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Sessions, Palmer, Byrne Support Aderholt Bill

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, January 6, Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) was sworn in for his tenth term in the US House of Representatives.  Also on Tuesday, Aderholt introduced legislation to repeal President Obama’s Executive Amnesty actions.  The Aderholt bill, H.R. 191, has already received early endorsements from US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), and Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose).

Congressman Aderholt said in a written statement, “In the oath I took today, I swore to protect and defend the United States Constitution. That also means upholding our nation’s laws and laws passed by Congress concerning immigration. The laws of the land make it clear that it is illegal to enter the United States without going through the proper channels. The President’s order to enact amnesty, issued in November, circumvents Congress and sets a dangerous precedent.  So, today I have introduced legislation that will reverse the President’s executive action. It not only defunds the President’s actions towards amnesty but also removes the President’s discretion in the ability to grant work permits, Social Security, and other federal benefits that go along with his order.”

Senator Sessions said in his own written statement, “President Obama’s executive amnesty voids the laws Congress has passed in order to foist on the nation measures Congress has refused to pass. In violation of U.S. law, it grants illegal immigrants work permits, Social Security, and Medicare—taking jobs and benefits directly from struggling Americans. The President has arrogated to himself the sole and absolute power to decide who can enter, live, work, and claim benefits in the United States.”

US Representative Gary Palmer announced in a written statement that he will co-sponsor the bill.  Rep. Palmer said, “President Obama has created a constitutional crisis, and members of the Congress are obligated by their own oaths to the constitution to respond to the crisis.  This legislation does that and would restore constitutional balance between the branches of government.  By taking this action, Congress reasserts its constitutional powers and establishes a foundation for opposing future executive orders that usurp Congressional authority.”

Representative Bradley Byrne said on Facebook, “I am proud to support and co-sponsor Congressman Robert Aderholt’s bill to defund President Obama’s executive action on immigration. This is a strong bill that has the support and input from Senator Jeff Sessions. Next week the House will act on legislation relating to immigration, and I strongly hope Congressman Aderholt’s bill is part of that package.”

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Rep. Aderholt said, “My legislation will also put limits on the President’s future ability to enact such wide-reaching actions that circumvent the Constitution’s separation of powers. It returns the legislative authority of our government back to the Legislative Branch.”

Sen. Sessions said, “Before the election, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus made a promise: ‘We will do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen… We can’t allow it to happen and we won’t let it happen. I don’t know how to be any stronger than that. I’m telling you, everything we can do to stop it we will.’  Legislation introduced by Congressman Aderholt would fulfill that pledge and accomplish that goal. It would block funds for the President’s illegal scheme; surely, Congress should not fund an illegal act that eliminates our constitutional role as a lawmaking body.”

Sen. Sessions continued, “Further, the Aderholt bill would take steps to address one of the most serious problems now unfolding: the mass release of illegal immigrants who show up at the border into the interior of the country. Approximately 99% of the Central American youth and adult relatives who showed up unlawfully this year presently remain in the United States. No ‘border security’ plan can succeed that does not begin to end the destructive practice of catch-and-release. Simply providing the President with more money for ‘border security’ will be turned into a slush fund to resettle illegal immigrants in the interior of the United States.”

Sessions said that, “Republicans should focus on these and other discrete enforcement measures—like mandatory E-Verify and closing tax credit loopholes—that will encourage repatriation and protect jobs and benefits for Americans, while launching a sustained and unrelenting campaign to block all funds for the President’s border-erasing Executive Amnesty. The question will then be left on the desk of congressional Democrats: will you protect the President’s order, or the people who elected you?”

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Representative Palmer said, “In passing this legislation, through the power of the purse, we will be preserving the power of Congress and halting the President’s unconstitutional action. I look forward to working with my colleagues to see its passage.”

Representative Aderholt concluded, “As we begin this new session of Congress, it will be the President’s first experience working with a Congress entirely controlled by the Republicans. I hope that Mr. Obama understands that the American people spoke very loudly during the election in November and want a new direction away from his liberal policies.”

Congressman Aderholt serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Aderholt is also a member of the Committee’s Defense Subcommittee, the Committee’s Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee, and is a member of the Helsinki Commission.  With the recent retirement of Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-Vestavia), Representative Aderholt, with ten terms, is now the senior member of the Alabama House Delegation.  Congressman Aderholt represents Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District.

US Senator Jeff Sessions serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Judiciary, Environment and Public Works, and the Budget Committee.

Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District; while Palmer represents the Sixth Congressional District.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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Vaccines should protect against mutated strains of coronavirus

Public health experts say it will be some time before vaccines are available to the wider public.

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Multiple vaccines for COVID-19 are in clinical trials, and one has already applied for emergency use authorization, but how good will those vaccines be against a mutating coronavirus? A UAB doctor says they’ll do just fine. 

Dr. Rachael Lee, UAB’s hospital epidemiologist, told reporters earlier this week that there have been small genetic mutations in COVID-19. What researchers are seeing in the virus here is slightly different than what’s seen in the virus in China, she said. 

“But luckily the way that these vaccines have been created, specifically the mRNA vaccines, is an area that is the same for all of these viruses,” Lee said, referring to the new type of vaccine known as mRNA, which uses genetic material, rather than a weakened or inactive germ, to trigger an immune response. 

The U.S. Food And Drug Administration is to review the drug company Pfizer’s vaccine on Dec. 10. Pfizer’s vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, as is a vaccine produced by the drug maker Moderna, which is expected to also soon apply for emergency use approval. 

“I think that is incredibly good news, that even though we may see some slight mutations,  we should have a vaccine that should cover all of those different mutations,” Lee said. 

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found in a recent study, published in the journal Science, that COVID-19 has mutated in ways that make it spread much more easily, but the mutation may also make it more susceptible to vaccines. 

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In a separate study, researchers with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation found that while most vaccines were modeled after an earlier strain of COVID-19, they found no evidence that the vaccines wouldn’t provide the same immunity response for the new, more dominant strain. 

“This brings the world one step closer to a safe and effective vaccine to protect people and save lives,” said CSIRO chief executive Dr. Larry Marshall, according to Science Daily

While it may not be long before vaccines begin to be shipped to states, public health experts warn it will be some time before vaccines are available to the wider public. Scarce supplies at first will be allocated for those at greatest risk, including health care workers who are regularly exposed to coronavirus patients, and the elderly and ill. 

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, speaking to APR last week, urged the public to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing for many more months, as the department works to make the vaccines more widely available.

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“Just because the first shots are rolling out doesn’t mean it’s time to stop doing everything we’ve been trying to get people to do for months. It’s not going to be widely available for a little while,” Harris said.

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Tuberville looks forward to public service “probably for the rest of my life”

Tuberville’s term as senator will begin on Jan. 3 when the 117th Congress is sworn in.

Brandon Moseley

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Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville during an interview with Sean Spicer on Newsmax.

U.S. Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, told Newsmax’s Sean Spicer that he looks forward to the opportunity to give back to this country.

“After winning this and after being up here a couple of weeks and seeing how much of a difference we have made just to this point in the Senate has been gratifying,” Tuberville said. “I look forward to doing public service probably for the rest of my life.”

Tuberville said that he was 18 years old when the Vietnam War was coming to a close and then got into coaching so never served in the military and looks forward to the opportunity to give back to the country.

“As I went around the state of Alabama for those two years though I learned the respect of the people and how much that they want this country to remain the United States of America that we know and grew up in to go by the Constitution and those things. As I went through the campaign I got more and more fond of that I want to give back,” Tuberville said.

“I never served, I never gave back, but God was so good to me and my wife my family,” Tuberville said. “Giving back means so much to me after I was given so much for many, many years.”

Tuberville said that education will be a priority for him, getting education back to fundamentals like reading, writing, history and math. Tuberville said that unless the country gets back to fundamentals in education, “This country is not going to make it. We have got to get back to fundamentals and we are getting farther and farther every day.”

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Tuberville was the only Republican on Nov. 3 to defeat an incumbent Senate Democrat when he unseated Sen. Doug Jones.

“I want to be the voice for the people of Alabama,” Tuberville explained. “The previous Senator was a voice for his party, the Democratic party.”

Tuberville, a career college football coach, reiterated his position that we should play sports and send kids back to school despite the coronavirus global pandemic.

“I think we are doing a lot better in sports than we are doing in a lot of other areas,” Tuberville said. “I was keeping my fingers crossed back in August that we would let our young kids go play high school sports, number one, and then we get into college sports. There are so many people throwing negatives on why we should not do that. But I can tell you, you can see many more positives if we go back to school and we play sports. It’s important that we attack this virus as it has been attacking us. If it gives us an inch, we gotta take it.”

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Tuberville reiterated his opposition to shutting down restaurants, schools and businesses to fight the virus.

“We have to get back to everyday life,” Tuberville said. “You can’t keep shutting people down. Freedom is a power that we have. A power that we have earned because of our forefathers. We can’t give that up.”

Tuberville is an Arkansas native. He was the head football coach at Auburn University where he won an SEC championship, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, and Cincinnati. Prior to that, he was a national championship defensive coordinator at the University of Miami. He was also the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M.

Tuberville’s term as senator will begin on Jan. 3 when the 117th Congress is sworn in.

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National

UAB cancels third game

The only remaining game on UAB’s schedule is a game at Rice on Dec. 12.

Brandon Moseley

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The UAB Department of Athletics on Thursday announced that it is canceling its final home game of the season. UAB was scheduled to play Southern Mississippi on Friday at Legion Field, but the game was canceled due to continuing problems with COVID-19.

UAB has said that it will “continue to work with Conference USA on the remaining regular-season schedule.”

The only remaining game on UAB’s schedule is a game at Rice on Dec. 12.

UAB currently has a record of just four wins and three losses.

A win at Rice would guarantee the Blazers a winning season, but in this COVID altered season, a four and three or four and four record is probably good enough to be bowl eligible.

Southern Miss has had a dreadful season. They are two and seven and have two remaining games, against UTEP and Florida Atlantic. Both of those games were postponed from earlier in the season.

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Unless the season is extended a week to the 19th, there is no way for UAB and Southern Miss to make up the canceled game.

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Official state Christmas tree was delivered

The approximately 35-foot tree will be displayed on the front steps of the state Capitol building.

Brandon Moseley

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The 2016 state Christmas tree in front of the state Capitol.

Alabama’s official Christmas Tree was delivered to the state Capitol this week.

This year’s tree was donated by Robbins Taylor Sr. It is an Eastern Red Cedar that was grown in Letohatchee, Alabama.

The approximately 35-foot tree will be displayed on the front steps of the state Capitol building.

The tree will be adorned with lights and decorations ahead of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 4. Gov. Ivey’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Capitol in Montgomery.

Alabama became the first state in the nation to make Christmas an official government holiday in 1836. Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.

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