Sen. Doug Jones returned to Alabama last weekend, holding a townhall in Huntsville to discuss the government shutdown.
The Democrat senator held the event at the University of Alabama Huntsville in a room that according to Al.Com, at 300 attendees, was filled to capacity. With about 5,500 federal workers in the state of Alabama, nearly half of those work for the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, so that city has the largest number of furloughed workers.
He spoke to them specifically, saying they should not be “hostages” in this political fight saying, according to WHNT, “Federal workers and the contractors, people that do the service to this country should not be held hostage just over politics. I firmly believe that. I’ve continued to vote to keep this government open. I hope to continue to do that. And hopefully we’ll get something on the table pretty soon to do just that.”
The senator blamed both parties for failing to compromise, which may help him hold on to his seat in Alabama, one that is considered highly precarious.
Jones said that the compromise offered by President Donald Trump on Friday was encouraging, saying “What I’m seeing is a hopeful sign.” He continued, “The president is demonstrating that he, in good faith, will talk about border security in a bigger issue. And the House Democrats, who have been just as entrenched – saying nothing until we reopen the government – are saying, ‘OK, we want to talk, too, in good faith.’”