Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty threw a wrench in Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s effort to fast-track a massive infrastructure spending bill that contains several controversial provisions such as mandating breathalyzers in all private vehicles.
“Earlier this afternoon, the Congressional Budget Office released its long-awaited score for this infrastructure bill. While we’ve heard for weeks that it would be paid for, it’s not,” Hagerty noted in a statement.
“It didn’t just come up short, it came up a quarter of a trillion dollars short. The CBO indicated this bill will increase the deficit by at least $256 billion dollars when it was supposed to break even,” Hagerty continued.
“Despite this news, I was asked to consent to expedite the process and pass it. I could not, in good conscience, allow that to happen at this hour—especially when the objective of the majority is to hurry up and pass this bill so that they can move quickly to their $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend spree designed to implement the Green New Deal and increase Americans’ dependence on the government so I objected,” he added.
Schumer had hoped to get the legislation wrapped up by late Friday. Reports say that there is enough GOP support in the Senate to ultimately pass the measure, which includes a provision to test a nationwide per-mile-driven road tax which, critics say, will hit poor and middle-class Americans hardest.
I’m not going to back down from stopping Washington’s spending sprees! pic.twitter.com/c7QvZhO22z
— Senator Bill Hagerty (@SenatorHagerty) August 6, 2021
Later, during an appearance on Fox Business Network, Hagerty appeared to suggest that more Republicans ought to be objecting to the bill.
“The last thing I’m going to do is accelerate the process and make it easier for Chuck Schumer to shove this through just so we can get to the $3.5 trillion, totally partisan tax and spending spree that he’s got in store for us,” Hagerty said, alluding to the next gargantuan pending legislation Democrats are eying that contains a left-wing wish list of social spending and mandates.
“I was sent to the Senate by the people of Tennessee, not to make things more convenient for Chuck Schumer, to expedite things as he wants to. I was sent there to protect the taxpayers’ interest. And that’s exactly what I want to do here,” he continued.
The Tennessee Republican went on to note that the challenges are tough right now for the GOP in the Senate, but added that he sees “the threat coming toward America from the socialist, radical policies that the left are putting out.”
“I realize now it’s going to be lonely too, but I’m here to represent the people of Tennessee and to look after their best interests, and that’s precisely what I intend to do,” Hagerty said.
He added that spending for traditional infrastructure — “roads, bridges, highways, things that actually have a return on investment for taxpayers” — only amounts to about one-quarter of the total amount of the $1.2 trillion package he blocked Friday.
“A large portion of this is what others call soft infrastructure, but it’s really more government involvement, more distortion of the economy. And again, that’s what’s driving this into the deep, deep red,” he told Fox Business.
“I think Chuck Schumer would have enjoyed passing this in the dark of night last night. That was the plan, that was the scheme. Move right into the $3.5 trillion package over the weekend and hope that this is all, you know, distorted by people’s focus on what’s happening with Governor Cuomo, or mask mandates, and restaurants in New York City that he could slip this through and in the process transform America and put the Green New Deal fully into motion,” Hagerty continued.
He added: “You know, he’s going to destroy the fossil fuel industry, more death taxes, more taxes on job creators, more personal taxes, they’re going to kill capital investment in American, they’re going to shove more American jobs overseas.”
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