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Congressional Sports Resolutions: Fair or Foul?

The Penn State women’s volleyball team earned many accolades in the past year for winning a third-consecutive national championship. The team, and individuals like Megan Hodge, received numerous awards and acknowledgements. One such recognition, however, is often overlooked.

Congress honors various sporting teams and individuals with congratulatory resolutions. The women’s volleyball team was just one of many subjects of this formal act of congress. Normally, these bills are drafted and approved unanimously. Until recently, when Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah spoke out against the practice.

Chaffetz said he would vote against all future sports resolutions beginning with the vote to memorialize the 142nd season  of the Saratoga race course in New York. His position has gained some support, although not nearly enough to defeat a sports resolution just yet.

The problem does not exclusively deal with sports. Resolutions are passed recognizing historic anniversaries, naming post offices and mourning important people who have died.

The question is, are these resolutions a complete waste of time and resources, or are they positively recognizing success and hard work?

Those opposed, like Chaffetz, say that time could be devoted to more important things, rather than adopting House Resolution 1297, which recognizes American Craft Beer Week, and U.S. Senate Resolution 513, which recognizes July 9 as “Collector Car Appreciation Day.”

On the other hand, these bills are usually passed quickly and without dissent, and it is nice for the individuals concerned to be recognized by Congress.  Also, who is to say that with more time on their hands, politicians would get more work done.

Even with some opposition, congressional resolutions on sports and other topics will remain as part of the daily agenda. I personally do not think that they are hurting anybody. What do you think?

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About the Author

Michael Berton

I grew up in a Philly suburb, then moved to a different one. I am now at Penn State, where I can actually sate my giant appetite for sports. Other than writing, I also play the cello in the Penn State Philharmonic.

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