Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview Wednesday that if the Republican Party “wants to have a future,” it will have to become a “movement of working people.”
Sen. Hawley spoke to Breitbart News Wednesday on a wide-ranging series of topics including the future of the Republican Party and populism, fighting big tech’s dominance on the Internet, as well as immigration.
The Missouri senator charged during the interview that the Republican Party will have to embrace populist issues such as trade, fighting monopolies across American industry, lowering healthcare costs, and immigration reform so that the party can survive.
“If the conservative movement wants to have a future, it’s going to have to commit itself to being the movement of working people,” Hawley said. “If we do that, if conservatives do that, if there’s a core group that will do that, then the rest of D.C., the lobbyists, they will follow along. It’s going to have to be people-driven change.”
Sen. Hawley’s, like President Donald Trump’s, vision for a populist Republican Party represents a dynamic shift from a GOP that would discuss cutting taxes and spending while advocating for more interventions abroad.
In contrast, Sen. Hawley has proposed ending America’s “forever wars,” securing America’s southern border, reducing immigration, enacting more trade policies to revitalize American industry, and ending big tech’s dominance on the Internet.
Hawley has introduced several bills to encapsulate his vision for a populist GOP.
Most notably, Sen. Hawley proposed the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, which would audit social media companies for bias, and if regulators found bias in either the big tech companies’ algorithm or content moderation process, those companies would lose their Section 230 immunity.
Trump praised the legislation as “very important” during a social media summit at the White House, and a poll found that nearly a majority of Americans back the bill.
Hawley also cosponsored legislation with Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), the America First Drug Pricing Plan, which would lower drug price costs and would increase healthcare transparency by mandating that pharmacies inform patients what it would cost to purchase drugs out-of-pocket compared to paying with their insurance.
The Missouri senator has even proposed bills that would fight against foreign currency manipulation and help American exports compete with China. Hawley has also proposed legislation that would help Americans receive job training and break up the “higher education monopoly.”
Sen. Hawley spent much of his time during the August recess visiting Missourians, learning what matters to the average American. He said that Missourians on both sides of the political aisle no longer feel represented by the Washington, DC, class.
Sen. Hawley traveled to some of Missouri's most economically distressed communities where he met a nurse working to supporting her kids and serve those in need, young farmers working to carry on their way of life, and a small town barber giving back. https://t.co/l2slVZGKMb
— Senator Hawley Press Office (@SenHawleyPress) September 10, 2019
And healthcare is a big concern. There’s only one plan available on the exchange in Douglas Co. But Ronnie is optimistic. He says of life, “Sometimes you’ve got to be gritty & see it through” pic.twitter.com/k1sVnibIUu
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) August 20, 2019
Sen. Hawley spoke to Missourians who said that meth is destroying local communities. Sen. Hawley recounted that many liberal media pundits and Democrats often ask him why he cares about illegal immigration when Missouri is far from the border. The senator said that methamphetamine coming from Mexico is destroying local communities.
Hawley said, “Come with me to any town, any town in the state of Missouri of any size, and I will show you communities that are drowning in meth, drowning in it. It is literally killing people, it is destroying families it is destroying schools and whole communities.”
“Missouri is a border state,” Hawley said, adding that “We have to got to secure the border to stop the meth” and “stop the flow of illegal immigration.”
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) recounted similar problems of methamphetamine coming from Mexico in an interview with Breitbart News in May.
Brittany says meth is hammering this community. She has many friends & family members who have been touched by this epidemic. She worries about what it means for her own kids, ages 15 & 10. It’s much worse now than when she was growing up, she says pic.twitter.com/yD4yIrkqj3
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) August 21, 2019
Sen. Hawley said that the D.C. establishment pushes for issues that run contrary to their wishes.
Hawley said, “You go to my state and listen to them and they tell you, by the way this is on both sides of the political aisle, what they tell you especially if they’re working folks, they say, ‘Nobody in Washington is listening to us, the establishment of both parties has failed us and the establishment all agrees — they want these trade deals that are not good for us, not good for America, they want open borders, they want to ship all of our jobs overseas, and they want to pursue these forever wars without end. They do not want that. Nobody wants that, no voter wants that.”
“They are saying we are rejecting the status quo, we want a new kind of politics that’s going to put the interests and needs of the working class, middle-class Americans, first,” Hawley added.
As the country moves closer toward the 2020 elections, many Republicans have been attacking their Democrat opponents for advocating “socialism” and “socialist policies” such as the Green New Deal or Medicare for All. Sen. Hawley believes that the best way to combat the Democrats is to push for policies that will benefit what he calls the “American middle.”
Sen. Hawley said that part of that will involve revitalizing American manufacturing, driving healthcare costs down, and breaking up the higher education monopolies.
“We have to stay focused on the issues that actually matter to real people and have to challenge the leadership class. So, as the Democrats turn towards socialism, is that a problem? Yeah, it is, but it just goes to show you that they have no idea how to respond to the needs of working people. We can’t just reject their crazy ideas. We also have to push forward with an agenda that actually benefits what I call the ‘American middle’ which is the middle of our society, people that really sustain our society,” Hawley said. “So it’s going to be a pro-worker agenda, it has to get wages up, we have to get manufacturing going again, we have to get healthcare costs down, to get folks new opportunities to get skills and jobs training, break up the monopoly of higher education, and take on the monopolists in the economy and their sweetheart deals with government.”