Last week in the session's first dustup, Republicans objected to voting on the resolution and bumped it from the House's consent calendar of noncontroversial measures. House GOP caucus chairman Glen Casada later explained some Republicans thought it was wrong to spend a few hundred dollars--the cost of printing a resolution--to honor someone, no matter how famous, who wasn't even from Tennessee.
No one spoke against the resolution today. "We're recognizing an icon," Rep. Ulysses Jones, D-Memphis, told the House. Rep. Eric Swafford, R-Pikeville, did poke fun at the controversy, mixing some of the singer's song titles into his commentary:
"I don't want to be starting something, but I think this is an easy as ABC or one two three. I know that you all have been working day and night, and this resolution is not that bad. I personally think it's off the wall because the man was an entertainer and a thriller so just remember the time, keep the faith because it doesn't matter if you're black or white, just take a look at the man in the mirror or just beat it."
House GOP leader Jason Mumpower and Rep. Susan Lynn were two surprise yes votes, along with 11 more Republicans. Only three Democrats voted no: Mike McDonald of Portland, Henry Fincher of Cookeville and Mike Stewart of East Nashville. Pith will try to track down Stewart to ask what he's got against the King of Pop.