October 29th, 2009
03:20 PM ET
13 years ago

GOP Rep: House vote on Confucius birthday 'a Joke'

"Things that are done, it is needless to speak about...things that are past, it is needless to blame." - Confucius

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In a belated celebration on Wednesday, the House marked last month's 2,560th birthday of Chinese philosopher Confucius by passing a resolution recognizing "his invaluable contributions to philosophy and social and political thought."

But some members apparently prefer their Confucius confined to a fortune cookie rather than on the House floor. According to the vote tally, 47 voted against the birthday resolution and 13 voted "present," while 361 supported it.

"We love Confucius, but what a joke of a vote," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told CNN.

"I can't go back to the people of Utah and say, 'Yeah, we're voting on Confucius today,'" said Chaffetz, who called the resolution "absurd." "How many more birthdays do we vote on before we start fixing the economy?"

The resolution's sponsor, Democrat Al Green of Texas, said on the House floor the resolution is meant to celebrate the "personal introspection" of the Chinese philosopher and his "respect of social relationships, personal and governmental morality."

"He preached that politicians must always present truth and morality. He taught the philosophy of reciprocity, never impose upon others what you would not choose for yourself," said Green.

When asked about the criticism aimed at his resolution, Green gave CNN a Confucius-like statement: "Although I would like 100 percent of the people to agree with me 100 percent of the time, I have learned that rarely happens."

Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, who also voted against the measure, tried conjuring the Chinese philosopher in an e-mail prediction: "He who spends time passing trivial legislation may find himself out of time to read healthcare bill."

Filed under: GOP
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. FactCheck

    Yup, the GOP wants to bypass stuff like this and vote for real issues: like authorizing the invasion of Iraq, deregulating the banks and keeping corporate tax loopholes open. They sure have been anxious to get things done over the last 8 years.

    October 29, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Reagan was wrong

    Of course the GOP is going to oppose this. In their minds the Earth, the sun, the moon, and all the planets revolve around God's Blessed America. Their concept of "time" begins with 1776, but they pretty much just make up history prior to 1980.

    The GOP is now and will forever remain stuck in the 20th century.

    October 29, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Unhappy

    What a joke! I can't believe they wasted time on that. Last time I checked this is america, right?

    October 29, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. S Callahan

    Well if you can pass a resolution honoring Conficuis then it's only fair we have one to Honor God........Oh that's right, there's a double standard. Truth be told, God's word has made more of an impact on the world..not accounting for man's interpretation being poor . His word still impacts for the better on social, moral, economics, family values, yada yada.....try quoting him sometime.

    October 29, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. gt

    GET TO WORK.....high taxes , afganistan , helath care , and this bozo comes up with this.. know wonder we think congress is a joke...

    October 29, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    Good to know the House has officially solved all of America's problems, and can now move on to more pressing votes such as this one!

    October 29, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Unhappy

    Can there be anything more ridiculous? I guess we owe more to China then they are letting on. We must have chinese puppets in DC.

    October 29, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Jim

    Given the choice between winning the wars in Iraq & Afganistan and having having President fail on some issue, they would want the President to fair. That's realy how patriotic they truly are.

    October 29, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. No More Incumbents

    You have to love how our representatives keep proving that they have no business representing us. All incumbents must go.

    October 29, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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