House Judiciary Democrats appeared to make fun of Republican Matt Gaetz’s request to have the committee recite the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of hearings Thursday on a hot mic.
The Daily Caller obtained a video file from the hearing which included audio of a group of Democrats joking about Republicans’ request to have the pledge of allegiance recited before committee hearings. 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.
Rep. Steve Cohen: “Can anybody hear me? Zo, can you hear me?”
Multiple Democrats Respond: “Yes I can, I can hear you, we can hear you, Steve.”
Rep. Steve Cohen: “I can hear all of you talking now.”
Unidentified Committee Staffer: “So right now, everyone’s mic is hot and it is broadcasting online through Youtube. So just be keeping that in mind.”
Rep. Steve Cohen: “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?”
Unidentified Democrat: “I think you should do it at least every hour.”
Rep. Steve Cohen: “Hour, right?”
Unidentified Democrat: “Yeah.”
Rep. Steve Cohen: “Maybe in front of the Rayburn horseshoe.”
Unidentified Democrat: “I think so.”
Rep. Steve Cohen: “So what do they want? Do they want prayers said before the beginning of each meeting and the pledge or just the pledge?”
Unidentified Democrat: “Just the pledge.”
Rep. Steve Cohen: “Just the pledge.”
Unidentified Democrat: “Mhmm.”
Rep. Steve Cohen: “I remember in the first grade we had something like this.”
Unidentified Democrat: “I remember too, I remember on Fridays at 10 o clock we duck below our desks in the event of a nuclear bomb.”
Rep. Steve Cohen: “Right, duck and cover.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal: “(Laughter) That ages me, right? I’m going to vote.”
Rep. Steve Cohen: “Pramila you should do something about this as head of the CPC, I charge you with the responsibility.”
Unidentified Democrat: “(Laughter) Just what I’m looking for.”
During the hearing on new house rules, Gaetz put in a request to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each hearing to which Nadler responded by saying it is “unnecessary.” Gaetz mentioned that he thought it would be a nice unifying and patriotic act. (RELATED: ‘Unnecessary’: Nadler Shuts Down Gaetz’s Request To Recite Pledge Of Allegiance At Start Of Hearings)
“I want to extend a welcome to the new committee members. I’m grateful to be back on this august 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,” Gaetz concluded.
Nadler’s office did not immediately respond when asked why he opposed the request.
The Daily Caller contacted Cohen’s office before publishing the story to ask for comment. They did not immediately respond.