We all know how cigars can bring people together. You sit smoking and someone comes up and asks “what are you smoking?” and thus beginning a conversation. The cigar crosses pretty much all societal bounds… everyone is equal and every cigar is a conversation.
This past weekend, the House and Senate voted on a continuing resolution to keep the government operating into the New Year. That much is known and while not everyone likes the bill, what has not received much attention is the fact that the bill was written in a smoke-filled room and that smoke came from premium cigars! That information came out in an open meeting of the House Rules Committee. Said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK):
John Kline [a Minnesota Republican who chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee] is my best friend in the United States Congress, and George Miller [a California Democrat who’s the ranking member of that committee] is certainly one of my best friends on the other side of the aisle. I’ve had the opportunity to talk about this particular pension problem over a cigar at the end of the day on more than one occasion.
It seems that members of Congress who philosophically disagree seem to be able to agree on cigars. Said Miller:
“A lot of people over the past couple years have asked about Mr. Kline’s and my relationship, and since you alluded to it, I guess we can let the secret out of the box that a number of years ago, when I was new to the minority and Mr. Kline was new to the majority, we didn’t know one another. You invited us to come and have a cigar with you one evening. But the fact of the matter is it allowed us to have a whole range of discussions over these several years, without animosity, agree or disagree, that's all possible and that has worked.”
Amazing what a cigar can do. By the way both Reps. Kline and Cole are co-sponsors of the Premium Cigar bill that would keep the FDA out of our humidors. Rep. Miller has yet to sign up…maybe in the next session when the legislation is introduced once more.