7 Things: Aderholt and Sewell vote for $2,000 stimulus as it passes the House, 71% of Alabamians want the lottery, veterans homes to get vaccinations and more …
7. Subsidized internet access extended
- Governor Kay Ivey has decided to extend the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students, which provides internet access to K-12 students across the state. This was able to happen after the deadline for CARES Act funds to be spent was extended to December 31, 2021.
- The program has provided internet access to “about 200,000 Alabama students” in the fall semester, according to Ivey’s office. Ivey added that her “hope is that this extension is welcome news for both parents and students during an unusual and difficult school year.”
6. Trump holding another rally in Georgia
- President Donald Trump has a rally scheduled in Dalton, Georgia, on January 4, which is just before the runoff election for two U.S. Senate seats in the state. The event at Dalton Regional Airport will be to support U.S. Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA).
- Loeffler and Perdue will also be speaking at the rally with Trump, as well as Georgia Public Service Commission candidate Lauren “Bubba” McDowell.
5. Biden accusing Department of Defense of ‘obstruction’ in transition
- As inauguration day gets closer, President-elect Joe Biden has now said that his transition teams have been facing “obstruction” from the Defense Department and Office of Management and Budget, which are led by people appointed by President Donald Trump.
- Biden said, “[R]ight now we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short in my view of irresponsibility.”
4. Vaccinations in veterans homes start today
- Tuesday, those living at state veterans homes will start to receive the coronavirus vaccine over the next couple of weeks. The first of four veterans homes to receive the vaccine will be Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City.
- The Floyd E. “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home in Huntsville is scheduled to receive vaccinations on December 31, William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette on January 7 and Colonel Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home in Pell City on January 11.
3. Majority in favor of gambling
- Governor Kay Ivey’s Study Group on Gambling Policy conducted a poll on where the state lands on legalizing the lottery and gambling. The poll, conducted through McLaughlin & Associates, showed a majority of the state is in favor of the lottery and gambling.
- For the lottery, 70.8% support legalizing, 25% oppose, while 67% support legalizing gambling in the state and 28.8% oppose it. It’s anticipated that legislation to bring the lottery to Alabama will be brought up in the 2021 legislative session.
2. Alabama delegation divided on $2,000 in COVID-19 stimulus
- U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has previously voiced opposition to stimulus checks throughout the pandemic, and now that President Donald Trump has pushed for $2,000 checks for every adult, Brooks has come out against that, too. He said about the debt, “Someone’s got to show me how we’re going to pay for it…how far before we ultimately go into a debilitating, insolvent bankruptcy that’s going to do great damage to our country and do more damage, in fact, than COVID-19 ever could have done?”
- U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) was the lone Alabama Republican to vote for the $2,000 payment. He stated that while he is concerned about the debt, “there are many people in the 4th Congressional District, and in other parts of the nation, who are hurting right now. I had much rather give money directly to the people who need it most, than give it to states like New York in the form of a bailout.” U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) also voted in favor of the $2,000 payout.
1. House approves $2,000 checks
- The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve $2,000 stimulus checks for adults across the country. This was done at the request of President Donald Trump as he’s continued to put pressure on Congress to increase stimulus payments.
- The decision passed in a 275-134 vote, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “Vote for this legislation or vote to deny the American people” assistance. The U.S. Senate will likely consider the measure within the next couple of days, but it is expected to fail.