Tag: Doug Jones

Jones, Shelby Split on Kavanaugh Confirmation

Alabama’s senators, like most of the senators from across the country, split along party lines this weekend as the body voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as the newest U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat from Alabama, decried the process that he called a “rush to confirmation” during a 25-minute address to the Senate before Friday’s vote to limit debate on the nomination. He lamented that millions of dollars had been spent both on campaigns to get Kavanaugh confirmed to the court and to block that confirmation.

“I think that this kind of political campaign for a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States, a political campaign run by either political party, should be condemned as completely contrary to the independence of the judicial branch of our government,” Jones said in his speech.

He said he believed Americans from both parties were “disgusted” by the political process.

“I am deeply disappointed and concerned by the process, the posturing and the partisanship that has degraded what should be one of the most serious, deliberate and thoughtful decisions that we as the United States Senate are entrusted to make,” he said.
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who at first took a “wait and see” approach to Kavanaugh’s nomination after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, supported the confirmation in the end.

“During the hearings, I found Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony to be credible,” Shelby said in a statement after the vote. “It is evident that the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh are uncorroborated, and there is no confirmation of any of the alleged misconduct,” he said.

Read more about the Senate’s 50-48 vote to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination and how senators voted on other key issues in the week ending Oct. 6, 2018. The House was in recess. Read more.

Jones Visits Mercedes-Benz, Deflects Comment on Possible Shift of Production to Asia

VANCE — Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, has co-sponsored a bill along with a Republican colleague from Tennessee that would delay President Donald Trump’s proposed imposition of tariffs on vehicles and parts imported into the United States. But in a press conference held Friday morning at Mercedes-Benz’s factory complex near Tuscaloosa, Jones deflected comment on a report that the company may move some production from the Alabama plants to Asia because of tariffs already levied by China.

The report by Reuters quoted the head of Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company in Germany, saying the tariffs have forced the company to consider a shift overseas. Read more.

Sen. Jones Proposes Easier Access and a Central Clearinghouse for Civil Rights Cold Cases

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones introduced a bill on Tuesday that would make it easier to obtain records for unsolved civil rights cases.

The proposed legislation, the Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2018, would mandate that criminal civil rights records held by the government be gathered and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration. The collection would be available for public viewing. The proposal also would establish a Civil Rights Records Review Board, made up of impartial citizens, that would facilitate the review and transfer of records going into the collection.

Jones said the improved accessibility would allow a wider range of people to participate more easily in unearthing details related to unsolved civil rights cases, many of which are more than 50 years old.

Read more.

Jones Introduces Bill Requiring Reports on Money Forfeited When States Bypassed Medicaid Expansion

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, has introduced a bill that would require a federal agency to show how much states such as Alabama have left on the table by refusing to expand Medicaid.

The Smart Choices Act would mandate that the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, or MACPAC, annually publish reports showing how much states receive under expanded Medicaid. In particular, the reports would show how much the states that refused expansion under the Affordable Care Act would have gotten if they had joined the program. Read more.

Sen. Doug Jones Calls for Compromise to Lessen Gun Violence, Points to Youth Protests as the Tipping Point in the Debate

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones delivered his first speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, calling for a pragmatic conversation and compromise on the hot button issues surrounding gun control.

“We must acknowledge the deadly consequences that can follow when a gun is in the wrong hands, but also recognize and respect the freedom to own and enjoy guns by law-abiding citizens as guarantees by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Those two concepts are not mutually exclusive,” said Jones, who won a special election against Roy Moore in December to become the first Democratic U.S. senator from Alabama in more than 20 years.

Jones pointed to the youth-led outcry for an end to gun violence in schools, sparked by last month’s deadly shooting at a Parkland, Florida, school, as the catalyst that could move conversations forward. He compared the current movement to the Children’s March in Birmingham in 1963 — a protest that became a turning point in the fight for desegregation in Birmingham.

In his speech, the senator called for a ban on manufacturing or possessing bump stocks, which are devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly. He also called for passing legislation to close loopholes in the federal background check system currently in place, widen requirements for background checks and waiting periods to purchase guns, and raise the minimum age requirement for purchasing semi-automatic weapons. Read more.

Alabama has a swath of elections coming up this year, and there will be a much stronger Democratic presence on the ballot than there has been in recent statewide elections. Do you think Alabama’s moving toward being a two-party state? Are Democrats a viable party statewide?

Jones: I think you’re looking at the viability of Democrats. The viability of Democrats is not dependent on a candidate. It’s dependent on the issues and how they present those issues to the people. I’ve always believed Democrats can be viable. I’ve always believed Republicans, even when Democrats dominated the state, could have been viable with the right message. We flipped (dominant parties) too quick, and we never became a two-party state.
Read more.

You just touched on some issues — immigration and guns — that are very hot-button issues for Alabama voters. For those issues, it seems that you have to balance between the more liberal parts of your voter base and the conservative majority of the state.

They’re voters, for sure. But I’ve told people in my campaign, “Don’t expect me to pass a litmus test for one side or the other.” I continue to get asked, “Are you liberal, conservative, moderate, progressive, what?” And I say, “Don’t label me! I’m Doug, and I’m going to vote the way I feel. I’m certainly not going to pass the far left’s litmus test any more than I’m going to pass the far right’s litmus tests. Read more.

The Common Sense Coalition is sort of an anomaly. It’s a bipartisan, centrist group of senators operating in the middle of a highly polarized political climate. How viable of a political philosophy is centrism in a divided 2018?

Jones: I think if you see what’s happened in the last six weeks, since I took office … . You’re always going to have divisions, but let’s just look at the budget, for instance. Yeah, the government shut down for three days. But at the end of the day, you saw a bipartisan budget resolution that’s now going to be put in an omnibus bill that’s going to fund the government for the next two years — this year and next year. That is unheard of in the modern era, in the last few years. Read more.

How is your relationship with the president? You met with him and Senator Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, at the White House last month.

Jones: He was very nice. He called me after the election. His daughter called me after the election. After we voted to reopen the government, he called me and Senator Manchin to come over and we had a wonderful chat. I was probably in the Oval Office for about 45 minutes, just talking. It wasn’t a negotiation or anything like that. It was just a talk. “This is where I think we need to go, this is what I think I need to do.” Read more.