The Thursday White House press conference saw Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, threaten Alabama legislators for voting for a measure that would ban transgender-conversion therapy for children under 19 years old. Alabama legislators passed the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (SB184) with an overwhelming vote of 66 to 28. The bill was signed into law by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) on Friday.
Psaki, however, stated that Alabama legislators had been “noticed” by the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services, even before the governor signed the bill. She also stated President Joe Biden would hold them accountable.
Psaki’s threatening remarks were quickly rebuffed by lawmakers who had paved the way for this legislation and others to safeguard children. Alabama State Rep. Wes Allen(R), a candidate for the vacant Alabama Secretary of State post in the current election, refuted Psaki's remarks. Allen issued a statement in which he said that he was contacted about Jen Psaki's critique of the passing of the Vulnerable Child Protection Act in the Alabama legislature. “First, Psaki was not elected to my district. The second reason is that I really [don’t] care [how] the opinions of Psaki as well as the Biden Administration think of me.”
Alabama's legislature also approved legislation that requires public-school pupils to use the bathrooms designated to the genders on their birth certificates. Alabama State Senator Shay Shelnutt (R) made an amendment to mirror Florida's Parental Rights in Education law.
Alabama State Rep. Scott Stadthagen (R) was the main legislator behind the bill. He also resisted any White House rhetoric and advised the Biden Administration “to stay in their lane.” Stadthagen pointed out that the Tenth Amendment clearly defines the power of the federal government over state governments. “The federal government doesn't have a legally defined role in this regard. The Biden Administration should stay on course and rectify the problems they caused along our border, instead of focus[ing] on the constitutionally-approved law[s] that were passed in Alabama.”