Updated 2:25 p.m.
Gov. Bill Haslam said a legislative effort to take over U.S. Senate nominations “doesn’t feel right,” but he stopped short of saying whether he would veto the bill should it land on his desk.
The measure would allow state lawmakers, instead of voters, to pick the candidates who would face off in general elections for the U.S. Senate. Voters would then vote on their favored candidate.
“I have a major problem with that, in this sense that we’re going to take the selection of the United States senator out of the hands of the people in Tennessee and have a few folks decide who that should be. That just doesn’t feel right to me,” Haslam told reporters after addressing the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.
When asked whether his disapproval would equal a veto, he said “I think it very strongly could be.”
Hours later, sponsor Rep. Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville) delayed a vote on the bill until 2014, effectively killing it for the year. Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) decided Monday to put off a vote in the Senate until the end of the legislative session after members raised concerns that the issue needed more vetting.