7 Things: Severe weather rocks Alabama, Biden holds first press conference, Shelby and Manchin say no national voting overhaul and more …
7. The spending binge is not over
- People who love spending taxpayer dollars never ever let a crisis go to waste. The “climate change crisis” is a never-ending piggybank of opportunity, and they now want to use it to spend an additional $3 trillion over the next decade, but it could be up to $10 trillion.
- Progressives in Congress want to see more spending, higher taxes and a long commitment to spending this money long after President Joe Biden leaves the White House, but they need the filibuster gone to pull most of it off.
6. Tuberville continues work on southern border crisis
- New legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) would require immigrants coming to the southern border illegally at least receive a court date before they’re released into the United States.
- This is in response to reports that many illegal immigrants are being released regularly without court dates. This legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) give people a Notice to Appear in court. Tuberville has pointed out that releasing people without court dates means that there’s very little way to actually know who is being released into the country.
5. Amazon has finally responded to Sanders ahead of his Alabama visit
- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is set to visit employees at the Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama today, and just ahead of his trip, Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, has responded to some of the criticisms from Sanders.
- Clark did say that he appreciates Sanders’ “push for a progressive workplace,” but added, “I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace.” He went on to point out of Amazon has a $15 minimum wage and numerous benefits that Sanders pushes for but has been unable to deliver on.
4. Georgia becomes one of the first states to change election laws after 2020 election
- A new law in Georgia has just been signed by Governor Brian Kemp that will put some restrictions on voting by mail. Despite protests from voter rights groups, the legislation is meant to secure the election process and avoid issues that were seen in the 2020 general election.
- Protesters, including State Representatives Park Cannon (D-GA) and Erica Thomas (D-GA), came to Kemp’s office after he signed the bill. There have been claims that this legislation will impact voters of color more than their white counterparts, and Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler (D-GA) stated, “We are witnessing right now a massive and unabashed assault on voting rights unlike anything we’ve seen since the Jim Crow era.”
3. Shelby won’t be supporting HR1, nor will Manchin
- In the House, H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People Act,” received no Republican support, and even now U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has shown opposition to the legislation. He said, “Pushing through legislation of this magnitude on a partisan basis may garner short-term benefits, but will inevitably only exacerbate the distrust that millions of Americans harbor against the U.S. government.”
- U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has released a statement on the legislation, calling it “a blatant power grab in an effort to force a federalized election system on the entire country.”
2. Biden stays upright but struggles to talk filibuster, border crisis, reelection
- President Joe Biden used cheat sheets and looked pretty bad, but held his first press conference with a very friendly media on Thursday. He covered a range of issues, including supporting changes for the filibuster. Biden said that he believes “we should go back to a position of a filibuster that existed just when I came to the United States Senate 120 years ago.” He also said that “it used to be that from between 1917 and 1971 the filibuster existed, there were a total of 58 motions to break a filibuster. … Last year alone, there were five times that many. So, it’s being abused in a gigantic way.”
- When discussing the immigration crisis at the southern border, Biden said that the Trump era “policies that were underway were not helping at all, did not slow the amount of immigration. Rolling back the policies of separating children from their mothers? Make no apology for that.” Later in the press conference, Biden said that it was his “expectation” to run for reelection in 2024 with Vice President Kamala Harris. When asked if he thought former President Donald Trump would run as a Republican, Biden said, “I have no idea … I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party.”
1. At least 5 dead in severe weather outbreak
- A severe weather system spawned tornados, heavy rains and floods from the Black Belt, across the Birmingham metro and into North Alabama dealing out property damage, power outages and death. Five people are confirmed dead in Calhoun County’s Ohatchee.
- Governor Kay Ivey issued a statement noting the severity of this destruction. She said, “Significant and dangerous weather continues to impact portions of Alabama, and I urge all folks in the path of these tornadoes and storm systems to remain on high alert. Tragically, we are receiving reports of loss of life.” Even famed meteorologist James Spann’s house was hit while he was on the air.