Republican members of the House sang ‘Amazing Grace’ at a caucus meeting Tuesday morning, according to the Huffington Post.
Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) led the members in the hymn instead of the usual opening prayer. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) told the Huffington Post that it was “impressive” that the members could sing three verses of the song from memory.
Upon hearing that the Republicans members sang the funeral hymn, Rep. Gerry Connelly (D-VA), said he was confused as to why the Republicans would sing the song during the shutdown.
“I hope they understand the derivations of those lyrics,” Connolly told the Huffington Post. “It was written by a slave trader who came to be filled with remorse for his actions. His words say, ‘I was blind but now I see’ … He is remorseful for his past and takes responsibility for those actions and sees the saving light of grace, even for a wretch like himself.”
Connelly added that he hoped the song signaled a turning point in negotiations.
“I’m not saying my colleagues are wretches,” he added. “But I hope what that indicates, the symbolism of singing that beautiful hymn that all Americans share, is that there’s some saving grace here.”
Shortly after the caucus meeting this morning, President Obama and conservatives both expressed concern about the latest House GOP plan.
Correction: Rep. Gerry Connelly represents Virginia, not Georgia as originally reported.