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News Brief: Week of Oct. 28-Nov. 3


Trump birthright citizenship

President Donald Trump announced his intention on Tuesday to sign an executive order ending U.S. birthright citizenship.

Such an order would conflict with the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. become legal citizens with full rights. Trump’s staff of lawyers and advisors have questioned if the plan could be instituted legally, according to the Washington Post.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) spoke out against Trump’s proposal Tuesday afternoon, saying the 14th amendment is “pretty clear,” and changing birthright immigration law would be a “very lengthy constitutional process.”

Midterm elections

Voters nationwide will decide on 435 House of Representative seats, 36 governorships and more than three dozen Senate positions during midterm elections tomorrow.

President Trump (R) and former Vice President Joe Biden (D) spent Saturday warning of the potential consequences if their opposing party were to emerge with a majority in the Senate or House of Representatives.

According to Biden, Republicans will make it difficult for those with pre-existing conditions to find healthcare, while also defunding Medicare and Social Security.

In front of supporters in Montana, Trump said a Democratic majority congress would push for softer border security and a “socialist” health care system.

With more than 30 million early voting and absentee ballots already cast, experts are expecting high voter turnout nationwide.

Positive jobs report

The U.S. economy is continuing to trend in a positive direction, according to a job report released Friday by the Department of Labor.

Overall wages increased by .2 percent, while 250,000 jobs were added to the economy in October, according to the report. The number of people working or looking for a job also rose by .2 percent, from 62.7 to 62.9 percent.

The national unemployment rate sits at 3.7 percent, the lowest rate seen in almost 50 years.


Gubernatorial race

As voters prepare to head to the polls tomorrow, the Oklahoma gubernatorial race between Drew Edmondson (D) and Kevin Stitt (R) remains too close to call.

According to a survey conducted last week by SoonerPoll, Stitt leads Edmondson by a margin of 46.4 to 41.8 percent, with Edmondson holding a slight lead in favorability. The polling also shows Stitt is struggling in rural areas where he was expected to hold a large advantage.

The margin of error is 4.63 percent, according to SoonerPoll founder Bill Shapard.

University of Oklahoma layoffs

As part of an ongoing effort to cut expenses and increase revenue, University of Oklahoma President Jim Gallogly terminated 50 university employees on Thursday.

Three research offices were closed and two university executives were removed from their positions, according to the OU Daily. Other layoffs came from the landscaping department.

In a letter sent to employees, Gallogly said no more layoffs are expected this calendar year.

This round of layoffs comes just four months after Gallogly fired six university administrators on his first working day in office.

I-235 construction completed

Those who commute regularly from Edmond to Downtown Oklahoma City will now face an easier drive.

A project to widen I-235 between N.W. 36th and N.W. 50th street in Oklahoma City was completed ahead of schedule on Saturday. Since January 2017, the area has been under construction, with speed limits lowered to 35 mph.

Construction was expected to continue until January 2020, but early completion incentives motivated constructor Allen Contracting to finish ahead of schedule.

Speed limits will soon increase back to 60 mph, according to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

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