7 Things: Alabama House speaker remains neutral on toll roads, Jones dodges a bullet, Tuberville drubbing his opponents and more …
7. No more student debt for disabled veterans
- On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that will forgive permanently disabled veterans’ student debt. Disabled veterans will also be exempt from paying federal income tax on the student loans.
- The current system does allow eligible veterans to enroll in a debt forgiveness program, called the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, but veterans must have a VA service-connected disability rating of 100%, and due to the complicated nature of the process, only around 20% of eligible veterans are actually enrolled in the current system.
6. More jobs for Alabama
- On Wednesday, Governor Kay Ivey announced that Vuteq, a Japan-based auto manufacturing facility, will be opening a new facility that will serve the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. plant currently being constructed in Huntsville.
- The first Vuteq location in Alabama will provide 200 jobs; construction on the facility is expected to begin in October and be completed by September 2020.
5. Birthright citizenship could be on the way out
- Speaking outside the White House, President Donald Trump said that he’s “very seriously” looking at ending at the “ridiculous” birthright citizenship policy. He could use an executive order to end the policy.
- Trump said that because people can just walk into the United States, have a child and that child becomes an American citizen, it encourages illegal immigration. The only issue with Trump’s statement is that the 14th Amendment designates citizenship to people born or naturalized in the United States.
4. Dems now say Trump is anti-Semitic
- President Donald Trump said that Jewish Americans show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty” for supporting Democrats, and now Democrats in Congress have called Trump’s statement an “anti-Semitic attack,” which means the president, who wants to be supported by all Jews, is somehow anti-Semitic for attacking liberals who want to cut off financial aid to Israel that keeps them safe.
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was quick to speak out in a tweet where he said, “To my fellow American Jews…when he uses a trope that’s been used against the Jewish people for centuries with dire consequences he is encouraging – wittingly or unwittingly – anti-Semites throughout the country and world. Enough.”
3. Tuberville is crushing it
- Recent polling data released by Moore Information Group and the Tuberville for Senate campaign took responses from 400 likely Republican Alabama voters, which shows former football coach Tommy Tuberville taking a strong lead in the 2020 U.S. Senate primary.
- Tuberville leads with 33%, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) came out at 17%, former Chief Justice Roy Moore polled at 15%, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill was at 13% and State Representative Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) trailed behind at 1%.
2. Doug Jones can sleep easy — he’s not racist
- State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) has confirmed that he’s not going to run against Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) in the 2020 Democratic U.S. Senate primary.
- Rogers initially said that he would only run if he could raise $500,000, and after months of consideration, he never raised the sufficient funds, but Rogers also weighed in on the controversy between Jones and the Democratic National Committee against the Alabama Democratic Party and the Alabama Democratic Conference, saying that he doesn’t think Jones is a racist. Rogers said he “wouldn’t dare call him a racist.”
1. House Speaker McCutcheon neutral on Mobile Bay Bridge and Skyway project tolls
- As the battle over tolls in Alabama rages on, one member of the Alabama Toll Road, Bridge, and Tunnel Authority says he is attempting to keep an open-mind ahead of the Authority’s meeting on October 7.
- Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) issued a statement acknowledging the need to alleviate congestion on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, but made it clear that he needed more information, stating, “The devil lies in the details of determining how we can most effectively address the issue.”