By voting against a bill that would have allowed for the creation of fast-track trade legislation, four Alabama congressmen recently helped block President Barack Obama’s planned trade agenda.
According to a June 12 AL.com report, the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill, which would have provided vocational training, job placement and health benefits for American workers who lose their jobs to global trade, failed to pass the House of Representatives with a vote of 126-302.
Reps. Bradley Byrne, R-Fairhope; Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville; Martha Roby, R-Montgomery; and Gary Palmer, R-Hoover all voted against the bill. The Alabama House members were among 158 Republicans and 144 Democrats who voted “no” for the bill.
Meanwhile, three Alabama congressmen voted in favor of the bill: Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham; Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville; and Mike Rogers, R-Sacks.
Sewell, in particular, stands out as one of just 40 House Democrats to vote “yes” for TAA; many Democrats voted against the bill because it would have cut $700 million from Medicare to fund its training programs.
In more bad news for the federal government, the recent data breach that targeted the personal information of millions of federal employees and staffers had a far wider scope than previously thought.
According to Popular Science, a union for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management revealed the hackers may have stolen the information of an additional one million former government employees. Furthermore, the hackers may have snatched federal employees’ Social Security numbers and may have even determined the identities of the more than five million Americans with security clearances.
Despite government officials pointing to China as the likely source of the hack, Chinese officials have neither confirmed nor denied these claims.
While the U.S. government has seen a 680% increase in the number of cyber security breaches it’s experienced over the last six years, it has done little to ramp up its defenses against future attacks. In many ways, the government’s computer networks and servers are just as vulnerable to hackers today as they were six years ago.