Freedom Has To Be Fought For

July 26, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) delivered floor remarks regarding how America needs to value freedom.


To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.



You can read the transcript below or in the Congressional Record.


Madam President, this has already been a big week in

Tokyo for Team USA, and I hope all of my colleagues have the

opportunity to watch a few minutes of the Olympic Games over the next

few weeks.

Every year, we hear so much from commentators and athletes about how

the Games are an opportunity for the world to come together, and that

is exactly how it once was. Unfortunately, the Olympics are also a

target-rich environment for people and regimes that want to use these

rare moments of unity to trick the world into ignoring evil.

Before we were able to enjoy any of this year's double-pike vaults or

400-meter freestyle swims, we were already worrying about the impending

havoc casting a shadow over the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Late last year, the Chinese Government began pilot testing a new

digital currency that will inevitably knock other domestic mobile

payment systems out of the marketplace.

The digital yuan trial has already pulled in $5.3 billion--that is

correct, $5.3 billion--in transactions, and this month we learned that

cross-border payments are also on the table. In fact, the trial has

been so successful that Beijing wants to expand testing at the 2022

Winter Olympics.

Now, as much as I would like to believe that this is an innocent

effort to bring the world a little closer together, this is the Chinese

Communist Party that we are talking about, and we shouldn't expect good

faith because that is not what we are going to get from the CCP. We

have reason to believe that the Chinese Government intends to use the

digital yuan to conduct a massive surveillance operation on Chinese

citizens and foreign visitors.

It wouldn't be the first time something like this happened. The CCP

has an unfortunate history of weaponizing emerging technologies against

people they would like to control. They used it against the Uighurs,

against freedom fighters in Hong Kong, and on the mainland against

anyone who questions their party propaganda.

They are already using digital payment platforms to spy on their own

people; and if we are not careful, they are going to use them to spy on

Team USA.

This month, I sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic

Committee asking them to forbid our athletes from accepting or using

the digital yuan while competing in Beijing.

The threats are changing, and far too often we see our allies and

partners and even our own government ignoring those threats to preserve

the status quo.

You may be asking yourself: Why is so much of the world willing to

look the other way when confronted with genocide in Xinjiang or

murdered protesters in Hong Kong?

It is because speaking up can be dangerous, especially when it comes

to challenging the CCP.

China boasts the most in-demand market in the world. In fact, it is

such a gold mine that you will recall the NBA ignored large-scale child

abuse at its training camps in China just to maintain access to

broadcast advertising and merchandise revenue.

Through the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese Communist Party has

sunk its teeth into some of the most valuable tourist destinations on

the face of the Earth, on trade route, and strategic outposts.

They have sold this program as an economic development initiative,

but in reality this debt-trap diplomacy is really just an extortion

scheme. Once these countries fall into the trap, it is almost

impossible to escape.

Even before the pandemic forced the United States into lockdown, I

and several other of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle were

ringing alarm bells about our supply chain security. China is the most

dominant global source of rare Earth minerals, technology

infrastructure, and many active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Long story short, there is a lot on the line for the people of the

United States. The cards are stacked against us.

It would be really easy to protect that valuable status quo by

ignoring human rights violations and extortion schemes and other overt

attempts to make the world a little less free. But as much as we would

like it to be, freedom is not humanity's natural state. It is fragile.

It falls victim to the weak and the power hungry alike, and, if we are

not careful, yes, it will slip away, like it has in so many other


Freedom does have to be fought for, and we need our leaders to set

the example. That means staying focused on not following the example of

countries that have given up their freedom. We don't want to live out

the authoritarian nightmare that the CCP has created, but we also want

to avoid becoming like nations that have already pawned their futures

in pursuit of some grand socialist future.

I fear that our new majority has already lost touch with what the

American people actually want. They sure don't want what the Biden

administration has been selling lately. I can definitely tell you that

after a weekend in Tennessee. They don't feel taken care of. What they

are feeling is that they are being manipulated.

They want to know why President Biden and the Democratic majority

keep trying to pawn off the freedom that makes us an example to the

rest of the world in exchange for more government control that nobody

asked for.

I would encourage my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to

remember that the American people entrusted them with the power that

they are wasting on these radical wish lists items, and that power can

be taken away just as easily as it was given.

The American people want to make certain that we do as Ronald Reagan

implored us to remember. And, Madam President, as you know, last week I

had that poster here on the floor. Freedom is always one generation

away from extinction. It is our responsibility to fight for it, to pass

it on.

I yield the floor