The House Judiciary Committee Hearts GIFs Now

by Lauren Holter

Breaking news: Congress is cool now. It seems that Congress has a young, hip millennial who knows how the Internet works in charge of writing press releases. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee published a GIF-heavy press release criticizing President Obama's immigration executive order. When did Congress even learn what GIFs are?

The BuzzFeed-esque listicle explains why the Judiciary Committee, called the "lawyer for the House of Representatives," opposes Obama's executive order meant to protect undocumented people from deportation, calling it "not cool." It's full of GIFs of our favorite celebs, including Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, and the Little Mermaid, so either Congress hired a 20-year-old tech-savvy multimedia whiz, or the old white dude already working for the Judiciary Committee called his daughter to ask what the "youngsters" are into these days. Either way, the rest of the committee probably doesn't even get the majority of cultural icons in their own press release.

The listicle was no doubt a way to engage young people in the immigration issue, explaining what's happening in words we can actually understand. It outlines a bill introduced by House Republicans that would prevent Obama from shutting down immigration law enforcement by allowing local governments to enforce federal immigration laws. Whether you agree with the committee's stance on immigration or not, you have to admit that their strategy is on fleek (someone explain to Chairman Bob Goodlatte what this means). Here are the emotional stages one goes through when scrolling through the press release.

Confusion: Where did this come from?

Did I my computer reroute me to BuzzFeed instead of the government website I clicked on? If that's not the case, who wrote this press release? I'm imagining the stuffy suits who likely work for the Judiciary Committee being asked about a GIF and coming back with a jar of Jif peanut butter.

Pure joy: I actually understand something legal

Once I moved past the confusion, I went straight to excitement. This government press release is speaking my language and I actually understand what it says. GIFs obviously make reading anything more fun and if given the choice, I would exclusively read GIF listicles for the rest of my life, or at least until they create GIF holograms and I don't have to read at all.

Annoyed: Are they overreacting?

The pure joy was shortly followed by a heavy eye roll. Just like the young millennial who likely wrote the press release freaks out when Starbucks uses whole milk instead of skim in their latte, isn't the committee acting a bit dramatic? When explaining the effects of not enforcing immigration laws, the press release says, "it encourages more illegal immigration and causes the system to implode." Isn't "implode" a rather strong word? I don't think the U.S. will literally burst if more illegal immigrants cross the borders.

Hopeful: Is the government cool now?

Maybe this is a sign that Congress has loosened up a little. These issues often seem unapproachable to Americans because they're discussed with legal jargon and superfluous big words. While I don't expect every government press release to contain a Britney Spears GIF, hopefully this will lead to more laid-back explanations of laws and issues that include normal people in the discussion.

Images: House of Representatives Judiciary Committee; Giphy