Daily News Digest – January 18, 2018

Good morning! This is your Alabama Daily News digest for Thursday, January 18, 2018. 

1. Still cold, still dangerous 

2. Congress on the brink

Photo credit: Hal Yeager
  • They’re cutting it awfully close. The federal government will run out of money Friday at midnight and Congress has yet to come to an agreement on a short-term funding extension.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership are trying to build support for a continuing resolution that extends funding at current levels for four weeks and reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for another six years.
  • In negotiations past, this so-called “clean” funding extension would be a HUGE WIN for Democrats, even without the CHIP sweetener. It’s what they would negotiate toward.
  • Not this time. Emboldened by President Trump’s bad poll numbers and division within the GOP, Democrats are withholding their support and betting voters would blame Republicans for a shut down of government services. They are also betting their base will reward them more for fighting for progressive priorities (DACA, resisting Trump) than for going along to get along.
  • Today is probably a good time to read this helpful explanation of what actually happens when the federal government shuts down
  • Republicans are calling out Democrats for putting national priorities like CHIP and military funding at risk by refusing to support a clean CR. Democrats are all, “you guys control Congress and shouldn’t need our votes.
  • In any case, it looks like the four-week continuing resolution is coming to the floor today. Leadership is furiously whipping votes from within its conference and the White House is engaged as well.
  • Will they pass this stop-gap funding measure, keep the government running, save CHIP, and buy time to negotiate on other issues like DACA/wall/immigration? We’ll see. I’d keep an eye tuned to C-SPAN for a fun day on the House floor.
  • By the way, what will Doug Jones do? Alabama’s newest U.S. Senator campaigned on compromise and said repeatedly he wanted to vote for Alabama’s best interests, not toe the party line. Working with Republicans to save CHIP, fund the military, and prevent a government shutdown would be one way to show he is truly interested in “getting things done.”
  • Read fresh reporting in today’s Washington Post and Politico for excellent situational awareness going into today’s shutdown showdown.
  • In case you’re wondering, these maddening, unproductive, unnecessary high-stakes showdowns are a big reason why Members of Congress are electing to retire in droves. 

3. Lots of churn in Montgomery

4. Bring him home 

5. Photo of the day

Former U.S. Senator and bonafide American hero Bob Dole receives the Congressional Gold Medal during a stirring ceremony in the Capitol rotunda Wednesday. 

God bless this man

Headlines

THE MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama Legislature could see high number of retirements

AL.COM – Mobile-based Volkert names new CEO in ‘strategic succession plan’
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – One Alabama lawmaker weighs in on the possibility of renewing earmarks in spending bills.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Pro-life Passion: Alabama will lead in Friday’s March For Life in Washington, D.C.
AL.COM – Harley Barber apologizes for racist video, says she was expelled from Alabama.

AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson:  No, Harley Barber, you and your giggly friends can’t say that word ‘in the South’.

AL.COM – Limestone County approves $80 million incentive package for Toyota-Mazda.

AL.COM – Bill would ban smoking in vehicles with minors in Alabama.

AL.COM – Tommy Battle has 1.6 billion reasons why he hasn’t qualified for governor’s race yet.

AL.COM – Alabama’s gunfire death rate jumps 22 percent in 7 years, according to new report.

AL.COM – ‘Little Zoo that Could’ faces tax exempt roadblock set by Alabama Legislature.

AL.COM – PeopleTec awarded $33 million missile defense contract.

AL.COM – North Carolina governor speaks on state’s 2nd place Toyota-Mazda finish.

AL.COM – Alabama may require some Medicaid recipients to work.

ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER – Alabama set to move forward with Medicaid work requirements on Gov. Kay Ivey’s orders.

ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER – Sen. Doug Jones co-sponsors legislation to push back against FCC’s vote on net neutrality.

ANNISTON STAR – The Anniston Star:  The good news, bad news about mental health and guns in Alabama.

WASHINGTON POST – Columnist George Will:  There’s nothing more depressing than a cheerful liberal.

WASHINGTON POST – New HHS civil rights division to shield health workers with moral or religious objections.

Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites)