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HR 8011: Global Century Integration Act
Evelyn pulled her hair in front of one shoulder. Then pushed it back and pulled forward the other side. Nope, it was too schoolgirlish. She never worried so much in the past. Her advisor suggested a taut bun and a conservatively high collar in an attempt to “age her up.” Honestly, Evie considered the idea to change her look, but dismissed the entire idea in favor of her more traditional appearance. Here she was though, in the Members bathroom, staring into a cracked mirror, illuminated by bad fluorescent lighting, and Evelyn was questioning her life choices. Maybe the heels were too high after all?

Well. There wasn’t exactly a wardrobe of suit swaps in the last stall, so she was stuck with her current look. Evie shrugged and prepared her best smile. The underground hallways were busy with the typical traffic of staffers. She passed a couple of older Republican Senators, both of whom ignored her.

At the appropriate point, Evelyn stood from her place in the Chamber to seek recognition and address the Chair: “Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to address the House for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks.”

Without much fanfare, the Speaker responded in drone monotone, “Without objection, so ordered.” Evelyn smiled slightly then proceeded to the podium in the Well to give the speech. The Chair informed her that when her one minute had expired she would be allowed to finish her current sentence, but no more time would be allowed to her. It was typical House rules on Decorum and Debate in practice since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Order and Debate manual.  

Surprisingly, no flutters turned her stomach. She’d spoken the one-minute deliveries many times since her election. She was also quite familiar with the rules. For instance, although old tv cameras pointed their black eyes her direction, she was not allowed to reference the televised audience. Today, she was going to break several rules, but nobody would notice once they heard the topic of the following minute’s attention. Representative Avalon spoke to the sleepy members and the mindless glass like they were her best friends.

“Thank you Mr. Speaker for the recognition to address our colleagues in the House of Representatives as well as the American public.”

“As the only Powered Member of Congress, it is my sincere recommendation that the Chairman reconsider H.R. 8011, Global Century Integration Act. This act was declined by committee over the years, but I have new information to rewrite ordinances within the resolution that I believe committee will find favorable.”

She was of course referring to the proposed dissolution of the United States. It wasn’t the first time that Members spoke in favor of integration into the Central Custody of Dominion, but it was the first she spoke of it.

“Powered and non-powered individuals, channelers or non-channelers, may divide our entire world if we allow it. Global integration into a wider network of inclusion is a natural evolution during these times. I understand that I have previously taken differing opinions on HR 8011, but I have firsthand experience that has swayed my opinion.”

It was like she could feel the Speaker’s eyes burning holes into the back of her head. Luckily, her hair held its soft curl under the incinerating heat of old men’s judgment.

“I hope to solicit a bipartisan effort toward these ends and look forward to working closely with my colleagues toward a resolution that reinvigorates the country and serves the people. You will find these submissions in the hopper by the end of the day. Thank you for your time,” she said before the Chairman could warn her of the time allowance.

She folded her speech up and vacated the Well in order to retreat to her offices where no doubt the calls would flood in.
Following the public change in stance on custody invocation, she was quite assaulted by the media. She was prepared, of course, and the darling of America was perfectly poised to meet them. More than the media, and more than her constituents, she represented the wholeness of America itself, and thus was what she repeated throughout her many interviews. Following the uprising, she was contacted by everyone up and down the length of government powers. By the end of the day, she wouldn't be surprised if the President himself called. 

In the days that followed, she worked to have many hearts to hearts, truly believing that others would struggle to grasp her intentions, but if she could only speak candidly, they would come to see her point of view. She went to the Custody. She saw it for herself. How many of her colleagues could say the same? Very few! They looked upon the streets of DC and saw a cracking façade. Homelessness crawled up the steps of the capitol. Crime wafted like waves upon their armored cars. Poverty and sickness scattered like spilled rats. They had only to look around. Pride was killing them. 

She came to realize that fighting this fight of persuasion was going to be harder than she thought. On more than one occasion, she would convince another congress person to agree with her point of view, but they would never reveal that stance publicly. Fear kept them quiet.

Finally came the day for her to argue her position before the committee. They held the power to squash the entire bill before it could even go to the floor for vote. She met with many of them one on one in the time preceding, but the evening was drawing to an end and the matter had to be discussed. 

She was articulate and passionate. She explained the change in stance, speaking to it fully. She relayed the reality of their situation and the promise of a brighter future for them all. When the time came, she took her seat and listened to the debate. More committee members seem to lean toward allowing the vote to proceed, but the chair person was adamantly against it. The senior member leading the committee would be a tough nut to crack. 

They were about to call for a vote. A denial would halt the entire effort before it could even be presented to the House floor. She held her breath. They argued late into the evening, and she was tired, but she refused to give up. Even if it was voted down, she'd find another way. 

But the vote was halted by an incoming messenger speaking to the chair. Suddenly, the committee was adjourned for a break and the members hurried from the table. Evelyn looked around her in shock only to realize that other members of the audience were all oriented at their devices. 
"What happened?" she asked of her nearest aide, who hurried to her with an expression of sheer horror. 

The wallet holoscreen was turned her direction. The video of the blonde, lovely Governor of Texas, Jessika Thrice, was announcing the state's intention to leave the Union.

Evelyn's jaw dropped. It was happening. 

That explained why the committee hurried out of the room. "I'll be right back," she explained.
Evelyn watched the news with concerned curiosity. She’d never met Governor Thrice in person, but many of the qualities that endeared Evelyn to the public were displayed in the pretty blonde. Neither did she doubt Nikolai in his predictions, but what he said would happen had indeed come to pass. The country was going to lose their minds. Of course the President would squash the whole idea, but law was law, and the state had the right to declare independence as much as the original 13.

At her side, one of her aides watched with sheer shock painted on her face. “Do you think this will lead to Civil war?” she asked.

Evelyn shook her head. When the Confederacy tried it in the 1800’s, it didn’t turn out well for anyone. Civil wars were utterly horrible, and America’s was tremendously bad. Texas didn’t have a great army, but Evelyn knew they didn’t need one.
“No, Texas is best suited of any state to be autonomous. They have resources many others don’t. Furthermore, they have a coastline that’s relatively undamaged from the great quakes of 20 years ago. California and the eastern seaboard still aren’t recovered. The Gulf of Mexico was more spared. Houston is one of the more prosperous ports. Then there’s the issue of the border.” She said.

The aide looked at her quizzically. “The border with other states?” she asked.
Evelyn again shook her head no. “With Mexico. I am willing to bet that the bigger plan is to align themselves with Mexico and either restore the previous pan-American nation or establish free trade that occupies personal advantage among themselves. Maybe even free travel among themselves.”

It was about then that she received a phone call from a democratic party superior informing her what her official stance on this outrage was going to be.  Evelyn sniffed as she ended the call. She was already a deviant having changed her alignment toward the pro-CCD democrats. “The country is going to splinter apart and the remainder dissipate to nothingness. If we don’t act now, we won’t have a country at all. What do you think is going to happen next? The deep south has aligned with Texas for the last hundred years.” She said as much to the House minority leader, but he didn’t want to hear it.

She crossed her arms and waited for committee to reconvene. It was looking unlikely to be tonight.
Although it seemed Washington DC was losing its collective mind, a voice of restraint and calm emerged above the rest. It was that of Representative Avalon, who swept between press conferences and interview stages to deliver the same, unerring message. That the decisions of the people of the state of Texas were justified. The United States needed help. They could draw on their own strength and realize evolution was imminent, or they could fracture and splinter into oblivion.

She even spent a precious hour visiting with the Catholic archdiocese in DC. She has a small catholic constituent base in South Dakota, but she herself was raised in the church. It was the blessing of God that she could do what she could do. The press was gathered on the steps of St. Matthew’s, erupting in questions as she descended the steps. The gold of her crucifix glittered in the morning sun.

Her official statement was: “I continue to pray for peace of mind to settle in the hearts of the American people, as well as those whom I represent in South Dakota. I have faith that the answer is clear. I do not want to part from our brothers and sisters and others in Texas. Let us move forward as one peoples celebrating all peoples. These ill-defined borders are unnecessary in a modern world. We can retain culture and heritage as certain as Connecticut is distinct from Arizona. Yet imagine if we could live as a mingling of peoples as free and easy as a collection of states. One world government.”

After the speech concluded, she climbed into the back of her towncar and headed toward the airport. She had a whirlwind tour to complete if she was going to acquire the support needed to uphold HR 8011 when it went to vote next week.

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