House of Representatives Bill Would Recognize Magic as 'National Treasure'

A resolution in the House would recognize magic as a 'national treasure'

March 15, 2016, 3:38 PM
PHOTO:  This  July 16, 2014, file photo shows the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington.
FILE - This July 16, 2014, file photo shows the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo, File

— -- A bill to recognize magic as a "rare and valuable art form and national treasure" was introduced into the House of Representatives Tuesday.

The bill claims that magic "has not been properly recognized as a great American art form, nor has it been accorded the institutional status on a national level commensurate with its value and importance." The text of the House Resolution states that magic is "an art form with the unique power and potential to impact the lives of all people," adding that "magicians are visual storytellers who seamlessly interweave elements of mystery, wonder, emotion, and expression." The bill also praises the influence magic has had on art, cinema, technology, and education.

In addition to recognition, the resolution also calls for "efforts to make certain that magic is preserved, understood, and promulgated."

Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) introduced HR 642. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) are co-sponsors. It has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

A spokesperson from Sessions' office told ABC News that the congressman's constituency is home to a "robust magic community" and the issue was brought to his attention by a constituent, Eric Hogue, the mayor of Wylie, Texas. Hogue, a former magician, thought it was important to have magic declared an art. He is recognized in the text of the resolution for his efforts to "promote the art of magic with official proclamations, summer educational programs, and the first festival dedicated to the art of magic in the State of Texas."

The resolution has drawn mockery on social media for its enthusiastic praise of magic, including some from his Congressional colleagues.

Following the social media ridicule, Rep. Donovan released a statement defending his co-sponsorship the bill.

"Congressman Donovan spent three hours today chairing a hearing to examine the impacts of President Obama's proposed homeland security funding cuts, and three minutes reading a bill that says magic is entertaining," the statement reads. "Of course media outlets are choosing to cover the latter, and that's why people are so fed up."

ABC's Ben Siegel contributed reporting to this story.