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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Scott votes down “In God We Trust”

with 4 comments

Never one to follow the crowd, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) was one of only 9 Members of Congress to vote against a resolution to reaffirm “In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States of America.

Rep. Scott’s aide David Dailey explains the purpose of the measure:

H.Con.Res. 13 is only a non-binding resolution resolving that Congress “reaffirms” the motto and encourages the public display of the motto. The resolution does not have the force of law and would not be presented to the President for his signature if passed by the Senate. Even without this resolution, the 1956 statute (Pub. L. No. 84-851) establishing the motto would still remain the law of the land.

It was sponsored by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Chester).

Scott said the resolution is inconsistent with the pledge he took when he entered congress to “uphold the Constitution.”

Scott’s full statement is blow:

Scott Statement on Congress’ Vote Reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement today on Congress’ vote on H. Con. Res. 13, a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States and supporting and encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions:”Today we face the highest deficit in U.S. history; an unemployment rate of 9.1% and a growing number of people losing access to unemployment insurance each day; schools that lack the resources to give our students a proper education; 17.2 million households that are food insecure; and children who by the very circumstances of their birth are injected onto a Cradle to Prison Pipeline. Instead of facing these challenges and creating jobs to help American people make sure they have a roof over their head and food on their table, we are debating whether or not to affirm and proliferate a motto that was adopted in 1956 and is under no threat of attack. In addition to diverting attention away from substantive issues, the resolution is unconstitutional.”When we were sworn in as Members of Congress, we took an oath to uphold the Constitution. This resolution is inconsistent with that oath and therefore I voted ‘no’ on the resolution.”

In addition, Congressman Scott’s statement from the Judiciary Committee markup on the resolution earlier this year contains a legal analysis and is below.

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Written by Ryan Nobles

November 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm

4 Responses

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  1. To use the oath of office as a reason (weak at best) to vote nay on this issue astonishes me. By using that reasoning, each of the 396 other representatives who voted for the measure have betrayed their oath of office. I think not; IMHO, Represenative Scott got it wrong. I like his ability to swim upstream but in this case, I find it simply bad decision making…

    Bob Hayhurst

    November 1, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    • Actually, Congressman Scott got it right, and the 396 did betray their oath of office, just as the members of congress and President Eisenhower betrayed their oaths by changing from the original (and better) motto – E Pluribus Unum – to In God We Trust. Ironically, the greatest harm from that 1950’s era legislation was to Christianity. By allowing gov’t to co-opt it’s messaging, it’s allowed the gov’t to get it’s ham-hands on faith and act as a pastor, priest or rabbi.

      For some good info on this, read some of James Madison’s writings about government and religion. He’s known as the Father of the Constitution, and is the best expert we’ll ever have about the original intent of the founders.

      Robert Strickler

      November 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

  2. What about “powers not granted to the federal government nor prohibited to the states by the Constitution are reserved, respectively, to the states or the people?” I don’t see him getting the feds out of state and local control.

    Danny Ricketts

    November 2, 2011 at 9:50 am

  3. Good for you, Rep. Scott. E Pluribus Unum is what describes us as a nation not a God. We are dependent on one another not on some unproven non-entity.

    Pat Nieder

    Pat Nieder

    November 2, 2011 at 11:33 am


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