WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) gives remarks on the Senate floor regarding President Biden's costly and unnecessary Build Back Better agenda.
To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.
You can read the transcript below or in the Congressional Record.
Mr. President, I know that you are probably like me
and you have been grateful for the time to be home and to see family
and friends and just to chat with them about what is going on in their
lives and the issues that are important to them, what they are looking
at. It has been so interesting to get their perspective as we have
I flipped through the papers yesterday, and I realize that many of
our friends around town have this renewed sense of optimism about
President Biden's ability to lead the country. I found that really
quite interesting. You could look at it and say: It may be a new year,
but it is the same old Biden.
It goes without saying that I do not share what I see as a misguided
view. I entered this year with the same
healthy skepticism that I had back in December as we were finishing
that legislative year. I will say this; that for the past year, the
Democratic majority has indulged an administration that has treated
their electoral victory like a mandate to enact some of the most
irresponsible and radical policies we have seen in over a generation.
Now they are dusting off an agenda that is so unhinged, it has kept
the Democrats deadlocked against one another for the year. We have seen
this agenda breed mistrust, tension, and anger between the American
people and their government. Few, if any, of those people could state
that they are better off now than they were under President Trump and
Republican leadership. But still, the Democratic majority has continued
to push Biden's agenda on behalf of the most radical portions of their
Yes, leaning left--they are leaning far left. They are listening to
the social justice warriors and the climate partisans and the Big
Government activists, and the Democratic leadership is doing exactly
what they are telling them they want done. Meanwhile, they are ignoring
the people back home who actually have to deal with the consequences of
this political tunnel vision.
Time after time in poll after poll, even more polls that have come
out today, the American people have made it abundantly clear that they
are not just dissatisfied with the President's failure to lead, with
his radical agenda--you know what, they are not just angry. What I
learned from Tennesseans is that people are really frightened by what
they see taking place with this far-left, hard-left turn.
President Biden has to know all of this. The Democratic leadership
has to know all of this. Look at all the polls. It doesn't matter if it
is NPR, it doesn't matter if it is AP, it doesn't matter if it is CNN,
the agenda, the President, the Vice President--they are all underwater.
I think they have probably seen this coming since day one of this
Take some of the specific issues. The Democratic leadership has had a
front row seat to what is happening on the southern border. So has the
administration. There has been a complete collapse of our Nation's
sovereignty at the southern border. With the stroke of a pen, President
Biden dismantled the policies that were keeping us safe. He invited
waves of illegal immigrants into the country, said: Y'all come. Y'all
come. We are ready for you.
He threw the Border Patrol and local law enforcement under the bus,
did not listen to them. You don't have to take my word for it. Go to
the southern border. Go visit with them.
He has let the cartel step into the leadership void at the southern
border. The drug dealers and the human traffickers are in control of
the southern border at this point in time. You do not cross that border
unless you have paid the cartels. But you know what, admitting this
does not fit the agenda of the Democratic leadership, so they just
ignore it. Now, President Biden and my Democratic colleagues continue
to evade responsibility for keeping the border secure and safeguarding
the national security. They don't want to talk about that.
They are also not wanting to talk about the threat posed by the
Chinese Communist Party and our other adversaries abroad. And that is
right--the Chinese Communist Party is an adversary. They are not a
competitor. They are not a friend or a frenemy. They are an adversary.
What are they doing? They are conducting surveillance, academic
espionage, and intellectual property theft. They are doing this every
single day. It is all part of the standing operating procedures of the
new axis of evil and all being ignored by people who are charged with
running this country, keeping this country safe.
Tennesseans will tell you they are very concerned. The American
people are very concerned. The polls are showing it. And they are
blaming the Biden administration for not feeling safe, not feeling
secure, for the supply chain crisis, for inflation. These are all
things that have been brought about in the past year by decisions this
administration has made, Executive orders they have executed.
Every time people in this country pick up their phone, they are faced
with the knowledge that many of the programs and social media platforms
that they once enjoyed are controlled by people who refuse to
prioritize privacy and data security and realize that these cyber
protections are important.
They are grateful for all the sunlight that you and I, Mr. President,
have been able to shine on the problems with Big Tech. So many times as
I was at home, people would mention to me how much they have learned
through the hearings that we have held, the roundtable discussions, and
they are wanting to see more attention brought to keeping us safe and
limiting the surveillance, the property theft, and the academic
espionage that the Chinese Communist Party and our adversaries are
conducting in the virtual space. They are looking forward to seeing us
translate this bipartisan consensus into action. They are looking
forward to what we are going to deliver when it comes to online
privacy, data security, section 230 reforms, to protect our innovators,
to protect our children online, to protect our consumers.
When people look at what is being done, like the work we have done on
technology policy, and what is not being done when it comes to
addressing China, addressing Russia, dealing with Iran, when it comes
to dealing with inflation, prices at the pump, and prices that are
happening at the grocery store, they look at this and they say: Where
is the President? Where is the Vice President? Where are people who
should be working for the American people in Congress?
When we talk about the Democratic leadership, we know that they are
too busy catering to the most radical fringe of the Democratic Party to
do their job, and they are too busy with that to govern or to keep the
economy in one piece and to keep the border intact or to provide for
the common defense or to exercise a little oversight over some of the
world's most powerful corporations.
Well, the American people deserve better. Tennesseans are wanting to
see action. So while some of our colleagues across the aisle have a
renewed sense of optimism about President Biden's ability to pull them
out of this skid on this agenda that is going nowhere, the American
people have spoken. They do not want what you are offering.
My resolve is going to be to stand here, to stand between what is
happening, this destructive, as I call it, ``Build Back Broke'' agenda,
and to protect Tennesseans and future generations of Americans from
such an adverse and negative impact.