Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.) have sent out a letter to their GOP colleagues apologizing for the procedural snafu they created by skipping the official swearing-in in favor of a questionable fundraiser, and then casting some key votes anyways.
"[W]e are deeply committed to fulfilling our role in our constitutional democracy by maintaining the integrity of the People's House. Our absence on the House floor during the oath of office ceremony for the 112th Congress -- while not intentional -- fell short of this standard by creating uncertainty regarding our standing in this body," they wrote in a letter provided to Politico.
"While we immediately took steps to rectify the situation, we understand that our error allowed the integrity of this great legislative body's proceedings to be called into question," they write. "We regret that this incident adversely affected House proceedings and apologize for any individual inconvenience our actions may have caused."
The House voted 257-159 Friday to mitigate this headache, in a motion that effectively exonerated the two representatives for their absence from the official swearing-in ceremony (they participated via video uplink).
The Los Angeles Times reports on the measure:
A series of early votes cast by Reps. Pete Sessions of Texas and Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania will be scratched from the record, according to the resolution passed Friday morning on a largely party-line vote. Other actions, including the convening of a committee to consider the bill to repeal the healthcare law, will stand.
Speaker of the House John Boehner swore in Sessions and Fitzpatrick Friday, a day after the rest of their colleagues.