Two House Republicans Vote, Participate In Floor Debate, Before Taking Oath Of Office
WASHINGTON — 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.”
There is no provision in the Constitution for a remote swearing-in by television. On Thursday, Fitzpatrick was one of the members who read the Constitution from the dais
Obviously, this was an oversight albeit an embarrassing one, although one wonders why Sessions most especially didn’t come clean about this before yesterday’s vote on the Rules package considering that he’s been a Member of Congress for fourteen years. One would think he at least would be aware of the importance of the Oath.
UPDATE (James Joyner): HuffPo’s Ryan Grim wins Headline of the Day honors for “Two House Republicans Missed Swearing In While At A Fundraiser In The Capitol, Violating Constitution On Day It Was Read.”