Congressmen Debated Nickelback On the House Floor This Week

Chad Kroeger
Jason Merritt / Getty Images

If modern popular music culture can agree on anything, it’s that the band Nickelback is terrible; contempt for the band has proven to be one of the most enduring cultural memes of the 2000s. But if there’s one thing that can outweigh near-universal contempt for mediocre rock and roll, it’s congressional partisanship.

Two lawmakers this week, a Democrat and Republican, set aside their usual political disagreements long enough to disagree on something else, as Fox 10 reports.

As covered by the government cable channel C-SPAN, the two were debating the finer points of House Resolution 172, which addresses issues pertaining to elections, as the discussion turned to whether the U.S. census should include individuals in prison as part of the population count for a given area.

“I would just like to add in 2016 when the census and the federal register asked for comment on this, 77,000 people did comment. Only four wanted to keep this provision. Everyone else wanted to change this out of the 77,000,” said Congressman Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat.

Pocan then took an unexpected dig at the Canadian rock band.

“That’s probably about the percent of people who think Nickelback is their favorite band in this country. It’s pretty low,” he added to the mild amusement of the chamber.

Republican Representative Rodney Davis of Illinois was not prepared to let the insult go unchallenged.

“Why would you criticize one of the greatest bands of the ’90s?” Davis retorted.

He would later admit to not only enjoying Nickelback personally on occasion, but also to having the band on his current playlist. He later followed up on Twitter with a screenshot of his playlist, which did indeed include “If Today Was Your Last Day,” by the largely reviled Canadian band, plus a couple of other ’90s staples which were mostly allowed to slide by without further comment.

The ability for the largely divided chamber of government to find yet another point, no matter how minor, where Republicans and Democrats could disagree was not lost on Pocan.

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“Wow. Another reason why there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats found on the floor of Congress today,” he observed after additional back-and-forth on the issue of the census and prison populations.

After the session, Pocan took advantage of the odd rhetorical detour to help bolster the case for H.R. 1, the bill being debated.

“Hey Republicans,” he tweeted later, “look at this photograph,” referring to a Nickelback hit song and including an image of the band’s frontman holding a crudely photoshopped sign imploring “vote ‘yes’ on H.R. 1.”