(CNN) - Two members of the U.S. House were particularly remorseful Friday night after missing the crucial oath of office ceremony for the 112th Congress which took place on Wednesday. GOP Congressmen Pete Sessions of Texas and Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania wrote a letter of apology to House Speaker John Boehner to express their regret.
"Our absence on the House floor during the oath of office ceremony for the 112th Congress – while not intentional – fell short…by creating uncertainty regarding our standing in this body," they wrote in the letter. "We understand that our error allowed the integrity of this great legislative body's proceedings to be called into question. We regret that this incident adversely affected House proceedings and apologize for any individual inconvenience our actions may have caused."
Newly sworn in, Fitzpatrick told CNN Friday he "feels bad" that he and Sessions missed the official swearing-in ceremony for members of Congress on the House floor. He was attending a reception for his constituents.
"I was with a very large group of my constituents, who had travelled to the Capitol from Bucks County and the Philadelphia area to see me sworn in, and I sort of got caught up with them, and things were fluid that day, and the oath was administered when I was with my constituents," Fitzpatrick said.
Sessions was also at the reception for Fitzpatrick's constituents in the Capitol, and the two men took the oath of office while watching on television as other members did the same thing on the House floor. Fitzpatrick said that while he had already signed and filed a written oath, that, "upon further reflection and out of an abundance of caution went to see the parliamentarian," and that, "I feel bad about it, but we've taken immediate action to rectify it."
Both Sessions and Fitzpatrick were administered the official oath on Thursday, but not before they took numerous votes, and Sessions' lack of standing caused the Rules Committee to adjourn during a meeting on repealing the health care reform bill.
On Friday, Democrats accused Republicans of insincerity in dealing with the issue. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, speaking on the House floor, said "the constitutional requirement for oath was violated." And, "When Mr. Sessions and Mr. Fitzpatrick stood up in front of a television set and held their right hand up ... I suspect, they were violating a very important part of these proceedings."
"Mr. Sessions presided over the Rules Committee during a large portion in which he was not even a duly sworn member of the United States Congress. Yet we're doing nothing to go back and see whether that influenced proceedings at all," Weiner said.
Republicans Friday pushed through a resolution that corrected the Congressional record and nullified the votes cast by Fitzpatrick and Sessions before they were sworn in.
A watchdog group also raised questions about whether the reception Sessions and Fitzpatrick attended during the swearing in was a fundraiser. The Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan group supporting transparency in government, pointed out the invitation to the event asked for contributions of $30 or more.
Fitzpatrick dismissed the claim, saying the reception "was absolutely not a fundraiser."
"Individuals that wanted to come down on buses paid for a bus trip to get to the Capitol. But there was no charge at all to attend the event, there never was." he explained.
Fitzpatrick told CNN he thinks he has done all he can to rectify the swear-in mishap. He says he got some "ribbing" in the House gym Friday morning, but added, "I'm sure it's all in good fun."
Fitzpatrick also tried to turn the subject back to "health care and what to do about the excessive government," saying Democrats who are drawing attention to this story, "obviously don't want to talk about the real issues."