Biden to sign executive orders boosting workers’ rights and pushing for $15 minimum wage for federal staff

From today’s Business Insider Online:

President Joe Biden has planned a series of actions aimed at raising the minimum wage for federal staff to $15 and boosting workers’ rights, Brian Deese, his National Economic Council director, told reporters on Thursday.

This includes two executive orders Biden is set to sign on Friday. With one order, the Department of Labor would be asked to clarify that people seeking employment can continue to claim jobless benefits if they turn down a job because it puts their health at risk.

White House officials said the order would provide workers “a federally guaranteed right to refuse employment that will jeopardize their health, and if they do so, they will still qualify for unemployment insurance,” The New York Times reported.

Biden is set to ask agencies to review which federal workers make less than $15 an hour and to develop recommendations to boost them to that wage. That order would overturn three executive orders that President Donald Trump signed in 2018 that limited job protections for federal employees and weakened their labor unions.

Biden has asked his team to prepare another executive order to ensure that federal contractors offer a $15 minimum wage alongside emergency paid leave. Biden plans to sign this order in his first 100 days in office, Deese said.

The two executive orders Biden is set to sign on Friday also include measures to bolster food aid for people struggling with hunger during the coronavirus pandemic and to push for improved delivery of stimulus checks.

Read the complete article here.

Trump’s Travel Ban Voided by Courts

The ill-fated attempt by President Donald Trump to keep immigrants and refugees out of the U.S., in some cases indefinitely, met stiff resistance not only from concerned citizens, the Democratic Party, and even members of his own party, it was also greeted with skepticism by the federal courts.

Judges from New York and Boston, to Seattle and Los Angeles, effectively put the ban on hold by issuing injunctions against its enforcement while legal challenges to its constitutionality are heard by the courts.

As a result, individuals who were barred last week from entering the country are now able to travel to the U.S., as officials at Borders and Customs, as well as Homeland Security and TSA, announced they would not be enforcing Trump’s executive order given the intervention by the courts.

Trump was ill-tempered in his reaction. On Twitter he posted the following message: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”

Poor Trump. He doesn’t understand how the U.S. Constitution works, with all those division of powers between the three branches of government, and the doctrine of checks-and-balances to make sure no single branch, whether Executive, Legislative or Judicial, can run riot over the others. Trump doesn’t understand this, and for that reason assumes that whatever executive orders he sings automatically become law. He just doesn’t get it. So sad!