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The Congress/English Dictionary

Representative Steve Israel

By Steve Israel

(The New York Times) – His supporters may adore him for “saying what everyone thinks,” but President-elect Donald J. Trump is about to confront the indecipherable jargon of Capitol Hill, which will go well beyond his 140-character norm. Here’s my contribution to the success of his presidency: “The “Congress/English Dictionary.”

CONGRESS: “The distinguished gentleman.” ENGLISH: “The insufferable idiot.”

CONGRESS: “My good friend from the other side of the aisle.” ENGLISH: “My adversary, who must have been raised by, like, aliens.”

CONGRESS: “Broad bipartisan support.” ENGLISH: “Out of 247 Democrats, one co-sponsored the G.O.P. bill.”

CONGRESS: “Will the gentleman yield?” ENGLISH: “Shut up so I can talk.”

CONGRESS: “Reclaiming my time.” ENGLISH: “No, you shut up!”

CONGRESS: “The gentleman’s time has expired.” ENGLISH: “Shut up and sit down!”

CONGRESS: “Ethics reform.” ENGLISH: “Ethics loophole.”

CONGRESS: “The Freedom Caucus.” ENGLISH: “Opposed to gay rights, reproductive rights, voting rights.”

CONGRESS: “The White House Correspondents Dinner? Way too shallow for me.” ENGLISH: “I wasn’t invited.”

CONGRESS: “The special interests.” ENGLISH: “People with whom I disagree.”

CONGRESS: “Strengthen the middle class.” ENGLISH: “Tax cuts for billionaires.”

CONGRESS: “The backbone of our economy.” ENGLISH: “Political bundlers.”

CONGRESS: “Complete disaster.” ENGLISH: “Twenty million insured Americans, slower cost increases, no loss of medical coverage because of pre-existing conditions.”

CONGRESS: “Repeal.” ENGLISH: “Repeal.”

CONGRESS: “Replace.” ENGLISH: No definition.

Steve Israel, a former Democratic United States representative for New York, chairs the Long Island University Global Institute and is finishing his second novel.

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