Obama rips Republicans for House vote on 'In God We Trust' motto

Obama rips Republicans for House vote on 'In God We Trust' motto

President Obama invoked God on Wednesday as he criticized Congress for voting on commemorative coins and a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions.

“That’s not putting people back to work,” Obama said. “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people to work.” 

Obama called on Congress to approve his jobs package.

“There’s no excuse for 100 percent of Washington Republicans to say no,” Obama said. “That means Republicans in Washington are out of touch with Republican voters.”

Obama continued: “The American people are with me on this.”

The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a measure reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto. The resolution was supported by all House Democratic leaders, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.). It attracted only nine “no” votes, eight from Democrats. The only Republican who opposed it was freshman Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashHouse votes to crack down on undocumented immigrants with gang ties GOP lawmaker taunts House conservatives: Trump’s base is not ‘small faction of obstructionists’ Overnight Finance: GOP plans to unveil tax framework in late September | Critical stretch for Trump tax team | Equifax CEO called to testify | Sanders unveils single-payer bill MORE (Mich.). Two Democrats, Reps. Keith Ellison (Minn.) and Mel Watt (N.C.), voted “present.”

Rep. Randy ForbesRandy ForbesTrump makes little headway filling out Pentagon jobs Why there's only one choice for Trump's Navy secretary Trump likely to tap business executive to head Navy: report MORE (R-Va.), the sponsor of the measure, said the resolution is necessary to remind Obama and other public officials who forget the motto, whether intentionally or not.


“Unfortunately, there are a number of public officials who forget what the national motto is, whether intentionally or unintentionally,” Forbes said Tuesday. “There are those who become confused as to whether or not it can still be placed on our buildings, whether it can be placed in our school classrooms.”

Forbes singled out Obama at one point in his floor remarks.

“Almost a year ago, the president in making a speech across the world said that our national motto was ‘E pluribus unum,’” Forbes said. “When the Visitor Center was opened ... they did not have the national motto in there. In fact, they inscribed in the stones that our national motto was ‘E pluribus unum.’”

In his remarks, made during an appearance near D.C.’s Key Bridge in Georgetown, Obama continued pushing for billions of dollars for infrastructure building and repair — a portion of his jobs plan. He targeted Republicans like Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerSpeculation mounts, but Ryan’s job seen as safe Boehner warns Trump: Don't pull out of Korea-US trade deal GOP Rep: Ryan wasting taxpayers dollars by blocking war authorization debate MORE (Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (Ky.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan: Graham-Cassidy 'best, last chance' to repeal ObamaCare Ryan: Americans want to see Trump talking with Dem leaders Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (Wis.) by name. 

The president hammered Republicans for voting against his proposals, noting that 72 percent of poll respondents support increased infrastructure spending as a job-producing measure. 

He also praised construction workers and announced another in a series of executive actions, this one expediting loans and competitive grants to get projects funded.

“Construction workers want to do their jobs,” Obama said. “We need Congress to do theirs.” 

Harkening back to the first bridge he visited after announcing his jobs plan — one connecting McConnell’s home state of Kentucky to John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerSpeculation mounts, but Ryan’s job seen as safe Boehner warns Trump: Don't pull out of Korea-US trade deal GOP Rep: Ryan wasting taxpayers dollars by blocking war authorization debate MORE’s Ohio — the president teed off on Republicans while praising Democrats, like Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharWeek ahead: Crunch time for defense bill’s cyber reforms | Equifax under scrutiny Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020 Consumers the big winners of Amazon-Whole Foods merger MORE, who was in the audience. The Minnesotan, Obama said, is someone who “gets it.” 

“She’s seen a bridge fall apart in her state,” Obama said, referring to the 2007 collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge.

— This story was posted at 12:01 p.m. and last updated at 8:08 p.m.