WASHINGTON—Participating in a time-honored legislative ceremony that dates back centuries, the U.S. Congress reportedly convened in a secret session last night, meeting with elder conjurer of law High Priest Rothkarin to concoct a new federal farm bill.
According to reports, the gathering began at the stroke of midnight after all 535 members of Congress, dressed in black cloaks and chanting syllabic hymns, had entered the ancient catacombs beneath the Capitol Building, forming a circle around the fiery cauldron from which all measures subsidizing farming and agribusiness spring forth.
“We summon the Dark Lords of Omnibus Food and Agricultural Legislation to bless this hallowed mixture of direct payment programs and corn-production incentives,” Rothkarin said as he stewed rotting mandrake roots and one strand of hair from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack into the acrid broth of the bill, H.R. 697. “When the vapors grow red, we shall add the recourse loans for high-moisture feed grains.”
“Tortured spirits of past tax credits for advanced soybean-based biofuels, we call upon thee!” Rothkarin continued. “Grant us the power to amend section 522(e) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act this night.”
Rothkarin, the 27th incarnation of the Congressional High Priest, is a longtime fiscal conservative said to hail from the mystical dark woodlands of Bethesda, MD. He is perhaps best known for using the ground-up skulls of 100 slaughtered constituents to form the Homeowners’ Insurance Availability Act of 2003.
Sources confirmed that at the outset of the ritual, Rothkarin donned a necklace made from the desiccated severed fingers of former House minority whips and sprinkled the grounds of the cavernous, carved-limestone chamber with the remains of killed legislation from the 112th Congress.
The 143-year-old member of the cryptic Fhae’oqul Order then reportedly watched as freshman senators performed the mournful Dance of Death for Tobacco Subsidies, their bodies contorting to a primal beating of drums as they were showered in the entrails of the lawmakers whose seats they won in the 2012 election.
“This bill is crucial for guaranteeing that farmers receive fair price protections,” Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) said as he cut his open palm with the Dagger of the Primary Bill Sponsor and let blood slowly drip into the cauldron’s bubbling waters. “It provides a stable foundation for the agriculture sector while also cutting wasteful spending. Given the current budget deficit, millions of taxpayers are counting on us to get this done.”
“And it must come to pass before the return of the crescent moon,” added Peterson, his eyes rolling back in his head as he wailed “Atgh hafh’drn gotha!” and laughed maniacally.
In one of the ceremony’s most dramatic moments, sources said, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) attempted to cast an austerity hex that would attach a rider reducing payments for price-drops in commodity crops, but a slight mispronunciation in the constitutional incantation caused him to shriek in agony and collapse to the ground, his entire body instantly reduced to ash.
Later in the proceedings, Rothkarin is reported to have led members of the House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management in a chant, his voice dropping to an unnaturally deep growl as he recited an ancient charm said to make the bill immune to filibustering or presidential veto.
“We would each of us gladly give our flesh to fulfill what is written in the motion to extend the Dairy Product Price Support program,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), smiling as he offered up his youngest grandchild in sacrifice to the horned gods Monsanto, Unilever, and Kraft. “May fortune’s favor fall upon our congressional brethren!”
Nearing the liturgy’s conclusion, the High Priest reportedly used the viscous black bile of a newborn calf to draw the USDA seal on the forehead of every Congress member in order to guard against lobbyists from the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“It is done,” Rothkarin said upon finalizing a measure to create $74 million in livestock indemnity funds, holding aloft the severed head of an ox. “So let H.R. 697 be enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled.”
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh wgah’nagl fhtagn!” he added.
At press time, H.R. 697 had been referred to committee and was expected to be taken up for further consideration this fall.