7 Things: Biden speaks to some of Congress, Alabama congressional delegation bash Biden address, businesses need workers as coronavirus pandemic fades and more …
7. Alabama bill would make daylight savings time permanent
- The Alabama House Economics Development and Tourism Committee has approved a bill that would make daylight savings time in Alabama permanent, but ultimately Congress has the final say even if Governor Kay Ivey signs the bill.
- There are 15 states that have already passed similar legislation, with seven of those states doing so last year. There were questions in committee about how this could impact time zones, but the legislation was still approved.
6. Rudy Giuliani’s apartment raided to the media’s delight
- The raid into former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is under investigation concerning his activities in Ukraine while he pursued an investigation linked to Trump’s primary political rival, President Joe Biden. Giuliani hasn’t been charged and has denied wrongdoing. His son said, “The only piece of evidence that they did not take up there today was the only piece of incriminating evidence that is in there—and it does not belong to my father, it belongs to the current president’s son.”
- In the good ol’ days of 2020, the search of a former president’s lawyer’s home would be a scandal that would bring cries of a politicized Department of Justice, but not in 2021. Instead, the attempt to nail Giuliani for being an unregistered foreign agent, something President Joe Biden’s son clearly did too, is praised and treated as a great moment.
5. Amazon union election could be set aside
- According to the National Labor Relations Board, the election over forming a union at the Bessemer Amazon fulfillment center could be nullified due to evidence submitted by the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union. This was an election they lost by a more than 2-to-1 margin.
- There will be a hearing on May 7 to consider the evidence and objections made by the union, and the labor board said their “objections could be grounds for overturning the election if introduced at a hearing.”
4. We will help kids catch up by not implementing accountability standards
- In 2019, the Alabama Legislature passed a bill called the “Literacy Act of 2019,” and its intent was to make sure that kids could read at an early level before promoting them and setting them up for failure. After a global pandemic that has changed the way schools operate, some lawmakers have proposed that keeping kids who can’t read back might not be such a good idea and we should just promote them.
- State Senator Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) has suggested that educators want this delay implemented but all that would do is promote kids who are not ready to succeed to the next level. State Rep. Charlotte Meadows (R-Montgomery) accurately noted, “To give everybody a pass for two more years is really going to be damaging to the third graders that are now second graders,” adding, “We can’t let them move forward if they can’t read.”
3. Economic optimism is on the rise in Alabama as COVID-19 subsides
- The coronavirus vaccine is continuing to work in Alabama, and new cases and deaths continue to drop as shots go into arms, but according to Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in UAB’s School of Public Health, “we need to hit 3.5 million people in Alabama with immunity.” As of now, 42% of adults have received one dose of a vaccine with 30% are fully vaccinated.
- As we return to normal, the Business Council of Alabama is pointing out that there are currently 66,500 job openings in Alabama as the unemployment rate continues to drop and employers expect that trend to continue.
2. Biden gives his first address
- President Joe Biden has delivered his first address to Congress, but there were some U.S. Senators who skipped the event, including Tom Cotton (R-AR), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Marco Rubio (R-FL). In his speech, Biden laid out details for his upcoming $4+ trillion infrastructure, pre-K, community college and child care plans.
- He also referred to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 as “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War,” which is totally true, unless you count the four assassination attempts, the 1915 Capitol bombing, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the 1954 shooting by Puerto Rican nationalists, the 1971 Weather Underground bombing, the 1983 M19 bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11t attacks as threats to our democracy. Democrats also baselessly challenged the elections of 2000 and 2016 from the U.S. Capitol.
1. Alabama’s delegation responds to Biden speech
- President Biden’s speech may have gone over fantastically in the media and with people that want a new era of big government, but the state of Alabama’s congressional delegation has a significantly different take. U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said this was about “[Biden’s] version of socialism,” while U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) stated, “President Biden continues to govern counter to what he promised in his inaugural address when he pledged to not be a partisan President. Instead, he is pushing a liberal, wish list, spending frenzy that Franklin Roosevelt could never have dreamed of and sending the American taxpayer the bill.”
- Alabama’s senior U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) warned that the agenda by this president was not one of unity. He declared, “Tonight’s address from President Biden was focused on drastically changing the country, but instead of reaching across the aisle to find ways to work together, this Administration is prioritizing liberal policies and a partisan agenda.”