WASHINGTON—Sitting Indian-style on the Senate floor surrounded by Magic Markers, crayons, and construction paper, members of Congress spent the afternoon in a special session Monday drawing pictures of their dream Capitols, sources reported.
The drawings—which variously featured huge missile launchers affixed to the Capitol dome, a moat filled with crocodiles and sharks, and a robot version of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) that can vote on bills when the senator himself is absent—were reportedly part of an activity devised by congressional aides to alleviate some of the stress caused by rancorous bipartisan squabbling and to keep the lawmakers occupied until recess.
“That’s the rotunda, this is the dirt bike track, and here’s the room where you can get ice cream whenever you want and put whatever you want on top of it!” said 73-year-old Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), excitedly pointing out the different features of his imaginary seat of the U.S. legislature. “And this part right here is a big cage thing where we can round up all the people who aren’t supposed to be in America. Then here’s where some big trucks can drive in to take them all back to Mexico.”
“And this is the waterslide!” continued McConnell.
Reports confirmed other Congress members were even more creative with their drawings, including in their pictures talking animals that give representatives on the Ways and Means Committee advice on the budget, depictions of bipartisan committees working in harmony to pass legislation for the good of the country, and even an anti-gravity chamber where representatives can play a zero-G version of basketball.
“People are always yelling and yelling here, so I drew this secret room that’s hidden above the House gallery that’s full of pillows and stuffed animals and things like that,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), who later had to be separated from Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN) after Duncan called Schrader’s Capitol drawing “so dumb.” “No one knows about it but me. You get in through this little door here, and nobody can bother you for stuff they want you to do just ’cause they gave you a bunch of money for your campaign.”
“Not even Monsanto,” added Schrader, whispering to himself under his breath as he looked down and colored in a part of his creation.
Though aides praised all the drawings for being “very creative,” sources said it was clear that some in Congress had embraced the assignment with more enthusiasm than others. For example, while Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) elaborate creation featured a pony stable, a pink-glittered dome that looked like a cupcake, and a fairy princess who could magically turn any environmental protection bill into a law, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) simply completed a tidy drawing of the existing Capitol building with no flourishes or discernible changes of any kind.
In addition, a few drawings were said to have been cause for concern, such as the one made by Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), which, except for a few violent streaks of red, was colored in almost completely black and appeared to have been crumpled up in anger.
“[Rep.] Sheila [Jackson Lee (D-TX)] got yelled at because she drew this big dragon breathing fire all over the right side of the aisle and burning everyone up,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said of her colleague, who has routinely been called “the meanest representative” by other members of Congress. “She’s bad. She does something bad almost every day.”
After the lawmakers taped their creations to the House Speaker’s rostrum under a banner that read “Our Capitol!” they reportedly settled into their seats to listen to a fairy tale about a fantastical war on Christmas told by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA).