State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) vowed on Wednesday morning’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – to bring the Heartbeat Bill back for a floor vote in the Tennessee General Assembly this session, either through the exercise of Rule 63 or through a recall to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which sent the bill to summer study in a 5 to 3 vote (with one “pass” vote) last week.
Here is the transcript from the show:
Gill: Will the Heartbeat Bill be allowed to come up for a vote in the State Senate? They’ve killed it in committee by “putting it in summer study.” That effectively kills the Heartbeat Bill. That was the intent. It passed overwhelmingly in the House. And if you go to the Tennessee Star.com you can see results of our new Tennessee Star Triton Poll. Over a thousand Republican likely voters. And it tells you something about where Republican primary voters see Bill Haslam, Marsha Blackburn, Bill Lee, Lamar Alexander. It also tells you how Republican primary voters view the Heartbeat Bill. They like it, they love it, they want some more of it. State Senator Mark Pody is on the line with us on our news makers line. And Mark, what is the latest status on getting the votes and how do we deal with the argument that, “Well it’s going to cause litigation. We just can’t afford to pay for the litigation costs if this gets challenged.”
Pody: And so that has been a issue that’s been brought up to us. So we’ve gone outside and we’ve gotten outside council by the Liberty Counsel group who has agreed, that’s a national organization to come in and defend the Heartbeat Bill for us. So I’ve been in conversation with them for the last couple of days and they want to see that in writing so we’re waiting for them to respond. We’re hoping to have that response either today or tomorrow and I’m hoping with that where I can say it’s not going to cost Tennessee tax payers anything in court anything to defend this. That they’re going to pick it up and they said, “We are willing to carry it not only first court challenge but all the way up to the Supreme Court.” And they’ll continue to pay those costs absolute tremendous for us to take advantage of it.
Gill: And that’s the conservative Liberty Counsel that’s saying they’re willing to do the defense of this bill if the Tennessee legislature will pass it and Governor Bill Lee will sign it.
Pody: That’s exactly right. And Bill Lee has told me on numerous occasions, he said Mark, “You get it to my desk, I will sign it. And we’ve talked about its cost. He said, “I don’t care. You get it to me and I will sign it. I am with you one hundred percent on this bill.” And I believe he’s working that way both publicly and privately. He would like to get this bill through.
Leahy: Mark, Michael Patrick Leahy here. Senator Mark Pody, the question for you is, will this bill come up for a vote in the State Senate this week? And if so on what day?
Pody: Well, at this point the way that it stands is that now up to me and call it up on unfinished business and they be voted on. So it’s already to go. I could bring it up this morning in fact, however, if I can get this in writing and a couple more people to agree with me because it’s going to be court cost covered I’m going to wait to do that. I’ll tell you right now I don’t have the seventeen votes to do this.
I’ve got more than enough. More than enough people that said that you get it on the floor and they’ll pass it. But to bring it up under Rule 63, they’re not as comfortable doing that. If I can get it to the floor where we’re debating that bill I’ve got more than enough to pass this. The question is I don’t have enough to bring it up under these rules sixty three for us to debate it.
Gill: Which makes it pretty clear that a vote against bringing it up is a vote to kill it. Is an anti-life, pro abortion vote.
Pody: And if we’re going to do it underneath this circumstance we have about one baby being killed per hour in Tennessee, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year. We loose about one baby per hour is what the numbers statistically tell us.
Leahy: Senator Pody, will you bring up the Rule 63 vote either tomorrow or Friday?
Pody: We won’t be in session on Friday so it looks like it will end up being tomorrow or possibly on Monday. As soon as I feel we’re confident or close to the vote then that’s when I…
Leahy: Are you absolutely at some point in the next few days going to bring up the Rule 63 vote?
Pody: I’m not gong to let this die. It’s going to be out there to vote.
Gill: Even if you don’t have the seventeen votes locked in, you’ll bring it up to expose those that vote no?
Pody: I’m so passionate about this that I will do everything I possibly can to save babies. And I believe this is a route I’ve got to consider. The other thing that they’ve said is there is a possibility that they’ll re hear the committee and bring it up that way and if they’re willing to do that I’m willing to work with them that way. But it’s going to be heard.
Gill: And that’s what they did in the House side with the Trigger Bill right? They brought it back to committee after it had been defeated in a sub-committee. They brought it back up that moved the trigger, the so-called Trigger Bill that depends on litigation they say they’re against to the forefront. They brought it back to life, no pun intended, in the state House.
Pody: That’s exactly right. So, if they’re willing to take, that’s the path to get this thing through. I’m willing to go whatever path we can as long as the end game is to get it on the floor. And I want this voted on. (Inaudible talk)
Leahy: And which committee would that vote come back up in if that were the route you were to take?
Pody: It would be the same judiciary committee. So I would have to have five members of that committee agree to sign to hear it. And I’ll be asking them…
Leahy: Have you asked State Senator Kerry Roberts if he’ll be one of those five?
Pody: I’ll be asking him today.
Leahy: Ok good. Tell him we want to know the answer.
Gill: Last question real quickly Mark. Are you surprised at the poll number that this Tennessee Star Triton Poll shows that sixty six percent roughly of Republican primary voters are less likely to vote for a Republican in a primary if they oppose the heartbeat bill.
Pody: And you know what, that just confirms with the overwhelming females that we’re getting in phone calls saying this is the key issue of this legislative session right now. It’s ironic that even younger voters, even the younger generation are saying they believe that the heartbeat bill is the right thing to do. And it’s passed in so many other states right now I’m shocked that Tennessee has not been the leader in this. We should be leading the charge not on the tail end.
Listen to the full hour here:
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