Tennessee reps decide not to decide on Confederate statue

Tennessee

FILE – In this Aug. 17, 2017 file photo, a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest is displayed in the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, remained torn on whether to support a proposal the removal of a contentious bust of a former Confederate general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. If approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature, the measure encourages the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest be removed from the Tennessee Capitol and instead be replaced with an “appropriate tribute to a deserving Tennessean.” (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Republican-led legislative panel has decided not to decide, for now, whether it thinks a bust of a former Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader should be removed from the Tennessee Capitol.

A House committee voted Tuesday to delay consideration of the nonbinding resolution about Nathan Bedford Forrest until the panel’s last meeting, likely months away.

Republicans said the delay allows Tennessee’s Capitol Commission to weigh in first.

Democratic resolution sponsor Rep. Rick Staples said he fears the commission members won’t act unless lawmakers urge them to. The resolution encourages the bust’s removal and replacement with an “appropriate tribute to a deserving Tennessean.”

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