News broke today that two House members, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and freshman Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), may not have actually been properly sworn in to the House yesterday. They were at the Capitol Visitors Center--and just holding up your right hand while watching it on TV may not do the trick. That's still being debated.
More importantly, though, is why they missed the swearing in to begin with. As Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post reports, they weren't able to take their oath live from the House floor because they were holding a fundraiser in the Capitol while others were being sworn in. Seriously. This could, according to the Committee on Standards and Ethics, very well be unethical and maybe even illegal.
On Tuesday, when we learned that freshman Rep. Jeff Denham would be throwing a fancy $2,500-a-head fundraiser at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C., our own David Donnelly said in a press release, "The same hands that new Republican House members raise tomorrow to take their oath of office will be the ones sullied by the collection of PAC, lobbyist, and special interest cash tonight."
I guess, in this instance, their hands were just too busy altogether to take the oath.
Good start to your new job, Rep. Fitzpatrick!