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‘Can I join the beer caucus now?’ SC Rep. Joe Cunningham stopped at House with 6-pack

Joe Cunningham the day after defeating Katie Arrington for SC Congress seat

Congressman-elect Joe Cunningham holds a press conference after a call by his opponent Katie Arrington, conceding the race.
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Congressman-elect Joe Cunningham holds a press conference after a call by his opponent Katie Arrington, conceding the race.

South Carolina Rep. Joe Cunningham was stopped while trying to make his way to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Friday while carrying a prohibited object.

According to Tweets from the Palmetto State Rep., Cunningham was turned around when he was spotted with a six-pack of Lowcountry beer in hand.

“It’s Friday too,” the freshman lawmaker said after being stopped, according to a Tweet from Politico reporter Laura Barrón-López.

The Charleston Democrat was trying to bring the local beers to Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, according to Cunningham’s Tweet.

“Making friends when you’re a freshman is hard, and I thought I’d grease the skids with some Lowcountry beer,” Cunningham tweeted. “Thankfully @RepPeterDeFazio got it in the end! Can I join the beer caucus now?”

The House does host a Small Brewers Caucus, which includes 234 members, according to the Brewers Association website. South Carolina Reps. Joe Wilson and Tom Rice are already a part of the caucus.

Barrón-López later Tweeted a photo of DeFazio toting around the 6-pack.

By about 2:15 p.m. Friday, someone had added the beer debacle to Cunningham’s Wikipedia page.

“On January 11, 2019, Joe Cunningham attempted to bring a 6 pack of beer onto the Congress floor. Twitter lost it,” the page read.

Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.

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