The state House of Representatives has turned down a resolution honoring Ronald Reagan. Republicans refused to vote on the measure, which honored Reagan’s support of labor unions.
It was obviously a set-up – Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Turner sponsoring a bill to honor the Republican president who turned the Silent Majority into a GOP juggernaut.
Turner, a member of the Nashville Firefighter’s Union, reminded lawmakers that Reagan first entered politics as a member of a union.
“This man went on to lead the Screen Actors Guild, and led them in to their first strike, when the big Hollywood studios were trying to limit collective bargaining there.”
Turner also pointed out that Reagan defended the fledgling Polish trade union movement when the Soviets tried to crack down on the organization.
Unimpressed, House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said he wouldn’t be voting on the measure, and only three Republicans bothered to put a vote on the board. With only a third of the House voting aye, the measure failed.
Republicans later called the resolution an attempt to get them to vote in favor of collective bargaining. The General Assembly is considering a bill to take away collective bargaining from teachers.
The resolution is HJR 225.
The measure would have portrayed the legislature as “reflecting fondly upon his impeccable leadership and stalwart commitment to protecting American workers and collective bargaining right.”
House Republican Leader Gerald McCormick signaled the GOP caucus position on the resolution, a copy of which would have been sent to the Reagan library.
“There are some factual errors in this that I think ought to fixed, certainly before we send it to his library. I wouldn’t want them to think people in Tennessee don’t realize the Polish Solidarity movement was in Poland, rather than the U.S.S.R….and there are a couple of other issues in there. I think we might want to amend this before we were actually to pass it. So having said that, I appreciate the effort, but I won’t be voting on this.”
Mike Turner is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 140.
Their web page talks about “a wave of political attacks from anti-worker lawmakers in the Tennessee General Assembly.
The collective bargaining bill regarding teachers is HB 130 Maggart/SB 113 Johnson.