adBlockCheck

Congressman Waits Until Last Minute To Write New Law

Top Headlines

Politics

Monocle-Wearing Oil Baron’s Cigarette Holder Splinters In Clenched Teeth After Hearing Bernie Sanders’ Environmental Platform

GREENWICH, CT—Leaving him visibly seething as he sat in his tufted leather wingback chair in his study, monocle-wearing oil baron Frederick Porter Harriman’s ivory-inlaid cigarette holder reportedly splintered between his clenched teeth upon him hearing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders outline his environmental platform during Thursday night’s Democratic debate.

Biggest Campaign Gaffes So Far

The road to the 2016 election has seen its fair share of blunders, miscalculations, and poorly worded statements, all captured by an eager news media that’s always on the lookout for political missteps. Here are some of the biggest campaign gaffes of this election cycle so far:

How The Iowa Caucuses Work

The votes cast in the Iowa caucuses on Monday night mark the official beginning of the 2016 election season, but the specifics of the state’s selection process can be confusing to voters who don’t live there. Here, The Onion answers the most common questions about how the Iowa caucuses work:

Iowan Comforts Sobbing Jeb Bush At Town Hall

DES MOINES, IA—Slowly approaching the distraught, trembling presidential candidate before embracing him in a gentle hug, 42-year-old single mother Holly Sullivan comforted a sobbing Jeb Bush during a town hall forum, sources confirmed Friday.

Dazed Marco Rubio Wakes Up In Koch Compound To Find Cold Metal Device Installed Behind Ear

‘Hello Marco, We Will Now Begin The Program,’ Says Soothing Voice

UNKNOWN LOCATION—The brightly lit, stark-white room gradually coming into focus as he regained consciousness, GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio reportedly awoke in the Koch brothers’ secret compound Thursday and reached suddenly to his throbbing head to discover a cold metal device implanted behind his left ear.

Hillary Clinton Relaxing Before Debate With Few Hours Of Debate Practice

GOFFSTOWN, NH—Describing it as a much-needed escape from the hype and pressure surrounding the event, aides from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign confirmed that the candidate has been taking it easy and kicking back ahead of Saturday’s Democratic debate with a few hours of intensive debate practice.

Terrified Jeb Bush Beginning To Fade From Visible Spectrum

LAS VEGAS—His voice slowing during his response to a question about immigration as he struggled to comprehend what was happening to him, a visibly terrified Jeb Bush reportedly began to vanish from the visible spectrum while on stage at Tuesday night’s Republican debate.

Koch Brothers Get Each Other Same Election For Christmas

WICHITA, KS—Chuckling and shaking their heads as they described their annual family gift exchange to reporters, Koch Industries executives Charles and David Koch confirmed Wednesday they had unwittingly gotten each other the same election for Christmas this year.

The Pros And Cons Of Political Correctness

A key issue currently driving a wedge between political parties in the U.S. is the question of so-called political correctness, or the avoidance of language and actions that could be construed as exclusive, oppressive, or marginalizing of minority groups. Here are the pros and cons of political correctness in our national discourse:

Rand Paul Escorted Off Stage After Falling Below 2.5% In Middle Of Debate

MILWAUKEE—Interrupted midway through answering a question about how he would reform the nation’s tax code, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was reportedly escorted off stage roughly an hour into Tuesday’s GOP primary debate after falling below the minimum 2.5 percent polling threshold necessary for participating in the forum.

Fact-Checking Ben Carson’s Claims

GOP presidential frontrunner Ben Carson is currently under fire for claims he’s made about his past in books and interviews, many of which journalists have alleged are fabricated or skewed in the candidate’s favor. The Onion breaks down what’s truth and what’s fiction.

Republicans’ Demands For Upcoming Debates

Following last week’s contentious debate in Colorado, Republican presidential candidates are formulating demands for future debates in the effort to reduce perceived media bias and foster a more productive, policy-focused discussion. Here are the GOP’s demands for upcoming debates

Top Issues For Voters In The 2016 Election

With the presidential race well underway and the pool of candidates narrowing, Americans will soon have to choose their next leader based on how well they speak to the issues. Here are the top issues that matter for voters in the 2016 election

Winners And Losers Of Last Night’s Debate

The top 10 leading GOP presidential candidates met in Boulder, CO for their third debate last night, hosted by CNBC and featuring a number of contentious moments concerning alleged liberal media bias, frontrunners’ contradictory statements, and more. The Onion breaks down who won and who lost the debate

Ben Carson Tormented By Periodic Rational Thoughts

SAN ANTONIO—Calling the disturbing incidents a persistent source of anguish, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson told reporters at a Monday campaign stop that he has been tormented by periodic rational thoughts for the past several years.

How Democrats Are Preparing For Their First Debate

The first Democratic presidential debate will be held Tuesday, and the candidates are expected to battle it out over issues as wide-ranging as gun control, climate change, and wealth inequality in America. Here’s how the candidates are preparing for the debate

Group Of Christie Campaign Deserters Found In Forest

SHAMONG, NJ—Huddling together around fires of burning yard signs while sipping small rations of soup from mugs adorned with the phrase “Telling It Like It Is,” a ragged encampment of advisers, pollsters, and volunteers who deserted Chris Christie’s presidential campaign was reportedly found living deep in a New Jersey forest Friday, authorities confirmed.

Sight Of 400 War Elephants On Horizon Marks Hillary Clinton’s Arrival In Swing State

WHEELING, OH—Feeling the earth shake beneath them as they watched the procession climb over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains toward their village, sources along the Ohio border confirmed Thursday that the sight of 400 war elephants marching on the horizon marked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s arrival to the critical swing state.

Unemployed Single Mother In Rubio Speech Told Candidate About Her Problems In Confidence

CEDAR FALLS, IA—Describing her shock and embarrassment upon learning that her personal struggles were shared with an entire campaign rally audience, 37-year-old Allison Kilpatrick, an unemployed single mother that Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio mentioned in a recent stump speech, informed reporters Thursday that she told the candidate about her problems in confidence.

Obama Scrambling Around White House Kitchen Before State Dinner

WASHINGTON—Darting back and forth from refrigerator to sink to prep table while hurriedly preparing 350 hand-carved radish rosettes, a visibly agitated President Obama reported Friday that everything must be absolutely perfect for tonight’s state dinner in honor of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Voters Look On In Horror As 3 New Republican Candidates Appear In Place Of Scott Walker

MADISON, WI—Overcome by a profound feeling of dread and helplessness as the GOP field multiplied before their eyes, voters at Scott Walker’s press conference yesterday, in which the Wisconsin governor announced he was exiting the presidential race, reportedly looked on in horror as three new Republican contenders appeared on stage in place of the former candidate.

Top Snake Handler Leaves Sinking Huckabee Campaign

LITTLE ROCK, AR—Dealing yet another blow to the former Arkansas governor’s presidential hopes, Dalton Hobbs, one of Mike Huckabee’s top snake handlers, has decided to leave the sinking campaign, sources reported Thursday.

Aides Rush On Stage To Rotate Scott Walker Back To Direction Of Audience

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Upon noticing that the Wisconsin governor had become disoriented during one of the moderator’s questions and begun delivering his response while facing the set’s backdrop, several of his aides rushed on stage during Wednesday’s GOP primary debate to rotate Scott Walker back in the direction of the audience.

GOP Debate Stage Manager Pulls Ladies’ Podium Out Of Storage For Carly Fiorina

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Having rummaged through a cluttered backstage closet for nearly half an hour in an effort to locate its elegantly curved lavender form, stage manager Paul Guzman is said to have finally pulled the GOP’s official ladies’ podium out of storage for Carly Fiorina ahead of Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate.

Who Is Kim Davis?

Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis returned to work Monday after being jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples on religious grounds. Here’s what you need to know about the defiant public servant:

Obamas Decide To Stay In White House Until Daughters Finish High School

‘We Don’t Want To Uproot Them Just For Our Jobs,’ Say Parents

WASHINGTON—Saying it wouldn’t be fair to disrupt their lives after seven years in the same school district, Barack and Michelle Obama this week announced their plans to stay in the White House until their daughters graduate high school.

Frenzied Trump Supporters Admit They’d Be Just As Happy Tearing Him To Pieces

‘We’re Just Mad And Want To Destroy Something,’ Say Candidate’s Backers

WASHINGTON—Saying they simply needed something to direct their anger toward, the nation’s frenzied Donald Trump supporters admitted Thursday that, if circumstances were different, they would be just as happy tearing the Republican frontrunner to pieces.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Entertainment

  • How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

    The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Congressman Waits Until Last Minute To Write New Law

WASHINGTON, DC—Amid charges of slipshod writing, convoluted logic and questionable constitutionality, U.S. Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) admitted Monday to waiting until the last minute to write a new law.

Rep. Leach

Though Leach met the House-imposed deadline for his bill, H.R. 1422—The Federal Hydroelectric Power Reform Act, Capitol Hill insiders say the embattled legislator's proposed legislation was "obviously slapped together at the last possible second."

"I really tried to work ahead on it," Leach said of H.R. 1422, which would provide for a transition to market-based rates for power sold by the Federal Power Marketing Administrations and the Tennessee Valley Authority. "But I just kept getting distracted by other stuff. Like last Friday, I was all ready to sit down and really crank out a bunch of provisions. But then that guy from my district was in that helicopter crash in Albania, and I had to console his family and release a statement. Then, Saturday, I had Eagle Scouts in my office the whole afternoon, so there goes that day. And you're nothing on the Hill if you don't spend Sunday in church with your family. Before you know it, the whole weekend's shot. I honestly did the best I could."

"At least I got it in on time," Leach added. "I could have begged Mr. Hastert for an extension, but I didn't."

Despite Leach's defense of his last-minute bill authorship, other legislators said the procrastination shows in his work, claiming that the bill "gets derailed from any sound legal basis by the third page" and looks suspiciously like a "pad job."

"It's really obvious that he barely worked on it, and that he was trying to stretch it out," Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) said. "He double-spaced the whole thing, set his tabs really narrow, and used the biggest font he could find. Then there are all these huge charts that, as far as I can tell, have nothing to do with anything."

Rep. Leach holds a press conference to explain his failure to work ahead on H.R. 1422.

Kanjorski also noted that Leach counted his cover page and bibliography toward the bill's required 10-page length.

Though Leach was given weeks to work on the bill, congressional insiders said he wasted most of the time talking on the phone with agriculture lobbyists, watching C-SPAN, and "pretending to do the reading" on H.R. 656—The Florida Wetlands Preservation Act.

"Come on," said Leach, who acknowledged that he "probably could have worked harder" on the bill. "There's still some really good ideas in there. I outlined a really good rate-scale ramping program that would let corporate customers adjust private billing over an 18-month window without negatively affecting profits. President Clinton himself said he liked the idea. But does anyone talk about that? No, all they ever talk about is how, instead of working on my bill, I took a weekend trip to Florida to survey flood damage."

"That ramping stuff's fine," Rep. John Baldacci (D-ME) said. "But what about the part where he goes off on that whole thing about establishing strict federal guidelines for long-term power-consumption forecasting, an idea that sounds an awful lot like the one outlined last year in H.R. 679 by his best friend in Congress, Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-NE). Seems a little too close to be coincidental, if you ask me."

"I wanted to survey flood damage in Florida, too, you know. But instead, I stayed inside and worked on my bill," Baldacci added. "You know what? If he's gonna keep taking trips and handing in rush-jobs, I'm not gonna vote for any of his legislation."

Among the flaws that have been found in H.R. 1422: a provision that would enable industrial hydroelectric providers to round up their billing to the nearest thousand dollars; a loophole that would permit the TVA to build up to 20 new dams without filing an environmental-impact statement; and 27 instances of improper use of the word "fiscal."

"It's a shame. Jim is so bright that if he'd just apply himself, he'd shine," House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) said. "I think he just has a problem motivating himself. And it probably wouldn't hurt if he stopped hanging around those House Veterans' Affairs Committee creeps."

Leach said he has learned his lesson.

"Man, I'll show those guys next session," he said. "No more procrastinating. No more wasting time with proclamations, public appearances and fundraiser dinners. I'm gonna totally buckle down and put my bill-writing first."

Though not demanded by House leaders, Leach said he is quitting his job as Saturday-night bartender at The Quorum, a popular Beltway nightspot.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close