By Nate Odenkirk | Staff Writer
*Preface: I began writing this article a week ago, and completed it yesterday morning. Later that day, this actually f*king happened. It was a moment of extraordinary, and truly useless, clarvoyance. Enjoy the article as we think about how screwed up our government is.
In a historic vote, the Senate passed sweeping legislation today that would designate September 18th as “National Lobster Day.” “This groundbreaking law will provide relief for millions of Americans going through this terrible crisis,” said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “And, it proves that the United States Senate really is the world’s greatest deliberative body.”
Other Senators were just as pleased, citing the flood of calls from distressed citizens about how Lobster Day is not a national holiday. “I had a heartbreaking phone call with a constituent from Davenport,” explains Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA). “She was a single mother who had just lost her job, and her federal unemployment benefits did not last through the month. She pleaded with me to make September 18th National Lobster Day. Or, at least, that what I interpreted,” Senator Ernst, who was initially a no, changed her mind to best serve her voters. “Sometimes you have to evolve and do what’s right for the country. I came to Congress with a promise to pass important holidays and dedicate buildings and damnit, that’s what I’m here to do.”
“This groundbreaking law will provide relief for millions of Americans going through this terrible crisis.”
The National Lobster Day Act, heralded as modern equivalent of the Civil Rights Act, will be slowly phased in before full implementation in 2028. Already, anti-lobster groups have pledged to fight this bill in court, a process that could put the process on hold for years. “But the important thing is we got it done,” said Senator Schumer. “The Senate could not stand idly by while 200,000 Americans are dead from COVID-19. We had to do something—that’s what we’re here for.” The bill to federally recognize Lobster Day was initially introduced in 2006, where it languished in committee. In a sign of how quickly the pandemic has changed political calculus, the law was reintroduced and passed in a record six months.
This Congress is on track to be amongst the most productive in recent memory, having renamed nearly fifty post offices and passing over a dozen federal holidays. None of which offer a paid vacation for government employees; party insiders say that would have been a nonstarter, as it would have affected things. The stripped-down bill as it is had to go through a number of revisions to satisfy enough Senators to vote for it. Ultimately, the bill includes a 250-billion-dollar permanent increase in the Pentagon’s budget, a standard addition to all pieces of legislation. “My number one concern: how will this affect our military?” said Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). “Even if it has nothing to do with the military, I want to know how it will affect our military.” Mr. Cotton ultimately voted “no” on the bill when his amendment to build a hundred F-35s narrowly failed. “It didn’t help the military,” he said, solemnly. Senator Cotton has since passed the “Choo Choo Train Day Act,” which includes a purchase order for five hundred nuclear submarines. ♦