The resolution required a two-thirds vote to pass, and did so easily, 396 to 9. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan was the lone Republican voting no, joining eight other Democrats, Representatives Gary Ackerman and Jerrold Nadler of New York, Judy Chu, Mike Honda and Pete Stark of California, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Henry Johnson of Georgia and Robert Scott of Virginia.
Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R.-Va.), chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus and sponsor of the measure, said the resolution serves to clear up confusion over a speech President Obama gave last year in Jakarta, Indonesia, in which he stated that the motto was instead “E Pluribus Unum,” Latin for “Out of many, one.”
“For the President of the United States to incorrectly state something as foundational as our national motto in another country is unacceptable,” Forbes said. “The President is the primary representative of our nation to the world, and whether mistake or intention, his actions cast aside an integral part of American society.”
“We need to make clear to the people in this country that our motto is ‘In God We Trust,’ and encourage them to proudly display that motto,” Forbes said.
Nadler, the only Democrat to engage in debate against the measure on the floor, said the suggestion that the President is “less Godly, less patriotic,” is a “kind of divisiveness that undermines national unity.”