Later today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA.) will bring to the house floor a non-binding resolution that reaffirms “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States. The move might not fit with the House Republicans’ insistence that their legislative agenda will focus solely on jobs, spending and deregulation, but it shouldn’t surprise political observers. Indeed, it’s now been 301 days since House Republicans took power, and they’ve yet to bring a comprehensive jobs bill to the floor. “In God We Trust,” meanwhile, has been the official motto of the United States since 1956, and it will remain the motto with or without this meaningless vote.
The arguments used to justify the vote are laughable. According to Roll Call, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA.), who is sponsoring the legislation, believes the resolution is needed because President Obama once referred to “E Pluribus Unum” as the country’s motto. Additionally, Rep. Forbes asserts that the motto is absent from sections of the Capitol Visitor Center.
Back in May, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH.) reportedly told The Hill, “We’re pretty well committed to the House doing substantive work on the floor of the House.” The Speaker has also taken issue with “all of the commemorative resolutions that used to be brought to the floor of the House, some of them I thought were quite meaningless.” It’s difficult to see how a non-binding resolution reaffirming a motto doesn’t qualify as “meaningless.” It’s time for House Republicans to stop with frivolous resolutions and start working with Democrats to pass meaningful legislation to boost our economy.