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TN GOP says infighting typical of supermajority

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, TN (AP) -- Republicans ended the recent General Assembly with some high-profile measures derailed by infighting.

They were positioned to make major changes to state law with the governorship and a supermajority in the Legislature.

Leaders say the fracturing was to be expected, and they had been warning of it since winning more than two-thirds of the legislative seats in November.

Vanderbilt University political science professor Bruce Oppenheimer acknowledged that fractions are common in supermajorities.

He says it's easy to hold a party together when the majority is small. But when it's larger, it's harder to control because members start seeing their differences with each other instead of their party.

One proposal that failed because of infighting was Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's initiative to create a school voucher program in Tennessee.

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