Josh Hawley sets up potential clash in GOP with coronavirus push

Most Senate Republicans are taking a cautious approach to the next step of Congress’ coronavirus response. Not Josh Hawley.

The freshman Missouri GOP senator is pitching far-reaching proposals, including the federal government directly financing businesses to keeps millions of workers on their payrolls — part of what he calls a “survival then surge” strategy in the face of a sputtering economy and dozens of state stay-at-home orders.

It’s not exactly GOP orthodoxy to push for even greater intervention in the economy after providing new unemployment benefits, direct cash payments and more than a quarter trillion dollars in loans and grants to small businesses. But Hawley argued in a telephone interview Monday that the economic severity in the country is “much bigger and much more severe than many other people anticipated” and Congress needs to act accordingly.