Busy lawmakers take time to help Muppets and the USO

Reps. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., and Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, pack care packages alongside Cookie Monster during a Capitol Hill event Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — When Cookie Monster asks for a favor, even Congress listens.

Dozens of House members stopped by a USO/Sesame Street event Wednesday morning to help fill about 2,000 care packages for troops deployed overseas. The event was a kickoff for the group’s fifth annual military family tour, which includes visits to 42 military bases worldwide in coming months.

Such advocacy events are common on Capitol Hill, as charities try to get attention (and funding) from Congress. Servicemembers and their families are an easy attraction for lawmakers, but adding a Muppet into the mix apparently makes the event irresistible.

So between the IRS oversight hearings and the defense authorization bill mark-ups, lawmakers from both parties put aside partisan fights to help pack toiletries into grab bags and pose for pictures alongside a large, furry, blue monster.

Organizers said they hope the DC event and others like it around the country will inspire Americans to lend a hand to troops and their families. 

Now if only they could reteach sharing and cooperation to Congress.


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