Senators fuel up on junk food for marathon debate
Senators are noshing on chocolate, nuts and beef jerky ahead of Saturday night’s marathon debate, stocking up on their favorite snacks to keep them awake and energized throughout the overnight session.
The chamber is scheduled to start a vote-a-rama sometime around midnight, and it’s expected to run through Sunday morning. The hours-long process is part of the budget reconciliation procedure, which Democrats are using to pass their sweeping climate, tax reform and health care bill.
The last around-the-clock vote-a-rama the Senate held in August of 2021 lasted more than 14 hours, forcing senators to remain in the Capitol and vote on more than 40 amendments.
Senators are stockpiling tasty, high-calorie snacks and drinks to power them through the late-night into the early-morning hours.
“I went to Trader Joes and bought a few hundred dollars worth of snacks for all the floor staff, for fellow senators and other people working late tonight,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) told The Hill on Saturday.
The New Jersey Democrat said he secured “lots of things with chocolate” — dark chocolate peanut butter cups and chocolate-covered espresso beans.
He also picked up nuts and vegetables, he admitted, “just make people happy and healthy.”
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) is also riding the chocolate and nuts train Saturday night.
He has chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, a Hawaiian specialty.
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) is chowing down on mixed nuts and peanut butter crackers, washing it down with “lots of water.”
Pretzels were a popular choice for Saturday night’s session. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) brought the salty, crunchy snack along with flavored seltzer. His favorite flavor is cranberry lime but he lamented “it’s not as easy to find.”
Some senators are sticking with fruit to get them through the long night.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) told The Hill he brought two dozen bananas and chocolate milk.
“I like bananas,” the Democrat from Delaware said, laughing after his admission.
Others senators are focusing on protein instead of candy to get them through the grueling session.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) pulled a mini Slim Jim out of his pocket on his way to the Senate floor.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) says he’ll get by on beef jerky paired with “lots of Red Bull.”
Walking to the Senate in gym clothes Saturday afternoon, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he didn’t bring any snacks in advance but added he is “confident” that “pizza and beer will magically appear.”