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House Democrats want to remove God reference from committee witness oath

'They really have become the party of Karl Marx'

Democratic Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A significant committee in Democratic-majority House of Representatives intends to remove a reference to God from the witness oath taken when testifying in front of the group, Fox News reported.

The House Committee on Natural Resources, chaired by Democratic Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, plans to remove the phrase “so help you God" from the oath, according to a draft of rules changes obtained by Fox News.

When will this take effect? The committee is set to vote on the change in language this week, and the new language would be immediately adopted if the rules change package passes, which it is expected to.

Other proposed rules changes include removing gendered pronouns from committee documents (changing "his" or "her" to "their") and changing references to "chairman" to just read "chair."

What do Republicans say about this? Republicans are reportedly not pleased with this new development, but they're also not shocked by the move.

"It is incredible, but not surprising, that the Democrats would try to remove God from committee proceedings in one of their first acts in the majority," Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the House Republican Conference Chair, told Fox News. "They really have become the party of Karl Marx."

Nothing new? Democrats have, in the past, debated the issue of removing God from the party. From the Fox News report:

The proposed change was not the first time Democrats have sought to strike references to God in official party documents. In 2012, the floor of the Democratic National Convention erupted over a sudden move to restore to the platform a reference to God and recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital -- after heavy criticism from Republicans for initially omitting them. Democrats, though, were hardly in agreement over the reversal.

A large and loud group of delegates shouted "no" as the convention chairman (then-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa) called for the vote. Villaraigosa had to call for the vote three times before ruling that the "ayes" had it. Many in the crowd booed after he determined the language would be restored.

(H/T The Hill)

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