Sen. Pat Roberts outed as ‘Frozen’ fan by ‘Let It Go’ ringtone at hearing

The Senate Finance Committee erupted in giggles Thursday when Sen. Pat Roberts’ “Let It Go” ringtone went off during a hearing on U.S. tariff policy. (Video: Associated Press) 

Not even the U.S. Senate is safe from “Frozen” fever.

Nearly two years after Disney premiered what would quickly become the highest-grossing animated film in history, the “Frozen” phenomenon lives on — fueled in large part by the movie’s theme song, “Let it Go,” whose unprecedented popularity among grade-schoolers everywhere even prompted an apology from the film’s director.

At this point, the infectiousness of “Let It Go” has spread far beyond America’s 8-year-olds and their parents into a full-blown contagion. In addition to YouTube, home to several hours worth of “Let It Go” covers from all over the world, versions of the song have been heard everywhere, from a local Cincinnati traffic report to "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" to a Senate Finance Committee hearing on U.S. tariff policy.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was speaking on that very topic Thursday morning when he was interrupted by the unmistakable musical stylings of Idina Menzel. Not even the stodgiest guy in the room could resist a chuckle as “Let It Go” blared from the cellphone of none other than Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, the 78-year-old former Marine Corps captain who had been interrogating Vilsack about the Obama administration’s massive free-trade agreement proposal.  

Muttering “Aw, come on,” as he silenced his singing smartphone, Roberts handled the embarrassing moment relatively smoothly.

“Just let it go, mister,” he joked to Vilsack, getting a resounding laugh from the room, before getting back to business — and presumably making a mental note to put his phone on silent before future meetings.