While You Were Out: Can we kick that cliche now?


The General Services Administration issued a rule last week that effectively ended the relevance of that old cliché about government decisions being made in smoke-filled rooms.

The rule, published in the Federal Register on Dec. 22, closed smoking rooms in all federal buildings owned or leased by GSA. It also prohibited smoking in building courtyards and within 25 feet of doorways or air intake ducts. Agencies will implement the rule over the next six months.

While this will undoubtedly change federal culture for many, FedLine wonders if it will change the lexicon of political expression. Somehow saying decisions were made in smoke-free rooms doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Perhaps we’ll just start using “backroom deals” more frequently as a replacement cliché. Or maybe this will spur us to make a New Year’s resolution to kick the cliché habit all together.


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