Some DC Democrats criticize Green; some TN Democrats join in praising him

In Washington, 31 Democratic U.S. House members have called for the rejection of Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green as U.S. Army Secretary. But in Nashville, all five Democratic members of the state Senate joined their Republican colleagues in voting for a resolution praising the Clarksville Republican.

From Michael Collins report on the Washington letter:

“LGBT soldiers are willing to make tremendous sacrifices to protect our rights and freedoms,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter. “It would be deeply disrespectful to their service to appoint a secretary of the Army whose history of homophobia and transphobia makes it clear that he is not willing to do the same for them.”

The letter, dated April 24 and made public Thursday, was addressed to Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, the committee’s top Democrat. The committee will be responsible for holding Green’s confirmation hearing.

(Tennessee two Democrats in the U.S. House, Steve Cohen of Memphis and Jim Cooper of Nashville, did not sign the letter.)

The state Senate resolution (SJR358) was sponsored by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and was approved 30-0.

Says a line in the resolution: A true American patriot, Mark Green will most assuredly serve the brave men and women of the U.S. Army with expertise and empathy, and he will be a valuable Tennessee addition to President Trump’s administration.”

From a Nashville Post Politics report (appearing prior to the Senate vote):

“I told him congratulations in person. So I don’t know why I wouldn’t vote to say congratulations in writing,” said Nashville Democrat Sen. Jeff Yarbro when asked if he’d move the bill off the consent calendar for a full vote. “I thought it was wrong last year for the Senate to block an honorary resolution for Renata Soto because of politics, and I don’t think our votes on this resolution should be based on politics either.”

Green, for the record, voted in opposition to the resolution honoring Soto, which overwhelmingly passed the House in 2016 but died in the Senate. Soto is the co-founder and executive director of Conexión Américas and an advocate for immigrant and refugee rights.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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