Move over baseball and football, Congress has declared table tennis the Official Sport of the United States of America. In a stunning show of bipartisanship and progress, the Senate approved HR 40114, the Table Tennis Declaration Act.
The bill, which moved quickly through both houses of Congress, is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama in the coming days. Upon hearing of the bill’s passage, Obama thanked Congress for finding a way to reach across the aisle. “The American people have been begging for Congress to do something, anything,” Obama said, “once the Congressmen realized that the only thing they’d been doing was wasting time playing ping pong, they decided it was an easy way to show some tiny amount of progress.”
Representatives from both the Democratic and Republican parties were ecstatic. Speaker of the House Joeh Boehner–a Republican from Ohio–was happy not only with the speed of the resolution, but the bill’s effectiveness, “Sure we could have worked on any number of issues, but table tennis was a clear priority once we thought about where all our time was going. If Congress would rather play table tennis than work together, then who are we to not name ping pong the Official Sport of the United States?”
Democrat Harry Reed, the Senate majority leader, praised the Act for giving the American people hope that we can be a table tennis power. Reed expects new funding to go to the sport and for American schools to embrace the sport nationwide thanks to low concussion risks and inexpensive equipment.
Fox News and MSNBC have both supported Congress naming table tennis the American sport, though Fox News wondered if the move would be seen as a sign of weakness to China, a table tennis superpower, and MSNBC wondered why we needed just one official sport and not hundreds.
Reports say that both houses of Congress were preparing for a giant tournament and that representatives have promised to not debate any other bills until the 541 person draw was complete (non-voting members of Congress have been allowed to enter the draw and will be allowed to play).
Who knows how table tennis will evolve thanks to this historic act by Congress, but we know April 1, 2014 will be a historic day in the United States for the world’s most played sport.