They have not worked together in Washington. And so the across-the-board cuts of the so-called "sequester" - which both Republicans and Democrats have said they oppose - took effect Friday night after President Barack Obama and Republican leaders failed to agree on a way to replace them with targeted spending reductions.
Up until the final few days before Friday, when the reductions began because of a law enacted in 2011, constituents urged, some begged, lawmakers to avert them.
The cuts threaten the U.S. economic recovery, could disrupt federal services from airports to national parks, and may force furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal workers and employees of federal contractors, the administration says.
"They want to kill us all," Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said of his constituents.
The fact that the senator chooses the word us makes me wonder: does this sequester thing have any effect on politicians own salaries, benefits, working conditions, etc.? Or are they somehow exempted from the "across the board" cuts?