It's been operating for over 213 years, but the Constitution has only once been read on the House floor--in 2011 after the GOP took control of the chamber.
Having kept the majority in the last election, the House Republican leadership is looking to follow the 2011 practice by reading the Constitution again on the House floor Tuesday.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the reading will be lead by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who pushed for the repeat reading. Both are from Virginia.
Cantor said, "Our Founding Fathers understood a legitimate government must be based on the consent of the people. As James Madison, the Father of the Constitution wrote, 'It is essential to liberty that the government in general should have a common interest with the people.' This is the people's House and as Members of Congress we must never lose sight that we are committed to protecting the fundamental rights of the people we represent. Congress must live within its means, limit the growth of government and maximize individual liberty. Guided by these principles, I am confident the House will chart a course for the future that ensures liberty and prosperity for all Americans."
In Cantor's statement, Goodlatte added: "One of the resounding themes I have heard from my constituents is that Congress should adhere to the Constitution and the finite list of powers it grants to the federal government. Our constitutional principles remain timeless and it is fitting that we start the 113th Congress by reading the Constitution aloud on the floor of the House of Representatives. The Constitution is the written consent the American people gave to their government to protect individual liberty and maintain limited government. This reading of the Constitution demonstrates that House Republicans are committed to our Constitution and the enduring principles for which it stands."