Washington • Congress passed the much-heralded rule recently that would hold members' paychecks hostage if they don't pass a budget. And while there are many millionaires who might not even flinch at the idea, there are others who could take a serious hit.
Take Rep. Rob Bishop.
The Utah Republican is a former high school teacher who relies on his federal paycheck to pay for his apartment in Washington, home in Brigham City and anything else. He says should the House not pass a budget, it will be "difficult" for him personally.
Bishop's teaching pension would cover his mortgage payment for his Utah home, but he might have to cut out other expenses, like buying his favorite beverage, Dr Pepper.
"We'd find some way around that," Bishop joked. "I'd be begging on the corner here [with a sign saying], 'Will Vote for Dr Pepper.' "
Of course, Bishop likely won't face such a dire circumstance because the House is likely to pass a budget. The Senate is a different story.
Asked why he would vote against his own personal interests, and possibly face a stretch without pay, Bishop responded, "I'm so noble."
Chaffetz makes a funny • Rep. Jason Chaffetz poked fun at his own party, the press and his buddy, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, during a Washington dinner speech last week.
"I'll confess that sometimes I came across Governor Romney [on the campaign trail] a little wound down," Chaffetz said at the annual Washington Press Club Foundation dinner. "All we had to do is stick the key in and wind him up and he was good for another 48 hours."
The Utah Republican, who shared the spotlight with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, prompted fits of laughter in his 10-minute address and even a few groans, especially when he turned on his own.
"President Obama and Governor Romney did spend one night together playing their favorite game: Monopoly," Chaffetz said. "Things started off a little awkward when it came to picking their playing pieces. President Obama chose the battleship. Mitt picked the car and then put the dog on top of the car."
Chaffetz also took a dig at his Utah colleague in the Senate when he talked about the Republican's latest efforts to appear more cutting-edge.
"Orrin Hatch has a new 8-track tape out that he is marketing through Woolworth's," Chaffetz quipped.
Even the Press Club Foundation got in on the gags, inadvertently. The program identified Chaffetz as a representative from New Mexico.
Thanks, Orrin • Sen. John Kerry took time recently on the Senate floor to offer parting remarks as he heads over to Foggy Bottom to become the secretary of State. Kerry lauded his colleagues in the Senate as an "amazing mix of people," and he singled out Hatch, describing him as the "songwriting, original, compassionate conservative from Utah."
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Burr and Canham report from Washington, D.C. They can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @thomaswburr or @mattcanham.