adBlockCheck

45 More Legislators Lose Jobs To Increased Congressional Automation

Top Headlines

Politics

Diehard Trump Voters Confirm Rest Of Nation Should Stop Wasting Time Trying To Reach Them

‘If Anything Could Change Our Minds, It Would’ve Happened By Now,’ Say Candidate’s Supporters

WASHINGTON—Saying it should be very clear by now that absolutely nothing can change their position on the matter, steadfast supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told the rest of the nation Wednesday that it really shouldn’t bother trying to persuade them not to vote for him.

Tim Kaine Found Riding Conveyor Belt During Factory Campaign Stop

AIKEN, SC—Noting that he disappeared for over an hour during a campaign stop meet-and-greet with workers at a Bridgestone tire manufacturing plant, sources confirmed Tuesday that Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine was finally discovered riding on one of the factory’s conveyor belts.

Why Don’t People Like Hillary Clinton?

Although she’s secured the Democratic presidential nomination, many voters across all demographics are still hesitant to vote for Hillary Clinton. The Onion breaks down the reasons Clinton is having a hard time luring reluctant voters.

Who Are Donald Trump’s Supporters?

As Election Day draws near and GOP candidate Donald Trump continues to retain a loyal supporter base, many wonder who these voters are and what motivates them. Here are some key facts to know

How Trump Plans To Turn His Campaign Around

As Donald Trump’s poll numbers continue to fall, many wonder how the GOP presidential nominee can turn his campaign around before Election Day. Here are some ways Trump aims to regain his footing

‘Why Can I Never Seem To Say The Right Thing?’ Weeps Trump Into Pillow

NEW YORK—Quickly running into his bedroom and slamming the door behind him after hearing public criticism of the statements he made regarding the family of a fallen Muslim-American U.S. Army captain, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly threw himself on his bed Tuesday and asked himself “Why can I never seem to say the right thing?” while weeping into his pillow.

Trump Campaign Ponders Going Negative

NEW YORK—Saying they weren’t afraid to take the gloves off for the general election if need be, the campaign team for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly considered the possibility Monday of pivoting their strategy and going negative.

What’s Inside Trump’s Tax Returns

Donald Trump’s aides have confirmed that the Republican presidential nominee will not release his tax returns despite numerous public calls for him to honor the expectation of transparency for presidential hopefuls. Here are some of the potentially damning contents that Trump prefers not to release to the public

Hillary Clinton Holds Infant Grandson Upside Down By Ankle In Front Of Convention Crowd

‘Family,’ Candidate Says

PHILADELPHIA—Seeking to make her case to the nation’s voters as she accepted her party’s presidential nomination Thursday night, Hillary Clinton reportedly began her headlining address at the Democratic National Convention by holding her infant grandson, Aidan, upside down by his ankle and firmly intoning the word “Family” in front of the assembled crowd.

Hillary Clinton Waiting In Wings Of Stage Since 6 A.M. For DNC Speech

PHILADELPHIA—Saying she arrived hours before any of the members of the production crew, sources confirmed Thursday that presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been waiting in the wings of the Wells Fargo Center stage since six o’clock this morning to deliver her speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Depressed, Butter-Covered Tom Vilsack Enters Sixth Day Of Corn Bender After Losing VP Spot

WASHINGTON—Saying she has grown increasingly concerned about her husband’s mental and physical well-being since last Friday, Christie Vilsack, the wife of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, told reporters Thursday that the despondent, butter-covered cabinet member has entered the sixth day of a destructive corn bender after being passed over for the Democratic vice presidential spot.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

45 More Legislators Lose Jobs To Increased Congressional Automation

WASHINGTON, DC—Continuing a trend that began in the Senate last November, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) announced Monday that 45 members of the House of Representatives would be laid off and replaced by cost-efficient heavy legislating machinery.

A legislating machine does the work of 10 members of the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.

"I feel awful for my colleagues who are now out of work," DeLay told reporters at a press conference. "I've known some of these people for years, but the fact remains that these new machines can pass bills up to 10 times faster than their human counterparts. Like it or not, this is the future."

In spite of denials from congressional leaders, the rash of job cuts has some legislators worried that Congress will be fully mechanized within 10 years.

"The House and Senate will always need people," Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert said. "These machines are a valuable tool, but there's still no substitute for the wisdom and experience of an actual human congressman. Everything that happens in Congress requires, to some extent, the human touch. Except maybe drafting legislation. That can pretty much be done by machine."

Though both Hastert and DeLay insist that increased congressional automation would be a boon for the overworked legislators, the alarming rate of layoffs is causing anxiety on Capitol Hill.

"Our bosses say nothing is ever going to replace old-fashioned, hands-on legislation, but I have my doubts," said a Michigan representative speaking on condition of anonymity. "As it stands, we only have a few seconds to look over the bill before putting it in the machine to vote or amend. If we try to take a closer look, DeLay gets on our ass about holding up the line. I don't want to pass shoddy legislation, but I don't want to lose my job, either."

Robert Barnes, managing editor of Congressional Quarterly, predicted that the legislative body's workforce will be cut in half by the end of 2005.

"The fact is, there's little a human legislator does that a machine can't handle," Barnes said. "All you have to do is program the machine as either Democrat or Republican, and it'll vote along the exact same party lines as a real lawmaker. We know exactly how Ted Kennedy or Orrin Hatch will vote on, say, banning flag-burning, so there's really no reason to keep them around when a machine can do it for a fraction of the cost."

"Frankly," Barnes continued, "I wouldn't be surprised if, in 20 years, the machines get phased out in favor of computer simulations that can carry out an entire legislative session—from introduction of a bill to debate to vote—in a fraction of a second."

On top of feeling unappreciated and expendable, many representatives expressed displeasure about a decline in working conditions, including the addition of shifts to facilitate round-the-clock legislation. Tensions have been so high that Beltway insiders don't rule out the possibility of a congressional walkout, which would grind the U.S. lawmaking industry to a halt. DeLay, however, said he is confident the representatives will stay on the job.

"These are good men and, sure, they like to run their mouth off, but they're not going to strike," DeLay said. "Once they get used to the machines and the new regulations, things will normalize. Besides, where else are these legislators going to go if they quit? I mean, their skills aren't exactly what I'd call transferrable."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close