WASHINGTON—Exhausted but satisfied leaders from both parties came together Tuesday night to announce that Congress had successfully completed 12 solid hours of nonstop gridlocking, once again going above and beyond to needlessly prevent the nation from moving forward.
In a marathon session that lawmakers proudly called "one of [their] least productive ever," each of the 535 members of the House and Senate gridlocked deep into the night to ensure that no bipartisan compromise could be reached, no laws intended to aid the American people could be passed, and no sense of national unity or progress could possibly be achieved.
"There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you've just put in a full day of bringing our nation's legislative branch to a complete standstill," said House Speaker John Boehner, who like the vast majority of his colleagues worked without break throughout the day and night fostering political disharmony and rejecting the passage of crucial legislation. "We got a lot of good, quality gridlocking done today. We gridlocked efficiently, we gridlocked passionately, and we gridlocked as best we could for the American people. Now we go home, rest up, and get ready for another full day of gridlocking tomorrow."
"It's a great feeling," Boehner added. "Today, everyone realized what it is we're here to do, and that's put a wrench right into the machinery of democracy."
According to Capitol sources, the impassioned gridlocking session was one of the most demanding in recent memory, requiring each and every member of Congress to work in total cooperation to frustrate one another's political agendas, and even requiring a number of dedicated lawmakers to stall as many as seven different bills at once.
Legislative leaders said they were enormously pleased with the sustained intensity of gridlocking Tuesday, especially considering the fact that, as early as last week, a number of laws under consideration were thought to have stood a decent chance of being passed.
"I wasn't sure at first if I would have the stamina to not advance a single item on my docket, but my constituents expect me to get in there, roll up my sleeves, and grind things to a halt, so that's exactly what I did," said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who claimed to have gridlocked straight through his lunch hour, despite protestations from concerned aides. "I think a lot of people out there may not realize just how much gridlocking we do here in Congress. They think we just sit around passing bills and turning the wheels of progress all day. Well, let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. We got some great gridlockers here, in both parties, many of whom have been thwarting our democracy for decades."
"This place is like a perfectly un-oiled machine," Manchin added. "We don't rest until absolutely nothing has been accomplished."
According to Boehner, Thursday's "spectacular display of inaction" was nearly derailed when Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) briefly attempted to pass crucial and long-delayed campaign finance reform, but key committee members acted quickly to weigh the bill down with needless riders before shuttling it off toward a certain death on the floor.
At another point, congressional sources reported, the rate of gridlocking was so intense that the passage of a resolution honoring Southern Sudan's recent independence as well as a bill mandating improved FAA safety regulations were blocked simultaneously in an astonishing 51-second period of time.
While pleased with their failure to do anything even close to what they were elected to do, the men and women of the United States Congress announced after Tuesday's session that it wasn't praise or recognition they sought, but merely the knowledge that they had done everything in their power to confirm every American's worst suspicions about the country's legislative system.
"My reward is the feeling I get when I arrive home at the end of the day, look my family in the eyes, and say, 'We didn't do it,'" a smiling Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said. "That's what really matters to me. Obviously we're not always going to agree on everything in Congress. But something that every single one of us, to a person, can agree on is that when there is important gridlocking to be done, then it's time to set aside the hopes and dreams of the American people and focus on what really matters: our own blind self-interest."
In response to the 112th Congress's solid showing of utter nothingness, President Obama issued a brief statement in recognition of the day's gridlocking.
"Congress truly lived up to its reputation today," read the president's statement. "This is exactly the kind of performance we have come to expect from our leaders in the House and Senate, and I for one am confident that we'll be seeing much, much more of it in the future."