The government may be shut down, but that doesn't mean important things aren't happening in Washington. For example, this week the National Chicken Council had a conference at the ritzy Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the group's special congressional guest, Sen. Christopher Coons, D-Del., announced the formation of the Senate Chicken Caucus.
The caucus will link lawmakers to the chicken industry and, so far, consists only of senators from chicken-producing states. Coons is joined by Republican co-chair Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., along with Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., Tom Carper, D-Del., Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss. (The House formed their own Congressional Chicken Caucus back in 2011, which now boasts around 50 members.)
"Chicken growers, integrators, processors, and distributors employ thousands in Delaware and across the country, and provide healthy and delicious meals to consumers around the world," Coons said in a statement. "I hope that the Senate Chicken Caucus will give America's chicken producers a platform to better inform legislators about the industry's vital contributions to our economy, and promote policy solutions that help their businesses grow and thrive."
On a more personal note, it turns out that Coons feels like chicken tonight about three times a week, according to staff. He loves Walt's Flavor Crisp Chicken in Wilmington, Del. "They have the best fried chicken around and Sen. Coons and his sons love ordering fried chicken, biscuits, and mashed potatoes," a Coons spokesperson tells Whispers. "It's their family go-to when they host birthday parties and family events."
For a healthier chicken meal, the Coons family makes a chicken and vegetable stir fry. And in the summer they grill chicken with corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes. "So it is definitely a household staple," the spokesperson says.