7 Things: Impeachment scheduled amid message of ‘unity,’ Alabama mayor questions vaccine rollout, Brooks draws big crowd as House punishment looms and more …
7. Gambling to be a priority in upcoming legislative session
- State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) is stepping down from his pro tempore position so he can focus on legislative efforts, one of them being legalizing gambling in the state of Alabama.
- Marsh said that he’s wanting to push “a comprehensive gaming package … to provide scholarships for young people.” He added that “a gaming bill can provide a long-term statewide broadband program.” Marsh is also looking to present the legislation as a constitutional amendment so “it’ll be for the people to vote on.”
6. Ainsworth comes out against Biden’s executive order for public school sports
- An executive order by President Joe Biden would allow transgender females, meaning they were born male, in public schools to use female restrooms and compete in female sports. This order has already received heavy opposition, and now Alabama Lt Gov. Will Ainsworth has come out against the order, too.
- Ainsworth criticized it as a “terrible policy.” He added, “You can’t have guys playing girls sports, to use your quote President Biden, ‘Come on, Man.’”
5. Huntsville picked for Space Command because it’s the best choice
- Some leaders in Colorado have complained that making Huntsville the location for U.S. Space Command Headquarters was a political decision, but the Air Force has continued to defend their decision and explain why Huntsville was the best choice.
- The Air Force Press Desk stated, “Secretary of the Airforce thoughtfully considered all input … she also received feedback from the National Command Authority, defense oversight committees, senior commanders and functional staff experts before making her decision on the preferred location.” The decision won’t technically be final until after an environmental impact study is concluded. It’s expected that announcement will happen in early 2023.
4. Orange Beach mayor urges mayors to be vocal about vaccine issues
- As Alabama continues to be criticized for the vaccine rollout, Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon is advocating for other mayors and local officials to voice issues that they’ve had with the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. Kennon has already said people should be required to be residents to receive the vaccine.
- Kennon said, “We should be busting our butts to figure out how we can distribute hundreds of thousands of doses…It should be a mass effort to come up with the ability to distribute mass doses of the vaccine.” Some officials have said that they don’t have the supply of vaccines to meet the demand in their areas.
3. Mo Brooks allies and foes rally
- Over the weekend, a “Free the Speech” rally was held in Priceville, Alabama, and U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) spoke at the event in which he received a standing ovation. Also speaking at the event was former State Representative Ed Henry.
- Henry said that if members of the state legislature “aren’t here, they don’t care about you.” One person showed up at the event of about 500 to call for Brooks to resign over his comments on January 6 that have now spurred some to call for Brooks to be censured. Another event was scheduled to oppose Brooks, and about 20 people showed up.
2. One in five Americans trust the “unity” message
- A new poll conducted by ABC News/Ipsos has shown that one in five, just 22%, Americans have “a great deal of confidence” in President Joe Biden being successful in uniting the country. The poll also showed 24% of people are not confident “at all” in uniting the country.
- According to the poll, 19% don’t have much confidence that Biden will unite the country, but 35% have a “good amount” of confidence. These responses were taken after people watched Biden’s inaugural address.
1. Impeachment trial will start the week of February 8
- As the Senate prepares for another impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, despite him no longer being in office, more senators have started voicing their support or lack of support for having a trial. U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) has expectedly shown support for the trial.
- Romney said that Trump’s “conduct with regards to the call to Secretary of State Raffensperger in Georgia as well as the incitation towards the insurrection that led to the attack on the Capitol call for a trial.” Romney added that for there to be “unity in our country.” there also has to be “accountability, for truth and justice.” By comparison, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that the “trial is stupid.” “It’s counterproductive…it’s like taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire,” he added.