With just one exception, every Republican member of the U.S. House from Alabama voted against President Trump over higher COVID-19 relief payments. Robert Aderholt was the lone GOP vote in favor of the $2000 checks favored by Trump and House Democrats. The economic impact of the coronavirus on Alabama remains apparent. The state Department of Labor says over one hundred thousand Alabamians remain without work, blamed largely on the coronavirus. The state’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.4% in November. That’s a big improvement from earlier in the year but still above last year's level. The 4.4% November rate was better than October's revised rate of 5.7%. But it was still higher than the November 2019 level of only 2.7%. Despite the apparent need for greater COVID relief, Alabama Representatives Bradley Byrne, Mo Brooks, Mike Rogers, and Martha Roby all voted no. Democrat Terri Sewell was the only other Alabama House member to vote in favor of the higher payments.
The action in the U.S. House was rendered largely moot today as efforts stalled in the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing an alternative approach of loading up the bill with other White House priorities that appears destined to fail. Republicans deeply divided over providing more aid, McConnell is trying to provide a “poison pill” to enable GOP senators to avoid a tough vote. His new bill includes the formation of a commission to investigate the 2020 election as well as a complicated repeal of big tech liability protections.