To really understand how a place works, first you have to speak the language.


The Democrats and Republicans each have a long, narrow room at the back of the House and Senate chambers to use as a private gathering place and kind of Mission Control-- staffers count on the Cloakroom to keep track of everything that happens in the Capitol. Cloakrooms are the ultimate "Washington Back Room" where Members of Congress are free to strategize or to hammer out deals with their co-partisans, safely out of reach of the other party or C-SPAN's TV cameras.

Next Term: GERMANE

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