Biblical Bill (BB) has been a busy little bee.
In January, shortly after taking office, he signed Executive Order 3 which “mandates openness, transparency and accountability within the executive branch”
Then he started learning how to do his job which he said eleven months later, he still hadn’t figured out how to do it.
Fast forward to now and his announcement that has leftists “taking a victory lap” and more clearly identifying the Republicans within the state’s GOP that now have that big “L” as in liberal, stamped on their forehead.
The totally transparent BB repeatedly told the media as late as December 2, 2019, that the deadline to decide whether to consent to resettling refugees was January 21, 2020:
“The state’s deadline for consent is January 21. We will continue working with the federal government to determine the best outcome for Tennessee.”
In a radio interview the day after Lee blind-sided everyone, House Speaker Cameron Sexton said that legislators were also thinking that the Governor would issue a decision sometime in January:
“We had heard for a while that he was leaning in this direction but we were under the belief that it would be sometime in January. There were members who had reached out to the administration had conversations with the governor and with staff and so we were thinking it was going to be a little longer than what it was going to be so the announcement did take us by surprise when the call came in.”
Apparently the Governor showed no more courtesy to the legislators than he did to Tennessee citizens:
“We got a call from a staffer a couple of hours before [the Governor announced his decision] and then we saw the letter a few minutes before it went out to the media on what his stance was.”
But it turns out that as early as the beginning of October, the Governor was working on his plan to put the state back into the business of resettling refugees.
In defense of BB’s decision, a self-described Governor confidante and serial facebook poster has told everyone about U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo’s visit to the Governor’s church and how they have spent time canoodling and solving the problems of the dysfunctional refugee resettlement program:
October 13, 2019, was barely three weeks after President Trump issued his Executive Order giving states the option to not consent to resettling refugees. On the heels of the EO, the FY2020 Funding Notice was issued clearly setting out that the consent from the EO was only for the period of time from June 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020 – the end of the federal fiscal year.
So of course it makes total sense that when Biblical Bill got around to letting the legislative leadership know what he was doing, he wrote that “[m]y consent is valid initially for one year and that we will work closely with President Trump you, and your colleagues to ensure this process is effective as we work together with the Trump administration to facilitate and carefully monitor continued refugee resettlement for the next year.”
Which year or years Bill? Sounds ominously that BB is sending a very strong signal of his intent to commit Tennessee in perpetuity – or at least until a Democrat governor comes along to withdraw the state from the program.
So here’s the timeline:
-January 24, 2019 – Governor Lee signs Executive Order 3 which “mandates openness, transparency and accountability within the executive branch” [was this supposed to apply to him also???}
-September 26, 2019 – President Trump issues his Executive Order on refugee resettlement
-October 13, 2019 – Mike Pompeo spends weekend with BB & his wife and attends BB’s church
-November 5, 2019 – Governor Lee is looking to give state held money to non-profits
-December 18, 2019 – Christmas comes early and Governor Lee blind-sides everyone with his announcement to put Tennessee back into the business of resettling refugees
The Governor should consider that he only gets to submit a budget – it’s the legislature that has to pass it. And the Governor can’t pass legislation. All he can do is send his bills to the peons elected by the great unwashed and leave it to them to get his agenda passed – or not.