House starts New Year right, reads Constitution

Communications • January 5, 2017

Back in 2011, one of the first actions we took as a new Republican Majority was start a new tradition: Each time a new Congress starts, we’re going to the House floor to read every. single. word. of the United States Constitution.

That’s right — We started with “We the People” and read all the way through to the 27th Amendment.

This year, more than 50 House Republicans participated, representing diverse districts from coast to coast.

But why do we do it?

Because in the People’s House, preserving and defending the Constitution is our top priority.

“Our Founders gave us the greatest experiment in self-government the world has ever known,” says House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). “We have a responsibility to protect the balance of power so that every man, woman, and child in this country has a voice in representative government. The House is the body closest to the people, so I can think of no better way to start a new Congress than by reminding ourselves of this responsibility.”

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This year’s host, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), kicked off the tradition with a similar sentiment:

“It is our hope that this reading will help demonstrate to the American people that the House of Representatives is dedicated to the Constitution and the system it establishes for limited government and for the protection of individual liberty. We also hope that it will inspire many more Americans to read the Constitution themselves.”

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Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), who joined in to read parts of Article I and the 22nd Amendment, says:

“The timeless truths in the Constitution are the bedrock of our free society. And as elected representatives, it is our utmost guidepost that we must not lose sight of. There’s no better way to kick off the new Congress than by reading the Constitution and recommitting ourselves to uphold our nation’s founding principles and protect each citizen’s individual liberties.”

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Today and every day, House Republicans are dedicated to restoring the American people’s voice in representative government, and ensuring that the American idea continues for generations to come.

Want to watch the entire reading? Click here.