7 Things: President Trump has coronavirus, Byrne says New York could learn from Alabama, Alabama’s voting laws will be challenged and more …
7. Pelosi is already making threats
- With just over a month before the general election and the impending threat of an Electoral College deadlock due to mail-in ballots, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has already said during a news conference, “There ain’t no light at the end of the tunnel for you in the House of Representatives.”
- Pelosi’s comments are in reference to Trump as she prepares the House for the possibility of having to handle a “contingent election,” which would then be decided by the House through a state delegation vote for either candidate. Pelosi also sent a letter to other House Democrats where she said they “must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans from doing so.”
6. Mississippi removing mask mandate
- In Mississippi, the statewide mask mandate was allowed to expire as Governor Tate Reeves has still voiced support for wearing masks and taking precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic. He advised that “there is a difference between something being wise and something being a government mandate.”
- Some areas will be keeping local mask mandates, such as Tupelo, Oxford and Starkville. Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton has said that their mask ordinance will remain in place until “the medical professionals say it isn’t needed.”
5. Letter urges to confirm Barrett quickly
- Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is voicing support for the U.S. Senate to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett; he joined 22 other attorney generals in a letter advocating for her confirmation.
- In the letter, they discuss Barrett’s “unwavering commitment to a judicial philosophy that prioritizes restraint, humility, and respect for the rule of law.” Marshall also said in a separate statement, “Barrett is self-evidently qualified to sit on the Supreme Court, and the Senate should act immediately to confirm her as associate justice.”
4. Brooks is protecting jobs
- The “American Jobs First Act” has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), with the goal of protecting American jobs from foreign labor, especially through hiring H-1B workers.
- This plan would require H-1B workers to be paid higher than American workers and the F-1 OPT program would be suspended to prevent foreign students from working. It would also stop the issuing of 50,000 green cards through the diversity visa lottery program since it’s not based on qualifications.
3. Secretary of State John Merrill says voting changes will be challenged
- A federal judge ruled that Alabama counties can now do curbside voting, that witnesses are no longer needed for absentee ballots, and that photo ID requirements for absentee voting are unconstitutional because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The judge’s ruling has now drawn the attention of both Secretary of State John Merrill and Attorney General Steve Marshall who have pledged to challenge the odd rulings. Marshall stated, “Once again, a federal district court has sided with those making unsupported claims that Alabama’s absentee voter requirements of a photo ID and witness signatures place voters at risk from COVID-19.” He added, “The U.S. Supreme Court has explained, in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, that the right to vote includes the right to vote in an election where ‘safeguards exist to deter [and] detect fraud [and] to confirm the identity of voters.”
2. New York could learn a thing or two from Alabama
- New York has regularly been praised by the mainstream media for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) is now saying that the state could learn from Alabama’s example in handling the pandemic.
- Byrne, on Twitter, responded to a story from The New York Times about the “economic damage” the pandemic has caused in the state, but Byrne said, “[U]nemployment in Alabama is 5.6% and the State ended its fiscal year yesterday in the black. We reopened our economy wisely and safely. #NewYorkCity could learn from us but won’t.”
1. Trump and others at the White House have the coronavirus
- President Donald Trump announced he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus. There was concern for the president because one of his closest aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive after traveling with Trump to the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday and to a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.
- This could cause big problems for the Trump campaign because he and the first lady are now in quarantine unable to campaign, and his inability to keep himself from getting the coronavirus will highlight the issue further as well as draw focus to his unwillingness to wear a mask. It will also provide his opponents with a new line of attack.