Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
Frank Bernheisel
Posted 07.14.11
Just Outside Washington


Who do US Congressmen serve?

The Constitution of the United States does not specify an oath of office for Congress.

In Article 6 -- Debts, Supremacy, Oaths, the Constitution reads: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

There have been several oaths for members of Congress since the first Congress. The current oath was enacted in 1884 and states:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Now we have Grover Norquist and the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) strong arming members of Congress to take a pledge (oath) that they will not raise taxes. I would make the case that any such pledge is contradictory to the Congressional oath.

As the old saying goes: a man cannot serve two masters.

So who does Grover Norquist serve? Follow the money -- ATR has received funding from: . Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
. Carthage Foundation; see Scaife Foundations
. JM Foundation
. John M. Olin Foundation
. Sarah Scaife Foundation; see Scaife Foundations
. R.J. Reynolds
. Philip Morris
. Tobacco Institute ATR is a lobbying group which has been involved with Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed. Also, Grover Norquist has also worked as a lobbyist for clients including Microsoft, American Business for Legal Immigration, Distilled Spirits Council, Edison Electric Institute, Interactive Gaming Council, and British Petroleum.

And we still have "the best government money can buy."