WASHINGTON (Nov. 15) — Nearly 100 new members of Congress arrived on Capitol Hill this week for the first time since winning election, and immediately began the process of remaking the federal government into a slimmer and wackier version of its former self.
Freshman orientation sessions for the class of 2010 were meant to show newly minted representatives how to handle the basics of being a member of the House — where to live, how voting works, where the bathrooms and dining rooms are located, etc. But many of the Tea Party-inspired Republicans are already showing their extremely conservative tendencies and are resisting the conventional ideas of what it means to be a congressperson.
“We’re not about to listen to the Old Guard tell us how things work around here,” said Rep.-elect Tim Scott, R-S.C. “The people who elected us want to see a new way of governing, and we intend to start with the basics.”
Scott said he would set an example of fiscal restraint by foregoing an office in the Capitol complex and instead would set up shop in a trench he’s having dug in the lawn just outside.
“Fighting against the tax-and-spend status quo is going to be much like trench warfare, so it seemed appropriate that my office is in a ditch,” Scott said. “I’ve seen some good-sized rocks unearthed so far, and these will serve me well as furniture.”
Scott has hired a number of ousted Democratic congressmen who would otherwise be out of work to dig the trench for him.
“I need the work so I’m happy to do what I can,” said soon-to-be-former Rep. John Spratt. “We’re just hoping he doesn’t shoot us in the head when we’re done and kick our lifeless bodies into the trough. I don’t think this is a dig-your-own-grave scenario but you never know with these rebels.”
Rep.-elect Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., has objected to the elaborate food spreads put out by lobbyists at the various orientation events, and has vowed he will not accept any free meals. Instead, he intends to stand outside in the sun in hopes of generating enough chlorophyll to survive.
“If the evolutionists are right, I should be developing leaves and turning into a plant by supper time,” Kinzinger said. “If they aren’t, I trust in God to sustain me. This PowerBar and can of Red Bull I have here stand ready to be transformed into enough bread and fish and wine to last my entire first term.”
Rep.-elect Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., was seen walking out in protest from a class on how the electronic voting system works on the House floor.
“I just don’t trust those sneaky electrons,” Hayworth said. “They have a pro-science, anti-faith bias, and I can just imagine them changing my vote on a key bit of legislation. I’ll be casting my votes the old-fashioned way: writing ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ on a piece of paper and depositing it in that round bin on the floor right next to the speaker’s podium.”
When told by a reporter that she was referring to the trash can, she covered her ears and said she’s “had it with listening to the lamestream media.”
Rep.-elect Allen West, R-Fla., interrupted a page’s tour of the hallway outside the House chamber when West’s group was being shown where the restrooms were located.
“I intend to do the people’s business as I would do my own business, and it’s not in some fancy-shmancy bathroom with golden urinals and taxpayer’s money being used as toilet paper,” West said. “I’ll hold it in as long as I can, and then it’s adult diapers. If they’re good enough for my constituents, they’re good enough for me.”