With the American economy faltering and million of people out of work, the House of Representatives convened Tuesday to debate a seemingly bizarre issue: whether “In God We Trust” should be the national motto.

Even though acts of Congress in 1956 and 2002 already affirmed this, the House spent 35 minutes debating whether the motto, which was adopted during the McCarthy Era, should be re-reaffirmed yet again.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had a number of key public officials who — even after the 2002 vote — apparently were confused about what the national motto was,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), the bill’s sponsor.

It was a not-so-subtle swipe at President Obama who, in a speech in Jakarta, Indonesia last year, said, “In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum — out of many, one.”

The Latin phrase, which is on the national seal, is not the official national motto. But in a recent blog posting, a White House official said that Obama supports the use of “In God We Trust” on currency.

In a House Judiciary Committee report in March, five Democrats wrote that the bill was a distraction from real problems. “Instead of working to help American families keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables, we are debating whether or not to affirm and proliferate a motto that was adopted in 1956 and that is not imperiled in any respect,” the report said.

During Tuesday’s debate, 10 Republicans spoke out in favor of the reaffirmation with no opposition. And as expected, the bill passed handily — 396 in favor and nine against.