Do You Believe In Magic? Congress Does.

Here's why.
Rep. Pete Sessions introduced a resolution about magic on Monday.
Rep. Pete Sessions introduced a resolution about magic on Monday.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- Sometimes the grim, contentious world of politics needs a little magic, and this week Congress got some.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), with six Republican co-sponsors, introduced a resolution on Monday "recognizing magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure."

The resolution includes a long list of merits of magic, "an art form with the unique power and potential to impact the lives of all people" that "enables people to experience the impossible" and " is used to inspire and bring wonder and happiness to others." (The full text, which is delightful, can be read here.)

Why would Sessions introduce such a resolution? It's a matter of constituent services, according to his office.

Wylie, Texas, Mayor Eric Hogue, as written in the resolution, "learned the art of magic as a child, continues to use those skills to teach elementary school students about the different roles and responsibilities of local government."

Hogue proclaimed a National Magic Week in 2014, and the state legislature did the same. Congress passed resolutions proclaiming National Magic Week three times in the 1970s.

Part of Wylie is in Sessions' district, so the mayor reached out to the congressman about a resolution on magic at the national level, Sessions spokeswoman Caroline Boothe said.

Sessions' district is also home to Dal Sanders, a former president of the Society of American Magicians. The society announced National Magic Week last October.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) co-sponsored the resolution because he "wants to recognize magic for what it is: a valued art form, not a way to balance the budget without significant spending cuts," his spokesman, Kyle Huwa, said in an email.

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a co-sponsor, had a more personal reason for getting involved. He said in an email that his father-in-law, Bill Serfass, was a sleight-of-hand magician.

"He would keep our family gatherings entertained and amazed with his skill and his tricks," Dent said. "His most impressive trick, however, was capturing the imagination of my son, William, his namesake. William as a young kid was just amazed at his grandfather’s tricks and soon developed a real interest in sleight of hand himself. Any art form that can capture a kid’s imagination in this short attention span era is one I think deserving of some recognition."

Serfass died of cancer 11 years ago and requested that a broken wand ceremony be performed at his funeral, a spokesman for Dent said.

Democrats were not particularly impressed by the resolution.

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) shared his thoughts on Twitter:

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), wasn't sure what to make of it.

"Maybe I don’t get this because I’m a Muggle?" Hammill said.

Jennifer Bendery contributed reporting.

This post has been updated with comment from Rep. Ken Buck's spokesman.

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