Said a former Republican congressman, 'Please tell me you have something more important to whine about.'
Republicans are furious that the House Judiciary Committee will not start work by saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every meeting — in addition to the daily pledge said by the full House of Representatives.
On Thursday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) used the committee's organizing meeting to suggest its members repeat the pledge. After noting the "significance and importance" of the panel's work, he said, "I just think it would be nice, if, in the spirit of national unity and national pride, which I know we all aspire to do to a greater extent, that at the beginning of each meeting the chair, or one of the designees of the chair, would have the opportunity to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance."
Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) quickly shot down the idea, calling it "unnecessary."
"The House begins every day with the Pledge of Allegiance. We're covered by that," Nadler noted. "There's no necessity to say the Pledge of Allegiance twice during the same day."
"I served on Armed Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, Education and Work, and Oversight in my time in Congress. None of those recited the Pledge even under R control," he tweeted out. "Please tell me you have something more important to whine about."
Many House Republicans expressed great disappointment that they will not be able to spend more of their working hours pledging allegiance to the American flag.
"Fifteen seconds to show our kids that we are adults," demanded Rep. Burgess Owens of Utah. "That we can agree to disagree, but we love our country enough to at least stand and represent our flag."
"House Judiciary Democrats just voted against the Pledge of Allegiance," claimed Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado. "Yes, you read that right."
"I'm disappointed but not surprised the Democrat controlled Judiciary Committee rejected the pledge of allegiance," tweeted Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee. "What's next taking God out of swearing in witnesses? Oh wait."
"Democrats just voted against reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before Judiciary Committee hearings," groused Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. "What's wrong with standing for the flag?"
Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson questioned Democrats' "priorities," noting that they "rejected our Republican proposal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before conducting committee business, but accepted their own proposal to strike 'man'" from Nadler's title.
The Judiciary Committee's GOP minority staff tweeted Friday morning, "Democrats refused our request to start committee meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance. Why won't they stand?"
In the last Congress, the House Republican caucus repeatedly criticized Democrats' impeachment of Donald Trump, calling it a "waste of time."
But now, as the nation faces an ongoing pandemic, a struggling economy, systemic racism, and threats of domestic terrorism after supporters of Trump violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, House Republicans' focus seems to be on scoring political points however they can, no matter how much time they waste doing it.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.