WASHINGTON (WJHL) — Tennessee U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) recently returned from her 95-county tour of the state.

She met with local elected officials, business owners and other community members across the state. Blackburn says inflation was the main topic of conversation.

“We heard quite a bit about inflation, how it affects the county and city budgets, what it costs to run school buses and heat and cool buildings,” Blackburn said. “We heard a lot about how it’s impacting the family budget and how it impacts farmers with the cost of fertilizer, things of that nature.”

That inflation is also being noticed as more people move to the state. She said Middle Tennessee in particular is seeing heavy growth where new infrastructure is needed.

“You have water pipe[s] for instance,” she said. “That has nearly quadrupled in cost and the impact that has on hardworking taxpayers there at the local level.”

The topic was also top of mind in Washington D.C.

“We have been working on some trade issues that affect our manufacturers in the state… have just been in a meeting on that this morning,” Blackburn said. “We are continuing to look at ways to get inflation down, which means the federal government needs to spend less.”

Along with inflation, artificial intelligence and cyber security are top of mind for Blackburn.

“Everyone seems to say the first thing has got to be establishing an online consumer privacy law. This is a policy issue I’ve worked on for years. It is important to Tennesseans to protect their virtual ‘you’ online, to be able to protect their information,” she said. “With AI, when you look at these open-source platforms, it is imperative that people have that privacy online with their data and with their information.”

Blackburn also said the U.S.-Mexico border and drugs were brought up a lot during her tour across the state.

“Law enforcement told me on more than one occasion, most of what they apprehend is no longer in grams, it’s in pounds. And most of it is laced with fentanyl, whether it’s gummy bears or marijuana or pressed pills – it is laced with fentanyl and it is killing Tennesseans,” Blackburn said. “With every town a border town, every state a border state with drugs that are coming into our communities, local law enforcement that is having to deal with those situations, the harm that occurs from the loss of life.”

Former Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Marquita Bradshaw, current Tennessee state representative Gloria Johnson and Dylan Fain are vying for the 2024 Democratic nomination.

“They are all leftist, socialist, believe in gun confiscation, don’t support tax cuts, believe in an open border and allowing illegal immigrants to vote in our elections,” she said. “I’ve got a great record of working with Tennesseans, supporting their needs. We look forward to running on our record.”

Whoever wins in the August primary will run against Blackburn in next year’s election.

House Republicans have opened an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden and Blackburn is in support.

“They have done this to preserve their ability to subpoena documents, individuals, voice recordings that they are going to need and preserving that subpoena power is imperative so that is their reason for moving forward,” she said. “I think it’s the right move.”