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Rep. Rothfus Recites Declaration Of Independence On House Floor

U.S. Representative Keith Rothfus (R-PA- 12) took to the House floor last week to do something that hasn’t been done in more than 40 years.

In celebration of the upcoming holiday, Rothfus recited the entire Declaration of Independence.

Joined by fellow freshmen Representatives Scott Perry (R-PA-04) and Andy Barr (R-KY-06), Rothfus said he was inspired by the 112th Congress.

“They actually read the entire Constitution on the House floor,” he said, “and it occurred to me again, with the 4th of July coming up, we should take a look at reading the Declaration of Independence.”

The document, authored by Thomas Jefferson, was famously approved by the Continental Congress July 4, 1776, declaring the 13 colonies’ independence from the British. The declaration wasn’t officially signed until Aug. 2, 1776.

Rothfus said his speech was meant to be a historical reflection.

“It’s really good for us as a nation to continue to go back to the primary sources that define our history,” he said.

The Declaration of Independence was last recited in its entirety on the House floor on July 1, 1970 by former Congressman Roman Pucinski from Illinois.

The Erie, PA native has been a fellow in the WESA news department since May 2013. Having earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Duquesne University, he is now pursuing an M.A. in multi-media management. Michael describes his career aspiration as "I want to do it all in journalism."