The Washington Post

‘No budget, no shave’: budget stalemate breeds beards in Va. House

Two Virginia Republican lawmakers, Del. Greg Habeeb (R-Salem), left, and Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R-Loudoun), right, have sworn off shaving until a state budget is passed. (Laura Vozzella)

RICHMOND — Not since Richard Nixon has the Republican five-o’clock shadow been so in vogue.

Two GOP delegates have sworn off shaving until the General Assembly passes a budget. And it could be awhile. The House and Senate are so hopelessly deadlocked that they are expected to adjourn Saturday without passing a state spending plan, coming back at the end of the month to try again.

“No budget, no shave,” said Del. Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R-Loudoun). “It’s just a way to document the length of the process in a very visible way and have a little fun.”

Del. Greg Habeeb (R-Salem), Greason’s House seatmate and partner in scruff, came up with the idea of staging a silent, stubbly protest as budget negotiations ground to a halt.

“I was driving around last week listening to Beastie Boys Greatest Hits, ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn,’” he said. “‘No shave till budget’ just popped into my head.”

“I think our caucus is showing more solidarity [on the budget] than on any other issue since I’ve been here,” Habeeb said. “There are a lot of little examples of that solidarity, and this is one of them.”

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.

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