Joe Walsh Fights For Congress’s Right to Say “Merry Christmas”

Congress had a lot to try and cram into the last week of session before taking a long, holiday recess.  Passing an omnibus budget, fighting over extending a middle class tax cut and unemployment benefits, that sort of thing.  But luckily, Illinois Republican Joe Walsh remembered what truly matters at this time of year.

Fighting the “War on Christmas.”

Upset over a rule that doesn’t allow members of the House to send franked (i.e. taxpayer paid) communications wishing people “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah,” Walsh and a fellow Republican representative demanded that the rule be overturned.

“Walsh, a freshman congressman affiliated with the tea party movement, told The Daily Caller that the rule represents ‘political correctness run amok.’ ‘It is outrageous that members can’t wish our constituents Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah,’ Walsh said.”

But that’s not really what the rule is about at all.  According to the memo that sparked the outrage:

Members are unable at the current time to use official resources to record holiday greetings, post on social media/website, or send to constituents in franked mail or e-communications.

Member’s Congressional Handbook: GREETINGS-

Expenses related to the purchase or distribution of greetings, including holiday celebrations, condolences, and congratulations for personal distinctions (wedding anniversaries, birthdays, etc.), are not reimbursable.”

Franking Manual:

4(a). Example of Nonfrankable Items
-Birthday, anniversary, wedding, birth, retirement or condolence messages and holiday greetings are prohibited.”

You may make reference to the season as a whole using language along the lines of ‘Have a safe and happy holiday season.’ It may only be incidental to the piece rather than the primary purpose of the communication.”


In other words, the House is not allowed to use government funds to send out their Christmas cards, just business related mail.  Just as no workplace would let you use their metered mail to send out your own personal holiday greetings, either.

Should taxpayers have to foot the bill for House members to send Christmas cards to their constituents?  Isn’t this the sort of “government waste” the Tea Party was allegedly going to take a stand against when they were elected?

Photo credit: wikimedia commons

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Laura Saxon
Past Member 2 years ago

That's just wrong.

Catt R.
Catt R.2 years ago

we pay them over $1,000 a day and they want us to foot the bill for postage on their Christmas cards too????? greedy little turds aren't they??

Lynn D.
Lynn D.2 years ago

I don't stop any group from greeting each other in any form that they want so, if I want to say Merry Christmas! I won't stop doing it! It's part of my American rights!

Sandra Patterson
Sandra ;atterson2 years ago

I like many others want my rights back to say Merry CHRISTmas!! Isn't that what this article is about? Leave politics aside and focus on what really matters in life like our right to say Merry CHRISTmas and/ or to wish Happy Hanukkah!

Hayley Cruze
Hayley C.2 years ago

Thanks for the post.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm3 years ago

He should say Merry Christmas to his KIDS by paying to keep them alive!!!

Alison Baker
Alison Baker3 years ago

This clown's from IL. The opposite end of the state. Still -- I'm totally embarrassed. Guess he needs a Government 101 lesson about separation of church & state. It's times like these that me wonder why the Jewish & Asian voters insist on casting ballots for the GOP candidates.

Susan O.
Susan O.3 years ago

This nutjob Not An Eagle Joe Walsh, is my representative, and a deadbeat dad who owes over $100K in back child support. He'd better start saying Merry Christmas to his kids with some cash instead of whining his way through DC.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer3 years ago

PD John H
I am not a "no it all"... the Republicans in congress are "no it alls" because when it comes to any legislation that would actually create jobs they say "no" to "it all" If I was in fact a "know it all" I sure the heck would not be on this forum posting. If I was in fact a "know it all" I probably would be on "Jeopardy" or "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"...

john hall
john hall3 years ago

Steven B. I will check them out .