7 Things: Colonial Pipeline back up as panic buying continues, Shelby calls out political bias in prosecutions, a few Republicans claim they will leave party with Cheney losing her power and more …
7. Tuberville has legislation to help the southern border
- With President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris failing to address the crisis at the southern border, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has introduced legislation that will help officers actually enforce immigration laws on the local and state level.
- The Empowering Law Enforcement Act would give law enforcement, both state and local, the ability to handle illegal immigration cases more independently. They would be able to investigate, arrest and transfer migrants, and would give the Department of Homeland Security more time to ensure that violent criminals are not left in the country.
6. Hotels in Alabama need employees
- As tourism in Alabama is increasing, hotels are having more trouble finding enough people to come work for them. Managers of hotels are complaining of the struggle to find labor as there are so few applications coming in or a lack of response from the few applicants they get.
- In areas like Birmingham, 42% of hotel staff was shed in 2019 and 2020, but nationally it’s still expected that the industry will be lacking 478,000 jobs compared to employment before the pandemic. In Alabama, there will likely be 2,249 hotel jobs still not filled by the end of 2021.
5. Taxes are still a non-starter for Biden’s latest plans
- After making a statement about the coronavirus vaccine and infrastructure negotiations, President Joe Biden admitted he is not supposed to answer questions from reporters, but he did say that he was “encouraged” after his infrastructure meeting with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
- The two Republican leaders, however, continued to reiterate that the president’s spending plans and desire to raise taxes are non-starters for them. McConnell said, “We’re not interested in reopening the 2017 tax bill. We both made that clear to the president. That’s our red line.” McCarthy added, “Raising taxes would be the biggest mistake you could make.”
4. Transgender treatment bill likely has no future
- With the final day of the legislative session coming up on May 17, there’s speculation on the future of the bill that would ban doctors from prescribing medications for transitioning to transgender minors or performing gender reassignment surgery.
- State Representative Wes Allen (R-Troy) said he hopes the bill “will be on the calendar for a vote of the Alabama House of Representatives.” With the calendar still unavailable, there’s still uncertainty over whether the bill will be given any attention on the last day.
3. Cheney is out, and a few Republicans are threatening a split
- U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been removed from her leadership position in the chamber as the No. 3 Republican leader; the meeting over whether to remove her only took about 20 minutes. The decision was somewhat prompted by Cheney’s continued focus on former President Donald Trump rather than the current administration.
- Now that Cheney has been removed, there is also a group of about 100 Republicans claiming they’ll leave the party or support forming a third party if Republicans don’t make more of an effort to separate from Trump. It’s anticipated that a letter will be released with more details on the “Call for American Renewal” today.
2. Shelby is 100% right about concerns of political bias
- During the opening remarks of the Senate Committee on Appropriations’ hearing, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) brought up concerns over how laws are being enforced in the country too inconsistently and through political bias.
- Shelby said that “[s]elective enforcement of our nation’s laws erodes” the country’s foundation “the rule of law.” He added that people across the country watched the riots throughout 2020 and the riot on January 6 “with shock and horror.” He went on to point out how there are inconsistencies as “so many have chosen to stand idly by, excusing one while condemning another” in these riots.
1. Ivey told you not to panic-buy
- The Colonial Pipeline, which is the largest gasoline provider in the country, has restored operations, but it’s going to take a week or two for supply to be fully restored in many areas along the East Coast and in the South. With the pipeline shut down and panic-buying, the average national gas price has now reached $3 for the first time since 2014. However, gas prices were already on the rise due to energy policy changes by the Biden administration.
- Governor Kay Ivey called for Alabamians to remain calm, and it may have worked. According to the founder of GasBuddy.com, about 9% of Alabama’s gas stations are out of gas, compared to 74% in North Carolina, 56% in South Carolina, 50% of Georgia’s gas station (including 71% in Atlanta), 29% in Florida and 27% in Tennessee.