The House will read the Constitution on the chamber floor on Tuesday, continuing a practice Republicans started two years ago when they reclaimed control and vowed to bring constitutional legislating back to Congress.
It will be only the second time the entire document has been read aloud.
“This is the people’s House and as members of Congress we must never lose sight that we are committed to protecting the fundamental rights of the people we represent,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who announced the move along with Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the new Judiciary Committee chairman. Both are Virginia Republicans.
Mr. Goodlatte organized the reading two years ago, which drew fire from some critics but appeared to win some of them over by the time the reading was completed.
One point of contention is over what parts to actually read. In 2011, House Republicans didn’t read parts of the Constitution that they said had been amended or overtaken by later parts — including the three-fifths clause, which assigned a weight of three-fifths of a person for every slave when it came to counting populations and apportioning the House.
They also skipped over the 18th Amendment, which authorized prohibition, since that was repealed by the 21st Amendment.
Tuesday’s reading is expected to take up to two hours, and about 120 members of the House are expected to take part.
“This reading of the Constitution demonstrates that House Republicans are committed to our Constitution and the enduring principles for which it stands,” Mr. Goodlatte said.