Veteran Lawmaker David Dreier Defends Congress
Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo
When the Supreme Court ruled that burning an American flag is protected under the First Amendment, the House stayed in session all night speechifying against the decision.
Though he was a passionate supporter of the proposed amendment then, “I finally got to the point where I just said, ‘Why the hell ...’”
But when Dreier first declined to co-sponsor the measure, the late Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-N.Y.) let Dreier know he wasn’t pleased.
Solomon, a Marine who knew Dreier’s Marine Corps drill instructor father well, “slammed [me] against the wall,” pressing Dreier to change his mind.
After Solomon had left Congress, they discussed the issue again when Dreier decided to vote against it.
“And you know what Solomon said to me? He said, ‘Are you all still bringing that vote up?’” Dreier recalled.
“I want to support amendments that expand rather than contract the rights of people,” Dreier said.
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