Barney Frank to Caucus on Health-Care Reform with Dining Room Tables

Congressman said to prefer solid wood to squishy minds.

S THE debate on health-care reform drags on through the Congressional recess, Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank has decided, based on some of the questions raised by constituents at his town-hall meetings, that he would make better progress on a final health-care reform bill caucusing with several dining room tables than with several Republicans.

"Based on the level of questions I fielded at my town-hall meeting in Massachusetts, I realized that dining room tables spend much more time on planet Earth than many of my Republican constituents and colleagues," said Mr. Frank. "Therefore, I will be in meetings with various representatives of the dining room table. I personally like Shaker, but I'm open to French Provincial, Early Modern, pretty much anything you can think of. Just don't make me talk to another Republican who thinks government should keep its hands off Medicare."

Citing the dining room table's "naturally solid, grounded qualities," Mr. Frank feels confident that he and his furniture caucus "can hammer something out by the end of recess, before Republicans sit down at my tables and start pounding their silverware and demanding the status quo for their big-money campaign donors."

Several furniture outlets around the country have offered to donate a dining room table, and even matching chairs, to assist the Congressman in his efforts at health-care reform. "Furniture City" in Teaneck, New Jersey is donating what it calls "an heirloom-quality, genuine mahogany dining table that is sure to help draft legislation for generations of Republican-avoiding lawmakers to come." "Tables and More" of Portland, Oregon has promised Mr. Frank what it calls "a classic Shaker solid maple dining table that combines maximum beauty and durability for decades of Republican-free caucusing."

If things go well, the Massachusetts Congressman has indicated his openness to enlisting additional furniture pieces to help with other pressing legislation.

"Like settees to form a global-warming caucus," suggested Mr. Frank. "Again, much better acquainted with planet Earth."