Jul 31, 2019

Pete Buttigieg quotes scripture to attack Republicans on minimum wage

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg quoted scripture during the second Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday to attack Republican senators for blocking a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15.

"This is so much bigger than a trade fight. This is about a moment when the economy is changing before our eyes. There are people in economy who go through more jobs in a week than my parents went through in the lifetime. It's why I've proposed we allow gig workers to unionize, because a gig is a job and a worker is a worker. We have to respond to these changes and, in addition to confronting tech, in addition to supporting workers by doubling unionization as I propose to do — some of this is low tech, too. Like the minimum wage is just too low. And so-called conservative Christian senators right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when scripture says, 'Whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.'"

Why it matters: Buttigieg, who would be the first openly gay president in U.S. history if elected, has spoken openly about his Christian faith throughout the campaign. He has repeatedly attacked Republicans — including Vice President and fellow Indiana native Mike Pence — for what he has describes as "moral hypocrisy," arguing that religion is not "a kind of cudgel as if God belonged to a political party" and that Democrats are fully capable of winning back evangelical voters.

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Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.