President Joe Biden signs a pair of executive orders meant to offer stopgap economic relief to an economy still being hammered by the coronavirus. “We have to act like we’re in a national emergency,” Biden said. (Jan. 22)
Not for the first time this week, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul took his criticisms of newly inaugurated President Joe Biden to Fox News.
Speaking with conservative personality Sean Hannity Friday night, the Republican congressman repeated his claim that Biden’s goal of increasing the national minimum wage to $15 would cause 4 million people to lose their jobs.
“And the people who lose their jobs first when you hike up the minimum wage are Black teenagers,” Paul said. “So, you know, ‘why does Joe Biden hate Black teenagers’ should be the question. Why does Joe Biden want to destroy all these jobs?”
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Paul’s claim about job loss is a distortion of the Congressional Budget Office’s median estimate, according to FactCheck.org at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Paul said Friday “even the government says that nearly 4 million people will lose their jobs” after the minimum wage hike, but the claim is a reference to the high end of the budget office’s range of potential outcomes, according to FactCheck.org. The low end of the range was “about zero” jobs lost.
To support his claims, Paul’s office sent the fact checking site a link to a July 2019 report from the budget office that did not say more than doubling the federal minimum wage would definitely result in about 4 million fewer people working.
Paul then turned the conversation with Hannity to former President Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial, saying he doesn’t think the Senate “should validate this corrupt, one-week process with no due process.”
The House of Representatives last week voted to impeach Trump for a second time, charging him with inciting the crowd before the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The Senate will start the impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, according to a deal announced Friday.
“If they’re going to impeach people who incite violence, I have a question,” Paul said. “Are they going to impeach (Sen.) Bernie Sanders? You remember the guy who shot Steve Scalise … the guy was a rabid Bernie Sanders supporter, and you remember what Democrats were saying at the time.
“They were saying, Republicans’ health care plan is: You get sick, and then you die. That sounds like an incitement if you’re telling people that the Republican Party is going to kill you.”
Paul clarified he did not think Sanders should be impeached but said it would follow the same logic leading to the former president’s second impeachment.
The impeachment came after Trump urged supporters to rally in D.C. to protest the electoral vote confirming Biden’s presidency. In a speech at the rally, Trump told the crowd to walk to the nearby Capitol and “fight like hell,” after which a mob stormed the Capitol in a deadly riot.
Kentucky’s other senator, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said earlier this week the mob had been “provoked by Trump” and “was fed lies.”
“I think it’s an illegitimate procedure, and it isn’t a real impeachment,” Paul said. “It’s going to be a fake partisan impeachment.”
Follow Emma Austin on Twitter at @emmacaustin.
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