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WASHINGTON – The national motto, “In God We Trust,” will be engraved in the Capitol Visitor Center, responding to critics who said Congress spent $621 million on the new facility without paying due respect to the nation’s religious heritage.
The House voted 410-8 Thursday to direct the Architect of the Capitol to engrave “In God We Trust” and the Pledge of Allegiance in prominent places in the three-story underground center that is the entrance for the thousands of tourists who visit the Capitol every day. The Senate approved an identical resolution as part of a spending bill earlier this week.
Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., sponsor of the measure, said the importance of religion goes back to the Declaration of Independence, which states that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and that the national motto “sums that up very well.”
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., threatened to hold up the opening of the visitor center last December, saying that its displays failed to honor the country’s religious background and gave the impression that the federal government was the answer to all of society’s problems.
“In God We Trust” became the official national motto in 1956. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the cost of the engravings at less than $100,000.

Associated Press – July 9, 2009
The bill is H.Con. Res. 131.
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