Josh Hawley, the Missouri Republican looking to unseat U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in November, slammed the Democratic incumbent for opposing the 2020 U.S. Census question inquiring about citizenship status, saying McCaskill wants to give more power to California.
“Sen. McCaskill would love to give more representation to California. That’s what will happen,” Hawley, the state attorney general, said in an interview with the Washington Times.
He asserted that McCaskill’s aversion to the census question shows she’s beholden to the Democratic Party rather than her constituents in the Show Me State.
“Places like California and New York that have greater numbers of illegal immigrants, they are going to end up with more representation, and we’ll lose seats. She is fine with that, though,” he added. “That just strikes people in Missouri as craziness. They just don’t understand it. I don’t understand it.”
“Places like California and New York that have greater numbers of illegal immigrants, they are going to end up with more representation, and we’ll lose seats. She is fine with that, though.”
The move to quiz U.S. residents on their citizenship status is a controversial one, dividing Washington along partisan lines. The Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether the question will appear on the census.
Democrats criticized the citizenship question, saying it would reduce the response rates by illegal immigrants who fear their information could be used to deport them. McCaskill herself criticized the proposal, calling it “blatantly political” and demanding a Senate panel hearing on the issue.
Republicans, meanwhile, said the citizen question is important to get a clear picture of the U.S. makeup.
The issue fits well into Hawley’s campaign to unseat McCaskill in a red state. He portrayed the Democrat as a pawn of the Democratic Party rather than the independent senator she often claims to be.
The Republican criticized McCaskill’s “no” vote on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, saying the vote proves she’s following her party’s “extreme agenda.”
“Block conservative judges, throw open our borders, raise taxes on the middle class. That is their agenda,” he told the Washington Times. “They are hungry for power, and they will do just about anything to get it.
“That, versus the agenda that this state voted for in 2016, which is to rebuild this country. It is a stark choice and that choice is on the ballot,” he added.
The race between Hawley and McCaskill is in a dead heat, with the latest poll showing the Republican leading by 1 point.