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3 months ago

Terri Sewell on House Speaker race: ‘I’m a supporter of Nancy Pelosi’

In an appearance on CNN on Saturday, Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) acknowledged her support for current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to be the next House Speaker when the new Congress is sworn in early next year.

There had been some question as to whether or not Sewell would back Pelosi’s bid to be House Speaker once again. Prior inquiries by Yellowhammer News to Sewell about who she might support for speaker went unanswered.

However, Sewell said she believed those who led Democrats this last election back to the majority should be the ones leading the new Congress.

“I’m a supporter of Nancy Pelosi. I believe that this country elected for divided government and want a House majority. And I believe that the trifecta of leadership that brought us the House majority should be the leaders in the new Congress. So, I’ll be voting for Nancy Pelosi for speaker and Steny Hoyer for majority leader, and of course, my dear friend and colleague Jim Clyburn for majority whip.”

Anchor Christi Paul asked Sewell about the possibility of Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) making a play for the House speakership, to which Sewell noted only Pelosi  has formally announced her intentions to seek the seat and that she believed ultimately the House Democrats would be united in their support of one leadership team.

Partial transcript as follows:

PAUL: I want to ask you about Congresswoman Marcia Fudge from Ohio. She was asked if she’s concerned about the fact that there are many of the [Congressional Black Caucus] members that have pledged their support to Pelosi because we know that Congresswoman Fudge may be looking for that position herself.

Let’s listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FUDGE: Most of them endorsed before they knew I was going to think about [running]. So no, absolutely not.

REPORTER: Could you flip those votes?

FUDGE: Some.

REPORTER: How many?

FUDGE: I don’t know. How many people endorsed her?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: What is your reaction to that?

SEWELL: Listen, Marcia Fudge is a great leader. She was an able and experienced leader. She ably led the CBC caucus, Congressional Black Caucus. She is truly a fighter and a voice of importance in our caucus. But she has not committed to running yet. There’s only one announced candidate, and that’s Nancy Pelosi.

PAUL: If she does, would you flip? As she indicated there that she thinks she could flip some votes.

SEWELL: Yeah, I think that it’s important that we — that we, as a caucus, come out united. I know that Marcia is committed to that as well. I think it’s really important that we stay focused on what the American people want, which is they want a government that’s going to actually work for the people. And I know that Marcia, as well as Nancy Pelosi, as well as our leadership team, will be laser-focused on making sure that we have an agenda that works for the American people and working families.

PAUL: There are people who do not support Congresswoman Pelosi. Interestingly enough, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is one of them, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut do not support her. What does it say to you, that after all of the years she’s put into the House, all of the money she’s raised for the party that she has to fight for that position at this point in her career?

SEWELL: Look, I think that elections, leadership elections are often messy. But I think at the end of the day the Democratic Party will come together. Our caucus will come together behind the leadership that has led us to the majority, the current leadership. And that we will move forward on behalf of the American people. I think that’s critically important. You won’t hear me say anything bad about Marcia. Marcia’s awesome, and an amazing leader.

But I do believe that it’s important that we have the stable leadership that we currently have leading us forward. We need to be ready, day one, when we take back the House, to roll up our sleeves and fight to protect preexisting conditions, to make sure that we lower drug costs for the American people.

I stood on the Ways and Means Committee. I look forward to working on health, on trade. I also sit on the Intelligence Committee. I know that this is a — it’s important for the American people that we get to the bottom of the Russian investigation.

PAUL: Right.

SEWELL: But we also bring back civility into this body. And I look forward to doing that and working with our leadership to do that.

Sewell also addressed the alleged killing of Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government and what role the House Intelligence Committee, on which Sewell serves, might play regarding oversight of the Trump’s administration’s response.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

11 hours ago

Byrne first to officially declare run vs. Doug Jones – ‘Future is too important to sit on the sidelines’

Just down the street from where he grew up, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) announced Wednesday evening his candidacy for the United States Senate while surrounded by family, friends and supporters gathered at Wintzell’s Oyster House in beautiful downtown Mobile.

Byrne became the first candidate to officially announce a run against the incumbent from Mountain Brook, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL). In doing so, Byrne made clear his campaign will focus on his record as a fighter for Alabama’s values, drawing a clear and direct contrast between his traditional Yellowhammer State roots and the “radical policies” being pushed by Jones’ Democratic Party.

In his announcement speech, Byrne emphasized, “The fight for America’s future is too important to sit on the sidelines. I am running for the United States Senate to defend the values important to Alabama.”

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The congressman spoke about the “disconnect” between hardworking, everyday Alabamians and people stuck in the bubble of Washington, D.C.

Byrne urged attendees, “Look in Washington and tell me you don’t see people that have a vision that’s fundamentally at odds with what America is.”

“We need a Senator who will fight with President Trump to defend the Constitution, build the wall, stand up for the unborn, push for lower taxes, make health care more affordable and protect the Second Amendment,” he outlined. “I will fight every day to bring Alabama’s conservative values to Washington.”

Answering questions from reporters following the announcement, Byrne decried the Democratic Party’s embrace of socialism and “[killing] babies as they’re delivered.”

He also warned voters that Democrats should be expected to try and interfere in the Republican primary through “fake news” and  manipulative social media efforts. This comes in the wake of revelations that “Project Birmingham” was orchestrated to aid Jones’ general election candidacy in 2017.

Byrne, a labor-employment attorney by trade, is the former chancellor of the state’s community college system and one-term member of the state senate. He has served southwest Alabama in Congress since January 2014.

The Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Alabama will be held March 3, 2020, with the general election to follow in November.

You can watch Byrne’s announcement speech and hear him answer questions from reporters afterwards here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

13 hours ago

Watch live: Bradley Byrne announces U.S. Senate run against Doug Jones

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) is set to announce his candidacy for the United States Senate seat held by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) live at the Wintzell’s Oyster House in downtown Mobile.

Watch live below:

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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13 hours ago

Heavy rains swamping Deep South

Heavy rains are causing problems in parts of the Deep South.

Police in Huntsville, Alabama, say a half-dozen roads are blocked by downed trees or utility poles plus water from flash floods.

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Flood watches and warnings cover the northern parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia and nearly all of Tennessee is at risk for floods.

Several school systems are delaying classes or closing.

The weather service is predicting as much as eight inches of rain in spots through Saturday, and freezing rain and sleet are possible in western South Carolina.

Forecasters say moisture from the Gulf is mixing with weather systems moving eastward in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys.

As much as one inch of rain an hour is possible, and the weather service says some areas could get more.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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14 hours ago

Ivey announces plan to turn old Jefferson County mine into technology park with $85 million economic impact

Alabama is working again — including in places that have been dormant for decades.

Governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama Department of Labor’s (ADOL) Abandoned Mine Land Program (AML) and United States Steel Corporation (U.S. Steel) announced Wednesday that long-abandoned mine land in Jefferson County will be reclaimed, making way for the new Grand River Technology Park project and relocation of the Southern Museum of Flight.

“This reclamation project has the potential to bring millions of dollars in economic impact, and hundreds of jobs to the Greater Birmingham area,” Ivey said in a press release. “The new Grand River Technology Park will be a regional nexus for research and development, tourism, and light manufacturing. This project will bring positive improvements to the citizens who call this community home.”

This project, which is expected to generate an economic impact of more than $85 million, has been made possible through funds appropriated from the U.S. Treasury through the AML Pilot Program Grant. The funding was secured by the stalwart leadership of Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Shelby said he is looking “forward to witnessing the impact it will have on the state.”

The senator said, “The Grand River Technology Park project will attract new businesses and promote economic development throughout the Birmingham area. I am proud that the AML Pilot grant funds I worked to secure have helped make this effort possible and look forward to witnessing the impact it will have on the state.”

The project is possible through a collaborative public-private effort and includes participation by ADOL’s AML Program, U. S. Steel, the City of Birmingham, the Southern Museum of Flight, Jefferson County and the City of Leeds.

In 2018, U. S. Steel and its community partners were given approval for a $6 million grant by the ADOL AML Pilot Program toward the development of its Grand River Technology Park.

“We are pleased to see the redevelopment of this land. We are grateful for the partnership of Governor Ivey, [ADOL] Secretary Washington, and the AML staff during this process and thank Senator Shelby for securing AML Pilot grant funds. We look forward to providing quality economic and community development projects that will benefit the Birmingham community,” U. S. Steel President and CEO David B. Burritt commented.

The technology park represents a multiphase opportunity to reclaim and transform approximately 105 acres of undeveloped land surrounding and including several pre-1977 abandoned coal mine lands in east Jefferson County. An initial assessment conservatively estimated that 1,200 new employment opportunities will be created by this project.

Plans for the Grand River Technology Park (Contributed)

Dangerous abandoned mine land features previously reclaimed on the property included many portals (openings to old underground coal mines) and vertical openings (former air shafts associated with underground coal mines) connected with Red Diamond Mines #2 – #5, #7, #9, #11 and #12, as well as the former Tennessee Coal and Iron (TCI) Mine #6, all of which ceased operations in 1948.

After the closure of these underground mines, a major portion of proposed development was strip-mined for coal prior to August 3, 1977, leaving extensive spoil piles (waste rock and soil overburden removed to access the coal seam) on the property and a highwall cut (a hazardous vertical bluff left where mining of the coal seam ceased) adjacent to the current location of the Barber Motor Sports Park. Evidence of the highwall cut and spoil piles still remain on the property today. As part of the redevelopment of the property, extensive reclamation will be performed on these remaining spoil piles.

“Our Abandoned Mine Land Program does a wonderful job in helping to ensure that old, dangerous mines are properly reclaimed, which eliminates safety hazards and allows the land to be redeveloped,” ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington advised. “In addition to cleaning up this site and making it safer, this project will help to improve the lives of many.”

To date, the ADOL AML Program has reclaimed 81.6 miles of dangerous highwalls, eliminated 1,613 dangerous mine openings and completed approximately 661 reclamation projects in the coalfields of Alabama.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

15 hours ago

Alabama law requires the state and local governments fund The Democrat-Reporter’s racist rants — It is time to stop

Almost every politician in Alabama wanted to get in on condemning, and in some cases calling for the resignation of the editor, publisher and owner of a rag out of Linden, Alabama, with roughly 3,000 subscribers.

The governor, both United States senators, multiple congressmen and congresswomen, the State Senate pro tem, the lieutenant governor and surely countless others went on the record to say this is unacceptable.

It is obviously unacceptable, but now what? You can’t really force a guy who owns a newspaper to quit. Especially when he seems to think he has done nothing wrong.

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All of this is a minor problem. The Democrat-Reporter is a small-town nothing newspaper. If the Auburn Plainsman hadn’t posted the editorial in the form of a photo, no one would have ever known.

This raises another issue. The state of Alabama is providing revenue to this newspaper and other newspapers around the state of Alabama. And it is actually worse than that: Current state law requires government entities in Alabama to advertise legal notices, legislation, constitutional amendments, voter rolls and other public matters in the local print media outlets, which is not cheap.

So, how much does The Democrat-Reporter get from the governments?

Well, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) alone spends thousands every year.

Maybe these aren’t all required expenditures, but for what other reason would ALDOT be spending this money here?

What have the local governments been required to pay this newspaper? What about average citizens and businesses that have to post foreclosures, abandoned property and other matters in a local newspaper by state law?

Even without the racist overtones of this story, this matter should offend you. There is currently a state law that requires we do business with a series of private entities.

This may have been a necessity decades ago, but it is time for the state legislature to readdress this issue for the 21st century.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN