Lawmakers (Not Really) Overcome By Holiday Spirit
It may be the most awkward Christmas gift Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has ever received: a paper angel ornament and - more to the point - a miniature lump of coal.
The giver was the irascible Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who Flake mercilessly shamed on the House floor last summer for his now infamous "Christmas Tree" earmark. Flake, a.k.a. Mr. Anti-Government Waste, was hailed as a superhero by taxpayer watchdog groups for single handedly killing McHenry's pork project to expand the Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree. The economic development project in a tiny Blue Ridge mountain town makes ornaments, soaps and other country-fried knickknacks.
McHenry sent the tiny lump of coal and angel ornament to all GOP members with a note that read: "Were you naughty or nice this year? What matters most is that your house is Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree this holiday season."
The spirit of the Christmas season overcame Flake's desire to punch McHenry's bratty little lights out. Instead, he laughed, saying, "I'm glad Patrick is a good sport and understands it was nothing personal."
We, however, remain convinced that the grudge-bearing, heel-nipping McHenry mistakenly sent Flake an angel with his fully intentioned lump of coal. Asked whether the gesture signaled forgiveness, McHenry said, "I just wanted to draw attention to products made in my district. Only Santa decides who's been naughty or nice."
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