Tags: Rival Survival | Congress | Flake | Heinrich

Senate 'Rivals' Work Well Together on a Matter of 'Survival'

By    |   Monday, 27 October 2014 11:21 AM

Two Senators have demonstrated that a Democrat and a Republican can work together when their basic need for food and shelter is at stake, and a new reality TV show captured their collaboration.

Sens. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, and Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, spent nearly a week on a remote island in the Pacific, and the Discovery Channel captured their experience in a show titled "Rival Survival."

Heinrich told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" the idea for the TV show was borne when the two started exchanging pictures during a budget session.

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"We were having an all-night voting session during the budget, and Jeff started showing me pictures of a trip he had taken to another island. And, I started pulling out spearfishing photos," Heinrich said Monday.

"He speared a lot bigger fish than I have. This guy can be useful," Flake told "Morning Joe" on Monday.

The two were taken and dropped off in the water a half mile from the uninhabited island, Heinrich said, adding they had to swim through currents to get to land. They were given neither food nor drinkable water, and were surrounded by shark-infested seas.

Flake and Heinrich had to focus on teamwork to make it through the week.

Their spirit of cooperation continued as they explained their solutions for how to quarantine medical personnel returning to the United States from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, where the outbreak is most severe.

Heinrich suggested New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie "overreacted a little bit" when they announced on Friday all health care workers who treated Ebola patients in West Africa would have to be quarantined for 21 days upon returning to the U.S. Cuomo has since eased on his original stance about the guideline.

Flake agreed with Heinrich that a "happy medium" needed to be reached on the problem in order to protect the public, yet not be so stringent as to discourage medical personnel from traveling to West Africa.

Flake and Heinrich would like to see bipartisan cooperation return to Washington, and said lawmakers don't even eat lunch together, as they once did regularly.

"The thing that bothers Martin and me is that now, during the work week, we still have very few opportunities (for Republicans and Democrats to get together). We have these partisan lunches for Republicans, three a week. I think the Democrats have two a week. You never mix," Flake said.

Flake and Heinrich in "Rival Survival" premieres Wednesday evening on the Discovery Channel.

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Two Senators demonstrate that a Democrat and a Republican can work together when their basic need for food and shelter is at stake in an episode of the reality TV show "Rival Survival."
Rival Survival, Congress, Flake, Heinrich
Monday, 27 October 2014 11:21 AM
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