Congressmen Told Not to Say 'Merry Christmas'

Rules gag free speech between voters and elected officials

December 20, 2011

According to a Dec. 12 memo by the House Franking Commission, congressmen in the House of Representatives are not allowed to wish voters a "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year" in mail and email.

Congressmen use their official franking privileges (using taxpayer dollars to pay for postage) to send mail and email to voters throughout the year. However, the Franking Commission, the six-member bipartisan group officially known as the Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards, told legislators that "Merry Christmas" is strictly prohibited.

In addition, the memo also noted that congressmen can't use their official social media pages to wish constituents "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year." It cited the Rules of Practice which also states congressmen cannot use "colors that give the impression of a holiday greeting."

A franking commission spokesman confirmed to The Washington Examiner that members of Congress indeed cannot wish constituents "Merry Christmas" in any official mailing.

"Currently, incidental use of the phrase Happy Holidays is permissible but Merry Christmas is not," said Salley Wood.

These rules do not apply to Senators.

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urging him to take action to reverse the franking rules to allow Christmas and other holiday greetings in mailings to voters.
 


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