wage

If Amazon Can Raise the Minimum Wage, Why Can’t Congress?
Here’s what I learned as a young single dad — raising wages is the moral issue of our time

A worker places a label on an order at an Amazon fullfillment center in May. Amazon is showing moral leadership, Norcross writes. Why won’t Congress? (Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — As the country awaits an announcement about where Amazon’s next headquarters will be located, there is equally big news coming from the online giant — they’re rightfully raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour.

This is a big win for America’s workers, and I know because I once worked for minimum wage. I was a young single dad raising my son and having to balance work, family life and a checkbook. After completing an apprenticeship, I became an electrician and spent my adult life fighting for working families through the labor movement.

White House Celebrates Trade Pact, Prepares to Sell Congress
Toomey, Heitkamp among members expressing concerns as Trump takes victory lap

Sens. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., at a Senate Budget hearing earlier this year. Toomey expressed some concerns Monday about a new trade pact brokered by the Trump administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and his team convinced Canada to join a revised North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico. Now, the hard part begins: Convincing congressional Democrats, who could control one or both chambers next year, to approve it.

Trump and White House officials contend the deal, if approved by Congress, would benefit American dairy farmers and automakers. They have also highlighted new e-commerce and intellectual property protections, as well as a new six-year review mandate. And they say each should appeal to Democrats.

Mixed Messages: Trump Offers Platitudes, Warnings on Iran at UN
President says Rouhani is a ‘lovely man’ and ‘sows death and destruction’

President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. He spent much of Tuesday sending mixed signals to Iranian leaders. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s second day at a United Nations conference in New York began with mixed signals from the U.S. diplomat-in-chief on Iran — including platitudes and warnings.

Trump’s second address to the UN General Assembly featured plenty of vintage moments, with tough rhetoric for friends and foes alike. His message for North Korea was one of partnership a year after he declared its leader, Kim Jong Un, was on a “suicide mission.” He threatened to slash U.S. aid to many UN members and declared China’s trade practices will not be tolerated much longer.

World Leaders Laugh as Trump Boasts of Accomplishments
‘Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK,’ president responds

President Donald Trump attends a meeting on the global drug problem at the United Nations with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Monday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Other world leaders laughed Tuesday when President Donald Trump began his UN General Assembly address by saying his administration has accomplished more than perhaps any in U.S. history.

Trump smiled wide and looked around the hall as the laughter continued.

Gregg Harper, Retiring Congressman and Giddy New Grandpa
After five terms, Mississippi Republican is looking forward to more family time

Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., is not seeking a sixth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Earlier this summer, Rep. Gregg Harper cleared his calendar to fly home for the birth of his first grandbaby — a little boy named Lee.

Speaking in his Rayburn Building office two weeks later, the Mississippi Republican pulled out his phone to flip through pictures.

McCaskill, Hawley Race to Cover Their Bases in Missouri
Vulnerable Democrat walks trickier tightrope than Republican challenger

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill addresses campaign volunteers on Aug. 25 in Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Lisa Ballenger didn’t volunteer for Hillary Clinton in 2016. She didn’t think she needed her help. 

But on a hot and sunny Saturday here late last month, Ballenger made sure to go to a packed campaign office in a plaza, where Sen. Claire McCaskill rallied volunteers about to go knocking on doors for her. 

Congress Awaits Details as Canada Looms Over NAFTA Deadline
Democrats and Republicans want northern neighbor included

Kushner enters USTR headquarters Aug. 29, 2018. (Ellyn Ferguson/CQ Roll Call)

With just a day before the Trump administration is expected to notify Congress that it plans to sign an agreement in principle with Mexico to update the NAFTA trade pact, lawmakers continue to seek more details and push for a final outcome that includes the third NAFTA partner — Canada.

“We have no exact details. Other than what’s been written in newspapers, we have no idea what’s in it,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said of the agreement in principle announced Monday by Mexico and the United States to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Corker said Senate Republicans were told Tuesday that they could soon receive what he called talking points on the agreement.

Artificial Intelligence May Help Match Veterans with Civilian Jobs
Software translates military job codes into relevant info for civilian employers

Artificial intelligence could help veterans find jobs in the civilian sector that make the most of their military training. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

One of the problems military veterans have long faced is matching their skills learned in the armed forces to the needs of civilian employers, an issue Congress continues to grapple with in the fiscal 2019 spending bills.

Many military jobs translate perfectly into the civilian sector — repairing an Abrams tank is much like repairing any heavy piece of machinery, for example — but many combat and leadership skills do not, on the surface, directly transfer.

Rep. Meng: Amend Constitution to Lower Voting Age to 16
The last constitutional amendment was passed in 1992

Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., announced Wednesday that she’s interested in lowering the voting age to 16. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Democratic Rep. Grace Meng introduced an amendment to the Constitution to lower the nationwide voting age to 16 years old.

The 26th Amendment — passed in 1971 — guarantees the right to vote to eligible citizens who are 18 years old or older, which shifted the voting age down from 21. Meng’s legislation would rewrite the amendment to include 16- and 17-year-olds in federal, state and local elections.

Fame and Campaign Fortune Haven’t Saved ‘Iron Stache’ From a Heated Primary
Randy Bryce faces fellow Democrat Cathy Myers in Wisconsin’s 1st District on Tuesday

Democrat Randy Bryce faces Cathy Myers in Tuesday’s primary in Wisconsin’s 1st District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Randy Bryce came on to the political scene, he became a Democratic fundraising juggernaut. But the Wisconsin Democrat, who is known by his Twitter moniker “Iron Stache,” hasn’t locked down his primary race in the 1st District, despite a national profile and buckets of money being poured into his campaign.

Bryce faces a potentially competitive contest against Janesville school board member Cathy Myers in Tuesday’s primary.