Lame Ducks Lay an Egg

Congress and Reagan clash over spending, missiles and new taxes

Army-style cots lined the cloakrooms of the Senate, while weary members, waiting for crucial issues to be rushed to a vote, suffered through hours of filibustering by a pair of obscure freshmen. The ever patient Majority Leader, Howard Baker, seemed dazed by the unfolding disasters while his punchy staff joked that the White House had decided it wanted to impose a "toy tax" before Christmas. After almost 30 straight hours of throbbing confusion, the chaplain rose to offer a prayer. "Father in heaven, the...

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