(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) What should have been a simple and unifying amendment put forth by Republicans in the U.S. House devolved into a partisan sniping venture by demagoguing Democrats who tried to ban America First GOP representatives from leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
At the outset of a meeting to sort procedures for the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., made what seemed an innocuous amendment to require representatives to recite the pledge to start committee meetings, and allow members to host constituents as guests to lead the recitation.
The proposal drew a whining rebuff from Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the committee’s ranking member, who groused about the inconvenience of having to recite the pledge twice.
“I don’t know why we should pledge allegiance twice in the same day to show how patriotic we are,” Nadler huffed.
Unbelievable. @RepJerryNadler just said he opposes @RepMattGaetz‘s offer to say the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE before Judiciary Committee meetings. pic.twitter.com/ynaw3Wqoz6
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) February 1, 2023
At least Nadler seemed willing to allow all representatives the chance to recite and lead the pledge at least once, which was a bridge to far for Rep. David Cicilline.
The Rhode Island Democrat pitched an amendment to Gaetz’s proposal, which would clarify that the pledge could not be led by anyone who had supported an insurrection against the United States.
The disingenuous amendment was in response to Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., dissembling that many Republicans on the committee voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election, an insurrectionist attempt that should disqualify anyone from leading the pledge.
“This pledge is an affirmation of your defense of democracy and the Constitution,” Cicilline. “It’s hard to take that claim seriously if in fact, an individual in any way supported an insurrection against the government.”
The House Judiciary Cmte is off to a roaring start in the 118th Congress… with a very extended debate over the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance
Then Rep David Cicilline (D-RI) offers amendment restricting “anyone who supported Insurrection” from leading the pledge pic.twitter.com/P1qKNbzGf2
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) February 1, 2023
Gaetz shot back by warning Cicilline that he should be careful what he asks.
“My concern would be if your definition of insurrection is objecting to electors then there would be many Democrats on the committee that wouldn’t be eligible to lead the pledge,” Gaetz said.
It’s ok for the left to says there’s election fraud and unfair elections, but it’s “dangerous and could get someone killed” when others say it. pic.twitter.com/ix915JnNKj
— Hodgetwins (@hodgetwins) August 23, 2022
Cicilline’s amendment was eventually defeated in a 24-13 vote, while Gaetz’s amendment passed unanimously.
“Standing for the American flag isn’t controversial,” Gaetz told the Daily Caller after Tuesday’s vote. “Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance isn’t a waste of time. Democrats are so outraged at the idea of a daily dose of patriotism that they spent 30 minutes ranting and raving in opposition. Congress cannot expect the American people to believe they are fighting for their values when they don’t even care to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.”