what do we see? The 11-day war coming from Gaza, [and] now we’ve got this. Anybody that believes that these funds, this technology, and this know-how isn’t coming from Iran needs to wake up.”