(WASHINGTON) — Legislators in Washington will next week trade filibusters, bills and votes for runs, hits and errors.
A bipartisan tradition since 1909, the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity is returning to the diamond after a pandemic-forced year’s hiatus.
The two sides will square off Sept. 29 in Nationals Park.
The game offers lawmakers a chance to take their differences from the floor to the field while coming together to raise a potentially record-breaking amount this year for local charities.
Texas Rep. and Republican coach Roger Williams sees the game as a rejuvenating tonic for the country.
“Baseball is a sport, if you go throughout history, it has brought America back,” Williams said at Tuesday’s GOP practice. “It brought America back in World War II and brought America back after 9/11. And it’s bringing America back now.”
Williams’ teammate and fellow member of the Texas GOP delegation Jodey Arrington sees the contest as an opportunity to settle some old scores with the team across the aisle and across the baseball field.
“I’ve got a lot of pent-up angst politically and policy-wise,” Arrington said, “and I’m going to take it all out on them on the baseball diamond.”
Arrington is hoping for a GOP victory that would foreshadow a Republican sweep of next year’s midterm elections, or, as he put it, “a foreboding of the bloodbath that is 2022.”
Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett, on the other hand, is less grandiose in his goals. “I think we’re gonna win,” Burchett said at Tuesday’s practice.
The real win in this game, though, is about more than just partisan bragging rights. It also raises money for local D.C. charities, including the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund, and the Boys and Girls Club. And lawmakers say they’re on track for a record-breaking year.
“The last number I heard, we’re getting close to $2 million,” Williams said. “Charity has been hurt through COVID, so we’re able to bring bring that back too.”
Democrats have also been preparing for next Wednesday’s game, though they have yet to hold an open practice session.
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