A routine amendment proposal by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida devolved into an emotional tit-for-tat in the House Judiciary Committee. On Wednesday, Gaetz proposed a rule change in the House Judiciary Committee so that the Pledge of Allegiance would be said at the beginning of every committee meeting. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) stated that the House starts with the Pledge every day. Thus he would not be voting for the amendment, as he believes this is unnecessary repetition.
Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson pointed out to Nadler that the Democrats are frequently absent from the daily Pledge of Allegiance.
Most members aren’t even in the chamber during the Pledge of Allegiance, and Johnson added that he had never seen Mr. Nadler there. That being said, to imply that the Pledge is always recited would be a lie, Johnson remarked.
Nadler dismissed the criticism, insisting that he has and would continue to recite the Pledge each morning. At that point, it wasn’t a very heated discussion thus far, but Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island was about to alter that. He joked that Gaetz’s proposed amendment should be rewritten to bar any individual who in any way supports an uprising against the government of the United States from delivering the Pledge of Allegiance.
Cicilline went one step further and stated that the Pledge would be an affirmation of Gaez’s support for democracy and the Constitution. Cicilline intentionally sought to make an issue out of nothing. He went on to add that it’s impossible to take that assertion seriously if the person leading the Pledge has ever expressed sympathy for rebellion against the United States government.
This remark naturally angered Gaetz, who responded swiftly.
In response, the Republican pointed out that many Democrats on the committee wouldn’t be qualified to lead the Pledge if the Republican’s definition of an uprising included disagreeing with electors. Gaetz added that the previous President, George Herbert Walker Bush was the last Republican to be sworn in sans Democratic opponents!” Seriously though, Gaetz should have gone one step further and mentioned any person who elects to censor free speech and violate the Constitutional Amendments, as we all know the Democrats did.
It took nearly half an hour of back-and-forth between the two before they agreed on Gaetz’s proposal. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) even expressed surprise that a minor amendment had become had resulted in such a heated argument.
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