Chad’s Morning Brief: Rivalry Brewing Between Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, Texas Democrats Push for Wage Hike, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for April 8, 2015.
Cruz vs. Paul
The two Republicans that are officially in the 2016 race are getting along now, but how long will it last? According to FOX News, the two candidates could get involved in a Tea Party rivalry.
Cruz and Paul unsurprisingly agree on most issues -- from overhauling the federal tax code to repealing ObamaCare.
But the point where they diverge appears to be at the water’s edge of American politics.
"I'm a big fan of Rand Paul,” Cruz, considered more hawkish than Paul, recently told ABC News. “He and I are good friends [but] I don't agree with him on foreign policy."
To be sure, they clearly disagree on President Obama’s decision last year to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.
At a recent summit in California sponsored by the Koch brothers-backed Freedom Partners, Paul argued that a half-century of economic embargoes have failed to remove leaders Fidel and Raul Castro.
But Cruz, a Cuban-American, said at the time: “The Castro brothers are brutal dictators.”
They have also disagreed on the tentative nuclear deal signed last week with Iran, though Paul now appears to align himself more with fellow Senate Republicans.
“This is the worst negotiation ever in the history of mankind,” Cruz said at the California summit (held before the deal was announced), warning of an Iranian nuclear strike in Tel Aviv, New York or Los Angeles.
Paul urged Cruz to have patience, asking, “Are you ready to send ground troops to Iran?”
However, Paul later joined Cruz and 44 other Republican senators in signing Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton’s letter to Iranian leaders saying a final deal must have congressional approval and suggesting one with Obama could end when he leaves office in January 2017.
Foreign policy will be the main issue that divides Cruz and Paul but I don't know if I'd call them rivals just yet. Cruz and Paul seem to be going after different voters, at least for now. Paul wants to expand the Republican tent and bring in libertarians and independents. Cruz seems to be going after the Tea Party and evangelical voters.
It should be interesting to see how the two interact on the campaign trail.
Minimum Wage in Texas
Texas Democrats want to see the minimum wage increased in Texas according to the Texas Tribune.
The minimum wage would go up to $10.10 an hour under proposals by state Reps. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, and Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio. A separate measure by Martinez Fischer would ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment setting the minimum wage at $10.10.
“We deal with constituent cases on a regular basis of folks who come in for assistance just to pay basic light bills, money for gas to get to work and take their kids to school,” Lucio told the committee. “These are working folks. They aren't trying to skirt the system in any way.”
Among states, Texas has the highest number of minimum wage workers, with 223,000 peoplemaking $7.25 an hour in 2013. Citing a report by the liberal Center for Public Policy Priorities, Martinez Fischer told the committee that one in four workers — or 2.4 million Texans — would get a raise under the minimum wage proposals.
That figure was challenged by Republicans. State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving, said the state would gain little from a wage hike, because 50 percent of minimum wage workers are under 25, probably don't have dependents or are likely students. Citing their own figures, the Democratic authors disputed this claim, pointing to data showing a majority of minimum wage workers are 25 or older, with many of them supporting households with children.
Later, Rinaldi seemed to question the idea of a minimum wage altogether, saying it seemed like “government telling me I’m not free to work unless I do it at a wage that it approves.”
As I and others have said before, the minimum wage wasn't created so people could raise a family of 5. Raising the minimum wage would do nothing to help workers or the citizens of Texas in the long run. In Seattle, they have already seen the price of meals increase when dining out and there is more talk about raising taxes in order to pay government employees more. In the end, we will all pay more.
Raising the minimum wage won't solve anything for anyone in Texas.
Other Must Read Links:
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