As Republicans reclaim control of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy already has plans for January 3, the first day of the 118th legislative session.
On the first day of the new Congress, the full United States Constitution will be read, according to the current leader of the House minority.
McCarthy confirmed in a tweet on Friday that the paper will be read into the congressional record.
The lawmaker from California stated that this “hasn’t been done in years.”
On the very first day of the new Republican-led Congress, we will read every single word of the Constitution aloud from the floor of the House—something that hasn't been done in years.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 25, 2022
Since 2011, House Republicans have made an annual reading of the Constitution a legislative ritual. The practice likely came to an end in 2018 when Democrats won the House majority.
The reading of the Constitution in the House is comparable to an ancient Senate custom in which senators read aloud President George Washington’s Farewell Address.
This annual ritual goes back to 1896 and is observed regardless of the majority party in the upper house.
McCarthy, the head of the Republican caucus in the House, is expected to succeed Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House in January.
McCarthy has already won an internal GOP leadership race, fending off a symbolic challenge from Andy Biggs, a representative from Arizona.
However, he must be chosen speaker on the House floor, and it seems unlikely that he will obtain the position without difficulty.
McCarthy will not have much room for mistake, as votes for House speaker are often cast along party lines.
His party has earned 220 members in the House of Representatives as of Friday, giving him a razor-thin majority to rule over. A simple majority in the House is contingent on 218 votes.
McCarthy’s legislative program may be derailed by a handful of renegade Republicans.
The prospective speaker has committed to focus on scrutiny of the administration of President Joe Biden.
He has suggested that investigations of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas could lead to the impeachment of Biden’s border czar.