ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Balance of Power on BloombergTV to Discuss McConnell Stepping Down, Appropriations Process, Supplemental Bill, CBDC Legislation

February 29, 2024

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking and Appropriations Committees, today joined Balance of Power on BloombergTV to discuss Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mitchell (R-KY) stepping down from his leadership position, the broken appropriations process Senate Democrats are weaponizing against Republicans, the supplemental funding bill that fails to secure the southern border, and his legislation with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to block the issuance of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on McConnell stepping down: “Leader [Mitch] McConnell’s had a great long career here in the United States Senate, the longest serving leader, as you mentioned, and he’s got a lot to point to. If you think about his success during the Trump Administration, seating three Supreme Court justices, his impact in the federal judiciary will be longstanding and very positive for the nation. And he’s come to the decision that the time has come to change. I appreciate that, appreciate his leadership, and we will sort through the leadership of our conference here in short order […] There are terrific leaders on the Republican side. I have every confidence that we’ll have a great set of candidates emerge, a great leader emerge as our next Republican leader here in the United States Senate.”

Hagerty on Schumer’s refusal to bring up appropriations bills: “I serve in the Appropriations Committee here in the United States Senate. I’ve never seen a process mismanaged as much as this since I’ve been here. We worked our way through all 12 appropriations bills and passed them to the floor last July. Since that time, [Senator] Chuck Schumer’s only brought three of those bills to bear, but those bills aren’t perfect. They were as conservative a product as we could move through a Democrat-controlled Senate, but my hope was to get them out and get them over to the House [of Representatives] so that the Republicans there could begin to work on and improve those bills. We still haven’t seen the text and the final work product from all of that, so I’m hopeful that we’ll see the text in a few days. The [Continuing Resolution], I haven’t seen the text of that either to know what’s going to be in it, but it looks to me, and it’s unfolding this way, that there’ll be a short-term CR proposed sometime tomorrow. That would take us to, just as you mentioned, a few weeks into March to give time to work through these first six bills. And as I said, there’s six more that are waiting work to be done on them, and I’m sure that the staffs will be working around the clock trying to get those ready as well. But the fact that we’re here at the last hour, at the last minute, continuing to bump up against funding crisis after funding crisis. This is a choice that’s been taken by the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He seems to want these massive omnibus bills and these crises that he likes to manage between, but this is certainly no way to run a railroad in my standpoint.”

Hagerty on his opposition to the Ukraine funding bill: “My feelings about the border have gotten even stronger since I was down there last week; it’s a total catastrophe there. We have got to do something to secure our nation’s border, and I think the American public is speaking up loud and clear that they expect that to be taken care of before we turn our attention to other situations.”

Hagerty on the need for the Biden Admin to stop playing politics and secure the border: “I want to see action. President [Donald] Trump had brought us to a position where the border was as secure as we’ve seen it, and President Biden came in with Executive Orders and undid everything that President Trump had done. The very successful migrant protection protocols, the so-called Remain in Mexico policies, catch-and-release, reinstating that, doing away with Title 42, stopping the building of the wall, all of these things can be restarted. I think Joe Biden’s going to take a hard look at this, but he needs to restart them. He needs to look back at the policies that work. I hope he will learn from this, and I hope that we see something positive coming from Joe Biden at the border tomorrow. I know that President Trump will be at the border as well a little bit further away at Eagle Pass, this is where I was last week—I know President Trump will be calling this out—the American public are very focused on it right now. Joe Biden has an opportunity to step up and go back to policies that were working.”

Hagerty on his legislation to block the issuance of a CBDC: “I think there’s growing concern, and a lot of work that’s been underway at the [Federal Reserve] and other places moving in this direction. We’ve certainly seen in China do it, and what I don’t want to see is another opportunity for Operation Choke Point to manifest itself into our payment system. We have a private sector answer to this in stable coins, a decentralized solution to this. We do not need a centralized bank digital currency, and we need to put the talk of this to the side.”