Tennessee House GOP closes off its meetings, keeps leaders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee House Republicans have voted to close off their caucus meetings to the public and the media and keep their current slate of legislative leaders in place.

According to The Tennessean, the caucus voted 56-11 on Tuesday to close off their future meetings.

GOP Caucus Chairman Rep. Jeremy Faison said afterward that Republicans won't vote on official business during the closed meetings.

“It says to the people of Tennessee that we want to take care of our personal business within our caucus to ourself,” Faison said.

Caucus meetings can include discussions on bills by Republican lawmakers before floor votes.

Faison, a Cosby lawmaker, won reelection as caucus chairman over a challenge from Rep. Robin Smith of Hixson.

The caucus also voted in favor of reinstalling Speaker Cameron Sexton of Crossville and Majority Leader William Lamberth of Portland. Other returning leaders were also retained.

Sexton's position requires a formal full vote of the House when lawmakers return for their annual legislative session in January.

The House GOP has a 73-26 supermajority over Democrats.