For the holidays, a lump of coal — repairs needed

December 19, 2013
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) tells the story behind his secret Santa gift of coal to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). (Thomas LeGro/The Washington Post)

Despite Congress’s sluggish approval rating, only one senator received a lump of coal for the holidays this year.

For three years, a growing group of senators has participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange.

“I had Marco Rubio, and we gave him a coal figurine of an elephant and a donkey,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said Wednesday. “And the donkey came with a little bit of repairs needed, so I had to deliver the elephant yesterday, and I’ll get the donkey to him.”

Manchin, who represents the second-largest coal producing state in the country, added “we don’t want to forget what keeps the lights on and what keeps the country running and what’s made this country and is still very much a part of this country.”

Sixty-five senators participated in the festivities this year, according to NBC News.

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Aaron Blake · December 18, 2013