- The Washington Times
Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Rep.-elect Robert Garcia will be sworn into office on the U.S. Constitution and several sentimental items, including a first-edition Superman comic book estimated to be worth more than $5 million. The new members of the House haven’t been sworn in yet.

Mr. Garcia, a California Democrat, said the comic book will be placed below the U.S. Constitution when he officially takes the oath of office once House Republicans elect a speaker.

“Underneath the Constitution will be three items that mean a lot to me personally,” tweeted Mr. Garcia, the former mayor of Long Beach, California. “A photo of my parents who I lost to COVID, my citizenship certificate, and an original Superman #1 from the Library of Congress.” 

An aide for Mr. Garcia said the California Democrat, who immigrated to the United States from Peru as an adolescent, has a special attachment to the illustrated works of the “Man of Steel.”

“Congressman Garcia learned to read and write in English by reading Superman comics, so it’s especially exciting he was able to borrow this rare copy from the kind folks at the Library of Congress,” said Mr. Garcia’s spokeswoman. 

The Library of Congress makes its collection of historic texts available for lawmakers to use while taking the oath of office. 

Some, like Michigan Democratic Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib, a Muslim, took the opportunity to be sworn in on a Quran belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson. Others, like former President Barack Obama, opted to use a bible once owned by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that now belongs to the Library of Congress. 

The estimated value of those texts is hard to determine, unlike the comic book Mr. Garcia plans to use during his ceremony. A similar first edition Superman No. 1 comic sold for more than $5 million at auction last year, according to the Hollywood Reporter. 

The California Democrat may have to wait a bit to set his hand on the text, however. Officially, members of Congress can be sworn in once a new speaker is elected. 

That may take some time as at least 20 Republicans have moved to block House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s ascension to the post. Their objections to the California Republican have paralyzed the speaker’s race. 

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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