In the first of several episodes throughout the series' run that portrays ordinary Americans and how they interact with and ultimately affect the W.H., an Ohio middle school social studies teacher, a widow who has recently filled the brief remaining term of his late wife in the House, joins two other reps to meet with Toby and Mandy about changes to unfair rules in the U.S. Census written into the latest federal budget. The other two, career politicians, are completely resistant to the changes, but Mr. Willis is swayed by a potent argument Toby makes regarding "strict constructionism" (generally conservative and libertarian belief that the U.S. Constitution is not a living document, and must be followed as written, unless officially amended through standard 38-state ratification) and the 14th Amendment. Toby is impressed with the man and his open-mindedness. Elsewhere, Sam tutors C.J. on the finer points of the census. Late in the episode, the staff meets for a late-night poker party. Written by
Did You Know?
One of the subplots concerns Sam's obsession over the "Legal Tender Modernization Act", which aims at eliminating the penny. The act does exist and was actually introduced in May 2001 by Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe
. The act also aims at withdrawing the Susan B. Anthony dollar from circulation, and prohibiting any redesign of the $1 bill. See more
Some have pointed out that votes in the U.S. House of Representatives are done by electronic device and not by roll call. While votes before the full House are done by electronic device, House committee votes are indeed done by roll call. The vote depicted at the end is a vote in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and is therefore appropriately depicted as a roll call. See more
I thought we were here to talk about the census.
We are. The White House just wanted to take this opportunity to point out that you are criminals and despots.
West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony See more