7 Things: Shutdown ends but uncertainty looms, Doug Jones wants to pay federal employees interest, Alabama AG challenges ruling on Confederate monuments and more …
7. Potential independent candidate for president and former Starbucks CEO scares Democrats
— Former Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz is apparently considering running for president in 2020 as an independent candidate who would undoubtedly draw from the left.
— The last third-party candidate to win the presidency was Abraham Lincoln. Republicans and Democrats feel third-party candidates have cost them the office over the last few decades.
— The Texas secretary of state’s office pointed out 95,000 registered voters who were found to have identified themselves as non-citizens who may have participated in elections in the state.
— While the office pointed out that 58,000 people on the list had voted since 1996, media outlets took umbrage to the president citing these numbers as evidence of voter fraud.
— Alabama now has the fourth-ranked graduation rate in the country, with the best African-American graduation rate in the nation and Hispanics having the second highest rate.
— There is a significant gap between the numbers of those graduating and those who are considered ready for college — that gap is 30.9 percent among African-Americans.
4. Attorney General Steve Marshall will challenge the court ruling on Alabama’s monument law
— The law protecting monuments was ruled unconstitutional by a Jefferson County circuit judge, but AG Steve Marshall has asked for the ruling to be stayed while the state appeals the decision.
— Birmingham is reportedly considering removing the monument at the center of this court case soon and, as of right now, there is nothing stopping them.
3. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) wants to give employees back pay with interest
— Jones believes because the federal workers aren’t to blame, they should receive interest with their back pay. He said, “The more than 5,500 federal workers in Alabama didn’t ask for a shutdown and shouldn’t be punished for it. It’s only fair that the government pays them back with interest for putting them out of work indefinitely or forcing them to work without pay.”
— Jones’ Back Pay Fairness Act would give an additional 3.625 percent to the paychecks of federal workers who lost two paychecks during the partial government shutdown. The interest rate is the same as the rate federal agencies add to late payments for vendors.
— During an address from the Rose Garden, the president announced he would sign a bill to fund the government for three weeks, give back-pay to roughly 800,000 government workers and restart negotiations for a permanent solution that includes funding for a border wall.
— Somehow, President Trump got nothing, fired up liberals, irritated moderates and betrayed conservatives while moving the conversation down the road three weeks with no end in sight.
1. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) immediately declare there will be no wall
— Congress’ Democratic leaders say they have not changed their position. Pelosi said, “Have I not been clear on the wall?” Schumer added, “Democrats are against the wall.”
— The president has indicated that he will either shut the government down again or invoke an emergency declaration if Congress can not come to an agreement that includes border wall funding.