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Topic - Matthew Spalding
Each of them takes an oath to defend the Constitution, but many House lawmakers either don't understand the founding document or don't take its precepts seriously, according to an analysis by The Washington Times that studied the constitutional backing that representatives submitted for each of the more than 3,000 bills they introduced in 2011.
As the House prepares for Wednesday's vote to repeal the Democrats' health care law, Republicans say it marks more than a shot at a controversial Obama policy — they argue it is the first step toward making Congress relevant in debates over the Constitution.
More than 200 years after the first part was written, the Constitution produced standing ovations and strident but respectful debate as lawmakers from both parties read the government's founding document on the House floor in its entirety — or nearly so.
"The reading of the Constitution on the House floor is significant, and wonderfully sets the tone of the new Congress. What this episode shows —the reading, but also the important debates we're going to have over constitutional citation in legislating —is that Congress' constitutional muscles are extremely atrophied, and they're going to have to learn to think again constitutionally," he said.
Matthew Spalding, director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for American Studies, said the first Congress debated exactly these issues of whether the Constitution should have redactions or additions.