Lawmakers recite Constitution on House floor
Thursday, January 6, 2011; 11:23 AM
WASHINGTON -- And let it be said, on this second day following the convening of the 112th Congress, newly sworn members of the House shall stand and read aloud the Constitution of the United States.
And so it was Thursday, as lawmakers took turns reciting each verse and article of the document. Republicans in charge of the chamber rattled it off with missionary zeal, as if in a school civics class. Democrats pitched in, but with seemingly less ardor.
Congressional historians say it's the first time the nation's governing document, which went into operation in 1789, was read in its entirety on the House floor. New Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) opened the recital, followed by outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who ceded the gavel to the Ohio Republican on Wednesday.