"God" No Longer Flagged Down
U.S. Congressman John Carter (TX-31) joined Rep. Mike Turner (OH-03), Republican Whip Roy Blunt (MO-07) and other colleagues on Capitol Hill this afternoon to present 17 year-old Eagle Scout Andrew Larochelle the American flag certificate he had originally requested in honor of his grandfather containing the phrase, " for his dedication and love of God, Country and family " The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) originally omitted the word "God" from the certificate.
"I am glad to see the Architect of the Capitol has backed down on his original decision to censor the word "God' from flag certificates requested by constituents," Congressman Carter said. "I am proud to have young men like Andrew in this country who are willing to fight for their beliefs."
The debate began when Ohio-native Andrew Larochelle contacted his congressman, Rep. Mike Turner, with the hope of securing an American flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of his grandfather. The certificate accompanying the flag was to read, "This flag was flown in honor of Marcel Larochelle, my grandfather, for his dedication and love of God, Country and family."
But the Acting Architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, censored the word "God" from the request. That decision was overturned and the office of the Architect announced they were dropping the policy that had prohibited "God" from being inscribed on certificates and were leaving the decision to individual members.
Representative John Carter (TX-31), House Republican Conference Secretary, issued the following statement after voting in favor of The House passed the veterans and military construction funding bill on June 15, 2007, and the Senate passed its version and named their conferees on September 6. House Republican leaders have appointed conferees to the bill, including Rep. Carter, but Speaker Pelosi has yet to follow suit.
"If the Majority isn't ready to appoint conferees to this critical bill, I challenge them to share their reasons why. I hope that what I have read about the Democrat leadership using this legislation as a vehicle to sneak their bloated spending bills past the President's veto isn't true. I would trust that the needs and concerns of our veterans and military families would have more priority than a sneaky political scheme to increase government spending by billions.
"Republicans and Democrats joined together to pass this important legislation. Republicans have named their conferees and I am hopeful, for the sake of our troops and veterans, that Speaker Pelosi will do the same. Adequate funding for health care and housing for our veterans and men and women in uniform is a top priority for Congress, and their needs should take center stage. Our soldiers have fought and are still fighting for our freedoms, and frankly, they and their families deserve better."
Note: Republican Minority Leader John Boehner (OH-08) named the following House Republicans to serve as conferees on the FY 2008 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act (H.R. 2642):
Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)
Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL)
Rep. John Carter (R-TX)
Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)