Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Floor of U.S. House of Representatives Redesigned for Wagers on Legislation Not in Final Form

Washington, D.C.--Following a vote on a global warming bill that included a 300-page amendment the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives could not produce in final form before votes were cast, the floor of the House has been redesigned to accommodate wagers on legislation not available in final form.

The screen that formerly showed the legislation under consideration has been replaced with a board displaying Las Vegas odds reflecting the chance various provisions are in the bill Members are voting on.

“It’s a crap shoot,” said one Member. “And I mean crap.”

Under the new rules, amendments are “flopped” face down and only revealed after final votes are cast.

“It’s tough,” said one member of the minority party. “Speaker Pelosi has a plastic surgeon give her a different poker face before each hand’s dealt.”

Members have already begun giving names to sections of bills they’re backing. “I’m rooting for Exemption Express," said one Congressman clutching his voting card as the final minutes of the vote counted down. “The odds are 2-1 he’s in the final product.”

The new system has led to some confusion, as when one Member yelled “Bingo!” during floor debate.

But rules of thumb are gradually taking hold. “Since we can’t vote on the text of the legislation,” said one Representative, “some of us are only voting for bills that have lucky House Resolution numbers.”

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