Pennsylvania politicians spar over ‘Taylor Swift Era’ in bizarre House debate

The global phenomenon that is Taylor Swift has earned a special honor from her home state of Pennsylvania for her 34th birthday on Dec. 13. 

The Keystone State’s House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a resolution in a Democrat-heavy vote of 103-100, recognizing the year 2023 officially as the “Taylor Swift Era.” 

But one Republican, Rep. Russ Diamond, still praising Swift for her wild success, called the resolution “silly” because the songstress now lives in Tennessee – he even invoked Swift’s lyrics to make his point. 

“She crossed the border, she turned around and she looked at us and said…” at which point Diamond belted out part of a Swift song – “we [are] never, ever, ever getting back together,” Diamond said from the House floor, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. 

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Rep. Maureen E. Madden, a Democrat from Monroe County, reportedly said Swift was worthy of recognition because she has used her fame to promote issues important to Democrats, including women’s rights and protecting the environment. Madden highlighted Swift’s influence on young people with the singer’s recent call for fans to register to vote, the outlet reported. 

Swift once urged her fans to register to vote on Vote.org via Instagram. The group subsequently reported a surge of more than 35,000 new voter registrations after Swift urged fans in an Instagram post to register at Vote.org.

“I turn 64 years old today, and I think about who’s going to carry on our legacy. She’s not popular because she writes break-up songs,” Madden said on the House floor. “She’s popular because the largest demographic of people eligible to vote, the 18- to 24-year-old demographic, listens to her and does what she says.”

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Rep. Mike Jones, a York County Republican, spoke next and said: “I was fully prepared to vote ‘yes’ until the last speaker, so I’ll be a ‘no,’” he said about Madden’s remarks, according to the Inquirer. 

While the “Mastermind” singer has amassed a real estate portfolio worth over $150 million, with homes in New York, Los Angeles and Rhode Island, her primary residence is in Nashville, Tennessee. 

The youngest self-made billionaire reportedly cast her vote in Nashiville elections as recently as July of this year. 

Residents of Tennessee, a largely Republican state, do not pay state income tax.

The resolution in her honor recognized Swift as a “singular economic and cultural influence” demonstrating “the power of female agency, feminine ideas, feminine art and a distinctly feminine narrative.”

She has “transcended the role of pop star,” the resolution said. The resolution recognizes her accomplishments throughout the past year, saying she “shines as a role model of courage, self-acceptance and self-determination, persisting in the face of personal and professional obstacles and challenges.”

Swifts spent her childhood in West Reading, in Berks County, roughly 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia. She wrote the song “Christmas Tree Farm” about growing up on an actual Christmas tree farm “where every wish comes true.” 

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Swift’s iconic Eras Tour, with over 50 U.S. stops, including three in Pennsylvania, was the first music tour to gross over $1 billion. 

The Federal Reserve in Pennsylvania announced in July that Swift’s tour helped give hotel bookings their strongest growth since the pre-pandemic years.

 “Despite the slowing recovery in tourism in the region overall, one contact highlighted that May was the strongest month for hotel revenue in Philadelphia since the onset of the pandemic, in large part due to an influx of guests for the Taylor Swift concerts in the city,” officials said.

Swift, named Time’s Person of Year this month, celebrated her birthday with A-list pals Blake Lively, Keleigh Sperry, Miles Teller, Zoe Kravitz and others in New York City on Wednesday night. 

Swift’s boyfriend, Kansas City Chief tight end Travis Kelce, is reportedly planning to throw her the “best party possible” over the weekend.

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