House Democrat calls it 'unconstitutional' to cite God in hearing oaths

Rep. Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanOvernight Energy: Fight between EPA watchdog, agency lawyers heats up | Top EPA official under investigation over document destruction | DOJ issues subpoenas to automakers in California emissions pact Interior suggests ex-client of department head for major contract Overnight Energy: Interior sees rise in revenue from drilling on public lands | Officials propose easing pesticide rule for farms | Trump prepares to formally leave Paris climate deal MORE (D-Calif.) said this week that requiring witnesses testifying before Congress to affirm an oath to God is “unconstitutional.”

“It’s unconstitutional to require a witness in congressional testimony to affirm an oath to a deity they may not even believe in or to affirm an oath to a singular deity when you might be a polytheistic Hindu for example,” Huffman said during an interview on The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Freethought Matters” program.

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“It’s just preposterous."

Huffman also said that congressional committees have a “sporadic standard” for including God in their oaths.

The California Democrat, who sits on the House Natural Resources Committee, said dropping the oath or allowing those who testify before the panel to voluntarily say it was proposed, for example. 

Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Cheney calls for Turkish leader's bodyguards to be banned from re-entering US Overnight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics MORE just went ballistic," Huffman said, referring to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the House Republican Conference chairwoman.

"She smelled blood in the water, went on Fox News and started ranting about how Democrats were dropping God from the Congress," he added.

A spokesperson for Cheney told Fox News that she "will always defend God. Period. If that bothers Rep. Huffman, we’ll be praying for him."

Fox noted that Rep. Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonDemocrats, GOP dig in for public phase of impeachment battle Conservative Republicans unveil latest ObamaCare replacement plan Top Democrat holds moment of silence for Cummings at hearing MORE (R-La.) has criticized Democrats this year for excluding the “so help me God” phrase from oaths, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse to vote on bill to ensure citizenship for children of overseas service members As impeachment goes public, forget 'conventional wisdom' What this 'impeachment' is really about — and it's not the Constitution MORE (N.Y.) and Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Boeing CEO gives up bonus over 737 Max crashes Democrat says he voted to recognize Armenian genocide because 'Turkey doesn't seem to respect' US MORE (Tenn.), the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.