A key committee in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is moving to eliminate the God reference from the oath administered to witnesses testifying before the panel, as part of a new rules package expected to be approved this week, according to a draft obtained exclusively by Fox News.
The draft shows that the House Committee on Natural Resources would ask witnesses to recite only, “Do you solemnly swear or affirm, under penalty of law, that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”
The rules proposal places the words “so help you God” in red brackets, indicating they are slated to be cut.
The draft rules also remove the phrase “his or her” throughout the document, changing those two pronouns to “their.” The rules additionally modify all references to the committee’s “Chairman” to instead refer only to the committee’s “Chair.”
Other rules changes relate to expanding the committee’s authority over natural gas in Alaska and fossil-fuel resources.
While many federal oaths include the phrase “so help me God,” some — most notably the presidential oath of office — do not.
The full committee is set to vote on the new language this week, and the rules would take effect immediately if adopted. Other committees were still in the process of finalizing their rules on Monday.
Republican leaders reacted with dismay to the proposed change, and suggested it was a sign of the Democratic Party’s leftward shift.
“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,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., told Fox News. “They really have become the party of Karl Marx.”
Spokespeople for the Natural Resources Committee did not immediately reply to Fox News’ requests for comment. The committee, which has oversight of national parks, wildlife and energy, is chaired by Democratic Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva.
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SOURCE: Fox News, Gregg Re