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Resolution denouncing neo-Nazis dies in Tennessee legislature for second time

A resolution condemning neo-Nazis and white nationalists died once again in the Tennessee legislature this week, the ...

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 6:20 AM
Updated: Apr 5, 2018 6:20 AM

A resolution condemning neo-Nazis and white nationalists died once again in the Tennessee legislature this week, the second time such a bill failed to pass the state house in the past few weeks.

The resolution would have had the state legislature "strongly denounce and oppose the totalitarian impulses, violent terrorism, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis," according to the bill's text.

But its author, House Republican Caucus chair Ryan Williams, withdrew it from consideration after receiving feedback from Republican lawmakers.

The first version of the bill was filed by a Democratic state representative for Nashville just five days after the fatal white nationalist rally on August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It died on March 14 in a subcommittee in 36 seconds, after failing to receive a second motion for discussion.

The second version was nearly identical to the first and was sponsored by Williams. The updated bill deleted a reference that urged law enforcement to recognize and pursue such groups as terrorist organizations.

Williams filed his bill on March 28 and withdrew it from consideration this Tuesday, April 3.

In a statement to The Tennessean, Williams said the "bill's caption was too narrow and couldn't be amended to incorporate additional feedback gathered from our members over the past couple of days."

Williams did not elaborate on the concerns his fellow Republicans raised to him about the proposal, according to the newspaper.

"I still believe it is important for our General Assembly to condemn groups that support racism and hatred," Williams said, according to The Tennessean. "I look forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle on a future resolution which can meet the expectations of all of our House members, as well as the citizens of Tennessee."

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