(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Diana DeGette (D.-Colo.), the chairhmn of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommitte on Oversight, omitted the phrase "So help me God" when she administered the oath to witnesses testifying in a hearing on Thursday morning.
When Rep. Jeff Duncan (R.-S.C.) reminded DeGette of the omission, she indicated that it was intentional:
"This is the--ah, this is the oath we use, and that's the oath we're going to use today," said DeGette said, who then moved on with the hearing.
The same thing happened Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee. In that case, however, Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), prodded by a committee Republican, agreed to repeat the oath, this time using the phrase "So help me God."
The hearing DeGette was chairing on Thursday was titled, "Examining the Failures of the Trump Administration’s Inhumane Family Separation Policy."
As the hearing got under way, DeGette told the witnesses to "please rise and raise your right hand so you can be sworn in."
"Do you swear that the testimony that you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" she asked them.
The wtinessed indicated that they did.
"You may be seated," DeGette said. "Let the record reflect that the witnesses have now responded affirmatively, and you are now under oath and subject to the penalties set forth in Title 18, Section 1001 of the United States."
"Madam Chairman," Duncan interrupted.
"For what purpose does the gentleman from South Carolina seek recognition?" DeGette asked Duncan.
"I believe the oath was incorrect and incomplete," Duncan told her.
"This is the--ah, this is the oath we use, and that's the oath we're going to use today," DeGette responded.
DeGette then mistakenly moved right on to questions, forgetting that the witnesses had not yet delivered their opening statements.
"Sorry, this is my first time (presiding as chair), so everybody has to bear with me," DeGette said.