My friend works for the office of the Clerk and I am waiting for Congress to come to agreement on a bunch of legislation so we can go out to dinner. I write this from the secrecy of the friends and family room of the House, which is situated directly opposite the entrance to the House Gallery. From here they vote ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ by inserting plastic cards into machines. Earlier, some very unruly politicians pretended to be listening to a proposal on cervical cancer screening. Tension is brewing as decisions later concern immigration and defence appropriation. This is why everyone is in on a Saturday.
The family room is fully equipped with a kitchen, sofas and a playpen for children. It feels like somebody’s living room. I’ve been told the upstairs section where I am sitting with my laptop is a good place for naps. On the bookshelf there are a number of Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, and Thomas Friedman books, and a triumphant number of novels by Nora Roberts. Two religious titles: Jesus, who is he? and The Mark: The beast rules the World.
Some trivia: A bullet hole from the day when Puerto Rican nationalists stormed the Congress in 1954 is still visible just to the right of the Speaker.