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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The sponsor of a proposal to give state lawmakers the power to name U.S. Senate nominees has a hold on the measure.

Under the bill sponsored by state Sen. Frank Niceley, primary elections would be replaced with caucus votes in the General Assembly. The Strawberry Plains Republican said Monday that he will put off the bill until the last calendar of this year's legislative session.

Niceley has said the bill is an effort to return to the system closer to the direct appointments that were in place before the adoption of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1913. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has said he has a "major problem" with the bill and would strongly consider a veto of the measure.

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