"Why would you criticize one of the greatest bands of the 90s?" Rep. Rodney Davis joked on the House floor

By Sam Gillette
March 08, 2019 12:05 PM
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Credit: Mark Davis/Getty

Debates are the lifeblood of congress, but on Thursday, a Democrat and Republican took their discussion in the U.S. House of Representatives to another level when they argued about the band Nickelback.

While Rep. Mark Pocan was debating how U.S. prisoners are counted on the census, he talked about a related provision that hadn’t been received well by the public when it was sent out for comment, USA Today reported.

“I would just like to add in 2016 when the census and the federal register asked for comment on this, 77,000 people did comment, only four wanted to keep this provision,” the Wisconsin democrat said, per WLS-TV.

He joked: “Everyone else wanted to change this, out of 77,000. That’s probably about the percent of people who think Nickelback is their favorite band in this country. It’s pretty low.”

Rep. Mark Pocan
| Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Later during his rebuttal, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) joked back, “Why would you criticize one of the greatest bands of the 90s?”

Pocan responded, per WLS-TV and video from CNN: “Wow. One more reason why there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans, clearly, found on the floor of Congress today.”

Attendees on the floor burst out laughing.

The Canadian rock band — best known for hits like “How You Remind Me” and “Rockstar” — is both well-loved and often criticized.

Rep. Rodney Davis
| Credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

In December 2016, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg made a joke at the band’s expense in a YouTube video, in which he promoted his home A.I. assistant Jarvis, voiced by Morgan Freeman.

While demonstrating how the A.I. helps with every day tasks in the home, Zuckerberg asked Jarvis to play “some good Nickelback songs.”

“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” Jarvis said. “There are no good Nickelback songs.”

“Good. That was actually a test,” Zuckerberg responded. “How about just play some songs that our whole family likes.”

Like the promotional video, the jokes on the House floor were all in good fun — with Davis unwavering in his defense of the band. (He admitted he has a Nickelback song on his “running playlist.”)

“I stand here to say that my colleague from Wisconsin, I know he did not mean to offend the many thousands upon thousands of Nickelback fans in his district in Wisconsin,” Davis joked, according to WLS-TV. “I’ll stand here to save you from doing that and have to face the political consequences at the ballot box.”