Stay up-to-date on what’s in the news with the Y’all Politics Daily Roundup.
YP – Ingalls workers concerned Mississippi, lawmakers aren’t fighting Biden’s COVID vaccine mandates
An Ingalls employee speaking with Y’all Politics on the condition of anonymity, concerned about his job if his name is released, said it is a shame more local lawmakers in Jackson County are not trying to help them challenge these federal mandates.
“At least a few people are paying attention and trying to do something to help us fight this even if they aren’t from around here,” he said. “But why aren’t our state senators and representatives willing to speak up and do something?”
Another Ingalls employee, also who did not want to be named, said he chose to be vaccinated but it is not right to force others to be. He said he wants the state to make a statement against the President by either passing protections against the federal mandate or suing to protect workers’ right…
…Now, State Senator Chris McDaniel, a Republican from Jones County, has penned a letter to the President of Ingalls, Kari Wilkinson, challenging the company’s stance on the issue and saying that Ingalls has set arbitrary and hasty deadlines for its employees to file for exemptions related to a disability or a sincerely held religious belief.
Today, Attorney General Lynn Fitch and 20 Attorneys General from across the country wrote President Biden to challenge his Administration’s evolving mandatory vaccination requirement for federal contractors. Noting that the mandate stands on shaky legal grounds, is propped up by inconsistent federal directives, and requires compliance on an unworkable timeline in the midst of a supply-chain crisis, the Attorneys General strongly urged the President to halt implementation of the mandate.
“I have serious concerns about the President’s federal contractor vaccine mandate,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “and those concerns have become graver as the various task forces and agencies in the federal bureaucracy have weighed in with guidance on implementing that mandate. Forcing people to vaccinate or lose their jobs is a flawed premise – that decision belongs to each individual – and the mismanaged execution of that idea demonstrates how utterly unworkable it is as a national policy.”
MSDH COVID-19 Reporting
Today MSDH is reporting 344 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 2 deaths, and 25 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. State #covid19 totals: 503,666 cases, 10,059 deaths, and 1,368,029 persons fully vaccinated. Full COVID-19 information: https://t.co/YCv9xPyJDk pic.twitter.com/MtEoh9aINw
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) October 27, 2021
The Mississippi Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) released its report titled “An Evaluation of the Privatization of the Child Support Enforcement by the Mississippi Department of Human Services” on Tuesday.
The report analyzed MDHS’s privatization of Child Support Enforcement (CSE), including the call center that began in 2009 and was largely expanded by 2016. The Central Receipting and Disbursement Unit (CRDU) was privatized in 2014. The initial pilot program was incomplete and did not provide evidence that privatization would improve the program’s performance.
The report gathered by PEER showed that MDHS did not procure CSE and call center services in an effective manner between 2015 and 2021. They were contracted with YoungWilliams from 2017 to 2021, however they determined YoungWilliams could not be held accountable for its performance due to the insufficiency of the contract.
Voyant Beauty, manufacturer of beauty and personal care products, is expanding in Olive Branch. The project is a $13.17 million corporate investment and will create 80 new jobs and retain 57 existing jobs.
“Economic development is highly competitive among states, and Voyant Beauty’s decision to locate these expanded operations at its Olive Branch facility is a shining example of how Mississippi’s business advantages stack up against the competition,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “The addition of 80 new jobs in Olive Branch, as well as the retention of the company’s existing team, will benefit DeSoto County and northeast Mississippi for years to come.”
YP – Pressed by Senator Wicker, President Biden’s top advisor walks back claim Afghans had no will to fight
Until now, the Biden Administration’s primary talking point on Afghanistan to defend its messy and deadly military withdrawal from the country was to place blame on the Afghan defense forces, saying they lacked the will to fight. Such talk has been largely to deflect from the failure of U.S. leaders from the White House down to plan for an orderly withdrawal from the country.
This week, Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, blasted comments made by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl and Lieutenant General James Mingus, the Director for Operations for the J3 Joint Staff, that furthered that narrative.
In the committee hearing, Senator Wicker pointed to remarks in Kahl’s opening statement that said the Afghan military “evaporated in the face of the Taliban assault” and in Mingus’s opening statement that said “we cannot and will never be able to instill the will to fight.”
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith have joined over 30 Republican Senators in introducing Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021 (S.3063). This legislation protects the placement of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and to block Biden administration plans to establish a separate U.S. Consulate for the Palestinians.
This bill protects the implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and blocks the Biden Administration’s efforts to subvert the law.
“The United States must fulfill its legal and moral commitments to the Israeli people, which includes maintaining our embassy, including all diplomatic missions, in Jerusalem. The Biden administration must not stray from the law as it reaches out to the leadership of the Palestinians, which is closely tied to Iran and terrorist organizations” Senator Hyde-Smith said.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Rules Committee held a hearing titled “Emerging Threats to Election Administration.” During the hearing, Mississippi U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith stressed the need for bipartisan cooperation to guarantee voter confidence in the integrity of the federal election process.
“Public trust in our government depends on ensuring our elections are conducted fairly and without compromise from any source. Protecting the rights of voters and election integrity should be a bipartisan process, not a partisan talking point,” Hyde-Smith said. “I am just hopeful that we can capture some of that Kentucky spirit here in the U.S. Senate and learn to pursue legislation that can bring us together and achieve overwhelming support, just as you did in Kentucky, rather than one-sided partisan measures that only further divide our body.”
Congressman Palazzo seeks flexibility for states to use CARES funds
Mississippi has been unable to use $826 million in CARES funds due to federal red tape. I joined @RepDustyJohnson to help give states flexibility to spend remaining relief funds on critical infrastructure. This bill will strengthen our road to recovery & save taxpayers trillions.
— Cong. Steven Palazzo (@CongPalazzo) October 27, 2021
Senate Republicans held a news conference to discuss rising energy prices ahead of President Biden’s upcoming visit to a UN climate summit. U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith joined her colleagues to warn that families and businesses in Mississippi and across the nation will continue to pay the price for President Biden’s self-inflicted American energy crisis.
Hyde-Smith explained that in addition to the border, Afghanistan, and inflation, we now find ourselves in an energy crisis, as well. She states that Mississippians are now paying $3 a gallon of gas and she is listening to and hearing from them.
Mississippi gas prices have been steadily increasing since the 2020 Presidential Election. Last week, the national average price for a gallon of gas stands at $3.357, per AAA. Now, the average gas price per gallon in Mississippi has officially hit $3.00, according to Gas Buddy.
NFL giant Brett Favre has paid a big chunk of his debt to Mississippi, the auditor says.
State Auditor Shad White says his office has “recovered $600,000 from representatives of Brett Favre this week.”
The $600,000 covers money Favre received from Mississippi for multiple speaking events where he never showed up.
The discrepancy popped up from a Department of Human Services audit over misspent TANF funds, the largest embezzlement scheme in state history.