General Assembly To TN D.C. Delegation: Let’s Chat About States’ Rights

Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) is calling the meeting a "bilateral session of Congress." Members of the D.C. delegation are frequent visitors to the state capitol. Sen. Lamar Alexander even made an address to a joint session in 2012. But it would be rare for all of them to be there at once. Credit: Stephen Jerkins

Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) is calling the meeting a “bilateral session of Congress.” Members of the D.C. delegation are frequent visitors to the state capitol. Sen. Lamar Alexander even made an address to a joint session in 2012. But it would be rare for all of them to be there at once. Credit: Stephen Jerkins

Lawmakers at the Tennessee capitol say they need to talk to the state’s congressional delegation – all nine of them, and on the same day. A handful of Republicans have called for an unusual joint session to discuss states’ rights.

State Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) says there’s a disconnect with Washington, and he gets an earful all the time.

“Probably the number one topic I hear from my constituents – both parties – is the frustration we have with the federal government and the unrestrained power the federal government has taken on in the last few decades.”

Bell is part of the group pushing for a formal meeting in January of the entire 132-member General Assembly with the state’s U.S. Senators and Representatives. The topic is essentially how to keep the feds out of Tennessee.

House Speaker Beth Harwell says she thinks it’s a pretty good idea and would like to see it happen. It’s unclear whether members of congress would all come, especially Tennessee’s two Democrats. But it could be uncomfortable for a couple of Republicans too who are being challenged by state lawmakers in next year’s GOP primary.

Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.