Republicans Refuse To Investigate Paul Ryan’s Firing Of House Chaplain

Republicans are refusing to investigate Speaker Paul Ryan‘s firing of the popular House Chaplain because he advocated for the poor in a prayer.

Video of Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) introducing the resolution calling for an investigation of Ryan:

The resolution states:

Whereas Father Patrick Conroy has served honorably as House Chaplain since May 25, 2011, when he was appointed by Speaker John Boehner in consultation with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Whereas Father Conroy had been re-appointed and approved by the House of Representatives on three separate occasions, most recently January 3, 2017, Whereas on April 16, 2018, the nation’s first Jesuit, and only the second Catholic, chaplain of the United States House of Representatives submitted his resignation before the full House,Whereas this resignation was forced by Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Members of the House Republican Conference, Whereas the Speaker’s team said “…the decision (to remove the chaplain) was his (Speaker Ryan’s),”

Whereas the lack of notification of his forced resignation, or adequate explanation provided by Speaker Paul D. Ryan is not reflective of the integrity of the House of Representatives,
Whereas on November 6, 2017, during debate on the GOP tax scam, the Chaplain led an opening prayer asking God to bless Congress and for Congress to “guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans,” Whereas this prayer reflects the core values of many Americans, in particular people of the Catholic faith, including care and concern for the poor and marginalized.

Whereas, on April 9, 2018, Pope Francis published his third apostolic exhortation entitled “Gaudete et Exsultate” or rejoice and be heard which states that Christians must care for the poor, the sick, and the immigrant. Whereas, under the GOP tax scam law, more than 80% of its benefits flow to the richest 1% and corporate special interests, ignoring the needs for struggling men, women and children, Whereas this prayer has been reported to be the chief reason for Father Conroy’s forced resignation by this Republican Congress, Whereas the dismissal of Father Conroy following this prayer shows Republicans’ true refusal to embody the values of faith and charity in their legislative work; Whereas Father Conroy’s forced resignation is concerning to a number of Members of Congress. Whereas the House of Representatives would benefit from being guided by a chaplain with a commitment to caring about those most in need;

Whereas the rights of Members of the House of Representatives were undermined when the leader of one party made a unilateral decision to dismiss the Chaplain;
Whereas this forced resignation has compromised the dignity of the House of Representatives by politicizing the office of the House Chaplain
Whereas the circumstances behind his resignation compromised the integrity and dignity of the House.

Resolved that, There is hereby established a select Committee to investigate the actions and motivations behind the resignation of the House chaplain.
The select committee shall be comprised of 6 members, of which 3 shall be appointed by the Chair of the Committee on Ethics, and three by the Ranking member of the Committee on Ethics
The select committee shall investigate the motivations and actions of the Speaker behind the resignation of the chaplain.

Republicans rejected the resolution by a vote of 215-171, with only 2 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the investigation. Ryan denied forcing the Chaplin out for political reasons, but he won’t say why he was fired. Republicans say that the resolution would have passed if it had not included language about the “GOP tax scam,” but this is another abuse of power and a reason why the country needs a Democratic Congress to check Republicans who are clearly out of control.

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