Friday, November 6, 2009

A Day in My Life

Do you know what your U.S. Representative does? If not, you're not alone. Even though members of Congress play key roles in our government, they often are overlooked. They are democracy’s utility infielders.

What do members of Congress do? How do they spend their days? I think this is a very fascinating question. I’d like to try and answer it for you.

6:00 a.m.
I am up very early in the morning. My alarm is set for 5:00, but I hit snooze until 6:00. While I’m still in my pajamas I pour myself a bowl of cereal. I used to buy the small variety packs—you know the ones that have Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, Rice Krispies, in tiny little boxes all wrapped up in cellophane. The problem is those boxes don’t have prizes in them. Now, I buy big boxes of cereal so I can still get something extra—that’s the Republican way. If the cereal gets stale, I buy a new box.

I like to take my cereal to the living room and watch early morning television. One of the local UHF station shows Mama’s Family and Gomer Pyle back to back. I like to start my day off with a laugh. After breakfast, I walk to the Capitol building.

8:00 a.m.
I have breakfast with a group of House Republicans and Joe Lieberman. This is mostly an excuse for myself to gloat to Duncan Hunter about what a bust Roy Williams has been on his Fantasy Football team. We try to explain football to Lieberman, but despite him saying “oh I get it” a lot, you know he doesn’t.

9:00 a.m.
My next stop is the House champer for a Republican conference meeting. Here, I have a great chance to talk directly to Republican leaders, or I would if we had some. I really look forward to this face to face time with my colleagues. It’s so funny, Joe Lieberman always follows us in here and we have to remind him that he caucuses with the Democrats. Then he acts like he was just kidding.

9:45 a.m.
I head over to my committee meetings. I’m on the Agriculture, Budget, Industrialization, and Protocol committees as well as the Softball Team and Glee Club. I’m told that committees do a lot of the important work in Congress, but they’re just so boring. I usually pass notes with one of my colleagues. Trent Franks is an amazing tic tac toe player and he can always beat me unless I can put a mark in the middle square first. Whether you can get a nap here or not really depends on your committee leader.
11:00 am.
I’m on the phone with C-Span, letting them know that I’m available to do interviews on any topic. They tell me they’ll get back to me, but they sound like they mean it this time.

11:30 a.m.
Unexpected events often happen. That’s why it’s important to make yourself scarce in the middle of the day as much as possible. If there are lunch plans, I’ll stick around. It’s always more fun to go as a group. If I’m on my own, I’ll usually go to Roy Rogers for the Double R Bar Burger.
1:00 p.m.
I get together with my staff and we watch Judge Mathis together. My office never misses the Judge if we can help it. I was so made that Obama overlooked him entirely for the Supreme Court. My staff also is in charge of making sure I see only positive mail. I’m currently working on a delicate international situation involving the Nigerian royal family that began with an email to my office. I am hopefully that I will be able to help this prince regain his rightful throne.

2:00 p.m.
I’m off to the National Republican Congressional Committee meeting. The NRCC works to get Republicans elected to Congress and we really hope we can turn things around. Lately, it’s just been one big cry session.

5:00 p.m.
A special voting session of the House of Representatives begins, and I go to my seat in the House chamber. Bells go off in our offices--just like in school--and we have 15 minutes to go to the House to cast our votes,

Voting usually occurs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and starts at about noon. But toward the end of a congressional session, voting can take place on any workday and can run late into the night, as the House rushes to complete work on legislation. This is great nap time. Ipods are strongly discouraged here—I found out the hard way. Speaker Pelosi will stare at you with her cold dead eyes if she thinks you’re screwing around. Sometimes, I like to make fart noises and dare her to catch me.

9:00 p.m.
Joe Lieberman always wants us to go to a hot tub party after a vote, but he’s so wrinkled now. I always decline. Instead, this is a good time to get together with colleagues at one of the local DC watering holes. Paul Broun always winds up in tears, but today he’s upbeat. He wants me to see if Debbie Wasserman Schultz likes him. I ask him if he means likes him and he says “like him like him”. I guess I’ll work on this tomorrow.

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