What started as two members of the House of Representatives debating how to count prison inmates on the U.S. Census turned into a dispute over the band Nickelback on Thursday.
The conversation occurred on the House floor on Thursday during discussion of an amendment by Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc. The amendment, which was added to the broader anti-corruption and government ethics bill expected to pass Friday, would require incarcerated people to be counted as residents of their last place of residence before they went to prison.
"If we count incarcerated persons as being present at their last-known residence, we know that the right community will receive an appropriate amount of population-based funding," he said.
Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., opposed the amendment, arguing it doesn't address the "underlying issues with gerrymandering" and would overturn the long-held method by which the Census counts prisoners. He added that college students are counted at their dorms and military members at their base. Counting prisoners differently "only serves to decrease the accuracy of the Census," he said.
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Pocan then pulled Nickelback into the debate, saying that in a 2016 Census survey, just four of roughly 77,000 people wanted to keep the current provision of counting prisoners in place.
"That's probably about the percent of people who think Nickelback is their favorite band in this country. It's pretty low," he said, before gesturing to Davis. "Nickelback is your favorite band? I apologize to the gentleman."
Davis then interrupted: "Why would you criticize one of the greatest bands of the '90s?"
Pocan: "Wow. Alright. One more reason why there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans."
Davis: "I know he did not mean to offend the many thousands upon thousands of Nickelback fans in his district in Wisconsin. I'll stand here to save you from doing that and have to face the political consequences at the ballot box."
Davis then proved he was a fan before recommending that fellow members vote no on the amendment.
"Yes, I actually do have a Nickelback song on my running playlist that I listen to on a regular basis."
In closing his remarks, Pocan credited Davis for copping to his fondness for the band.
"I appreciate that very brave admission of your fandom for Nickelback," he said.
The amendment was agreed to by a voice vote.
After the debate, Pocan sent one final Nickelback-related missive to his colleague. He tweeted a photo featuring Nickelback's lead singer Chad Kroeger in the video for the band's hit "Photograph." Only this time, the photograph Kroeger holds reads "Vote 'YES' on H.R. 1"
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 7, 2019
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Republican congressman rushes to defend Nickelback after Democrat jokes about band's fans