Heard on the Hill: The Fastest of Fasts

Posted April 8, 2011 at 5:47pm

The two dozen Democratic Members of Congress participating in a fast in protest of budget cuts might feel warm and fuzzy inside for objecting to reductions that they say hurt the poor.

But here’s what they won’t feel too much of: hunger pangs.

The super-fast “fast” is more like skipping a meal or two because, according to its rules, it only lasts a day per Member, with each one passing the fast to another like a relay race.

Most members gave up food but kept drinking liquids. Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.), for instance, drank only water Thursday.

A tipster said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) wasn’t eating Friday, though she sipped on juice. And a staffer from Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s office said the Connecticut Democrat will refrain from food but drink liquids when she fasts Tuesday.

As far as we’ve heard, Rep. Keith Ellison is the only Member who refrained from both food and water on his designated fast day. Then again, the Minnesota lawmaker has plenty of practice as a Muslim who fasts from sunup to sundown for a month during Ramadan.