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Smell of Jet Fuel

“Smell of jet fuel” is a reference to the impatience that sets in when Members of Congress are ready to leave Washington, D.C. to return to their districts for the weekend or a legislative recess.

The phrase is used to describe the atmosphere on Capitol Hill as the end of a legislative session approaches, and lawmakers are eager to return to their home districts or take a break from their legislative work.

The smell of jet fuel is associated with the departure of lawmakers who are flying out of Washington, D.C., to their home states or other destinations.

Lawmakers may also use the threat of leaving for recess as a bargaining chip in negotiations with their colleagues or the other party.

They may threaten to leave for recess if they do not get what they want, or they may promise to stay in session if certain demands are met.

Examples of “Smell of Jet Fuel” in a sentence:

  • As the legislative session drew to a close, the smell of jet fuel permeated the halls of Congress as lawmakers rushed to finish their work and head home.
  • When the news broke of a major crisis, the Capitol was filled with the smell of jet fuel as lawmakers rushed to their planes to return to Washington, D.C., and address the issue.
  • The smell of jet fuel hung heavy in the air as lawmakers threatened to leave for recess, using their departure as leverage in negotiations with their colleagues.