On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum spoke with U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley about his first few months in the U.S. Senate.
The Republican senator was elected to a six-year term last November. Saturday will mark his 100th day in office, which has been jam-packed with some big debates over President Donald Trump’s agenda and administration.
Hawley first burst onto the Missouri political scene in 2016, when he was elected as the state’s attorney general. Roughly two years later, he unseated U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in one of the most expensive and high-profile federal contests of the 2018 election cycle.
After being sworn into office in January, Hawley was assigned to a number of key committees — including the Judiciary and Armed Services committees. The Judiciary Committee is responsible for voting on a president’s nominees to the federal bench. Thus far, Hawley has introduced legislation aimed at lowering prescription drug prices, placing more safety measures on duck boats and creatinge a grant that would pay for programs to reduce law enforcement suicides.
Among other things, Hawley has gained some notoriety for his criticism of large technology companies — such as Google and Facebook. He recently called for a third-party audit of Twitter to see if the social media company is biased against conservatives.
Hawley also faced some criticism from the right for questioning Neomi Rao’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. While Hawley ultimately voted for Rao in the Judiciary Committee, he initially expressed concerns about her views on abortion rights.
Here’s are some of the thingswhat else Hawley had to say during the interview:
- Hawley was supportive of a move to speed up debate over presidential nominees — including some lower-court judicial picks. He, along with other Republicans, contend Democrats have been way too aggressive in trying to block some of Trump’s nominees.
- He also talked about the fallout from questioning Rao’s nomination, including from conservative-leaning publications such as the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
- Hawley contends his criticism of big technology companies like Facebook and Google doesn’t necessarily conflict with GOP rhetoric about being friendly toward businesses. “I’m all for the free market,” he said. “But the free market depends on free and fair competition. And my worry is that is not what we have now, that you have these companies that have grown so huge, and that they’re exerting monopoly power, market concentration. And they’re using this to extract information from consumers without telling us.”
- Hawley supports publicly revealing everything in Robert Mueller’s report on Trump that can be legally released. He noted that federal law prohibits the release of information that is part of ongoing investigations or ongoing trials. “It’s a big report. They’re culling out the material that they’re legally required to withhold,” he said. “And then they’re going to give all the rest of it to Congress and to the public. And I think that is exactly the right approach.”
Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum
Follow Josh Hawley on Twitter: @HawleyMO
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Music: "Points of Authority" by Linkin Park