The Latest: House blocks resolution condemning neo-Nazis
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on the Tennessee House electing a new speaker (all times local):
A resolution condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacy stalled in the Tennessee House during a special legislative session after lawmakers disagreed over procedural rules.
Democratic Rep. John Ray Clemmons attempted to pass it Friday during the final moments of the one-day special legislative session, which was called to elect a new House speaker.
However, Republicans said the resolution needed to go through a committee approval process because it was not “congratulatory or memorializing.”
Due to the brief session, there wasn’t time for a resolution to be reviewed by a legislative panel Friday.
Republicans cheered when the leader said they weren’t racist but they weren’t going to listen to the resolution.
The House adopted a resolution earlier this year condemning all hate groups, but Clemmons says the chamber should specifically call out white supremacy.
Tennessee state representatives have postponed any action on a Democrat’s proposal to expel a Republican House member accused of sexual misconduct.
Instead, the GOP-controlled chamber agreed during a special legislative session Friday to investigate the allegations after the attorney general’s office submits a legal opinion on ousting a sitting member facing decades-old allegations.
It is unclear when the opinion will be submitted.
Democratic Rep. Gloria Johnson, of Knoxville, made a motion to expel Republican Rep. David Byrd, of Waynesboro. However, Republican leaders intervened and eventually the chamber agreed to address the issue once an investigation has been completed.
Two women say Byrd inappropriately touched them three decades ago while he was his basketball coach. A third says Byrd tried to.
Earlier, House members name Republican Rep. Cameron Sexton as speaker.
Tennessee state representatives have elected a new House speaker after the former leader became engulfed in multiple scandals involving explicit text messages.
Members of the GOP-dominated state House met for a special legislative session Friday to name Republican Rep. Cameron Sexton as leader of the chamber.
Republican Rep. Glen Casada resigned as speaker Aug. 2 after revelations he exchanged sexually explicit text messages about women with his former chief of staff years ago, among other controversies. Casada remains a House member. He was not present at Friday’s session.
Advocates are also hoping lawmakers will oust Republican Rep. David Byrd, who’s accused of sexual misconduct by three women nearly 30 years ago.
Byrd declined to answer questions from reporters on Friday and instead he would have a statement in “late September.”
Tennessee lawmakers are returning in a special session to replace a former speaker who became mired in a scandal involving sexually explicit text messages.
The Republican-supermajority Legislature will convene Friday for an expected one-day session.
GOP Rep. Glen Casada resigned as speaker Aug. 2 after revelations he exchanged sexually explicit text messages about women with his former chief of staff years ago, among other controversies.
Last month, House Republicans nominated Rep. Cameron Sexton as Casada’s replacement. Lawmakers are expected to vote in Sexton as speaker Friday.
Advocates are pressing lawmakers to use the session to expel Republican Rep. David Byrd, who’s accused of sexual misconduct by three women nearly 30 years ago.
Sexton has requested the attorney general’s guidance on whether the House can expel a lawmaker for decades-old conduct.