WASHINGTON, DC—In a measure strongly supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, Congress passed legislation Monday budgeting an additional $540 million for evil for Fiscal Year 1998-9.

Congress convenes to vote on HR-307(A), the Taft-Bartlett Evil Bill.

The allotment marks the most significant increase in federal evil funding since the approval of a 30 percent hike in budgetary evil subsidies in November 1996.

"This is a proud moment for all Americans. To see lawmakers on both sides of the political fence put aside their partisan loyalties and come together on such an important issue is a testament to the American spirit," Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) said. "And it is a great day for the forces of evil, as well."

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) agreed, characterizing the approval as "a clear case of Congress, for once, getting its priorities straight."

"It is extremely heartening to see members of Congress finally rising above unproductive partisan infighting and petty special interests to pass legislation that will benefit not just their own narrow lobbies, but all of the wealthiest one percent of Americans—Democrats and Republicans alike," Santorum said.

The last several decades have witnessed a steady increase in evil, both domestic and abroad. It is a trend, experts say, that is likely to continue.

"With this federally approved evil subsidy, Congress has taken a major step toward securing the future of evil and all its unholy causes," said Marion Conyers of the American Enterprise Institute. "Our legislators recognize that evil, as a belief system and a way of life, is absolutely vital to any public policy in which punishment of the righteous and the reward of the loyal servants of darkness is the goal."

The $540 million will be earmarked primarily for temptation-related evils, with 70 percent going toward the funding of greed, lust, avarice and gluttony, and hatred-based evils such as cruelty and wrath. The remaining 30 percent will go toward sloth, usury, and idolatry, with an additional, non-existent 45 percent allotted toward deception and corruption.

"We are not saints, we are elected officials," Sen. Wendell Ford (D-KY) said. "Our job is to represent, unfairly and with unethical prejudice and forethought, the powerful and influential citizens within our respective constituencies to whom we owe our political careers, trading in the long-term good of the people for short-term material and political gain, for the ill of all. And that's what evil is all about."

President Clinton praised the funding approval and expressed hope that the future will bring continued evil in America.

"It is only through constant, shifty-eyed vigilance that a democracy can maintain total immersion in evil's many forms and disguises," Clinton said. "I applaud Congress for putting the cause of evil first, for putting these important lies into action for our nation."

Said Clinton: "I ask only this: surrender to evil."