adBlockCheck

Deciding Vote On Wetlands Preservation Bill Rests With The Littlest Senator

Top Headlines

Politics

How The GOP Plans To Stop Trump

In response to Donald Trump’s growing presidential primary lead, here’s how Republican Party leaders are ramping up efforts to prevent him from getting enough delegates to win the nomination outright.

It Unclear Why Thousands Of Loud, Chanting Trump Supporters Gathering Outside Arena In Iowa

‘There’s No Event Here, But They Keep Coming,’ Say Concerned Stadium Staff

DES MOINES, IA—Noting that the Republican presidential candidate had not announced any plans to visit Iowa since the state held its caucus 11 weeks ago, baffled sources reported Wednesday that it remains unclear why thousands of loud, cheering Donald Trump supporters are gathering outside the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Obama Caught Trying To Jump White House Fence

WASHINGTON—The White House was briefly placed on lockdown Friday morning after “an addled and emotionally distraught” President Obama was reportedly caught trying to scale the North Lawn fence, the third such attempt this year, Secret Service officials confirmed.

FBI Convinces George Clooney To Wear Wire During Clinton Fundraising Dinner

SAN FRANCISCO—In an effort to gather evidence in their investigation of the presidential candidate’s alleged misuse of her private email server when she served as secretary of state, members of the FBI reportedly convinced actor George Clooney to wear a hidden listening device Friday night while attending a campaign fundraising dinner with Hillary Clinton.

The Pros And Cons Of Voter ID Laws

Many states are pushing for stricter voter identification policies at the polls, while critics argue such requirements are unconstitutional and used as a means of voter suppression. Here are some pros and cons of voter ID laws.

Shimmering Immaculate Republican Candidate Appears Before GOP Officials

‘It’s Him,’ Stunned Conservative Leaders Mutter

WASHINGTON—Explaining how they froze in place and stared up at the miraculous vision in rapt wonder, members of the Republican Party leadership reported that the shimmering image of an immaculate, ideal GOP presidential candidate appeared before them for a brief moment Friday and hovered in front of the party’s headquarters in Washington.

Trump Catches Self Briefly Believing Own Campaign Rhetoric

‘Whoa, That Was Scary For A Second There,’ Says Candidate

BETHPAGE, NY—Admitting that he was overcome with terror after realizing what he had done, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told reporters he caught himself briefly believing his own campaign rhetoric during a rally Wednesday night.

Cow Ted Cruz Milking In Wisconsin Photo Op Only Giving Curdled, Foul Liquid

ALMA, WI—Saying the putrid stench of rancid dairy had caused numerous onlookers to gag and rush out of the barn, sources at Noll’s Family Farm confirmed Monday that only a thin stream of curdled, spoiled liquid was emerging from the cow that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was attempting to milk during a campaign photo op.

How A Contested Convention Would Work

With the Republican Party potentially headed to its convention without a clear-cut presidential nominee, The Onion answers common questions about how a contested convention would work.

Advisors Tell Trump, Cruz To Stick To Just Attacking All Women In General

JANESVILLE, WI—Attempting to reduce the negative publicity generated by their candidates’ recent attacks on each other’s wives, top campaign advisors reportedly instructed Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in private meetings Monday to stick to just attacking all women in general, sources confirmed.
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

Lawn and Garden

Deciding Vote On Wetlands Preservation Bill Rests With The Littlest Senator

WASHINGTON, DC—Congress narrowly passed the McCann-Hawkins Florida Wetlands Preservation Bill Tuesday, with the deciding vote coming from an unlikely source: Sen. Dwight Q. Peabody (D-RI), the Littlest Senator.

Dwight Q. Peabody, the Littlest Senator.

Despite his diminutive stature and timid demeanor, Peabody became the most important legislator of all when the vote became deadlocked at 49-49. With Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) absent, the fate of countless species of Everglades flora and fauna fell into the teeny, tiny hands of Peabody.

Ever since he was sworn into Congress in January, Peabody, who represents the nation's littlest state, has not been taken seriously by his Senate colleagues, many of whom are big, important politicians from big, important states like Texas and California. When Peabody arrived at the U.S. Capitol for the first time, the bigger senators took one look at him and laughed.

"That's a senator?" Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX) said. "Why, he could get lost in my shirt pocket! What a pipsqueak!"

"I can't see how he could possibly influence legislation," Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) said. "One thing's for certain: We won't let him join in any Senate games."

Peabody's small size, coupled with his lack of seniority, prevented him from being appointed to any important subcommittees, so on the days Congress was in session, he could be found in the very back of the Senate chamber, sitting all alone at his little desk, writing notes on his copy of the Biennial Budgeting & Appropriations Act using a hummingbird quill and a thimble for an inkwell.

"Peabody's impact on the Senate had been negligible," CNN political analyst Mark Shields said. "When he would try to go to the floor to offer his opinion on the Financial Regulatory Relief & Economic Efficiency Act of 1999, he found that the big, mean senators would block his way, and he'd have to return to his little seat. And the only legislation he's authored, S1156, the Letting Small People Have Their Say Act, was laughed right out of committee. Needless to say, this made the Littlest Senator very, very sad."

The Littlest Senator's situation, however, began to improve one sunny day in May, when the House of Representatives passed the McCann-Hawkins Bill. Peabody liked the bill, which would allocate $377.5 million for the conservation and restoration of more than 400,000 acres of Florida wetlands, preserving the size of the nation's wetlands resource base and protecting the habitat of the Littlest Senator's only friends, the puddle ducks.

But Peabody knew that many big, mean senators disliked the bill, because it would set limits on industrial and commercial development in the Everglades region. If he voted for the bill, the big senators would surely point their fingers at him and call him names.

"The night before the vote, I stayed up a long, long time thinking," Peabody told reporters. "Then, I put on my little nightcap spun from gossamer, blew out my little candle, and went to sleep."

"Not long afterwards," he continued, "I was stirred awake by a little voice in my ear. When I opened my eyes, I couldn't believe what I saw: It was a little mouse dressed in a top hat and bow tie! Imagine my surprise when he opened his little mouth and said, 'Don't be afraid! I'm your friend! And I believe in you.'"

The Littlest Senator initially thought he was dreaming, but the little mouse, still unidentified as of press time, assured Peabody he was real.

President Clinton looks on as the Littlest Senator announces passage of the wetlands bill.

"The mouse said he was able to talk because I believed in him, and if I believed in myself, I'd have the courage to do anything I wanted," he said. "I told him that with all the big senators teasing me, I couldn't do anything right."

"But then the mouse told me something I hadn't considered," he said. "He told me that the people of the great state of Rhode Island believed in me enough to elect me, so I must've done something right. And he said anyone who follows his heart can't go wrong."

Feeling as though a great burden had been lifted from him, Peabody practically skipped to the Senate chamber the next morning, eager to show the big, mean senators that he meant business.

But when the vote emerged dead even, the Littlest Senator, who was always last on the roll call, found that the deciding vote had fallen to him.

"In that moment, all of my courage fell away, and I suddenly felt very, very nervous," Peabody said. "If I voted against the bill, I would be letting down my duck friends. But if I voted for it, the big senators would be very cross with me. What was I to do?"

Then, Peabody said, he remembered what his friend the mouse had told him: Anyone who follows his heart can't go wrong. So in a loud, clear, bell-like voice, Peabody declared his vote: Yes! Yes! Yes for the McCann-Hawkins Florida Wetlands Preservation Bill!

When the bill was passed, all the conservation-minded senators cheered and lifted Peabody high into the air.

"It was then that the Littlest Senator realized he did matter after all," said Roger Feuerstein, a senior advisor at the Brookings Institute, a D.C.-based think tank. "In fact, he mattered the most!"

But when Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), the biggest senator of all, approached Peabody after the vote, Peabody became nervous again, cringing as Lott's shadow fell over him. A big smile, however, came across the Littlest Senator's face when he saw that Lott only wanted to shake his tiny hand.

"Although I did oppose the McCann-Hawkins Bill, I congratulate you, Littlest Senator, for standing up for what you believed was right," Lott said. "And on behalf of all the big senators, I wish to apologize for our past treatment of you. For today in Congress, we learned one and all: A senator is a senator, no matter how small or how tall--or skinny or shaped like a big, round, fat ball."

Other big senators were eager to befriend Peabody, as well. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) invited the Littlest Senator to join him on a fact-finding tour of the Chiapas region of Mexico. And Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) said he would recommend him to fill an opening on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

This made Peabody very, very happy. And that night, as he put on his little nightcap, blew out his little candle, and climbed into his little bed, the Littlest Senator fell into the most peaceful slumber he'd had since coming to Washington. Because now he knew that sometimes the littlest people can make the biggest difference.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close