In a landmark agreement that has raised hopes for bipartisan cooperation in the new Congress, Democrats and Republicans today agreed to take the next two years off.

After a bruising battle this fall in which the two parties exchanged vicious charges, few observers expected such bitter enemies to find common ground in something as basic as their desire not to work.

But at a ceremony in the Capitol this morning, incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and outgoing Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) stood side by side, vowing to dedicate the next two years to recovering from a grueling midterm election campaign.

“The American people did not send us to Washington to see us fight with each other,” Rep. Pelosi said. “And so, we’re getting out of here and going on vacation.”

Rep. Hastert agreed with Speaker Pelosi’s assessment, adding, “It would be great if we could work together, but not working at all is the next best thing.”

Across Capitol Hill, politicians on both sides of the aisle hailed the news of the two-year hiatus, with many congressmen noting that the decision will give them an early jump on making travel reservations.

“Two years from now, we will be tanned, rested and ready,” said Rep. Hastert. “Then we can roll up our sleeves and do what the American people elected us to do: make negative ads for 2008.”

Elsewhere, with the USS Intrepid mired in mud and unable to budge, officials were considering a variety of options, including renaming it the USS George W. Bush.

Award-winning humorist, television personality and film actor Andy Borowitz is author of the new book “The Republican Playbook.” To find out more about Andy Borowitz and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Copyright 2006 Creators Syndicate

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