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The long road to compromise over America's debt ceiling was paved with harsh words, hard work and, of course, takeout dinners.
Beyond the headlines and the partisan attacks were the real people doing the work of governing - and working up quite an appetite. And those folks feeding the hungry mouths on Capitol Hill kept things moving. As one 18-hour day rolled into another, takeout kept people going.
"Pizza seems to be the food of choice when they are arguing," Ron Neumeyer, part owner of Armand's Pizza franchise in Washington D.C. explained to CNN’s Lisa Desjardins. Guys like Neumeyer, those veteran caterers of late-night policy debates, know to keep an eye on the news because intractable debate means an uptick in orders.
Still, this time, they noticed something different.
"They look tired," says Chris Park, manager of the Capitol Hill franchise location.
Neumeyer agrees. "It feels a little different. It feels like everyone is insisting my way or the highway."
Still, both parties reportedly agree on pizza, at least in principle. But like public policy, the devil is in the details or, in this case, the toppings. "Republicans probably favor more meat," Neumeyer says, and "more vegetarians on the Democrats’ side." Yes, that old cliché does bear out, at least for orders from Armand’s.
But no matter what they put on the pie, the folks at Armand's take a special pride in their work, Neumeyer explains: "It's nice to be kind of in the buzz and the activity and knowing that you’re feeding them some good pizza so they can work late and hopefully clean this mess up."
Pizza wasn't the sole food represented at the gab fest. According to The New York Times, Chinese food was on the menu during one session involving Senate Republicans and their staff. The paper says the group laughed when they opened a fortune cookie, which reportedly read: “You may be spending too much money.”
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