Candies and treats in our nation’s capitol

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It’s the most wonderful time of the year for free stuff inside the United States Capitol.

In Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D) office, he keeps Dum Dums in his lobby. The well-known lollipop is made in Bryan, Ohio at Spangler Candy. But they also make another very familiar holiday treat.

“They’re one of the few domestic manufacturers of Candy Canes,” Brown said. “They still make Candy Canes and they found a way to be able to do it profitably. Most of Candy Cane manufacturing is offshore.”

Though the treats are free for all constituents and office visitors, the lawmakers are not providing the treats themselves.

All the little gifts inside the Capitol offices are donated from home state producers.

These gifts fall under the “Gifts Rule” in the Congress ethics manual, which allows small monetary value gifts to be given from the office when they are donated.

And not all offices give away candy. In Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) office, she has Chobani yogurt. The yogurt headquarters’ are in her state.

And some offices don’t give any edible items; instead, they have toys, like the Wooly Willy.

“You know it’s the face with the metal filings and you put the hair and you put the mustache,” said Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) about the toy. “Almost all of us have had a Wooly Willy at one time that we got in our Christmas stocking or under the tree sometime when we were growing up.”

The toy is made in McKean County, Pennsylvania.

Thompson said that although kids love to play with the Wooly Willy, adults love it even more.

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