March 11, 2003
Bored Congressmen Look For Ways to Justify Existence
Representative Bob Ney (R-Ill.), known around Capital Hill for complaining about the lack of "real work" for legislators, finally introduced and pushed the House to adopt a ridiculous joke bill renaming some of the cafeteria food. "The boredom just got me I guess," said Ney, who failed to vote on the recent cloning bill in Congress because he "got engrossed in the Season One Survivor DVD."
"What surprised me was how long it took to draft one of these so-called bills," said Ney. "Just renaming French Fries to Freedom Fries -- well, it took me a week or so just to get the phrasing right. We didn't want anyone calling them liberty fries or soemthing like that. We wanted to draft that baby narrowly, so it would be interpreted correctly." Congress spent three days debating the measure, "just to have something to talk about," said House Leader Dennis Hastert. "We really don't have that much to do. But this was a real hoot. We laughed and laughed."
Hastert explained that the Republicans had run out of ways to reverse laws enacted under Democratically controlled House leadership and pretty much "had nothing left to do. We were all grateful for the opportunity to stretch our legs and get out on that Capitol floor."
House majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who couldn't quite stop chuckling, suggested they rename everything which had the word "French" in it. "Let's see, we got Freedom Fries" he said, gasping for breath, "Then freedom cuffs, the freedom horn, the freedom doors, and my favorite, the freedom kiss!" after which he fell on the floor guffawing.
The House leadership is considering passing a law removing all references to France from the American film, "Casablanca," replacing "La Marseilles" in a key sequence with John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever." DeLay explained that "it could be done with modern special effects computers." A discarded bottle of Vichy water in would be visually modfiied to bear the "Poland Spring" label.
Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) backed the measure, saying, "There's no place in an American film for this filthy French sentiment. We liberated them, and what did they do for us? Snails." Hyde was one of the sole Republicans who voted against the "Freedom Fry" bill, on the ground that they should be renamed "Frog Fries."
When asked if any substantial work awaited the House, Ney laughed. "We can keep doing this or we can pass bills cutting taxes and increasing spending," he said. "Which would you prefer?"
Posted by Tom Burka at 4:00 PM