The me-first MAGA party that fought so hard for their right to spread Covid germs is now happily spreading tobacco smoke on the House side of the congressional halls. And if you don't like it, too bad!
Since Kevin McCarthy (finally) became Speaker, the House kicks up a stench of cigar smoke, according to Reuters reporter Patricia Zengerle, who tweeted, "So there's indoor smoking on the House side of the Capitol now that the Republicans have taken control." (See below.)
"Washington, D.C., law bans smoking in all indoor spaces, but it does not apply to the private offices of members of Congress, never has," she explained. "So when you have a change in party control, and they move offices like they just did, if the member who moves into the office is – as in this case – a cigar smoker – you have smoke."
Ursula Perrano of the Daily Beast joined in, tweeting about the pungent "hotboxing" going on in the office of Rep. Tom Cole (R–OK). "There has indeed been some cigar hotboxing happening in a certain Rules Committee chairman's office, which is nearby the House press gallery. And the smell is …… strong." Perrano later described the smell as having "spanned multiple floors."
Republican members are lighting up their cigars in Congressional offices — and driving members of the press corps "insane in the brain" with the smell.
An executive order signed by President Bill Clinton in 1997 banned smoking in many federal buildings, but only those under the control of the Executive Branch. The laws in Washington, D.C. similarly ban smoking in indoor spaces, but again, that does not apply to congressional offices.
The House runs their own house, so to speak, and with the Republicans retaking a narrow majority in the 2022 midterms, they're in charge of setting those rules now that they've finally managed to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Speaker after fifteen absurdly grueling rounds of voting.
And with the new regime comes the pungent odor of cigar smoke wafting through the congressional halls.