Rep. Fitzpatrick Violated Constitution on Same Day He Read it Aloud in Public
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick
Pete Sessions of Texas and Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania did not get off to a smooth start at the beginning of the 112th Congress. The Republican lawmakers skipped the official swearing in of all members on the House floor because they were attending Fitzpatrick’s “celebration”—of his swearing in—in the Capitol’s Visitor Center. Said celebration was a fundraiser, where attendees were asked to pay at least $30 (or more).
Fundraisers are forbidden from taking place in the visitor center, according to congressional rules.
Just as bad was the fact that by not attending the real swearing in, both representatives wound up voting on actions and legislation without being official members of Congress. This represented a violation of the Constitution, the very same document which Republicans—including Fitzpatrick— decided to read out loud on the House floor after being sworn in to demonstrate how serious they are about doing things the right way.
By the time someone figured out Sessions and Fitzpatrick were illegally conducting official business, they had already voted eight times.
Sessions’ Blunder Puts Brakes on House Work (by Anna Palmer, Roll Call)
Two House Republicans Missed Swearing In While At A Fundraiser In The Capitol, Violating Constitution On Day It Was Read (by Ryan Grim, Huffington Post)
Two Members Appear to Break Rules on First Day of New Congress (by Paul Blumenthal, Sunlight Foundation)
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