Harwell fulfills promise to move a controversial collective bargaining bill
Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell made a promise to the more conservative members of the House Republican Caucus that if the bill which restricts the collective bargaining privileges of the heavily-Democratic Tennessee Education Association became stalled, she would make sure that it made it to the floor.
A lot of people have asked this writer why he continues to support Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) in her role as Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Some have said that she has only “thrown crumbs from the table” to conservatives. While it is true that some of us would prefer political filet mignon as opposed to hamburger steak from time time, the real reason that Harwell appeals to some of us is that she is a woman of her word-when Beth Harwell says that she will stick with you on something, you can take it to the bank that she will stand by your side, even at the risk of her own political hide. That is precisely what Speaker Harwell did yesterday when she broke the tie in the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee on the collective bargaining bill.
When we speak of “putting the good of the party first” this is the kind of thing we mean by it. Some people mistakenly believe that Republicans would prefer to put the good of the party ahead of the good of the State or the country, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our goal is, as best we know how to do it, to try and make the good of the party and the good of the community one and the same-our goal is to support those ideas, as a party, which we believe are good for the community, the State, and the Union.
It is reported that it was not Beth Harwell’s personal preference to engage in a fight over the collective bargaining bill. So if that is true, why did she do it? Harwell had promised that she would not allow the bill-an important part of the conservative agenda for this legislative term-to die in committee.
She kept her good word.