WASHINGTON—In a stunning emergency session Wednesday, all 535 members of Congress unanimously agreed to pool what remained of their political capital and bet the farm on one final bill: H.R. 2809, a comprehensive and extremely risky plan experts said would either get the nation back on track or send it into a permanent downward spiral.
According to government officials, the ambitious 15,980-page bill effectively puts all the nation's eggs in one basket, but congressional leaders from both parties agreed the time had come to "put up or shut up" and draft one huge piece of historic legislation that would address every conceivable issue facing the United States.
"This is for the whole enchilada," House Speaker John Boehner told reporters, describing the measure as "a long shot and our last shot." "Look, if it works, then we're all going to be sitting pretty. If it doesn't, then we're dead in the water, for sure. But I say, what the hell, if we're gonna go down, we might as well go down swinging."
"Let's do this thing," he added.
The omnibus bill—which sources confirmed goes "all in" when it comes to the tax code, energy policies, gun control, the cost of health care, and campaign finance rules—is said by lawmakers to include everything but the kitchen sink, and reportedly "doesn't beat around the bush" on immigration, agricultural subsidies, education, the nation's defense, foreign policy, transportation, arts programs, or the Postal Service, either.
"If you're asking about the meat and potatoes of this thing, you name it, you got it, buddy," said Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN), a cosponsor of the legislation. "I stood on the House floor, told everyone we had to go for broke on this thing, and before I knew it, guys on both sides of the aisle were adding amendment after amendment, subclause after subclause."
"We put all that political shit behind us," Visclosky continued. "The personal shit, the ideological shit. None of that matters anymore. It all comes down to this one last make-it-or-break-it showstopper."
The resulting bill, which legal scholars estimate will alter approximately 64 percent of the existing United States Code, was quickly approved in a 435-0 roll-call vote, with every representative agreeing there was nothing left to do but sit back and let the chips fall where they may.
Though it eventually passed the Senate 100-0, the measure reportedly took longer to receive unanimous bipartisan support there, with some members hesitant to put everything on the line for the 12-volume, 152-pound bill they found on their desks Wednesday afternoon.
"I admit, my first reaction was that it was just too damn risky; no way we'd be able to pull it off," Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said of his initial misgivings. "I'm not looking to lose my shirt here. This is my first term, after all."
However, moments after Toomey aired his reservations, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was observed approaching the junior senator from Pennsylvania and asking, "Are you a senator, or are you a fucking senator?" According to sources, Toomey then took a deep breath, nodded his head, and calmly replied, "Fuck it. I'm in."
While liberal and conservative pundits alike have derided the legislation as a Hail Mary pass, lawmakers said they remained hopeful it would beat the odds and propel the nation to economic and cultural prosperity.
"Hell, we know it's a risk, but sometimes you gotta throw caution to the wind," Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said. "We're slapping our hand on the table with a pair of threes, rolling the dice for a hard six, calling heads and crossing our fingers, 'cause if it comes up tails, don't bother sending for a doctor, brother—what we'll need is a priest. But that's the name of the game. That's D.C., baby. That's Congress. We spun the wheel, and we didn't consult nobody or nothing but our [grabs testicles] and our [holds hand to heart]."
"And you can take that to the bank," he added.
At press time, members of Congress were reportedly holding their breath and hoping President Obama wouldn't call their bluff and veto the bill.