Yup, they really love the Constitution. On the same day they make the hugely gratuitous and emptily symbolic gesture of demanding that the Constitution be read on the House floor, the GOP leadership forgets to swear in two members of Congress. Undaunted, those unofficial congressmen had no problem participating in their first votes.
Two House Republicans have cast votes as members of the 112th Congress, but were not sworn in on Wednesday, a violation of the Constitution on the same day that the GOP had the document read from the podium.
The Republicans, incumbent Pete Sessions of Texas and freshman Mike Fitzpatrick, missed the swearing in, but watched it on television from the Capitol Visitors Center.
"That wasn't planned. It just worked out that way," said Fitzpatrick at the time, according to local press on hand, which noted that he "happened to be introducing Texas Congressman Pete Sessions while glad-handing his supporters in the Capitol Visitor Center that he secured for them when the House swearing in began."
The Republicans are looking to get unanimous consent to have their subsequent swearings-in applied retroactively. If they are not able, Sessions and Fitzpatrick's votes will be stripped from the final counts. All in all, not a game changer on the votes, but does show you exactly how much respect for the Constitution the GOP really has.
“Jokes aside, Congressmen-elect Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick’s actions raise serious questions: What in the world was more important to Congressmen-elect Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick than taking the oath of office, committing to support and defend the U.S. Constitution?” said Jennifer Crider, a senior official at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Why did Speaker Boehner and House Republican leadership allow two people who were not sworn Members of Congress to vote and speak on the House floor? Republicans have spent a lot of time over the past two days proselytizing about House rules, but they don’t seem very keen on actually following the rules.”
I think we all knew that anyway. Speaking of rules, isn't there one that specifically limits members doing fundraising in public buildings? I'm pretty sure that this little excursion of Fitzpatrick's that kept him from being sworn in skirts along the ethics rules. Seriously, day one of the new GOP-controlled Congress and they're already ignoring the Constitution, breaking the rules and flaunting ethics violations. They didn't waste anytime going back to the Culture of Corruption, did they?