Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 16, 2014

Who Backs the ’Stache?

Who Backs the ’Stache?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It was quite the situation Tuesday when word spread that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) was supporting the American Mustache Institute-backed Stimulus to Allow Critical Hair Expenses Act.

The AMI, a think tank for hirsute Americans, has been extolling the virtues of its STACHE Act, which would provide up to $250 in tax breaks for those Americans who engage in facial hair maintenance.

Bartlett, of course, has a mustache, and it is thick. His spokeswoman forwarded the institute’s proposal to the Ways and Means Committee.

Lawmakers on both the left and the right were unimpressed, although they might be the only ones.

“Serious times demand a serious Congressman,” Don Murphy, a spokesman for state Sen. David Brinkley, who is challenging Bartlett in the primary, tells HOH.

“If you believe that ‘stached’ men should get a tax break due to the expense of maintenance, [then] should bald men, with less maintenance, pay a surtax?” he asked. “And where’s the break for women? … If [Bartlett] would like to lobby for tax breaks for ‘million-hairs,’ we suggest he do so as a private citizen, not as a Member of Congress.”

“It would serve Mr. Brinkley well to understand the full scope of the STACHE Act before speaking to what he might think are its limitations,” AMI Chairman Aaron Perlut said. “The proposed legislation would, in fact, include women who make investments in facial hair removal. It is nondiscriminatory.”

Maryland Democrats also were feeling a bit prickly toward the STACHE Act.

“This bill isn’t funny,” said Will McDonald, a spokesman for John Delaney, a Democratic candidate for Bartlett’s seat. “This is exactly why so many Americans want new leadership in Congress.”

Long live this story.

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