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Proceedings From the 52nd Session of the 243rd Congress
“422 representatives elect have recorded their presence on the house floor. The roll call is
complete and a quorum is present. Congress is now in session.” The steady hum of congressmen
and congresswomen talking slowly dwindled as the House Clerk looked over his glasses at all
the distinguished legislators before him. Behind him, the Speaker stifled a yawn.
“The first matter of business on the table today is House resolution 4977. Resolved, that
upon adoption of this resolution, it shall be in order to consider in the House the bill H.R.
219145.A.29, concerning the amendment of the American Justice & Freedom Act. Pursuant to
House resolution 3300, we will start with 5 minutes of debate for either side, and then the
symbolic vote will be held. If the vote ends in a tie, the adoption of the resolution will be
determined in accordance with the tie-breaking procedures laid out in House resolution 3300.”
Upon hearing this, the Speaker perked up. Bill debates were always fun. They always
ended in a tie - no bill had been successfully adopted by vote for over 60 years, over the span of
28 different Congresses - and the tie-breaking procedures were interesting to behold. He cleared
his throat and leaned forward to speak. “Thank you, Mr. Clerk. To begin the debate, the
gentleman from Georgia is recognized, and has the floor for 5 minutes.”
The representative stepped up to the microphone. “I would like to thank the Speaker for
the opportunity to address the House today,” he intoned. “The American Justice & Freedom Act
remains today a pivotal part of what makes this country great. I remind the representatives
present that this bill, H.R. 219145.A.29, which was written by Democrats, seeks to alter this
perfect piece of legislation, which was written and passed by Republicans. Anyone who votes in
favor of this bill is a communist and an awful person.” He coughed and then looked back at the
Speaker with a rather bored expression. “With that, I conclude my time on the floor.”
In truth, no one present had read bill H.R. 219145.A.29, nor had any idea what it is about.
In fact, they were all completely unfamiliar with the American Justice & Freedom Act as well.
The only thing they knew about it is that in all likelihood, it had nothing to do with either justice
or freedom. However, this didn’t concern them; all of the representatives had made up their
minds before they walked in the door, or indeed even knew that a bill was going to be proposed
The Speaker knocked his gavel lightly to stop the applause from the Republican half of
the room that followed the Georgia representative’s speech. “Now with her party’s response, the
gentlelady from Massachusetts is recognized. You have the floor for 5 minutes.”
The Massachusetts representative cleared her throat. “Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would
first like to say that the Republicans are the bad guys, and are always wrong. Democrats are
morally and intellectually superior to them and that is a FACT.” The last word rang loudly
through the House chamber, which was otherwise completely silent. The silence stretched on for
a couple of long seconds, before she concluded: “... actually, I guess that was the only thing I
wanted to say. Vote in favor of the bill.” Loud whoops and applause came from the Democrat
half of the room as she walked back to her seat.
“Now, the votes will be cast for this resolution,” declared the Speaker. “All in favor?”
Exactly half of the room raised their hands.
The exact other half of the room raised their hands.
“There appears to be a tie. As such, we must follow the tie-breaking procedures,” said the
Speaker to absolutely no surprise in the crowd. “Democrats and Republicans, you have 1 minute
to choose your champions and to equip them. After that, the alternative debate will begin.” Each
of the two halves of the room quickly convened and discussed quietly while peering over their
shoulders at the other half. After some time, one person from each side walked down to the floor.
“The House Clerk will now introduce each of the two debaters.”
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. From the Republican side, we have the representative from
Texas’s 9th congressional district. From the Democrat side, we have the representative from
Michigan’s 14th congressional district.”
“Excellent.” Addressing the two contenders standing below him, the Speaker asked
“Now, what will be your debating tools today?”
The Republican stepped forward and produced a pair of nunchucks. “My debating tool
will be these,” he said as he twirled them around his body and head. Smirking, the Democrat
took out from under his coat an enormous greatsword and gestured to it wordlessly. Murmurs
erupted from the Republican crowd, and their champion looked at the huge medieval weapon
with wide eyes.
“Everything is in order. Let the alternative debate begin!” the Speaker announced with a
flourish, as the Clerk rang the ceremonial gong.
The two legislators took up a stance and began circling each other, while the rest of the
people in the chamber watched with bated breath. “He doesn’t stand a chance,” whispered the
Clerk to the Speaker. “Eh, I don’t know. That sword is very large and unwieldy, and a skilled,
quick congressman has triumphed over a slower congressman with a larger weapon many times,”
the Speaker whispered back. “If this guy knows what he’s doing, he can wear the Dem out.”
The Michigan representative gave a few cautious stabs at the Republican, each of which
were deftly swatted away with the nunchaku.
“Testing his defenses?”
The Democrat suddenly gave a mighty swing, vertically down straight towards the head
of the Texas representative; but, reacting quickly, he rolled underneath and gave the other
legislator a swift whack on the back with his fighting sticks. The Democrat cried out in pain and
twirled around with his sword held out as the Texan scampered out of range. Cheers from the
Republican half of the crowd echoed through the chamber, and the two champions warily eyed
each other in defensive stances.
“That swing would have cut him clean in half!”
“Yes, but if that strike from the nunchucks were in the back of the head it could have just
as much incapacitated the Dem. Never underestimate the power of speed and precision over
The two legislators continued to monitor each other, watching to try and find some sort of
opening or weakness. Then, perhaps because he thought it would surprise his opponent, the
Republican unexpectedly faked a motion towards the other representative's feet, then swung
upwards towards his head. However, the Democrat saw it coming. Catching the free end of the
nunchucks in one hand, he pulled the Texan in close and then bashed him across the face with
the pommel of his sword, breaking his nose and sending him down onto the ground. The Speaker
winced as he saw several of the Republican’s teeth scatter across the floor of the House. The
Democrat dropped the nunchucks that his opponent had lost hold of. Then, standing over his
helpless opponent, he brought his sword down in a great arc, quickly cutting his screams short.
The Republican side of the room looked on disappointedly while the Democrats whooped and
cheered as their hero joined them. The Clerk rang the gong once again. “The tie-breaker is done,
and the winner decided! The bill is passed on for the President to sign.” He glanced down at his
agenda. “And, it actually seems that that was the only item we had today! Congress adjourned.”
The crowd of legislators flowed out of the room, the Democrats mocking and blowing
raspberries at the Republicans while they sulked. As the Speaker was leaving, he walked with the
House Clerk. “I guess you were right.”
“Ha! I guess I was.”
The Speaker turned and looked over the empty chamber from the doorway. “Y’know, it's
a thankless job we do. The media will make us look like morons no matter what we do, and
pretty much all of the country will hate us. You know what keeps me going?”
“We’re doing something that’s more important than ourselves. We’re working to make
this great nation that we live in an even better place. We are the ones in charge of ensuring that
the democratic process does not fail the citizens of our country. And doing that is more important
than receiving thanks.”
“Yeah, its real satisfying work to know we’re making the world a better place.”
The Speaker nodded. “Oh, also, don’t forget to get someone to clean up that guy’s body.”
- Fin -
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