NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), sponsor of the resolution calling on Tennessee to sue the federal government over its operation of the refugee resettlement program in the state on Tenth Amendment grounds, issued a statement today calling the recent testimony by NATO commander General Philip Breedlove that “ISIS is spreading like a cancer” among refugees pouring into Europe “another wake-up call.”
“According to reports published this week, Breedlove stated, ‘ISIS is spreading like a cancer’ within the waves of refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and other countries to Europe. He indicated that ‘members of ISIS were hiding among the flood of refugees entering Europe, taking advantage of paths of least resistance, threatening European nations and our own.’ Senate Joint Resolution 467 urges the commencement of legal action, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, from the federal government’s mandated appropriation of state revenue and noncompliance with the Refugee Act,” the statement read.
“Tuesday’s testimony by NATO Commander General Phillip Breedlove before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee is another wake-up call. We are at risk,” Norris said in the statement.
“The federal refugee resettlement scheme presently in place provides inadequate protection,” Norris added.
Senate Joint Resolution 467 sailed through the Tennessee State Senate by a 27 to 5 vote last month, and was expected to easily pass in the State House of Representatives.
However, Speaker of the House Beth Harwell has assigned the bill to two committees and two subcommittees for consideration where the chairmen have traditionally been more aligned with the political wishes of Republican Governor Bill Haslam, who has made his opposition to the resolution well known. Haslam recently endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination.
Sources tell Breitbart News that State Rep. Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville), chairman of one committee considering the bill, the State Government Committee, is not among the 71 members of the Tennessee House who have have signed on to a letter of support for the resolution. Ramsey has been fully briefed about the implications of the federal program for the state of Tennessee, sources add.
State Rep. Charles Sargent (R-Franklin), chairman of the other committee considering the bill, the Finance and Ways and Means Committee, has apparently signed the letter of support for the resolution, but sources tell Breitbart News his long time alliance with Governor Haslam could impact how he votes on the bill in committee.
In the event the resolution is stalled in the House due to the behind-the-scenes efforts of Governor Haslam, the Tennessee State Senate has the authority to bring the law suit in federal court on its own authority.
The Thomas More Law Center, a well-respected conservative public interest law firm, has said that it will represent the state of Tennessee as plaintiff in the suit at no cost to the state.