Lawmakers of course know they are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke on the House floor. But who was going to have the nerve to stop Rep. Julia Carson (D-Ind.) last week as she was wheeled onto the floor for a vote wearing dark rose-colored sunglasses and happily unwrapping and eating a Snickers bar?
She began eating the Snickers off the floor in the Speaker’s Lobby but continued eating once on the floor. Was she having a “substantialicious” moment, as Snicker’s new ad campaign indicates? Or was she undergoing a “hungerectomy”?
Carson’s spokesman, Chad Chitwood, did not respond to requests for information about the congresswoman’s apparent affection for Snickers. Carson had heart-bypass surgery in 1996, but both she and her aides have said she is healthy. Carson has recently been using a wheelchair.
Lawmakers are not permitted to eat or drink on the House floor, but they do it anyway, according to a security source close to the floor.
“You’ll see them bring in cups of coffee,” the source said, adding, "They’re not supposed to drink, they’re not supposed to eat, wear coats, talk on the phone. They’re not supposed to do any of that.”
I don't recall reading anything in the local media advising us on Carson's health requiring her to be bound to a wheelchair. You may recall this item in The Hill earlier this year:
Rep. Julia Carson (D-Ind.) was spotted on the House Floor and in the Speaker’s Lobby in a gray sweat suit and sneakers last week. Her attire, which is forbidden by House rules, and the fact that the 68-year-old lawmaker is often seen getting physical help from an aide, is causing comment.
I stand by my prediction that she will resign her seat in 2007. Thanks to the anonymous tipster for calling our attention to this item.