May 20, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Happy Monday! Axios PM brings you what matters, in Smart Brevity. (Today: 495 words)

1 big thing: Kamala vs. the gender pay gap

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Kamala Harris wants to use the power of the presidency to close the gender pay gap.

  • Her new proposal: Use executive action to ensure federal contractors act first, then get Congress to fine big companies 1% of profits for every 1% of pay gap.
  • Past federal legislation put the burden on employees to sue or report their employers if gender-based pay discrimination was suspected.

The big picture: While other 2020 Democrats have talked about unequal pay or more transparency from companies, Harris' proposal is the most concrete, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.

Details: Legislative action would be required to impose her policy on private corporations.

  • Companies with 100+ employees would have to obtain an “equal pay certification” every two years from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Companies would have to prove pay gaps for similar jobs are based on something other than gender.
  • This policy could generate $180 billion in 10 years, Harris' campaign estimates.
  • That revenue would be spent on paid family and medical leave programs.

What they're saying: “Closing the wage gap would mean tens of millions for women and their families," Vicki Shabo, a senior fellow at nonpartisan think tank New America, told HuffPost.

  • "It could wipe out student loan debt, give relief to homeowners, and literally put food on the table. It’s something that can help stimulate the economy.”
  • Yes, but: "Penalties tend to slow compliance and undermine the goals that they seek to achieve," said Joseph Vaughan, executive director of Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Forum, a trade group. "I'm always concerned when people introduce policies with punitive fines and penalties that it will never be enacted into law."

The bottom line: If things continue as is, women won't get equal pay until 2059.

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Someone threw a milkshake on Brexit champion Nigel Farage.

  • The suspect: "Paul Crowther, 32 ... said it was a £5.25 Five Guys banana and salted caramel milkshake."
  • Video.
2. What you missed
  1. Tornado Alley on alert: Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma have "high risk" of severe weather, the scale's top rating.
  2. Justice Department says Don McGahn can defy subpoena from House Judiciary. Go deeper.
  3. 5th migrant kid dies: 16-year-old Guatemalan died while detained by the Border Patrol in south Texas. [AP]
  4. Ford will cut 7,000 jobs. Roughly 2,300 are in North America. The email.
  5. Robert Smith’s pledge to pay off Morehouse College class of 2019’s student debt highlighted the disproportionate impact of student debt on African Americans. By the numbers.
3. 1 family thing

73-year-old French postal worker Andre Gantois "figured he’d likely go to his grave without ever knowing who his father was, unable to identify the U.S. serviceman who had fought his way across France ... and been nursed back to health in a military hospital by Gantois’ mother," writes the AP's John Leicester.

  • "The trail would have ended there for [Gantois] had his American half brother not also taken a DNA test. By chance, they both picked the same testing company, enabling it to put them together."
  • "Andre actually looks more like my dad than I do,” Allen Henderson, Gantois' half brother, told the AP. “I feel almost like I’m talking to my dad.”
Mike Allen