7 Things: Trump impeachment seems more likely, Mo Brooks readies for censure battle, Ivey gets second vaccine dose and more …
7. Arrests made in Tuscaloosa during celebrations
- After the University of Alabama football team won the national championship Monday night, thousands of people went to the strip in Tuscaloosa to celebrate and were all packed in together, which was not a good idea during a pandemic. The crowd began to cause issues and pepper spray was used.
- There were 14 arrests made and two people had to be treated for injuries from bottles being thrown. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said, “[W]e are disappointed in seeing the large number of people floor into the Strip area itself … we do believe it’s larger than any celebration that we’ve seen in recent memory and I think it’s safe to say that it was thousands upon thousands.”
6. Auburn and Alabama weigh online classes
- After Alabama won yet another national championship, students took to the streets in a wild crowd scene that made many uncomfortable — so uncomfortable that the University of Alabama is now allowing professors to offer classes online. The University statement told students and educators, “As a result of recent events, we are allowing faculty to be flexible for the next two weeks with the option to temporarily hold classes remotely. Students have the option to attend in-person activities remotely as well. Staff will continue with adjusted flexible scheduling.”
- On Auburn’s campus, close to 40 professors are in opposition to a no-confidence vote against Provost Bill Hardgrave after one faculty member in the University Senate expressed his displeasure with Auburn’s call to keep offering in-person classes this year.
5. Second round of PPP
- More funding from the Paycheck Protection Program will be available to businesses starting this week, as the Small Business Administration has announced. Governor Kay Ivey said this is “welcome news.”
- In her statement, Ivey wanted to “encourage small business owners across our state to take advantage of these available funds. Any support that we can provide our small businesses in this challenging season is critical to our overall recovery.”
4. States need to expand vaccine availability
- As vaccine rollout has slowed across some states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested that states start offering the coronavirus vaccine to those 65-years-old and older, as there are also steps being taken to increase supply.
- It’s also recommended that some younger people with certain health conditions that make them more likely to have complications from the coronavirus be offered the vaccine, too. There is no word yet on Alabama’s decision to expand the supply immediately.
3. Ivey got her second dose
- Governor Kay Ivey has been vaccinated for the second time against the coronavirus, receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. She’s said that she hasn’t “had any side effects of any kind.” Ivey also wanted “to encourage you to take the COVID vaccination. We need shots in the arm, not on the shelf.” On January 18, the vaccine will become available to those 75-years-old and older.
- That wasn’t Ivey’s only big news of the day. the governor also announced a new batch of road projects paid for by Alabama’s 2018 gas tax increase. Ivey declared, “In Alabama, across our country and around the globe, we are all still working to get COVID-19 behind us, but here at home, we have not forgotten other priorities. Even as we are overcoming new challenges with the virus, we remain ever committed to making needed improvements to our infrastructure.”
2. Brooks releases rebuttal to censure threat
- U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has officially released his rebuttal to the attempt to censure him after his speech at the pro-Trump rally on January 6. The censure says that Brooks “encouraged and incited violence against his fellow Members of Congress, as part of an assault on the United States Capitol.”
- Brooks’ almost 3,000-word response can be summed up when he says, “Socialist Democrats and their Fake News Media Allies won’t get an apology from me because my remarks were not wrong. Conversely, the Socialist Democrats and their Fake News Media Allies should be apologizing to the public for the egregiously and manipulative way they have deceived the public on this issue.”
1. McConnell could be ready to support impeachment
- As the Alabama delegation split on a House-approved resolution asking Vice President Mike Pence to move to invoke the 25th Amendment was passed, the New York Times is reporting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has voiced approval for the articles of impeachment brought against President Donald Trump. The Times is reporting that he’s even “pleased” with the push to impeach Trump.
- McConnell’s comments to colleagues included that he believes that impeaching Trump “will make it easier to purge him from the party.” Today, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the proposed articles of impeachment.