WASHINGTON — A playful exchange on the floor of the U.S. House with Congressman Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, about the band Nickelback has gone viral.
It was after Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., was discussing how U.S. prisoners are counted in the U.S. census and poked fun at the much-maligned Canadian alternative group.
“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,” Pocan said. “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.”
Across the House floor, Davis responded by saying into the microphone, "Why would you criticize one of the greatest bands of the '90s?”
Nickelback, known for songs “How You Remind Me” and “Rockstar," has plenty of fans — and also detractors. The British newspaper The Telegraph in 2017 called it the "Nickelback Phenomenon," "that peculiar dichotomy of simultaneously being one the world’s most despised and popular bands."
But Davis, the Illinois 13th Congressional District representative since 2013, has expressed his affinity for the band before. In January 2017, he posted on Twitter the music playlist he listens to while running. The songs include "It's America" by Rodney Atkins, "One" by Creed and "If Today Was Your Last Day" by Nickelback, touching off a flurry of responses.
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"Nickleback? Seriously?" said one person. "Who even listens to Nickleback?" said another.
After Davis' comment on Thursday, Pocan responded with: “Wow. Alright One more reason why there’s a difference between Democrats and Republicans clearly found on the floor of Congress today.”
Davis said he knew Pocan "did not mean to offend the many thousands upon thousands of Nickleback fans in his district in Wisconsin."
"I enjoy debating back and forth and it's always good to have some good humor on the floor of the House," Davis said.
The discussion was picked up by Fox and Friends, which polled viewers on the topic Friday morning, and CNN’s "New Day." It also was written about by USA Today, Washington Post and People.com, with the headline, "Most Heated Congressional Debate Yet: A Republican & Democrat (Jokingly) Argue."