"I’m sure Confucius would be pleased to know that he has been honored by the U.S. House of Representatives on his birthday, but unfortunately for us and for him, he died 2,488 years ago," Emerson said in a statement.
"I can think of a lot of Americans (our men and women in uniform, veterans, senior citizens struggling with prescription drug costs and children saddled with trillions of dollars in debt) who would be better served by the valuable time of members of Congress," she added.
Lawmakers voted 361-47 -- with 13 voting "present" and 11 absent altogether -- to celebrate the Chinese philosopher and "his invaluable contributions to philosophy and social and political thought."
Instead of supporting the legislation, Emerson offered her own take on the lessons of Confucius:
"Confucius says: 'An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger,' but our oppressive government will end the fiscal year $1.48 trillion in debt.
Confucius says: 'Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs,' but members of both parties have been shut out of the debate on important health care reforms.
Confucius says: 'The cautious seldom err,' but members of the House didn’t even have the time required to read an onerous Cap-and-Trade bill before it was put to a vote earlier this year.
Confucius says 'He who will not economize will have to agonize,' but the national debt stands at an all-time record $11 trillion and growing.
Confucius says: 'Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated,' and if the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives needs a new motto – I would highly recommend that one.