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US Lawmakers Read Constitution Aloud as Congress Convenes

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, 06 Jan 2011

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are reading aloud the U.S. Constitution, one day after Republicans took control of the chamber.

The Republicans say the reading of the nation's governing document is a symbolic move that is meant to remind lawmakers of their pledge to adhere more strongly to constitutional principles.

Lawmakers from both major political parties in the U.S. House of Representatives have completed a reading of the U.S. Constitution, the nation's governing document.

Republicans say the reciting of the document was meant to remind lawmakers of their pledge to adhere to constitutional principles.

After reading the preamble to the Constitution, the new speaker of the House, John Boehner, outlined to reporters his party's priorities in the new Congress. He said Republicans are still committed to repealing President Barack Obama's health care law.

Democrats on Thursday cited a Congressional Budget Office report that says repealing the health care bill would add $230 billion to the federal debt by 2021. But Boehner said the estimate is based on the Democrats' economic and fiscal assumptions, which he called "unrealistic."

The House is now discussing a measure to cut spending by 5 percent in congressional budgets. Republicans say the move will save $35 million over the next nine months.

President Obama said in a message posted on the social media network Twitter Wednesday that Republicans are determined to roll back progress, beginning with heath care reform, and urged Democrats to "fight back."

Eighty-seven new Republican House members took their seats Wednesday. Many of them are Tea Party activists, supporters of low taxes and a very limited role for government. They say they want to change the way things are done in Washington.