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Tags: mitch mcconnell | josh hawley | manhattan project | funding

Tensions Rise Again Between Sens. McConnell, Hawley

By    |   Thursday, 14 December 2023 11:30 AM EST

The uneasy relationship between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has been further strained after McConnell maneuvered to strip a Hawley-sponsored amendment from the annual defense bill, The Hill reported.

Hawley's provision would have compensated St. Louis-area residents who were exposed to radiation from nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project in the 1940s that had been improperly stored.

According to The Hill, Hawley's proposal stood a good chance of making it into the final version of the defense bill, following the Senate's 61-37 vote in July to include it as an amendment.

But McConnell made it clear from the beginning of the "Four Corners" negotiations that he wanted the Hawley provision stripped from the final bill, the Missouri senator said.

McConnell allies who spoke with The Hill said Hawley's proposal would have created a massive unfunded mandate, which would run counter to House Speaker Mike Johnson's priority of cutting the federal deficit.

Johnson, R-La., also reportedly opposed Hawley's proposal to reauthorize and expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which is set to expire in 2024.

While a Senate aide told The Hill Hawley's proposal would have cost more than $100 billion over 10 years, the senator said that number miscalculates the actual cost of compensating Missouri radiation victims.

McConnell's staff claims the Senate Republican leader objected to Hawley's provision on policy grounds; Senate insiders told The Hill, however, that Hawley has been an outspoken critic of McConnell's leadership and supported the attempt by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., last year to push McConnell out of his position.

McConnell seemingly responded by removing both Scott and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who supported Scott's bid, from the powerful Commerce Committee.

After Senate Republicans lost a seat in the 2022 midterm elections, Hawley called for a GOP leadership change.

"We got to do something different," he said at the time. "We're not appealing to working-class independents; we don't have their confidence."

According to The Hill, McConnell put the kibosh on another Hawley proposal during a Republican lunch meeting in October, when he cautioned colleagues against signing onto a Hawley-sponsored bill that would prohibit publicly-traded companies from giving money to super PACs and from making independent expenditures and political ads.

Hawley was left wondering why McConnell was so determined to kill his proposal to compensate Missouri victims of improperly stored radioactive waste.

"They didn't give a reason" for why his amendment was axed, Hawley told The Hill.

He's also reportedly angry that Congress can come up with $61 billion in additional funding for Ukraine, but can't find a few billion in the budget to help families in his home state that are feeling the effects of a World War II weapons project nearly 80 years later.

"You can't roll over the people of Missouri, you cannot roll over all those who have had radiation exposure, take away the life-saving help they're depending on and just expect me to be quiet about it," he said. "I'm going to make it as painful as I possibly can."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
The uneasy relationship between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has been further strained after McConnell maneuvered to strip a Hawley-sponsored amendment from the annual defense bill, The Hill reported.
mitch mcconnell, josh hawley, manhattan project, funding
506
2023-30-14
Thursday, 14 December 2023 11:30 AM
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