House party? Outgoing Congressman cracks open a beer on the floor

In his final speech on the U.S. House floor on Thursday, Congressman Joe Cunningham toasted his colleagues by cracking open a can of beer. As implied by the one-term Democrat from South Carolina, reaching across the aisle could also mean “grabbing a cold one.”

“Our country is facing some serious issues right now, and our country would be much better served if Democrats and Republicans could come together. My grandfather always told me that you can get through about any problem if you can actually sit down with somebody and have a beer together…

“For the betterment of this country, we have to come together; we have to sit down, listen to each other, and maybe even have a beer. In the spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation, I raise this glass to my colleagues, both Democrats, and Republicans,” Cunningham concluded.

The congressman didn’t actually raise a glass or drink from one; instead, he pulled a can of beer from his jacket pocket and released the tab. Actually imbibing an adult beverage would have violated the rules of the chamber.

Cunningham’s election from his state’s Charleston-based 1st congressional district in 2018 was a fluke, given that, as he acknowledged in his speech, the area is “ruby red.” In an upset, Cunningham narrowly defeated GOP Katie Arrington who previously ousted anti-Trump incumbent Mark Sanford, the state’s erratic former governor, in the Republican primary that made national headlines.

Arrington suffered serious injuries in a car accident during the general election contest; being off the campaign trail for a period of time may have played a role in the outcome in the otherwise long-time, solid Republican district

Watch Cunningham attempt to lubricate the legislative process in the clip embedded below.

In Election 2020, the district reverted to form, with pro-Trump Nancy Mace — one of an extraordinary number of high-energy female candidates elected to Congress in November — defeating Cunningham.

In Cunningham’s five-minute speech, he further lamented the lack of bipartisanship and collegiality in the House that is leaving the American public high and dry because lawmakers from opposite parties consider each other enemies. It’s possible perhaps that he was also engaging in some grandstanding with the thought of running for another office as a Democrat in the conservative state.


The brand of beer in the video is reportedly and perhaps appropriately “Joint Resolution” made by the DC Brau brewery.

In January 2019, Cunningham unsuccessfully tried to bring in a six-pack into the chamber.


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