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The New York Times notes that Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) brings a 40lb bag of meat with him whenever he leaves his home state for his Capitol Hill home.

Traveling from his ranch to the airport in Great Falls, Mont., takes 90 minutes by truck. Then Senator Tester takes two commercial flights to reach Reagan National Airport here.

Such a trip calls for light packing, yet the senator, a first-term Democrat, can often be found lugging an extra 40-pound roller bag, which he gingerly stuffs into the overhead bin. His precious cargo is neither briefing books nor an extra raincoat, but roasts, ribs, round steak and (his favorite) rib steak.

“Taking meat with us is just something that we do,” Senator Tester, 55, said over a meal of beef stroganoff cooked by his wife, Sharla, in their Capitol Hill town house. “We like our own meat.”

Normally, we’d have no, er, beef with this. After all, it’s not like D.C. actually produces its own meat (though of course he could buy sustainable, grassfed beef from Virginia, Maryland, or Pennsylvania producers at farmers’ markets in the District). But it’s a bit annoying that a senator who attempted to repeal the District’s gun laws back in 2010 won’t even eat what most residents do.

(Also, didn’t he hear? Americans are eating less meat these days.)

This post originally identified Tester as a Republican.

Photo by twicepix via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License