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. D.

    Confucius said "The political correctness of your high official will degenerate your society"

    Wooow he was really right!

    October 29, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. jd

    So this is what the idiots are doing during their three day, all expense paid week! Frankly I would rather see them voting on this kind of bull than spending more of my taxpayer dollars on supporting the lives of people in this country who wouldn't move off the couch to save their own.

    October 29, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Bubble of Sanity

    What a waste of time and money. I wish we could have 435 new people in those seats next election. It might not be any better, but it sure couldn't be any worse.

    October 29, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Steele

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz has voted against everything since he was voted in office. It's great to see that he is voting against the middle class and his constituants. Voting against Confusius just keeps his record at 100%.

    October 29, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Grrr-awful-o

    What a joke! Are we really paying these people to govern our country?

    October 29, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Chris

    It is really time for term limits on all the members of Congress!!

    October 29, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. lucy

    I think the gesture and the sentiment behind it is nice, but I have to agree that there are more pressing issues to be resolved. Considering all the hot topics these days, this seems a bit random. Hmm....

    October 29, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. single mom

    No wonder nothing gets accomplished at the national level of government.

    October 29, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. James E

    The blame goes to both parties for bringing up resolutions that has nothing to do with the nation's business. The statements made thus far goes to show you they will use it for political advantage .

    October 29, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Evan

    Along with taking away 90% from the Wall St. CEO's we should take 90% out of every congressperson and senator for wasting time on stupid stuff like this. How many trees had to be cut down and how big the carbon foot print for the Democratic Congressman to wish the dead old dude a happy birthday?

    Do matter how you feel on energy, economy, health care, or Afghanistan, shouldn't they being using their 1 day work week to do something more?

    If they worked for me they would be one of the 500,000 applying for unemployment this week.

    October 29, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. lane

    What's the price tag for even voting on this bill and what have we gained? How about we take a vote on Lao Tzu, Mohammad, Christ etc. Green's lucky he's not in my district or head be on his way out.

    October 29, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Andi

    ....but they will propose a vote on a resolution honoring the 9/12 teabaggers? Give me a break.

    October 29, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Jenn, Philadelphia

    I'm glad they have nothing more important to do in Congress. I guess this means all is well with the world and the state of things, since they have time to play.

    October 29, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. George Bush - Worst President Ever

    If my congressman introduced such a bill, I would have a big problem with him. If I was a congressman, I would introduce a bill that would make introducing meaningless measures like this a crime. It seems that alot of congressmen will do anything to avoid working on the real problems.

    October 29, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. Phat Elvis

    He who gives stonewalls on healthcare reform will himself out of job next fall.

    October 29, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. johnnyj

    Do they not have anything better to do?

    October 29, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Karen

    I'm sure happy to hear they have no pressing issues to work on. This is beyond silly, it is simply stupid. I hope we CLEAN HOUSE in 2010!

    October 29, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Dan

    Something should be said here, but I'm really speechless.

    October 29, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. gina L

    Don't these people have anything better to do with their time and our tax dollars?

    October 29, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Tate

    Well first it was the obama administration love affair with Mao, now confucious. Wish they would worry about america and lot the communist chinese worry about China.

    October 29, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. mike

    And the 13 who voted 'present' will be running for President in 2012.

    October 29, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Magnanimous

    This is indeed a frivolous use of precious time given the nation's economic and budget crisis.

    October 29, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    I think we should share Arnold's memo with our US Congress.

    October 29, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Clifford in New York

    Actually it was a vote on the Obama administration.......................Confused!

    October 29, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. Mike

    Now if they had referred to him correctly as K'ung-Tzu, it would have passed unanimously.

    October 29, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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