Just weeks after regaining control of the House of Representatives, Democratic members of one committee are moving to scrub any reference to God from the oath administered to witnesses before they testify in front of the panel of lawmakers.
A draft of the proposed rules change, obtained first by Fox News, shows the House Committee on Natural Resources would ask witnesses to recite only: “Do you solemnly swear or affirm, under penalty of law, that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”
The draft places “so help you God” — which would traditionally go right at the end of the oath — in red brackets, indicating the phrase is set to be removed.
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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, told Fox News the Democratic Party has “become the party of Karl Marx,” referring to the author of the modern socialist movement.
“It is incredible,” she said, “but not surprising, that the Democrats would try to remove God from committee proceedings in one of their first acts in the majority.”
The full committee, helmed by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), is slated to vote on the rules change later this week. If approved, the change will be implemented immediately.
This is not the Democrats’ first dustup over references in God in official political language.
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In 2012, the Democratic Party dropped “God-given” from its platform, which previously stated, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
Raucous boos erupted on the floor of the Democratic National Convention that year, when the party suddenly moved to reinstate references to God in the party platform and to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was chairman of the DNC at the time, had to call for a voice vote three times before ultimately ruling the “ayes” had it.