Well, how are things going in Congress these days? The short answer is not so good. On Friday, we have yet another government shutdown deadline looming. And what are our intrepid elected officials doing about this? Are they earnestly deliberating in a last-ditch attempt to avert disaster? Not so much.
Just today, the former Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, once second in line of succession to the presidency, elbowed in the kidney from behind fellow Republican representative Tim Burchett of Tennessee, while passing him in a Capitol hallway. McCarthy’s sucker punch threw the representative onto NPR correspondent Claudia Grisales, who was conversing with Burchett at the time of the altercation. A chase ensued and words were exchanged, but no further physical violence occurred. Praise be!
Also today, not to be outdone by the lower chamber, the U.S. Senate that esteemed body of civility and comity almost broke out into a fistfight, when Republican Senator Markwayne Mullin (OK) challenged Teamsters leader Sean O’Brien to a fight during the middle of a Senate committee hearing. Apparently, Mullin had taken exception to some of the things that O’Brien had tweeted about him in the past. Challenges were issued—”Stand your butt up.”—”You stand your butt up.” Then as both men began to stand, only the timely intervention of 82-year-old Chairman Bernie Sanders averted what was sure to come to blows.
These two incidents illustrate how Congress has become a powder keg. This week, with its budget deadline drawing ever closer is especially fraught with tension. I just pray that there is no further violence within the Capitol’s walls and that no blood is shed, but Friday is still a long way away folks