Speed Reads

What the FERC?

Watch a congressman unexpectedly sing Rihanna to boost … the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission?

In the vast constellation of government agencies and institutions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is hardly the one most people would pick to shine bright like a diamond beyond the rest.

Despite — or perhaps because of — that, Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) offered the group tasked with "obtaining reliable, safe, secure, and economically efficient energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means, and collaborative efforts" some much-needed sex appeal by using the House floor on Tuesday to stage his own one-man Rihanna tribute to try to find love in a hopeless place: Congress.

Casten's SOS for continued federal funds comes as congressional negotiators work to hammer out an end-of-year budget to ensure the government can continue to operate in 2023. And, as the congressman notes in a series of subsequent tweets, this is not the first time he's turned to the pantheon of pop divas to help him get his message of renewed commitment to America's shifting energy market dynamics across: Last year, he made similar requests with the aid of Megan Thee Stallion, Fergie, and Dolly Parton.

While some might consider Casten a rude boy for treating government funding so glibly, the congressman — who sits on the House Science Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy — knows that when it comes to federal finances, nothing is promised and that it's his congressional duty to talk that talk on behalf of an issue that is clearly near to his heart.

Besides, as far as making the case for fiduciary priorities, Casten's request was comparatively benign when you consider what other Rihanna songs might have inspired him, instead.