Frustrated LaTourette makes ‘soup sandwich’ analogy

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Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) wanted to offer an amendment to the jobs bill last week, and when his request was denied, he likened his situation to a “soup sandwich.”

ITK is more familiar with another sandwich phrase that starts with s. But LaTourette was on the House floor, where cursing is a no-no.

It all started when LaTourette wanted to amend the jobs bill, but was not allowed to under the parameters set out by the Rules Committee. The presiding officer, however, did rule that Democrats, in this case Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) could yield his time to allow LaTourette to offer his motion.

Not surprisingly, Etheridge declined.

"No," he replied to LaTourette's request for time, explaining that "the rule does not provide for it." 

"Well, that is nonsense," LaTourette said, growing animated, "because the Speaker Pro Tempore just indicated [that you could]."

LaTourette explained his procedural plan, and asked again for time.

Apparently Etheridge hadn't been listening, because he asked, "What was the gentleman's request?"

LaTourette asked again. This time Etheridge cited a Catch-22, telling LaTourette that he'd need a unanimous consent request in order to make his unanimous consent request. Fuming, LaTourette called Etheridge's response "a soup sandwich answer."

Never before had ITK heard that phrase in a congressional debate so we had to look it up. Originally used in the military, a "soup sandwich" is slang for something or someone that's impossibly messy.

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