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Red, white, and hot dogs: How House Republicans celebrate Fourth of July

In a divisive 2024 election cycle, one of the most sizzling conversations many people will find themselves in this week is: Mustard, relish, or ketchup? Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA), a self-proclaimed “hot dog lover,” goes for mustard and relish. But Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) goes for a simple mustard and ketchup combination (but the brand […]

In a divisive 2024 election cycle, one of the most sizzling conversations many people will find themselves in this week is: Mustard, relish, or ketchup?

Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA), a self-proclaimed “hot dog lover,” goes for mustard and relish. But Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) goes for a simple mustard and ketchup combination (but the brand must be Ballpark).

What someone puts on their hot dogs is a decision that divides people every Fourth of July, and hot dog preferences will vary from region to region. There’s the Chicago-style hot dog, the Korean hot dog, and the Coney Island hot dog, all of which have drastically different flavor profiles. 


A Chicago-style hot dog is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt. The style is a favorite of Midwest states like Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin while also traveling west to Oregon and Montana and east to Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

A Korean hot dog has cheese, rice cakes, or fish cakes fried in batter on a stick and adorned with sugar, ketchup, mustard, and/or mayo and is favored by Western and Southern states like Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Louisiana.

Coney Island hot dogs are topped with a beef heart-based sauce, one or two stripes of yellow mustard, diced or chopped onions, and sometimes cheese, which is enjoyed by Florida and Massachusetts, but varieties of this timeless option exist throughout many states.

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Hot dog favorites vary from region to region. Find your state’s preferred type of a Fourth of July staple above. (Google Trends)

But Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) is ignoring the hot dog altogether, instead favoring a family barbeque chicken recipe. 

“My mama had a great recipe, and I found it on a card, and I love my mama very much,” Burchett said. “So, it’s really good, and it’s cheap, and it’s easy to make, and I love barbeque chicken.”

“My wife makes great green beans and squash and all kinds of good stuff, so I’m looking forward to it,” the congressman added.

Burchett is not the only one enjoying chicken on the holiday. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) said he cooked “90 BBQ chicken legs Sunday night for Team Bacon at my house.” The congressman said he seasoned the chicken with peppercorn and sea salt.

Hinson told the Washington Examiner that her family also has other options during their celebration, including bratwurst and burgers, other common staples of the holiday.

Thursday marks the 248th anniversary of America’s independence, and lawmakers are returning to their districts and families to engage in time-honored, unique traditions with their relatives.

As such, parades will also be on the agenda for lawmakers, with some participating in several over the course of the day.

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), who represents New York’s 4th Congressional District, including central and south Nassau County, will march in the Point Lookout Independence Parade on Thursday morning.

“Then I’ll be enjoying the pride of Long Island — our waterways,” D’Esposito said.

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Hinson, who represents Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, encompassing Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, and Dubuque, said she will be doing three to four stops in her district and will participate in a parade in Clear Lake, Iowa, on July 4.

However, Hinson also said the Fourth of July is not complete without fireworks.

“I love fireworks,” Hinson told the Washington Examiner. “I go out to the fireworks store, and I buy as many as I can usually get in a car.”

“Last year, I think I spent $500 on fireworks,” she laughed.

Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) also shares Hinson’s love of fireworks. On the Fourth of July, he will partake in three different parades in communities throughout his district and end in Windham with a “beautiful display” of fireworks off the mountains. On July 5, he said he will return to his home in New York and set off his own fireworks in his driveway.

“And you know why? I co-sponsored and led the legislation in the state legislature making fairly benign fireworks legal in the state of New York, and I celebrate that and American independence every year,” Molinaro told the Washington Examiner.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Mills, who is a veteran and represents Florida’s 7th Congressional District, encompassing all of Seminole County and a portion of Volusia County, also noted the importance of the day, saying the holiday is a day of reflection.

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“It’s a big deal to go ahead and have an event to understand exactly what we are as a constitutional republic, why our independence is so critical, and why we have to maintain and fight for that,” Mills said.

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