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Heard on the Hill: Foul Play?

It’s not that the Senate doesn’t love sports. The chamber hasn’t passed a sports-related resolution in several months, but don’t think Senators have suddenly sworn off their favorite athletes and taken up museum-hopping instead — the measures are simply caught up in playground politics that might make a Little League team blush.

The sports impasse teed off in July when Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced a resolution congratulating a South Carolina golfer for winning the U.S. Open. Apparently, some Democrats objected, arguing that the Senate usually honors team efforts, not individual athletes. And GOP leadership took such umbrage to the slight against DeMint’s bill that they decided to object to unanimous-consent requests for any sports measures until his bill is cleared.

That behind-the-scenes impasse means a few such pieces of legislation have been on a permanent timeout, including a resolution by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) congratulating the New York Yankees on their recent World Series win. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the Bronx Bombers have had to suffer the indignities of a lack of Senate recognition, the stalemate has also stalled a bill by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) congratulating her home state’s Park View All-Stars for winning the 2009 Little League World Series.

It isn’t clear how or when the standoff will end. A GOP leadership aide (who didn’t want to be named for fear of being the target of rabid Yanks fans) says Democratic leaders are trying to pick and choose. “Democrats wanted to decide which Members could have resolutions and which couldn’t,” the aide said. “That’s not how it works.”

And while Republicans are digging in their heels, Democrats are crying foul.

Unsurprisingly, the senior Senator from New York is taking it a little personally. “This is Yankee-hating taken to the extreme,” Schumer said in a statement to HOH.

Other Democrats decry the Senate version of small ball.

“Seriously, we’re talking about Little Leaguers here,” one Democratic aide said. “Frankly, doesn’t the Senate have bigger things to fight over?”

Loose Screw. One Senate staffer got more than she ordered when she purchased a serving of breakfast potatoes at the Cups & Co. cafe in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building on Monday morning. Seems that after a few bites, she spotted something strange sitting amid the potatoes and ketchup: a small metal screw.

Um ... yuck!

But the gross-out story doesn’t end there.

Once the staffer got over the ick-factor of her discovery, she brought the potatoes (and screw) back to Cups & Co.’s Charlie Chung, demanding a refund. But Chung initially refused, denying that the cafeteria could be the screw’s source, according to the staffer.

After arguing, the pair launched a thorough investigation to find the screw’s origin.

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