Congress passes resolutions with great regularity honoring individuals, organizations, teams, and anyone else they feel worthy. Generally speaking it is some of the least controversial work a lawmaker faces. Unless, you are honoring a man whose father admitted illegally shopping his son’s services and is the part of an NCAA investigation currently going on. Add to that, you are in SEC country where school alliances are as thick as blood.
That may be part of the reason 15 Congressmen voted against a resolution honoring Heisman Trophy winner and Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, with another 18 voting present. You can read more about the vote here. In early 2009, the House voted 394-0 on a resolution honoring Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford after he won the Heisman just to add some reference points on how these things usually work.
Among the lawmakers voting present was Rep. Gregg Harper. Harper’s district, you may realize, includes Mississippi State University. State- or a couple people affiliated with the school- first “outed” Newton, at least his father Cecil, as wanting $180,000 for his son’s signature on national signing day.
Mississippi’s three Democratic lawmakers- Travis Childers, Bennie Thompson, and Gene Taylor- all supported the resolution. Childers’ district includes another SEC foe- Ole Miss- but I guess that wasn’t reason enough for him to oppose the Newton resolution. And, of course, Childers will soon be leaving the House.