A freshman lawmaker in Tennessee is pushing to revoke the official status of any United Nations representative who sets foot within his state — and criminalize the actions of international elections monitors.
The proposal comes on the heels of last year’s right-wing outrage that the “United Nations” was sending officials to monitor the U.S. national elections. Unimportant to critics of the program was the fact that the program was neither run by the U.N. — instead being conducted by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe — nor that it’s been going on for more than a decade.
That hasn’t stopped newly elected state Rep. James “Micah” Van Huss (R) from introducing legislation that would keep such an atrocity from ever happening on Tennessean soil again. Van Huss has put forward two bills to stop the U.N. in its tracks. H.B. 588 adds a section into Tennessee law that reads: “Any representative of the United Nations who enters the state loses all official status and shall not operate in the state in any official capacity.” H.B. 589, meanwhile, puts forward that “Representatives of the United Nations shall not observe elections in the state” and that “violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.”
“I feel, as a lot of my constituents do, that the United Nations continues to put forth agendas that would infringe on our personal liberties; that’s not the freedom that I fought for, and not the freedom that my buddies gave their lives for,” Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, told the Kingsport Times-News in an email.
The bill is being sponsored on the Senate side by state Sen. Frank Niceley (R). Disturbingly enough, Tennessee’s legislature may well pass Van Huss’ bill. Last year, the body sent to Gov. Bill Haslam (R) a non-binding resolution that slammed the U.N’s Agenda 21 for its “destructive and insidious nature.” Haslam rightly refused to sign the bill, as he believes that environmental protection and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. Requests for comment from the office of House Speaker Beth Harwell on Van Huss’ bills were not immediately returned.
Tennessee is just one of a multitude of states in which Republican lawmakers are attempting to place limits to the United Nations’ supposed overreaching power. During the lead-up to the election, Republicans from Texas and Iowa each threatened to arrest any OSCE observers who monitored elections.
Legislatures from Georgia to Oklahoma to Indiana have moved bills seeking to counter the U.N. and Agenda 21, whose threat to America’s golf courses Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has made well-known. The National Republican Party is also in on the action, having made sure to insert language into their 2012 Platform that called the non-binding series of resolutions “erosive to American sovereignty.”