Does the Tennessee House of Representatives conduct a foreign policy — or have a budget on hand for that purpose?
Alternatively, is the House the beneficiary of hitherto unrevealed funding from a foreign nation and/or its supporters?
Is the state legislature mixing church and state in a manner that would be questionable, according to the Constitution?
A fourth, even more remote, possibility: Is Speaker of the House Glen Casada (R-Franklin) able to spend upwards of a quarter-million dollars of his own money to send a legislative delegation to the state of Israel this coming September, in order to present a resolution of support for that nation?
All these and other questions are relevant to an offer Casada dispatched to each member of the House in legislative mail this past week. The kernel of the offer is expressed in the following printed invitation:
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And the resolution of support, passed earlier this month is as follows:
See related PDF
So, to summarize: If you're a Tennessee state legislator and want to take a week-long trip to Israel next fall, Speaker Casada has got you covered, to the tune of $2,500. Source of the funding? Unknown at this point.
Late on Friday, Cade Cothern, Casada’s chief of staff, called to say his boss was not the organizer of the trip, that a third party was, and that the trip itself was being offered to legislators as a “state trip,” the one such discounted annual trip that was customary for House members,especially, to take during a given year. Cothern said Casada himself had limited information on the Israel trip and wss probably not going himself.
More information as it is received..