Ward Room
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Rep. Walsh Livid About "Happy Holidays" Rule

Rules forbid writing "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" in newsletter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rep. Joe Walsh speaks to supporters at The Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville on Thursday, Dec., 8.

    Rep. Joe Walsh is livid about a House rule that forbids him from writing "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" in a taxpayer-funded newsletter to his constituents.

    The rule dates back to 1974 when the House Franking Commission deemed it politically incorrect to utter non-secular greetings.

    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."

    So now the Tea Party congressman is on a crusade to change the rule, sending a letter to every member of Congress imploring them to join his fight, the Sun-Times reported.

    "We're instructed that use of the phrase 'Happy Holidays' is allowed.  This strikes me as political correctness run amok," he told the newspaper.

    Walsh claims his effort is getting support from both Republicans and Democrats.