According to the House Historian's Office, the U.S. Constitution has never been read on the floor of the House of Representatives. Now, 221 years after the House officially began work and two months after a Republican landslide in the midterm elections, it will be. When the reading is finished, the Constitution will be making it first of many appearances in the 112th Congress. Naturally, the left is mocking the Constitution's new role on Capitol Hill.
For Democrat Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), reading the Constitution is Republican "propaganda" that is "total nonsense."
A new Republican rule that requires the sponsors of legislation to submit "for printing in the Congressional Record a statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the bill or joint resolution" is upsetting to liberal Democrats. Congressman Barney Frank called it, "an air kiss they're [Republicans] blowing to the Tea Party." He added that, "Anything we're doing that's unconstitutional will be thrown out in court." Another Democrat, Congressman Henry Waxman, said, "When I went to law school they said the law's what a judge says it is. Whether it is constitutional or not is going to be whether the Supreme Court says it is."
I take issue with Rep. Frank and Rep. Waxman. By arguing that elected representatives need not worry about the constitutionality of legislation, they are disregarding their oath of office. Fortunately for America, Speaker of the House John Boehner understands his constitutional role as a legislator.
Mr. Boehner said, "We always hear members of Congress talking about swearing an oath to represent their constituents when in reality the only oath we take is to the Constitution. We pledge 'to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.' No more, no less."
The adoption of the new constitutional authority rule combined with the reading of the Constitution at the opening of the Congress is a triumph for American conservatives.
Americans will embrace the much-deserved respect given to the "supreme Law of the Land" in the 112th Congress.
House Republicans, thank you for reading the Constitution and adopting the new rule. We'll be cheering for you next Wednesday when you vote to repeal ObamaCare.