U.S. Congressional Republicans, Democrats Pause Politics to Play Ball

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a rare moment of bipartisanship in a usually bitterly divided Washington, Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress competed on Thursday in an annual baseball game despite a protest by climate activists and a rain delay.

The Republicans dominated the Democrats, winning 10-0 in a seven-inning game.

Protesters seeking more decisive action to stop climate change sought to disrupt the event.

Now Or Never, a collective of climate activists, said 150 people participated in the demonstration.

Another group of climate activists unfurled a banner from an upper balcony that said: “They Play Ball While The World Burns.” Police confiscated the banner, the group said.

Before the game, U.S. Capitol Police said they had a robust security plan in place to protect lawmakers, though they declined to provide details. Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department was tasked with handling demonstrators.

Three arrests were made for unlawful entry, police said.

Some climate groups have come out in support of the legislation, though the activists at the game were not among them, chanting that the “Manchin deal is not enough.”

Though the activists proved unable to create much of a disturbance, the game did not go completely smoothly. During the fourth inning, a heavy downpour caused a delay of about 40 minutes.

In 2017, a gunman wounded Republican Whip Steve Scalise at a practice game for the event.

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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