Stay up-to-date on what’s in the news with the Y’all Politics Daily Roundup.
On Wednesday, Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn sent a letter to Governor Tate Reeves stating that it is the House’s “firm belief” that the state of emergency created by COVID-19 no longer exists. As such, knowing no reason why the state of emergency should remain in effect, Speaker Gunn tells the Governor, “…we call on you to declare the state of emergency over.”
While there are no executive orders from the Governor’s office currently in force, as they all ended in late May, a state of emergency does continue through this weekend, with good reason, the Governor’s office said.
“As commander in chief of the Mississippi National Guard, the Governor has activated a large number of citizen soldiers to help deploy resources, PPE, testing, and vaccines to the Mississippians who need it,” Governor Reeves’ spokeswomen Bailey Martin said. “The State of Emergency has remained in effect for the sole purpose that it is necessary to ensure the men and women in uniform, who have done such an admirable job delivering these resources, can continue to be paid until their mission is complete. There have been no state restrictions in place for quite some time now.”
YP – Miss. Dept. of Health on COVID State of Emergency: Agency will accommodate whatever the Governor decides
House Democratic Leader State Rep. Robert Johnson told Y’all Politics via text that everyone should be listening to MSDH’s State Health Officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
“I defer to the State’s Chief Health Officer and I think everyone else should as well,” Rep. Johnson said. “This is not a political question; it’s a health question. So someone should ask Dr. Dobbs.”…
…Yet, it would appear that it is, indeed, a policy question according to MSDH.
Y’all Politics asked MSDH for their position on whether the state of emergency should be extended. MSDH would only say that they would accommodate whatever the Governor decides.
“The agency will accommodate whatever decision the Governor makes regarding this issue,” a spokesperson for MSDH replied.
Governor Reeves tweets at Speaker Pelosi over 15-week abortion law
The answer, Madame Speaker, is yes. Scientific facts:
A 15 week old is practicing breathing. Her brain is developing. And she can feel pain!
She is a human being!! https://t.co/mWLn3STmU2
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) June 17, 2021
YP – U.S. Supreme Court upholds Obamacare, rejecting Texas, Mississippi and 16 other states’ challenge
The United States Supreme Court has upheld what has become known as Obamacare and dismissed potential challenges. The 7-2 decision by the Court kept the Affordable Care Act alive after a lawsuit was brought forward by Texas and 17 other states – including Mississippi – along with two individuals.
The Court ruled that the petition lacked standing to challenge the constitutionality of the program.
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, however, was not deterred from her position in challenging Obamacare despite today’s decision.
“Obamacare was hastily thrown together by a Democrat monopoly in Washington, D.C. as an answer to a political agenda rather than pursuit of sound law and governance,” AG Fitch told Y’all Politics. “I will continue to fight for Mississippians who want to see real healthcare reform in its place.”
MSDH daily COVID-19 reporting
Today MSDH is reporting 193 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 1 death, and 12 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The state's #covid19 totals are now 319,704 cases, 7,369 deaths, and 946,229 persons fully vaccinated. Full information: https://t.co/YCv9xPyJDk pic.twitter.com/YUqQti09g3
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) June 17, 2021
YP – Jackson Mayor Lumumba, 4 other black mayors call for “new Reconstruction” comparing COVID with Civil War
Jackson mayor Chokwe Lumumba joined four other Southern black mayors in writing an Op-Ed for the Washington Post that blames “decades of divestment” from the federal government and “racial inequities” for their cities’ failure to provide clean drinking water and broadband access.
Writing alongside Lumumba for the Op-Ed were Randall Woodfin, the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, Frank Scott Jr., the mayor of Little Rock, Arkanasa, Steven Reed, the mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, and Adrian Perkins, the mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana.
The Democrats compared the COVID-19 pandemic to the Civil War, writing that what is needed is “a new Reconstruction” and that President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan is needed “to build back stronger, smarter and more equitably.”
Mississippi’s entire federal delegation has voted to mark June 19th as an annual federal holiday recognizing the date in 1865 when federal troops informed Texas at slaves were freed by then-President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier.
The U.S. House voted 415-14 late Wednesday to mark the date. None of the 14 Republicans voting no were from Mississippi. Congressman Trent Kelly (R-MS01), Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS02), Congressman Michael Guest (R-MS03), and Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS04) all voted yes on the act.
The measure passed the U.S. Senate a day before without amendment by Unanimous Consent, meaning Mississippi Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith did not object and voted to consent.
Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District continues to draw much of the early attention in the state leading up to the 2022 mid-terms.
Incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo has indicated he will seek re-election. Yet, due in large part to an ongoing House Ethics Inquiry into his use of campaign funds, challengers have emerged early in the cycle.
To date, Republicans Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell and Carl Boyanton have filed their intent to run, as have Independent Jesse Hudson and Libertarian Alden Johnson.
On Thursday, veteran Gulfport Police Officer Raymond Brooks announced that he intends to seek the Republican nomination for Congress in Mississippi’s 4th Congressional district.
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) has joined an effort to obtain a Biden administration blueprint for expanding and overhauling the legal immigration system—a plan delivered to the New York Times, but denied to Congress and the American people.
Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, is among a dozen Senators who signed a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that demands the immediate release of the blueprint.
“The fact this is being withheld from Congress and the American people is particularly troubling given the ongoing crisis at the southern border,” the Senators wrote.
Seersucker takes over D.C. Thursday
Always enjoy celebrating #SeersuckerThursday on the Hill! Everyone looks so sharp, especially our Mississippi staff. Thank you @BillCassidy for organizing again this year. @SenatorWicker pic.twitter.com/LJCu3p9dBL
— U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (@SenHydeSmith) June 17, 2021