WASHINGTON—In a devastating setback to negotiations that have been plagued for weeks by partisan gridlock, sources confirmed Friday that infrastructure talks in Congress came to a halt after a giant sinkhole opened up beneath the Capitol, swallowing the building and its occupants whole. “Unfortunately, our attempts to reach an agreement on this urgently needed investment in America have stalled again, this time because the ground under our feet gave way and hundreds of senators and representatives were sucked into a gaping void deep within the earth,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, adding that while progress had been made on a plan that would cover transportation, broadband, and clean water, it was impossible to proceed now that both congressional chambers and the lawmakers necessary for a quorum had plummeted into the darkness of a massive pit that appeared to have no bottom. “Unfortunately, just after the Senate rejected an amendment to pay for the spending with a tax on the rich, the building shook violently, collapsed in on itself, and tumbled into the emptiness below. A few of us managed to survive by clinging to a rocky outcropping and waiting several hours for a rescue helicopter. But most members are missing and presumed to be plunging downward, forever, unto their doom. At this point, the only indications of their survival are the horrifying screams of ‘Nay’ echoing from the eternal depths of a half-mile-wide crater where Capitol Hill used to be.” Reached by phone for comment, Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would allow certain sections of the infrastructure bill to proceed so long as someone promised to throw him a rope before the flames rising beneath him completely enveloped his body and burned him alive.