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 AmashProperty is a fundamental right that is now being threatened GOP lawmaker tells party to 'do better' after O'Rourke St. Patrick's Day post The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration MORE (Mich.). Two Democrats, Reps. Keith Ellison (Minn.) and Mel Watt (N.C.), voted “present.”

Rep. Randy ForbesJames (Randy) Randy ForbesToo much ‘can do,’ not enough candor Trump makes little headway filling out Pentagon jobs Why there's only one choice for Trump's Navy secretary 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 BoehnerBoehner says it's Democrats' turn for a Tea Party movement House Republicans find silver lining in minority Alaskan becomes longest serving Republican in House history MORE (Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellConservatives wage assault on Mueller report Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars Trump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' MORE (Ky.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFormer Dem candidate says he faced cultural barriers on the campaign trail because he is working-class Former House candidate and ex-ironworker says there is 'buyer's remorse' for Trump in Midwest Head of top hedge fund association to step down 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 BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner says it's Democrats' turn for a Tea Party movement House Republicans find silver lining in minority Alaskan becomes longest serving Republican in House history MORE’s Ohio — the president teed off on Republicans while praising Democrats, like Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release 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.