From: The Honorable Diane Black
Sent By:
Bill: H.R. 3296
Date: 9/10/2015

Restore the Oath of Allegiance

September 10, 2015

Cosponsors: Babin (TX), Barletta (PA), Blackburn (TN), Chabot (OH), Collins (GA), Conaway (TX), Culberson (TX), Curbelo (FL), DeSantis (FL), DesJarlais (TN), Donovan (NY), Duncan (TN), Duncan (SC), Fincher (TN), Fleischmann (TN), Gohmert (TX), Harper (MS), Jenkins (WV), LaMalfa (CA), McClintock (CA), Miller (FL), Noem (SD), Nugent (FL), Olson (TX), Palazzo (MS), Pearce (NM), Poe (TX), Rouzer (NC), Salmon (AZ), Stewart (UT), Westmoreland (GA), Young (AK), Brat (VA), McSally (AZ)

The first officially recorded Oaths of Allegiance were made on May 30, 1778 at Valley Forge, during the Revolutionary War. This Oath must be recited by all immigrants who wish to become Untied States Citizens. Sadly, just last week, President Obama through the administrative process eroded this Oath – diminishing its purpose and effect for those joining this great Nation.

Over the years, the Supreme Court has rightfully decided there are certain exceptions for reciting parts of the Oath of Allegiance. Those partaking in the naturalization process can excuse themselves from the below mentioned parts of the Oath if it is because of religious training and belief or a conscientious objection. The two clauses in questions read as follows:

“That I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law.”

The new guidance issued last week by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) modifies the above mentioned clauses. Specifically, USCIS expressly states that anyone may submit but are not required to provide an attestation from a religious or other type of organization as well as other evidence to establish eligibility. The Court has never decided this specific issue and by administratively clarifying this gray area of the law – the Obama Administration has eroded the evidentiary question used to establish if one qualifies for exemption of certain provisions.    

We have an American judicial system for a reason – we should not allow for the Administrative process to legislate away the importance of the Oath of Allegiance. At a time when respect and allegiance for our Nation is so critical we must make sure the Oath is left untouched and intact. That is why I plan to introduce legislation to nullify the recent guidance for modifications to the Oath of Allegiance.  

For more information or to cosponsor this bill, please contact Jon Toomey at or 5-4232. 


Diane Black
Member of Congress