New Jersey Republican seeks to require refresher on Constitution for all congressional staffers

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The founder and chairman of the Congressional Constitution Caucus wants to ensure that all Hill staffers are familiar with their country’s founding principles.

New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett has introduced a House rule that would require all congressional staff members to take a class on the Constitution at the beginning of each year.

According to Garrett, requiring that staffers be well acquainted with the powers and limitations spelled out in the Constitution will help to ensure that their bosses — Americans’ congressmen — stay within the parameters laid down by the Founders.

“Members of Congress often consult their staff for advice about legislation and other official actions; consequently, I believe it’s important for congressional staff to have a firm understanding of the constitutional principles our country was founded upon,” Garrett said. “Having a training program dedicated to the Constitution would increase general awareness of the Constitution and thereby lead to a more constitutionally sound manner of governing. Congress would better limit itself to enumerated powers if those who work on Capitol Hill are more familiar with what those specific powers are.”

Garrett’s resolution, H. Res 1772, has 25 co-sponsors. The Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the Committee on the Judiciary would be in charge of forming and managing the training criteria.