Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island, was more pointed, suggesting that Republicans including Mr. Gaetz who backed Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election had no right to engage in patriotic displays in Congress. He tried to add a clause to Mr. Gaetz’s proposal that would bar insurrectionists from leading the Pledge of Allegiance, saying the addition was necessary “to make sure someone who led an insurrection against the United States doesn’t make a mockery of this committee.”
Republicans who control the committee batted down Mr. Cicilline’s effort, but Mr. Gaetz’s passed, 39 to 0, with Democrats in support to avoid losing the patriotism contest. On Twitter, Mr. Gaetz asked, “Why does patriotism make Democrats so heated?”
The pledge was ultimately said, and minutes later, after the committee shifted from an organizing meeting to a hearing on border security, Mr. Cicilline noted that, under the new Republican rule, it was time to say it again. He interrupted Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio and the committee’s chairman, who was giving his opening statement.
“Are we not going to begin the hearing with the Pledge of Allegiance?” Mr. Cicilline said.
“We already had it,” Mr. Jordan replied.
“No, that was the organizing meeting,” Mr. Cicilline said.
Mr. Jordan began to object, but then relented.
“If the gentleman is insisting on doing that, I would welcome Mr. Cicilline to lead the Judiciary Committee in the Pledge of Allegiance,” Mr. Jordan said.
“Let’s do it,” Mr. Gaetz said.
All the lawmakers put their hands on their hearts and once again pledged allegiance to the flag, some of them for a possible third time that day.