Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) blasted a $331,000 study on whether "hanger" exists on March 9. (YouTube/SenatorCoats)

Indiana Sen. Dan Coats (R) gives a weekly speech on federal programs that he thinks waste taxpayer dollars. This week's speech – complete with an easel and display boards – covered a very important topic: hanger.

For the uninitiated, "hanger" is the idea that a hungry person quickly becomes irritable, even angry. Think Snickers commercials. ("You're not yourself when you're hungry.")

Coats said his younger staffers filled him in on what "hanger" actually is (the 72-year-old senator admitted he had never heard the term before).

"None other than the National Science Foundation said, well, we'd better find out whether or not this is true," he said. "And so they issued a $331,000 grant for researchers to study whether or not 'hanger' actually occurs."

Coats went on to describe the study, and an experiment involving giving married couple voodoo dolls.

"This actually happened, folks," he said. "And the serious part is that the taxpayer paid for it."

The Fix was unable to verify if Wednesday's diatribe was the first utterance of the word "hanger" in the Senate chamber. Coats's explanation of "hanger" wasn't the first time an older senator explained a newfangled term on the Senate floor. Remember when Ted Stevens described the Internet as a "series of tubes?"

If there was ever an argument for small government, Coats's case against studying hanger has to be up there with the more entertaining of them.