The shutdown showdown has created unique opportunities for Congress to shine in tasks their furloughed staff usually perform.
Lawmakers have been spotted accompanying tour groups around the Capitol and acting as their own receptionist.
“We’re in a shortage of personnel right now so that makes it a little more difficult,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) while answering a phone call in his office where 27 of his employees have been furloughed.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) organized a bipartisan coffee for members. Even though there were more journalists than lawmakers in attendance, one Democrat, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), did arrive.
During one group’s visit to the Capitol, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stopped by to greet them.
“In spite of the inconvenience, I hope you have a good trip,” he said.
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