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House Democrats Gave Matt Gaetz Ammunition Against Them Over Pledge of Allegiance Debate

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee met to approve its panel rules, and the meeting was not without its dramatic moments. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) called for a vote on an amendment that would allow the chair, or designee, to lead the committee in the pledge of allegiance. Despite Gaetz bringing up what ought to seem like a rather harmless amendment, the committee delved into what Roll Call reported amounted to over 30 minutes of debate.

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Because Democrats cannot help themselves from fixating on such a topic, the debate touched upon January 6, including from Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Hank Johnson (D-GA). 

Cicilline asked for the amendment "to make sure that someone who led an insurrection against the United States doesn’t make a mockery of the Pledge of Allegiance and stand before this committee with their hand over their heart claiming to support the Constitution." While gesturing, Cicilline also emphasized his suggestion of "let's guarantee that that person has not participated or supported or in any way helped an overthrow the government of the United States" and that "no one that has participated in the insurrection should lead the judiciary committee in the pledge of allegiance."

In addition to seemingly take digs at Republican members, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who serves as the committee's chairman, Cicilline late last year referenced January 6 to introduce legislation that seeks to prevent former and potentially future President Donald Trump from holding office again. 

Rep. Johnson also referenced January 6, in addition to regretting how Republican members voted against certifying election results, claiming "they have continued to promote 'the Big Lie' and undermine public confidence in our government." 

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He went on to complain that "for us to, amidst these folks who supported the insurrection be forced to pledge allegiance to the flag, which should be something none of us have any problem with, it's just a matter of, it is, it's ironic, that this committee, the ones that would not comply with congressionally-issued subpoenas, disrespected the rule of law, would now insist, that each and every one of us on each and every hearing date come before this committee and pledge allegiance to the flag," with such remarks also appearing to target Rep. Jordan. "I support the pledge of allegiance, but it's very ironic and I just simply wanted to point that out," Johnson claimed. 

Given that he supports the pledge, something he made clear, Johnson evidently just wanted to take the time to hear himself rant about January 6 and against his Republican colleagues. 

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who serves as the committee's ranking member, used a particularly lazy excuse. "I would oppose it simply on the grounds that, as members know, we pledge allegiance every day on the floor and I don’t know why we should pledge allegiance twice in the same day, to show how patriotic we are," he claimed.

In response to Nadler's remarks, Gaetz told the Daily Caller that "standing for the American flag isn’t controversial. Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance isn’t a waste of time. Democrats are so outraged at the idea of a daily dose of patriotism that they spent 30 minutes ranting and raving in opposition. Congress cannot expect the American people to believe they are fighting for their values when they don’t even care to recite the Pledge of Allegiance."

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When it comes to other Republican reactions, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) said it was "a bit absurd to suggest we couldn't take 30 seconds at the beginning of this important work." Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) also quipped that "I believe we could all use the exercise of standing up and putting our hand on our chests, I don't think it'll kill any of us."

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) called it "absurd that Democrats on the committee don’t even want to say the pledge of allegiance" when speaking to the Daily Caller and offered "you would think it would be a simple request--not so for the Judiciary Democrats, who almost seemed allergic to reciting the pledge."

After all that, the committee voted 39-0 to adopt the pledge, and Democrats had given Gaetz ammunition to complain about the other side of the aisle. 

Speaking about the fiery back-and-forths during Wednesday's episode of "Gutfeld!" on Fox News, Kat Timpf pointed out that the Democrats "really wanted to get one over on Matt Gaetz by bringing up the insurrection, all this stuff," but "if they really wanted to get one over on him, you know what they should have said? 'Okay, sure.' Because then he couldn't go back to Twitter and be like 'why are they so, you know, enraged by patriotism.'" 

Timpf also suggested that Gaetz is "obviously doing this to be like 'I'm Mr. Patriot, and I'm in this Congress full of these Democrats who hate this country,'" adding that "but if they had just been like 'totally, let's recite the pledge,' then he wouldn't have been able to do that, but they played right into his hands."

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Sure enough, the congressman tweeted about the pledge several times throughout Wednesday and Thursday, including when it comes to sharing his interview with the Daily Caller's Henry Rodgers.

"Pledge of Allegiance" had been trending on Twitter as a result of the committee's debate. 

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