Shocking News From Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill correspondent Sharyl Attkisson spends her days roaming the halls of Congress. This week, she has some shocking revelations.


As Congress wraps up its first weeks of the new session with Democrats in the majority, everybody is in a state of shock. Or so you'd think, listening to the rhetoric from both parties.

First, like Captain Renault in Casablanca, House Republicans were "shocked, SHOCKED" to find themselves excluded by Democrats in crafting bills for the so-called first hundred hours!

Roy Blunt of Missouri, the Republican Whip, was not just shocked, but very, very sad: "Our ideas still have the right to be heard in this debate, and I think it's a mistake when Democrats don't do what they said they'd do in the campaign to make this process open to Republicans."

Behind the scenes, Democrats were saying, "Hey, it's the same thing Republicans did to us for twelve years." But "they-did-it-to-us-so-we're-getting-them-back" is not exactly the kind of defense you want to use officially on camera. So Democrats simply said that Republicans would have their voices heard, but it would have to wait until after the first hundred hours.


Democrats, now in the majority, also had some shocks of their own.

When it was revealed that the Democrats' minimum wage hike the House passed would not apply to the people of American Samoa — a U.S. territory of Pacific islands, where tuna canning is big business, where one of the main two tuna canners is StarKist (which is based, coincidentally, in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home district in California). Well, the press started asking questions (because that's just the way we are) and Pelosi's office was "shocked, SHOCKED" to find herself the subject of inquiring minds. Her staffers almost sounded downright offended that anyone would even think of asking the question.

Pelosi's office denied our CBS News interview request on the topic, but later told everyone the whole exempting-American-Samoa-from-minimum-wage-thing was just an oversight. If it's not fixed during a House and Senate conference committee, she'll probably be shocked.

Stay tuned, because no doubt there's more shocking news ahead from Capitol Hill.

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    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.