Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee appeared to mock and ridicule GOP member Matt Gaetz after he requested the panel recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” ahead of a hearing.
Their comments were picked up by a hot mic, according to a video file of the Thursday hearing obtained by The Daily Caller.
“In the video, you can hear Tennessee Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen and an unidentified House Democrat appearing to joke about the request. They were reminded by a staffer that their microphones were hot, according to the audio,” The DC reported.
During the hearing, which pertained to new House rules, Gaetz, Florida Republican, requested the pledge be recited at the beginning of each hearing.
“I want to extend a welcome to the new committee members. I’m grateful to be back on this committee and I understand and appreciate the significance and importance of the work that we do. And I just think it would be nice in the spirit of national unity and national pride which I know we all aspire to do to a greater extent than at the beginning of each meeting the chair, or one of the designees of the chair, would have the opportunity to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance,” Gaetz said.
“We’re all aware that in these times it’s important for the country to see members of congress working together on some things and while I know we can deal with divisive issues in the committee, uh, it would be my hope we could start every committee with a great unifying, patriotic moment. I yield back,” he added.
But Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) pushed back saying that the chamber recited the pledge to begin each day and that doing so again ahead of committee hearings is therefore not necessary.
According to the audio and video obtained by The DC, after being told their mics were hot, Cohen then asks his Democratic colleagues if they can hear him, while several responded that they could.
“Okay, so somebody, I missed a little bit of what we just had, uh uh I wake up in the morning and I pledge allegiance to the flag, I go outside regardless of the weather, I got my flag up by my house and I pledge allegiance. Then I get on my knees and I pray. If I do that, if I, do I have to, am I supposed to do it again and how many times a day should I do that?” Cohen says.
“I think you should do it at least every hour,” said one unidentified Democrat.
“Hour, right?” Cohen responded.
“Yeah,” the unidentified Dem said.
“Maybe in front of the Rayburn horseshoe,” the Tennessee Democrat added. “So what do they want? Do they want prayers said before the beginning of each meeting and the pledge or just the pledge?”
“Just the pledge,” the unidentified Democrat said.
“I remember in the first grade we had something like this,” Cohen added.
“I remember too, I remember on Fridays at 10 o clock we duck below our desks in the event of a nuclear bomb,” replied the unidentified Democrat.
“Right, duck and cover,” said Cohen.
“(Laughter) That ages me, right? I’m going to vote,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) interjected.
“Pramila you should do something about this as head of the CPC, I charge you with the responsibility,” said Cohen.
“(Laughter) Just what I’m looking for,” Jayapal responded.
Later Thursday, during a segment on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, Gaetz and the host discussed the incident.
“Jerry Nadler gave us the ‘I gave at the office’ version of patriotism today,” said the Florida Republican.
Listen to the audio via Daily Caller below:
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