Welcome to this week’s edition of the D.C. Memo. This week in Washington, Trump digs in on attacks against Rep. Ilhan Omar, anonymous polling and raising the minimum wage.
Trump attacks Omar
President Trump wrote on Twitter last weekend that four congresswomen of color, including Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minneapolis, should “go back” and fix the “broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
The House voted to condemn those remarks on Tuesday night 240-187, with all three Minnesota Republicans, Reps. Tom Emmer, Jim Hagedorn, and Pete Stauber, voting against condemnation. Read more at MinnPost.
Trump continued to push a racist and xenophobic agenda with his remarks in North Carolina on Wednesday night, criticizing Omar as the crowd chanted: “Send her back! Send her back!”
In a statement Thursday, Trump disavowed the chants. But he did nothing during the rally to suggest that chants were wrong and he did not ask the audience to stop.
“There’s no place for that kind of talk. I don’t agree with that,” Emmer said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday. But he also said that the President is not racist (“There’s not a racist bone in this president’s body”) and argued he simply wasn’t clear: “What he was trying to say, he said wrong.”
#IStandWithIlhan was trending #1 on Twitter Thursday morning.
“The racism and xenophobia inherent in this act is chilling and terrifying,” Jewish Community Action said in a statement. “We can never accept this or let it become normal.”
At least one instance prior to the President’s statements seemed to provide ammo for his attacks on Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI): unreleased polling done by Democrats who refused to be named, as reported by Axios.
According to the anonymously released poll of 1,003 white non-college voters, Omar is viewed favorable by only “9% (not a typo)” of those surveyed. HuffPost’s Ariel Edwards-Levy explains the many things wrong with the poll.
In a Twitter post, the president repeated the numbers from the Axios poll, saying that the representatives’ low approval ratings in the poll are the same as their approval ratings with the general electorate (they are not).
“This is at least the second time Trump has pretended that numbers among white voters are the only numbers,” said CNN’s fact checker and daily Trump watcher Daniel Dale. “He’s also done it with 2016 election results, repeatedly claiming that he got “52%” though that was only his number with white women.”
Raise the Wage Act
The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to raise the Federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, as well as to index future wage increased to median wage growth and phase out tipped minimum wage. The final vote was 233-199, mostly along party lines.
YES: Democrats Angie Craig (MN-2), Dean Phillips (MN-3), Betty McCollum (MN-4), Ilahn Omar (MN-5), Colin Peterson (MN-7).
NO: Republicans Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), Tom Emmer (MN-5), Pete Stauber (MN-8).
The Senate version of the bill is sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders and has 31 Democratic co-sponsors.
On Monday, Amazon’s biggest yearly sale (Prime Day), warehouse workers in Shakopee, MN walked out of their job to protest working conditions in the warehouse. Workers, many of them East African Muslim immigrants, walked out for better working conditions and prayer time.
“If you need to use the bathroom, because you’re so fearful of the break, minutes are counted against you, then you have to hold [it] because of that,” said one of the workers, Hassan, who is in his 50s, through an interpreter. Read more at MinnPost.
On Wednesday, Sanders, Omar, and thirteen other members of Congress asked the Department of Labor to launch an investigation into workplace safety at Amazon’s warehouses.
“In the year 2019, working conditions in the United States of America should be the best and safest in the world,” their letter reads. “Unfortunately, according to numerous media reports, and reflected in previous fines levied by your agency, that is not the case at Amazon.”
The president next door
Klobuchar looks poised to make the third Democratic presidential debate in September, having raised $3.87 million from over 100,000 donors so far. But she’s nowhere near the top when it comes to polling and fundraising. Read more at MinnPost.
On the campaign trail, Klobuchar released plans late last week to improve care for seniors, including expanding resources for caregivers and expanding Medicare services for Alzheimers. Rishika Dugyala at Politico has a good breakdown.
In other news
- The House of Representatives held Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt for their refusal to turn over key documents in the Census dispute.
- Barr decided that the police who killed New York resident Eric Garner with a chokehold in 2014 will not be charged, against the advice of Civil Rights prosecutors.
- Alan Turing, one of the progenitors of modern computing and the subject of the film “The Imitation Game,” will be the face of the UK’s new £50 note. After making significant developments in cracking the Nazi’s Enigma code, Turing was sentenced by British officials to chemical castration for his sexuality.
Quote of the week
“It’s central to his 2020 strategy, they say. Trump’s associates predict more, not less, of the race-baiting madness,” — Axios’ Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen.
What I’m reading
David Klion in Jewish Currents: What Being Jewish Means to Bernie
Something rarely talked about: Bernie Sanders is, for the second time now, running the most successful presidential campaign by a Jewish candidate in American history. Klion sat down with his staffers, several of whom are Jewish, to talk about the implications of Sanders religious identity on his campaign. Here’s an excerpt:
In other words, Sanders represents an era of Jewish labor and civil rights activism that was vibrant in the pre-McCarthy New York he was born into, and that has since been suppressed relative to other signifiers of Jewishness in the political arena: Zionism, religiosity, and bourgeois materialism chief among them.
Deborah Netburn in the LA Times: A retired teacher found some seahorses off Long Beach. Then he built a secret world for them.
Considering the relentless news cycle this week, I’ll end with this good read: A man spends his days caring for, and researching, seahorses in Long Beach, CA. Nothing more, nothing less.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for sticking around. Until next week, feel free to send tips, suggestions, and sound advice to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow at @gabemschneider. And don’t forget to become a MinnPost member.
Correction: This story has been updated with Sen. Klobuchar’s stance on the Amazon worker’s strike. The first iteration of this story also identified the location of the President’s rally as South Carolina. It was hosted in North Carolina.