Great news: Two GOP congressmen forgot to get sworn in yesterday

posted at 6:17 pm on January 6, 2011 by Allahpundit

Wonderful news on Constitution Day in the House. Even more wonderful? They’ve already voted on some bills. And one of them, Pete Sessions, is … a member of the Rules Committee.

Even Joe Biden knows you have to get sworn in before you vote.

Republican leaders hoped to get a unanimous agreement from the House to retroactively approve of their votes and Sessions’ work at the rules committee after they took the oath on the floor around 3 p.m. Thursday.

Failing that, their votes — which were not difference makers on any of the roll calls in which they participated — would likely be subtracted from the final tallies. House officials were searching for a precedent to follow but had not yet found a previous instance of members-elect voting without having taken the constitutionally required oath of office…

Democrats jumped on the flub — which will surely be taken by some as a serious breach of the nation’s governing principles and by others as an embarrassing blip to the start of the 112th Congress.

“Perhaps they should have read the Constitution yesterday rather than today,” said one senior Democratic aide.

Where were Sessions and fellow Republican Mike Fitzpatrick at the time, you ask? Why, in the Capitol Visitors Center … watching on television. Believe it or not, this snafu generated a full-blown clusterfark during today’s meeting of the Rules Committee — which was supposed to focus on repealing ObamaCare — with GOP Chair David Dreier and Democrat Louise Slaughter trying to hash out what it means for the votes that Session has already taken. Yes, you read that correctly: Louise Slaughter, who thought it’d be fine to pass the Senate’s version of ObamaCare in the House by voting on the reconciliation bill and “deeming” the underlying bill passed, is now suddenly a stickler for proper procedure. Change has indeed come to America, my friends.

Sessions took the oath subsequently but his committee vote yesterday (which weren’t decisive) has now been ruled invalid by Dreier. And thus ends the tale of a dopey unforced error that didn’t really matter but made the media pretty happy for a few hours. Click the image to watch.

Update: According to The Ticket, if Democrats don’t agree to let Dreier’s and Fitzpatrick’s votes yesterday count retroactively, the House might actually have to re-vote on everything thus far — including the candidates for Speaker. Er, why? If worse comes to worst, just strike Sessions’s and Fitzpatrick’s votes from the roll. Worse won’t come to worst, though, since Democrats are now all about cooperation. Right?


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*face palm*

MikeknaJ on January 6, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Ruh-Oh!

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 6:20 PM

the ultimate face/palm.

WTF were they thinking?

upinak on January 6, 2011 at 6:20 PM

get over it and to hell with the media.

rob verdi on January 6, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Dumba**es.

Anna on January 6, 2011 at 6:22 PM

idiots

offroadaz on January 6, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Oh for cryin’ out loud.

And in the Visitors Center with all those smelly tourists.

WTF?

Knucklehead on January 6, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Perhaps this is an indication of the beltway mentality we are going to eventually squeeze out of our elected officials? I don’t know their voting record, but each vote they take that is against Tea Party principles will take on new significance.

csdeven on January 6, 2011 at 6:24 PM

wE aRe sMaRtZ.

-Republicans

portlandon on January 6, 2011 at 6:25 PM

We’d be a lot better off if all 435 of them “forgot” to get sworn in…

Mr. Bingley on January 6, 2011 at 6:26 PM

And in the Visitors Center with all those smelly tourists.

WTF?

Knucklehead on January 6, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Maybe they were smelling civilized today.

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Dem or GOP.

We want these guys controlling healthcare?

BuckeyeSam on January 6, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Great news: Two GOP congressmen forgot to get sworn in yesterday

Now if we can just find some Democratic committees that weren’t sworn in during the Healthcare mark-up or Porkulus.

Rovin on January 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Something bad happens to people inside that beltway. Dumb $hits.

Oink on January 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM

get over it and to hell with the media.

rob verdi on January 6, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Agree.
Hey, this was good, though. Rush said today that the Pubs killed the House global warming committee.

JellyToast on January 6, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Wow. Days of our lives is still on TV. The local newslady just said it was preempted for the school shootings and would be rebroadcast at 1:20 AM. Who knew???????

OmahaConservative on January 6, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Steve Martin: I forgot!

You.. can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You say.. “Steve.. how can I be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes?” First.. get a million dollars. Now.. you say, “Steve.. what do I say to the tax man when he comes to my door and says, ‘You.. have never paid taxes’?” Two simple words. Two simple words in the English language: “I forgot!” How many times do we let ourselves get into terrible situations because we don’t say “I forgot”? Let’s say you’re on trial for armed robbery. You say to the judge, “I forgot armed robbery was illegal.” Let’s suppose he says back to you, “You have committed a foul crime. you have stolen hundreds and thousands of dollars from people at random, and you say, ‘I forgot’?” Two simple words: Excuuuuuse me!!”

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on January 6, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Just take a page from the Democrats’ playbook and “deem” them sworn in.

malclave on January 6, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Dumb. No more of that.

Esthier on January 6, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Rush said today that the Pubs killed the House global warming committee.

JellyToast on January 6, 2011 at 6:31 PM

And more…..

One of the first acts of the new Republican-controlled House is to take away the floor voting rights of six delegates representing areas such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.

Knucklehead on January 6, 2011 at 6:35 PM

I’m sorry, what’s this all about…?

… I was distracted by the continuous outrage of the actions by Charlie Rangel and his conviction of ethics violations.

Oh, wait…!

Seven Percent Solution on January 6, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Now now, I seem to recall a lot of folderal here about the initial flubbing of Dear Reader’s swearing in ceremony.

Let the Dems have their fun too. Fair is fair.

GnuBreed on January 6, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Er, why?

Wouldn’t it be sweet! Come on Allah, think about it. A double dose smack at you back at Pelosi… without the 10 minute long speech from her lying mouth!

upinak on January 6, 2011 at 6:41 PM

oy vey

tru2tx on January 6, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Two own goals scored by the GOP.

Viator on January 6, 2011 at 6:43 PM

jelly,
indeed, yesterday I was scrolling through house committees at House.gov, it was there at 8:30 am and by 10 erased down the memory hall!.

rob verdi on January 6, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Did any defecrats miss being sworn in?

These two should just resign.

BowHuntingTexas on January 6, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Republicans are idiots.

taney71 on January 6, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Don’t they have orientation where they’re given a schedule? Is there anything close to leadership in congress? Idiots!

mossberg500 on January 6, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Dearie dearie me. Sack ‘em and have new by-elections.

Fortunata on January 6, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Wow- this could be …..nothing at all!
The GOP better have at least a little “STFU we won” in them.

jjshaka on January 6, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Is there any way we could turn this into a trend? Like every day find some technicality that got skipped, have a week long argument about how to fix it, then back and do over everything done for that week?

Could we really get things that screwed up that no one could be sure that all the rules had been followed, and all the bills that got voted on had to be done over a second time?

There certainly are enough rules…….

Skandia Recluse on January 6, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Don’t they have orientation where they’re given a schedule?

mossberg500 on January 6, 2011 at 6:48 PM

That might work for Fitzpatrick, but Sessions has been in the House for years.

malclave on January 6, 2011 at 6:57 PM

idiotic Dem congressmen can’t/won’t read bills they pass that are very expensive. That’s stupid. These two R’s are stupid as well.

ted c on January 6, 2011 at 6:57 PM

I hope I live long enough to see the day when the GOP isn’t stupid. So I better start taking MUCH better care of myself.

innominatus on January 6, 2011 at 6:59 PM

I’m surprised to hear that about Pete. He’s normally pretty sharp.

Ward Cleaver on January 6, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Well, I really cannot say I am surprised, really! End of day, take their votes off whatevr they voted for and swear them in asap. If they need to be smacked on the wrist ok, but after Charlie Rangel walked on his criminal doings I don`t see how they can do much more.

bluemarlin on January 6, 2011 at 7:08 PM

It’s the GOP, is anyone seriously surprised?

flytier on January 6, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Epic Fail

How do you forget to get sworn in? Geeeesh

the Coondawg on January 6, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Much ado about nothing….

sandee on January 6, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Er, why?

Because the democrats play to win. Hate them as much as I do, I’ll give ‘em credit for that.

SouthernGent on January 6, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Mike Fitzpatrick is my congressman (pa-8) and this is not his first time in congress…Rough start, but not the end of the world.

SHARPTOOTH on January 6, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Boring!!!!

ladyingray on January 6, 2011 at 7:27 PM

I agree that with something this important, how can you possibly forget? And you’re watching it on TV and nothing kicks in to your brain and says “gee, maybe I better get my a$$ over there too?”

silvernana on January 6, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Add two names to the list of RINOs, careerers, and incompetents who can’t be trusted to promote the conservative agenda.

Raisedbywolves on January 6, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Is there a way to blame Obama?

factoid on January 6, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Failure to get sworn in? Face palm. Democrat reaction to this SNAFU, comedy gold. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Democrat, you can’t be replaced no matter what anyone says (wipes tears of laughter from eyes). You guys are a riot! I love it so much!

Mason on January 6, 2011 at 7:43 PM

You boys need to stop having extra large bowls of Stupid for breakfast

JohnGalt23 on January 6, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Listen up Republican Representatives. This is something a sophomore in high school would not overlook. You folks get this right out of the chutes as we voted or you are gone. Got it? This is not a dress rehearsal nor a threat, this is a fact. You now represent us and as such you will be on your game even better than the next person or we will throw your arses out in half a second. Code Red to the rest of our Republican Leadership. I’m done with the name, context and dynamics of this descriptive word idiot. EOM

Tangerinesong on January 6, 2011 at 8:50 PM

By the way…

… How many times did Obowma have to be sworn in?

Seven Percent Solution on January 6, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Seven Percent Solution on January 6, 2011 at 8:55 PM

At least he showed up for the inauguration, even if he did follow the Chief Justice’s flub the first time.

malclave on January 6, 2011 at 9:34 PM

I don’t understand this “meh, it’s no biggie, give’m a mulligan” attitude. Their main function is voting. If they’re prevented from doing so because they failed to attend their swearing in ceremony, wtf good are they?

You get the goverment you deserve, and you just proved that you’re unserious about having a functional legislative body. Congratulations!

(I’d get banned for what I really wanted to write)

mossberg500 on January 6, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Mike Fitzpatrick is my congressman (pa-8) and this is not his first time in congress…Rough start, but not the end of the world.

SHARPTOOTH on January 6, 2011 at 7:26 PM

I’m PA-8 too. Agree it’s not the end of the world but really embarrassing…I’m afraid to look at my twitter because of this one local D jerk who will make a huge deal over this.

WaltzingMtilda on January 6, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Dumb as a box of rocks.

SilentWatcher on January 6, 2011 at 10:05 PM

You get the goverment you deserve, and you just proved that you’re unserious about having a functional legislative body. Congratulations!

mossberg500 on January 6, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Still better than having the functionality of the previous Congress.

As far as the “no biggie” attitude… Yeah, it is a big deal (imagine if the GOP had only a 1-seat majority, and these 2 votes being canceled resulted in another Congress with Pelosi as Speaker?). But it did happen.

So, I figure… get them sworn in, tell some jokes about it, and let their constituents and GOP leadership handle taking them to the woodshed.

malclave on January 6, 2011 at 10:15 PM

From now on, how about piggy backing the Oath of Office to the day 1 communal Pledge of Allegiance?

Mark30339 on January 6, 2011 at 10:40 PM

Honey…I knew I was gonna be your husband and everything, but I didn’t think it was THAT big a deal for me to actually be at the wedding for all that “I do” stuff. Sheesh. Give it a break.

miConsevative on January 7, 2011 at 12:37 AM

I know what the typical youth sport coach would do if you kid didn’t show up for a game — you’re benched, demoted to the practice only squad, or worse.

It doesn’t matter who you are, or if this cost the team a game, or a bunch of games. Rules are rules and if you (and your parents) can’t figure this out, next time your gone…

These are not kids, but adult members of Congress… Minimally, I’d rearrange the deck chairs and put them in the way back, let them work their way forward… I’d also demand they fire whoever on their staff is supposed to tell them when and where they need to be. If no one steps forward to take the hit, demand two get fired, if no one then, three…. It’s a cost cutting move… There’s should be no tolerance for this sort of simpleton screw-up.

drfredc on January 7, 2011 at 3:00 AM

Geez…

Pete Sessions had no problem carving out an hour – an hour! – of his schedule Wednesday to be interviewed on the Hugh Hewitt show, though.

Priorities.

Captain Scarlet on January 7, 2011 at 5:54 AM

“Perhaps they should have read the Constitution yesterday rather than today,” said one senior Democratic aide.

I’ll admit, I laughed.

watching on television

Oh. my. gosh.

OneGyT on January 7, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Attila (Pillage Idiot),

thanks for posting that.

audiculous on January 7, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I was in the room at the Visitors Center. Fitzpatrick and Sessions were mobbed by well wishers. They were not watching tv or meeting with fund raisers as has been reported. There was a tv in the room and hundreds of people who paid their own way to get there to support the momentous occasion. These were the very same people who knocked on hundreds of doors, worked at phone banks and manned the polls on election day. Yes, Sessions and Fitzpatrick should have been on the house floor. But they took the oath in front of the American people and their constituents. They stopped raised their hands and took the pledge right there. Facing the people who voted for them. Besides they had already signed the Oath of Office-so can we move on to repealing health care, cutting spending and getting America back to work now?

right wing chicky on January 7, 2011 at 5:42 PM

BTW-The vote for Speaker of the House took place before any of the members were sworn in- just saying

right wing chicky on January 7, 2011 at 6:13 PM