Five House controversies from Week 1: Did Republicans break promises?
House Republicans swept back into power this week promising to fix how the institution functions. Speaker John Boehner called for a renewed focus on the Constitution, more openness and accountability, and resolving 'honest differences through a fair debate and vote.' Here’s a look at the Republicans' first week back in charge.
1. The Constitution, gently abridged
As a first act of the new Congress, nearly a third of House members, both Republicans and Democrats, joined in the first-ever reading aloud of the Constitution on the floor of the House. But Republicans omitted some passages, such as a formula that counts slaves as three-fifths of a person, a requirement that escaped slaves be returned to their owners, the amendment banning “intoxicating liquors” as well as the one repealing that ban.
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