7 Things: Florida congressman could run for senator in Alabama, Democrats sue the president as border crisis continues, Planned Parenthood has an ominous threat and more …
7. The free market works — Target looks to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour
— Target has raised its minimum wage once a year for the past three years. This year by June, the minimum wage will be $13 per hour. The company’s goal is to have a $15 minimum wage by the end of next year. Target is the latest corporations to raise their minimum wage after calls for new laws to raise the federal minimum wage have increased amid a booming economy.
— State Representative Adline Clarke (D-Mobile) has introduced the Equal Pay Act to the Alabama legislature. Clarke made a statement, saying, “This is an issue of fairness that is absolutely crucial to Alabama families. Women workers make up a large part of our workforce and their paychecks go to gas, groceries, childcare, college tuition and other essentials for our families. They must receive equal pay for equal work.” A 2016 study done by the American Association of University Women said that women were paid 20 percent less than men. The Equal Pay Act would also require employers to keep three years of payroll records at a time.
5. Former Trump fixer Michael Cohen wants to stay out of prison, so he’s told Congress that he has more to add
— According to Cohen’s attorneys, their less-than-truthful client has discovered substantial evidence filed on a hard drive that could be helpful to investigators. Cohen has also been asking top Democrats on the committees where he testified to write letters that will outline his cooperation that he could use to lobby for a lighter sentence, which is what this is all about. Cohen was sentenced last year to three years in prison. He was originally supposed to report to prison in March, but the date was pushed back two months in preparation for his Congressional testimony.
4. Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) wants to raise the smoking age to 21
— On Thursday, Aderholt introduced a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21, and he also included a provision that would require age verification when buying vaping products online. In a statement, Aderholt said, “Smoking is just as much of a danger to health and life as drinking, and even more so to those who are still young and impressionable. This is why I have introduced a bill in Congress to increase the agree to legally buy tobacco products to 21.” Aderholt also wants vaping regulated further. His law would require online vendors to gather information and verify it through a third-party database before products are purchased online.
3. Planned Parenthood is turning it up to 11 over a potential abortion bill
— Planned Parenthood gave an alarmist statement in response to State Representative Terri Collin’s (R-Decatur) bill that would ban abortion, saying it “would be a death sentence for women across this state.” The bill would make abortions a felony. Planned Parenthood Southeast President and CEO Staci Fox wrote saying that the bill “would criminalize our doctors, forcing them to make an impossible choice: treat their pregnant patients or protect themselves instead.” Planned Parenthood also challenged Alabama’s Amendment Two on the general election ballot and failed.
— As the president heads to the border, Democrats are looking to sue him over his emergency declaration. Trump declared a state of emergency due to the border crisis and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has followed through on a previous threat, saying, “The president’s sham emergency declaration and unlawful transfers of funds have undermined our democracy, contravening the vote of the bipartisan Congress, the will of the American people and the letter of the Constitution.” But the situation is getting worse. Mark Morgan served as the head of U.S. Border Patrol during the Obama administration, and he told the Senate Homeland Security Committee, “We’re experiencing a crisis at the southern border at a magnitude never seen in modern times, it’s unprecedented.”
1. A Florida congressman my become a carpetbagging candidate for U.S. Senate
— It seems unlikely that a congressman from another state could swoop into Alabama and win a Senate seat, even with a Trump-endorsement, but Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is apparently considering it. Gaetz is a close ally of President Trump, and he has told several lawmakers in the House that he’s considering moving to Alabama to run for Doug Jones’ Senate seat in 2020. However, Rep. Gaetz told The Hill, “I had a few people make mention to me that Alabama has a very short residency requirement but it’s not something I’ve looked at myself. I think that my most likely path would be to seek reelection in the House.” Alabama law only requires House and Senate candidates to live in the state for one day before running for office.