U.S. Representative Zach Wamp is giving up his seat in Congress to seek the Republican nomination for governor, but the usual “thank-you” resolution from the state legislature won’t have everybody’s name on it.
Ordinarily every representative in the state House signs on to such resolutions, but this year, Republicans have been trying to avoid putting their names on anything honoring Democratic congressmen.
Instead of being automatic, lawmakers now have to actually ask to have their names added. That back-fired when 16 Republicans were left off the resolution for Congressman Wamp. In fact, more Democrats than Republicans signed on (36 to 35).
Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Turner of Nashville says such resolutions ought to be above party considerations.
“I don’t agree with much of what Zach Wamp has done, but I do appreciate his willingness to serve, and that’s what our caucus just decided not to get into the gutter, and partisanship, and try to make a big deal out of that.”
Republicans balked a couple of weeks ago at putting their names on a similar resolution honoring retiring Democratic Congressman Bart Gordon.
The resolution to honor U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp is HJR 0803.
To see those whose names will be on the final, framed copy of the resolution, click on “Show Co-Prime Sponsors.”
The House voted to create the resolution by a vote of 95-0-1. The one “present, not voting,” was Josh Evans, Republican from Springfield. He told reporters he thought such honors should come after a representative actually stepped down from the office.
That position may be inconsistent with the fact that he signed the resolution, (he’s the sixth name on the list). So even though he didn’t vote for the measure, his name will appear on the “engrossed,” or final copy. Just voting for the resolution doesn’t get your name on the piece of paper.
Republicans who didn’t co-sponsor the resolution include Glen Casada of Williamson County, the chair of the House Republican Caucus, Mount Juliet Rep. Susan Lynn, Parkers Crossroads Rep. Steve McDaniel, and Williamson County Rep. Charles Sargent.
Sargent said he though he had signed on. House clerk staff said they added all the names given to them – many on separate slips of paper.
Rep. Donna Rowland, R-Murfreesboro, is also missing. She was sitting at her desk but didn’t touch her buttons, so she is not even listed as “present, not voting.” Rowland has in the past opposed such resolutions as expensive and unnecessary. She often votes “no” or “present, not voting,” on such resolutions.
The issue first surfaced when Republicans balked at putting their names on the “thank you” resolution for Bart Gordon on Jan. 17. See “Resolution To Honor Gordon Turns Partisan.”
House Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Turner has been low-key on the issue. But Thursday he said:
“When Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker decide to step down at some time, and if I’m still here, I’ll be glad to vote honoring them for their service, and that’s what that was about.”