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Katie Britt opposes new COVID-19 “lockdowns” and mask mandates

Britt also opposes a plan to pull back on small business deductions and eliminate them for higher-earning businesses.

Senate candidate Katie Britt.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt issued a statement Monday condemning a plan to pull back on small business deductions and opposing any new “lockdowns” or mask mandates to mitigate COVID-19.  

“Small businesses are the backbone of our state and the lifeblood of our local communities,” Britt said in the statement. “The SBA classifies 99.4 percent of Alabama businesses as small businesses. Growing up as the daughter of two small business owners from the Wiregrass, I know firsthand that the actions at all levels of government impact the bottom-line for job creators, entrepreneurs, and innovators across our great state. As Alabama’s next U.S. Senator, I will fight tirelessly to slash red tape and rollback burdensome regulations, allowing small businesses and hardworking Alabama families to thrive in safe, strong communities.”

Britt’s comments were aimed at Sen. Ron Wyden’s, D-OR, plans to phase out small business deductions for businesses with incomes above $400,000 and cut them altogether for those earning $500,000 or more. 

“Curtailing the Small Business Deduction would represent an effective tax hike at a time when small businesses can least afford it,” Britt said. “Not only would I proudly oppose any vote to raise taxes in the Senate, but I firmly believe we must make the Small Business Deduction permanent and eliminate restrictions that limit which industries qualify.” 

Britt said Alabama has a diverse economy, and all of the state’s small businesses should be on a level playing field when it comes to treatment by the federal government.

“This means continuing to simplify our tax code so that small businesses have certainty and clarity, which in turn will give them greater confidence to reinvest in the growth of their businesses and communities,” Britt said. 

Britt also commented on Gov. Kay Ivey’s recent tweet referencing a statement made by UAB’s Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo to reporters last week warning about the spreading delta variant, increasing cases and hospitalizations and Alabama’s low vaccination rate. The state has the lowest vaccination rate in the nation. 

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Marrazzo was asked if Alabama could see restrictions or shutdowns return if vaccinations don’t improve and COVID-19 surges. She responded by mentioning how Australia has handled COVID-19 outbreaks, essentially shutting down at the sign of an outbreak. 

“I think that’s unlikely here personally just given the reluctance to embrace widespread restrictions and the desire that everybody has had to get back into, quote unquote, the new normal,” Marrazzo said. “That said, there’s a point where you really just can’t ignore what’s going on and where that balance is. It’s something that we’re going to have to grapple with over the coming days. What I would like to say is that we don’t even have to deal with it if we get people vaccinated, so avoiding the really hard thing about making decisions about shut down, is my answer.” 

“No one asked for my input for this story, and the headline is misleading,” Ivey said in a tweeted response to a story on Marrazzo’s statements. “So, I’ll respond here: Alabama is open for business. Vaccines are readily available, and I encourage folks to get one. The state of emergency and health orders have expired. We are moving forward.”

Britt said she is 100 percent against a new lockdown of “any form or fashion.” 

“Vaccines are readily available to all Americans, and I encourage my fellow Alabamians to get vaccinated. Just as the case has been throughout the pandemic – but especially now – personal responsibility is the solution, not governmental mandates,” Britt said. “We need to use freedom to combat COVID-19, not combat freedom because of COVID-19. I am confident that the state of Alabama will not shut back down or bring back a mask mandate. Our great state is open for business, and I’ll fight to not only keep it that way but also to grow jobs and opportunity for all hardworking Alabamians, no matter their zip code.”

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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