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Two GOP Lawmakers Apologize to House Colleagues for Missing Oath

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Oops, sorry about that. Two GOP lawmakers are formally apologizing to their House colleagues for casting votes after missing the official oath of office during the opening of the 112th Congress earlier this week.

In a letter distributed late Friday, Reps. Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick expressed regret for breaking House rules by voting after inadvertently skipping the swearing-in ceremony. Only a sworn member of Congress can take part in official business.

"[W]e are deeply committed to fulfilling our role in our constitutional democracy by maintaining the integrity of the People's House. Our absence on the House floor during the oath of office ceremony for the 112th Congress -- while not intentional -- fell short of this standard by creating uncertainty regarding our standing in this body," Fitzpatrick, of Pennsylvania, and Sessions, a Texan, wrote in the letter obtained by Politico.

When the oath was delivered to House members Wednesday, Sessions and Fitzgerald were celebrating elsewhere in the Capitol building, Huffington Post reported. Once the two men realized they were missing the oath, both said it aloud in front of a nearby television screen broadcasting the ceremony -- and Sessions presumed this was a valid register of his oath of office, according to his spokeswoman Emily Davis.

It was not, and both men were sworn in a day later by House Speaker John Boehner -- but not before casting six votes on procedural matters. On Friday, the House was forced to pass a resolution nullifying their votes.

"We regret that this incident adversely affected House proceedings and apologize for any individual inconvenience our actions may have caused," Sessions and Fitzpatrick wrote in the letter.
Filed Under: House, Republicans, Gaffes, Congress

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12 Comments

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asmith0253

You'd think they'd have some kind of 'mentorship' thing here...for newbies. But, surely, after being in government and politics up this point, they should have known not to have cast their votes without first being sworn in appropriately into the jobs they were elected (that's just basic government/civics 101 people)

January 31 2011 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard

Recall both these idiots, replace them with someone who owns a time piece, send a strong message and move on, they are rookies and really have no clue to whats going on anyway, McDonalds may have an opening they can fill, providing they can show up on time.

January 11 2011 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tynetyne38

All the whiner and losers come up with accuaations which they never show proof of. How do you know why the two were late? You make up tales. litteral lies which no one pays attention to any more. These two were elected by a majority in their districts because it was the citizens desire for them not the media and progressive babblers, to represent them,

January 11 2011 at 8:23 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
breezy62253

Well, as far as Pennsylvania goes, we're staying the course and looking foolish. The Repubs elected a known crook from my district and now we have this one who would rather party than take the oath! I'm a Repub who's embarrassed by the "vote Repub even if it's Satan himself" mentality and wonder how many of these it will take to wake them up!

January 08 2011 at 1:24 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
harjacobhar

what is even more disturbing to me is these are two so called NEW TEA PARTY representatives, you know the TEA PARTY who is running around the country claiming to be defenders of our constitution.

1. they miss the swearing in.
2. they vote as active members of congress in violation of our constitution.
3. They were holding a fund raiser on federal grounds in violaiton of the law.

Yes folks they asked for checks from the particpants made out to Mike Fitzpatricks campaign. I am a registered voter in PA and I am ashamed of who is representing us.

January 08 2011 at 1:06 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
jacknab97

I remember when Pete first ran for congress representing a district in East Texas. I was in Athens one day and there was a small gathering of protestors outside of his congressional office. His high class staff pelted the protestors from a second story window with obscene cartoons about Clinton. Pete has real class. He abandoned his home district as soon as the state districts were redrawn in 2002, at the urging of the Tom "The Hammer" Delay, for a safer district in Dallas. His missing the oath just shows the high regard he holds his constituents in.

January 08 2011 at 11:27 AM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply
Tom

As Steve King, the Rep. from Iowa, said, "To doubt the mendacity of the speaker and the House leadership will put you in the spotlight!"

January 08 2011 at 9:56 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
ELLEN

Just a start on what things will be like!!! Now lets forget about the jobs and REPEL everything so we can let the tea party think we are doing our job, just for them. WAKE UP TEA PARTY THIS IS THE WAY THEY WORK....

January 08 2011 at 9:12 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ELLEN's comment
tynetyne38

No,no. You are confusing this Congress with the last Congress who spent all their time behind closed doors, in secret meetings to shove the Obama's Health Care bill onto the American people who did not want it. No jobs, except those billion dollar "shovel-ready" jobs shoveling BS out of the White House. No real jobs.

January 11 2011 at 8:15 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Hi,Duk!

I sure hope this isn't an indication on how they will act "normally".

January 08 2011 at 5:05 AM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply
caban3321

Okay people, buckle up! The 112th Congress is in session and it's going to be a bumpy ride. Right out of the gate the lumbering lummoxes tripped all over their large elephantine legs. Violating constitutional process, and reneging on their own promises to the American people. ...so what did you expect? It's a rerun.

January 08 2011 at 2:07 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

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