The daily beast
Bernie Sanders won’t help Josh Hawley this time around
Getty When Senator Josh Hawley expressed support late last year for giving millions of Americans checks for $ 2,000, he said he got a call from Senator Bernie Sanders’ camp. What happened next was the formation of one of Capitol Hill’s odd political couples, as the Trumpist Republican of Missouri and the Democratic Socialist of Vermont united to lobby very publicly for a common priority. another announcement by Hawley that put him in league with Sanders and other progressives: his support for requiring companies with revenues of $ 1 billion or more to pay their workers a minimum hourly wage of $ 15. forces. The Missouri Republican has been one of the main proponents and amplifiers of former President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories that he unjustly lost the 2020 election – theories that fueled the murderous assault on the U.S. Capitol with a pro-Trump crowd on Jan.6. photograph, Hawley was pictured raising his fist in solidarity with those gathered outside the Capitol that morning. When the Senate convened after the crowds were eliminated, Hawley was the only senator to oppose Electoral College certification, so when Hawley launched his minimum wage plan on Friday, no apparent public effort or private to collaborate with the progressives did follow. There was no follow-up to the fight for the $ 2,000 checks. Hawley told the Daily Beast on Tuesday that he had not received any calls from Sanders or a fellow Democrat about the proposal or spoken to any of them. Sanders, meanwhile, declined to say if he had even spoken to Hawley, saying only in response to questions Democrats had moved on from an effort to force companies to pay a $ 15 salary into their COVID bill. A source close to Sanders confirmed the pair had not spoken about the proposed amendment to require companies to pay a minimum wage of $ 15. work with anyone. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Jon Ossoff – the Georgia Democrat who won his Senate race the same day Hawley cheered on the mob that attacked him – told the Daily Beast on Tuesday, “I’m not going to rule out working with colleagues.” He said he would be open to considering Hawley’s proposal, adding: “I am encouraged that Republican senators are interested in action to raise wages.” As of January 6, Democrats have been considering how they could work normally again. with the more than 150 congressional Republicans who voted to oppose the 2020 election results and who spread plots that President Joe Biden did not fairly win. Relations on Capitol Hill, generally chummy, have been strained, with outbreaks and personal attacks spilling out during committee hearings. Some Democratic lawmakers are now keeping lists of who they can work and who they can’t, based on votes that took place after the Jan.6 attack, but Hawley’s case could be a unique test of the news. tense atmosphere on Capitol Hill. For some Democrats, no other high-level GOP lawmaker is more associated with the events of January 6. Among many, especially activists, Hawley is now firmly persona non grata – a contemptible figure who has fully earned a career as an outcast. “Josh Hawley has a lot to answer,” said Joe Sanberg, a California businessman and advocate for wage increases. “I don’t think he’s a relevant part of the conversation about the fair fight for minimum wage for 22 million people who make less than $ 15 an hour.” The Republican staked a space that has seen Hawley, on occasion, find common ground with the progressives.In addition to the more dazzling $ 2,000 check campaign and minimum wage proposal, Hawley has introduced legislation requiring certain colleges to repay student debts. who default on their loans and bills to curb the prices of pharmaceuticals. He has openly criticized Wall Street and American businesses, albeit from a conservative standpoint, but in a way that has caused him to occasionally strike notes similar to those of some on the left. inclined to agree with some of Hawley’s proposals, distrust and skepticism about the ambitious senator’s populist overtures prevailed. Many have noted that his brand of populism is driven by a nationalist and anti-immigration sentiment which they find xenophobic and even racist; others just don’t take his positions too seriously. Show-Me State tells Hawley to show up, poll finds “I’ve always been extremely skeptical about this,” said Marshall Steinbaum, professor of economics at the University of Utah who focuses on the issues inequality, labor and antitrust. “This is not about making common cause with strange political comrades … I am definitely of the opinion that having Hawley in a putative coalition discredits that coalition.” But other Democrats have hailed the emergence of Republicans who could, potentially, help them advance the pro-worker economic policies they have campaigned on for years. Clearly, Sanders previously believed that working with Hawley could help bring direct relief to those hard hit by the pandemic. “We are working on bipartisan legislation,” Sanders said in a speech by the Senate in December. “And Senator Hawley has done a very, very good job on this.” Hawley, meanwhile, sharply criticized the “radical left”. But when the partnership with Sanders emerged last year, he told reporters, “Hey, like I said, I’ll work with anyone.” Senators’ efforts on stimulus controls have prompted commentators to raise eyebrows – on a “nascent left – a just populist alliance,” as the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent put it. In the end, the bill passed on Dec. 26 fell well short of what the duo had asked for, with direct checks of just $ 600, and a stand-alone ground vote on the $ 2,000 checks they were clamoring for. later was blocked by the Senate GOP leadership. But that full amount will almost certainly come to an end, with Democrat-controlled Congress due to send $ 1,400 in direct payments as part of a new relief plan this month. 6, the same day the Democrats sealed a majority in the Senate. In the wake, seven Senate Democrats called on the Senate Ethics Committee to open an investigation to get a “full account” of Hawley’s role, and that of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), in the events. of the day. Arguing that they had “given the mob cause legitimacy and made future violence more likely,” the senators said the body needed to determine whether Republicans had violated the rules and therefore deserved punishment – including ‘expulsion. Sanders was not on the letter. In response, Hawley accused the Democrats of trying to “overturn” it and filed his own complaint with the ethics committee about their letter. ‘played virtually no role in shaping the COVID relief plan that developed after Biden took office. Most Senate Democrats have avoided saying they will never work with him again, but no one is rushing to work with him. Hawley has nonetheless tried to get some of the ongoing stimulus action, especially on the minimum wage, which has become a key objective. of the current back-up plan. In addition to proposing the requirement for “billion dollar” companies to pay an hourly wage of $ 15, Hawley launched what he called the “Blue-Collar Bonus”, a tax credit intended to give small business workers a way to get to the $ 15. threshold, at government expense. Critics responded that the structure of its plan would give companies huge loopholes to avoid paying a fair wage. It also explicitly excludes non-citizens and undocumented workers – a no-starter for Democrats, and a sign for progressives like Sanberg that it is impossible to take something good from Hawley’s proposals without also taking the bad. “He has terrible judgment. He always tries to go where he thinks the political winds are – when you move with political winds without any moral center, it takes you right into hurricanes, ”he said. Iowa sometimes says there is no choice. “Won’t you work with all the senators who think we still have to look at the elections?” he told the Daily Beast. “Because there’s more to it than Hawley. If you buy into what Congress is supposed to do, if you pull these buckets, there won’t be a lot of people to work with at any given time. For more, check out The Daily Beast. Do you have any advice? Send it to The Daily Beast here Get our best stories delivered to your inbox every day. Register now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.