Two House Republicans have cast votes as members of the 112th Congress, but were not sworn in on Wednesday, a violation of the Constitution on the same day that the GOP had the document read from the podium.
The Republicans, incumbent Pete Sessions of Texas and freshman Mike Fitzpatrick, missed the swearing in because they were at a fundraiser in the Capitol Visitors Center. The pair watched the swearing-in on television from the Capitol Visitors Center with their hands raised.
“That wasn’t planned. It just worked out that way,” said Fitzpatrick at the time, according to local press on hand, which noted that he “happened to be introducing Texas Congressman Pete Sessions while glad-handing his supporters in the Capitol Visitor Center that he secured for them when the House swearing in began.”
House ethics rules forbid fundraising in the Capitol.
The Bucks County Courier Times said that roughly 500 Fitzpatrick supporters were on hand at the gathering. Fitzpatrick’s campaign had solicited contributions for a bus trip to the Capitol and “Mike Fitzpatrick’s Swearing In Celebration.”
Sessions is head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, responsible for fundraising for GOP candidates.