Connect with us

National

Byrne says that Pelosi has moved the goalposts on impeachment again

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Tuesday, U.S. Senate candidate, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) accused Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) of moving the impeachment goalposts again with a poll-tested ‘Bribery’ charge.

Rep. Byrne made these comments in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives condemning the Democrats’ latest allegation against President Donald J. Trump (R).

“Unfortunately, I must rise again because – like so many times before – the goalposts for impeaching President Trump have moved,” Byrne said. “At this rate, Nancy Pelosi must be any field goal kicker’s worst nightmare.”

“Since day one – literally day one – it has been abundantly clear that the far-left members of the so-called ‘Squad’ have been moving this Democratic majority closer to impeaching the President,” Byrne charged. “They don’t care why or how. They don’t care what evidence, real or imagined, is used. They only care about the end result – impeaching President Trump so he will not win reelection. As this radical faction gains dominance in the Democrat party, Speaker Pelosi has tried every justification in the book to impeach this President.”

“We were told for years we’d get to impeachment from the Mueller report,” Byrne concluded. “They said, just wait, wait till the report! It’s going to show Russian Collusion! Well, two years and millions of dollars down the drain, Mueller showed no collusion. The Democrat narrative quickly turned towards ‘obstruction of justice,’ but that too fell flat. But then, Mr. Speaker, the majority got a new gift – the whistleblower! Never mind he had no firsthand knowledge of what he blew the whistle on, never mind he’s a partisan Democrat, never mind he worked with Adam Schiff on his new allegations against President Trump. It was campaign finance violations! Well, that didn’t work. So, then it was quid pro quo! For weeks, that’s all the majority has talked about.”

“Not anymore. Apparently, Mr. Speaker, some highly-paid political consultants warned Speaker Pelosi that quid pro quo did not resonate with the American people,” Byrne said. “So now, it seems they’ve moved on to another version of impeachment that tested best in their focus groups – the nefarious-sounding ‘bribery.’ It’s bribery! That’s what we will impeach President Trump on!”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Bribery occurs when an individual ‘corruptly’ links receiving something of value in exchange for an official government action,” Byrne explained. “Show me how asking Ukraine to look into the 2016 election and into the sketchy dealings of Hunter Biden is acting corruptly! Because I’ll tell you what, I’ll show you evidence that Ukrainian officials were working to boost Secretary Clinton, and I’ll show you evidence that the Obama Administration was itself concerned about Hunter Biden’s deals.”

“President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky, you know, the one that the whistleblower blew the whistle on, is on the internet!” Byrne added. “Everyone can read it. And I hope they will. Because nowhere in that call did President Trump ever link any aid to Ukraine in exchange for anything. The President did not one time, not one time, even mention any kind of hold on the aid. Not once! This is not bribery. This is not impeachable conduct. Yet here we are, trying to remove the President of the United States, the leader of this country, the man chosen by the voters, over these newest allegations.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden (R) has been accused of threatening to withhold aid to Ukraine unless a prosecutor investigating corruption by the gas company that was paying his son Hunter. This alleged conflict of interest is not being investigated by the House of Representatives. Joe Biden is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination. Democrats are suggesting that the President may have committed an impeachable offense by asking Ukraine to investigate the Biden’s dealings in the country. The Trump administration has been providing $hundreds of millions of lethal military aid to Ukraine, which is fighting Russia backed separatist in the eastern portion of their country.

Pelosi’s claim that the Ukraine scandal amounted to “bribery” on the part of the President, follows recent polling that increasingly trouble national Democrats. A recent Rasmussen poll found the forty-five percent of Americans still believe that President Trump will be reelected in 2020, basically unchanged in surveys over the past year despite the impeachment hearings. Only twenty-six percent say that they believe he will be defeated by the Democratic nominee. This number has plummeted from a high of 33 percent in late July and 28 percent two months ago, before House Democrats implemented their impeachment political strategy.

Public Service Announcement

Worse news for House Democrats is that it appears that the Republican strategy of hammering Joe Biden appears to be working.

46 percent of voters think the House hearing should be expanded to look at the involvement of Biden and his son Hunter in Ukrainian political affairs. Only forty-three percent disagree, while 11 percent are undecided.

68 percent of Republicans surveyed support investigating the Bidens. 48 percent of unaffiliated voters think the impeachment hearings should include the Bidens, with only 39 percent opposed. 25 percent of self-identified Democrats support expanding the investigation to include the Bidens.

Trump’s overall voter approval has been tracking up since last Wednesday, the first day of the House impeachment hearings. It was at 46 percent on Wednesday morning, then rose to 48 percent Thursday and to 50 percent by Friday. The president’s approval was at 50 percent on Monday. Seventy-six percent of Republicans and 53 percent of all voters said that they think most reporters are trying to help impeach Trump when they write or talk about the impeachment effort.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted November 14 and 17, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points/

The impeachment has also has the unintended effect of helping drive Republican fundraising efforts.

In a recent email to Democratic donors, the Democratic National Committee wrote: “Donald Trump and the RNC have raised over $300 million this year alone. Trump has been campaigning since day one of his presidency, and his incumbency comes with a massive fundraising advantage and head start.”

Byrne is running for the Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones (D).

Several other Republicans have qualified for the GOP Senate nomination including: Ruth Page Nelson, former Chief Justice Roy Moore, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State John H. Merrill, State Representative Arnold Mooney, former Auburn head football Coach Tommy Tuberville, and businessman Stanley Adair.

The Republican primary will be on March 3.

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.

Advertisement

Congress

Sewell votes in favor of National Apprenticeship Act

The bill would invest more than $3.5 billion to create nearly one million new apprenticeship opportunities.

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Alabama

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, last week voted in favor of the National Apprenticeship Act, legislation to reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act for the first time since its enactment in 1937.

The new National Apprenticeship Act will create one million new apprenticeship opportunities over the next five years. Registered apprenticeships provide workers with paid, on-the-job training, and are the nation’s most successful federal workforce training program.

“As a long-time supporter of expanding registered apprenticeships, I am thrilled to support today’s legislation to provide 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities over five years,” Sewell said. “Our Nation is facing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and estimates show that more than 7 million of the pandemic’s job losses will be permanent. We need bold investments like those in the National Apprenticeship Act to accelerate the economy and help get the American people back to work in stable, good-paying jobs of the future.”

The bill invests more than $3.5 billion over the next five years.

The act establishes a $400 million grant program to support the expansion of apprenticeship opportunities, including pre-apprenticeships and youth apprenticeships, which will increase $100 million annually to reach $800 million by 2025.

The legislation also codifies and streamlines standards for registered apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs to make it easier for both apprentices and employers to participate in high-quality apprenticeships and codifies the Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.

ADVERTISEMENT

It directs the office to convene industry leaders, labor organizations, educators and others to expand apprenticeships into new occupations and sectors.

Supporters say the bill could yield $10.6 billion in net benefits to U.S. taxpayers in the form of increased tax revenue and decreased spending on public-assistance programs and unemployment insurance, and that nothing is more effective at breaking the cycle of poverty than a well-paying full-time job.

Sewell is about to enter her sixth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.

Continue Reading

Health

Nearly 70 percent of Alabama’s pregnancy-related deaths in 2016 were preventable: report

Most pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, with women of color bearing the brunt of Alabama’s maternal mortality crisis.

John H. Glenn

Published

on

(STOCK PHOTO)

A report this month by the Alabama Maternal Mortality Review Committee found that nearly 70 percent of pregnancy-associated and pregnancy-related deaths in Alabama recorded in 2016 were preventable.

Mental health and substance use disorders were identified as key contributors in nearly half pregnancy-associated and pregnancy-related deaths. Patient-, family-, system- and provider-related factors were among the most frequently identified factors involved in pregnancy-associated and pregnancy-related deaths, the report found.

The researchers found cardiovascular conditions were the leading underlying causes in pregnancy-related deaths.

“The Medical Association of the State of Alabama commends the Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) for its diligence in researching the factors that impact maternal deaths, in hopes to mitigate and prevent future maternal deaths,” said Dr. John Meigs, president of the Alabama Medical Association. “It is very concerning for physicians throughout the state that 70 percent of the deaths reviewed by the MMRC were preventable and that women of color are disproportionately affected. Alabama mothers deserve the best medical care that we can offer.”

Preventability of deaths is a key component to maternal mortality reviews, as it is indicative of events that may have been avoided if reasonable changes could be made to the contributing factor or factors. It was found that nearly 70 percent of pregnancy-associated and pregnancy-related deaths were preventable. (VIA ALABAMA MATERNAL MORTALITY REVIEW COMMITTEE/ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH)

According to the report, maternal death and pregnancy-related mortality ratios steadily trended upwards between 2012 and 2015 with the largest increase being in 2016.

ADVERTISEMENT

Alabama ranks third in the nation for maternal mortality behind only Arkansas and Kentucky.

Data provided by the ADPH Center for Health Statistics reveal that both maternal deaths and pregnancy-related deaths trended upward between 2012 and 2016. Between 2012 and 2015, ratios increased steadily; however, in 2016 there was a marked leap in both ratios. (VIA ALABAMA MATERNAL MORTALITY REVIEW COMMITTEE/ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH)

According to the report, expanding Medicaid could help reduce the state’s high number of maternal deaths and pregnancy-related and -associated deaths.

“Expansion of Medicaid was an underlying, yet significant factor which permeated throughout the case reviews,” according to the committee’s report. “Research has shown that in states where Medicaid expansion was adopted, there were reduced maternal mortality rates and positive maternal health outcomes. Based on the findings of the committee’s review, Medicaid program expansion will allow women to receive needed healthcare before, during, and after pregnancies.”

Public Service Announcement

The MMRC recommends Medicaid expansion up to one year postpartum and improved reimbursement for providers, routine autopsies on maternal deaths, and increased mental health and substance use disorder treatments and services for women.

“Sadly, the Alabama Maternal Mortality Review Committee found that mental health and substance use disorders were identified as key contributors in almost half of pregnancy-associated and pregnancy-related deaths,” said Holly Caraway McCorkle, executive director of the Alabama Council for Behavioral Healthcare. “These deaths are preventable, and Medicaid expansion will offer women who suffer from mental health and substance use disorders life-saving coverage and access to critically needed resources and services before, during and after pregnancies.”

Continue Reading

House

Longtime State Rep. Alvin Holmes has died

Montgomery Fire and Rescue responded to a call at Holmes’ residence on Saturday afternoon, and they found the 81-year-old unresponsive. 

Josh Moon

Published

on

State Rep. Alvin Holmes

Alvin Holmes, a 44-year veteran of the Alabama Legislature and one of the state’s most outspoken proponents for racial inclusion, has died. Montgomery Fire and Rescue responded to a call at Holmes’ residence on Saturday afternoon, and they found the 81-year-old unresponsive. 

Over a four-decade-plus career in the Alabama House of Representatives, Holmes was a lightning rod for criticism from his fellow white lawmakers and the white voters who elected them, as he repeatedly challenged the status quo and went headlong at biases and racism that prevented more Black Alabamians from serving in positions of power in the state. 

Holmes was a foot soldier in the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery and led the charge on getting the Confederate battle flag removed from Alabama’s Capitol building. Holmes fought many of his battles, especially the early ones, by himself, and while to his friends he would admit that standing alone wasn’t always pleasant, he never showed such hesitation outwardly, seeming to revel in the hateful words and personal attacks from other lawmakers and the public. 

Many of the fights Holmes began were later finished in federal courtrooms, and they most often led to further advancements for Black Alabamians.

Continue Reading

National

Governor meets virtually with President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris

Five Democratic governors and five Republican governors attended the virtual meeting.

Eddie Burkhalter

Published

on

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris meet with a bipartisan group of governors. (VIA TRANSITION)

Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday took part in a virtual meeting with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris along with other members of the National Governors Association executive committee. 

Other members of the executive committee who attended the meeting were the governors of Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Maryland, Wisconsin and Utah. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is chair of the committee. 

“In her capacity as a member of the National Governors Association Executive Committee, Governor Ivey participated in the NGA Leadership conference call earlier this afternoon,” said Gina Maiola, Ivey’s press secretary, in a statement after the meeting. “During the meeting, Governor Ivey stressed that both parties, as well as the executive and legislative branches, need to come together to extend the deadline for CARES Act funding to allow for maximum flexibility going forward. With the December 31 deadline quickly approaching, the governor underscored to the group that it would be to the benefit of the states to remove that barrier and give us flexibility to continue spending those dollars in the first few months of 2021.” 

Ivey has until Dec. 31 to spend nearly $1 billion in CARES Act funds, and barring any deadline extension, those funds will have to be returned to the federal government. 

More than two weeks after the Nov. 3 election, the Trump administration hasn’t allowed Biden to receive security briefings or updates on Operation Warp Speed and plans to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, which is surging in Alabama and across the country. More than 250,000 in the U.S. have died from the disease. 

The Associated Press reported that Biden discussed his concerns over lack of access to that information with the governors during Thursday’s meeting. “Unfortunately, my administration hasn’t been able to get everything we need,” Biden said, according to the AP. 

ADVERTISEMENT

AP reported that, according to a readout provided by Ivey’s office, Ivey told participants that both parties in Congress need to come together to provide more coronavirus response funding, especially for families struggling economically because of the pandemic.

Speaking after the meeting Thursday, Biden expressed frustration over the Trump administration blocking him from coronavirus data.

“There is no excuse not to share the data and let us begin to plan because on day one it’s going to take us time,” Biden said during a news conference after the meeting. “If we don’t have access to all this data, it’s going to put us behind the eight ball by a matter of a month or more. And that’s lives. How many would be lost as a consequence?”

Biden also addressed Trump’s refusal to concede, saying that it is “another incident where he will be down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in American history.”

Public Service Announcement

“It’s hard to fathom how this man thinks. I’m confident he knows he hasn’t won, he’s not going to be able to win and we’re going to be sworn in on January 20. Far from me to question his motive. It’s just outrageous what he’s doing,” Biden said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement