West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

ABBEY SEEKS TO SINK ALTERED BILL AND TOBY HELPS WHISTLE-BLOWER -- Abbey (Stockard Channing) is upset when an anti-abortion rider is attached to a foreign aid bill and asks Amy (Mary-Louise Parker) to work behind the scenes to torpedo the President's (Martin Sheen) proposal while Toby (Richard Schiff) gets in a legal bind when an ex-classmate (guest star Jeff Perry) turns whistle-blower on a lawbreaking chemical company. Meanwhile, the Daughters of the American Revolution wants to disown Abbey when they learn that her distant relative was more pirate than patriot.



The President is asleep in the residence when the phone rings.  The operator informs him it is 6:00am.  As the President gets off the phone - the First Lady comes out of the bathroom and the two talk about how she delayed the wake up call by an hour because the President was so late coming in the night before.

The President proceeds to tell the First Lady that Senator Bangart has attached an amendment to a Foreign Ops bill that prevents aid from going to countries where abortion is counseled.  She peppers him with questions about what he is going to do about it - he tells her he doesn't know . . .  yet.

Act I[]

Josh is in Leo's office briefing him about a natural emergency taking place in Alaska.  Josh leaves and runs into Will to tell him that he is going to need to help C.J. on the melted glacier in Alaska - but Will wants to ask Josh if he is aware the First Lady may be the descendant of a pirate.  Josh asks Will who called - Will replies the Boston Globe.  They arrive at the front lobby as C.J. arrives - Josh tells her that Will got called about "Captain Feathersworth" - Will realizes this is an actual thing.  A socialite from Massachusetts has denounced Abbey's membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) based on Abbey's ancestor.  C.J. points out that he wasn't a pirate - he was a privateer.

Amy is in her new office (as the First Lady's Chief of Staff) - she has just hung pictures on the wall, which promptly fall off.  An intern comes in and tells her the First Lady is waiting.  The First Lady tells Amy that she wants her office to influence the President to threaten to veto the Foreign Ops bill if the global gag rule is kept on the bill.  C.J. and Will arrive to tell Amy about the "Pirate Problem."

In Toby's office, an old friend of Toby's arrives to say hello.  Burt Gantz now works for a chemical company and is with a company lawyer.  They exchange pleasantries and leave - but Burt goes back to Toby's office alone and tells Toby that he wants protection under federal whistle blower laws - the company has been lying to the public.

Act II[]

Josh arrives in Toby's office and wants to know what's up.  Toby tells him to calm down until Burt comes back in and they close the door.  Burt and Toby tell Josh what's going on.  Josh tells Burt to stay there until he calls.  As he leaves he runs into Amy in the hall - she wants to press him on the First Lady's request that she get the President to veto the Foreign Ops bill with the global gag rule.  Donna tells Josh that everyone in the Counsel's Office is busy until after lunch.  He tells her that she needs to go to the DAR reception that evening to keep an eye on a guest with a record that Secret Service won't admit unless someone with credentials watches him.

Leo is meeting with USGS (United States Geological Service) on the Alaska glacier issue.  One of the staff members tells Leo that this is probably the first noteworthy event caused by global warming.

Amy goes back to see the First Lady to tell her the President can't threaten to veto a bill that he isn't prepared to actually veto.  Plus, he's not going to veto his own bill.  Abbey tells Amy to keep trying to convince Senior Staff (Josh) that the gag rule has to be pulled off.

Act III[]

In the White House Mess, Will finds Charlie, who has received a "Dear John" email from Zoey, who is breaking up with him again.  Walking back upstairs, C.J. sees Will to tell him that Marion Cotesworth-Haye (the woman boycotting the reception) is in the White House and they can hopefully dispatch this issue right here.  Amy arrives and the three of them go into the Mural Room to talk to her.  C.J. can't control herself and begins to laugh and Amy and Will have to come up with something - which they do by making up an award, the "Francis Scott Key key."

Amy finds Josh again to suggest that Senior Staff write an official memo suggesting the President veto the Foreign Ops bill in the hope that it will get enough moderates to push to have the gag rule removed.  Josh doesn't think it will work, but suggests the she go to Leo.

Act IV[]

In Toby's Office, Burt Gantz is meeting with one of the White House Counsel's Office lawyers.  However, based on what Gantz has told him - and the actions he took at the chemical company, the lawyer tells the group that Gantz needs protection from federal prosecution not whistle blower status - and that Josh and Toby have to turn him in or they could be charged with conspiracy.

Abbey and Amy are talking about what Amy has tried to do for the First Lady - but Amy has to tell the First Lady that it can't happen.

Jean-Paul is waiting for Zoey when Charlie spots him - the two talk and Charlie realizes that Jean-Paul is stoned.  Charlie sends Jean-Paul to the Ellipse to get him away from the White House for a while.  Donna and Josh are at the reception and he makes her find the guest that she has to watch.  Leo talks with C.J. and Will about the glacier in Alaska and they decide to let Will make a call for more environmental controls to try and curb global warming.

Zoey arrives and is met by Charlie (as he has sent Jean-Paul to the Ellipse, where Zoey was never going to be).  He tells her that respectfully, he is not going to stop interacting with her - he loves her.  At the reception, Toby see Burt Gantz and the two talk.  He is going to get his immunity - but Toby is irked because Burt played him to get the weight of the White House to help him.

Amy and the First Lady have another interaction and Amy tells the First Lady that she is not going to be able to stop the bill from passing with the gag rule and that she is going to have to accept it - the First Lady tells her that she had a good first day and to keep it up.  Amy then tells the First Lady that she is going to give Marion Cotesworth-Haye an award at the dinner.

Later, in the residence, Abbey and Jed talk about the day and the Foreign Ops bill - Abbey offers to make a public statement about the gag rule, but Jed tells her not yet, another time.


Stockard Channing as Abigail Bartlet
Dulé Hill as Charlie Young
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
Joshua Malina as Will Bailey
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
John Spencer as Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
and Martin Sheen as President Bartlet

Special Guest Star

Mary-Louise Parker as Amy Gardner

Guest Starring

Jeff Perry as Burt Ganz
Elisabeth Moss as Zoey Bartlet
Trent Ford as Jean-Paul Vicomte de Bourbon
Amanda Carlin as Hillary Toobin
Benjamin Brown as Mike Wayne
Nathan Anderson as Matthew Lambert
Andrea Savage as Heidi Choat
Helen Slayton-Hughes as Marion Cotesworth-Haye


Devika Parikh as Bonnie
Kim Webster as Ginger
Steven Hack as Paul Hendricks
Gregory Linington as Don Novak
Eric Lemler as Nat
Ivan Allen as Roger Salier
Christopher Carroll as Thomas
Robert Noble as Steward
Michael J. London as Usher


Abigail Bartlet – So we're for freedom of speech everywhere, but poor countries where they can have our help but only if they live up to Clancy Bangart's moral standards? What the hell kind of free world are you running?
President Bartlet – I really don't know Abbey, the day hasn't started yet
Leo – You don't want to stand here for a minute and reflect on the fact that a glacier melted this morning?
Josh – Well, I would, Leo, but a glacier melted this morning, so at this point Americans are simply trying to outrun it
Was something on your mind that moment in law school when they taught that rule? Were you distracted by a bumblebee?


  • At the end of the episode Abby say that equal pay got "pocket vetoed" and she didn't do anything to stop it. A "pocket veto" would mean the law was passed but the President didn't sign it so it did not become law. In this case her husband would have been the one that kept equal pay from becoming law.


Notes and references[]

I PilotPost Hoc, Ergo Propter HocA Proportional ResponseFive Votes Down
The Crackpots and These WomenMr. Willis of OhioThe State DinnerEnemiesThe Short List
In Excelsis DeoLord John MarburyHe Shall, from Time to Time...Take Out the Trash Day
Take This Sabbath DayCelestial Navigation20 Hours in L.A.The White House Pro-Am
Six Meetings Before LunchLet Bartlet Be BartletMandatory Minimums
Lies, Damn Lies and StatisticsWhat Kind of Day Has It Been?
II In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part I)In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part II)The Midterms
In This White HouseAnd It's Surely to Their CreditThe Lame Duck CongressThe Portland Trip
ShibbolethGalileoNoëlThe Leadership BreakfastThe Drop-In
Bartlet's Third State of the UnionThe War at HomeEllie
Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to JailThe Stackhouse Filibuster
17 PeopleBad Moon RisingThe Fall's Gonna Kill You18th and PotomacTwo Cathedrals
III Manchester (Part I)Manchester (Part II)Ways and MeansOn the Day BeforeWar CrimesGone QuietThe Indians in the LobbyThe Women of QumarBartlet for AmericaH.Con - 172100,000 AirplanesThe Two BartletsNight FiveHartsfield's LandingDead Irish Writers
The U.S. Poet LaureateStirredEnemies Foreign and DomesticThe Black Vera Wang
We Killed YamamotoPosse Comitatus
IV 20 Hours in America (Part I)20 Hours in America (Part II)College KidsThe Red Mass
Debate CampGame OnElection NightProcess StoriesSwiss DiplomacyArctic Radar
Holy NightGuns Not ButterThe Long GoodbyeInauguration (Part I)
Inauguration: Over There (Part II)The California 47thRed Haven's on FirePrivateers
Angel MaintenanceEvidence of Things Not SeenLife On MarsCommencementTwenty-Five
V 7A WF 83429The Dogs of WarJefferson LivesHanA Constituency of OneDisaster ReliefSeparation of PowersShutdownAbu el BanatThe Stormy PresentThe Benign PrerogativeSlow News DayThe Warfare of Genghis KhanAn KheFull DisclosureEppur Si Muove
The SupremesAccessTalking PointsNo ExitGazaMemorial Day
VI NSF ThurmontThe Birnam WoodThird-Day StoryLiftoffThe Hubbert PeakThe Dover TestA Change Is Gonna ComeIn The RoomImpact WinterFaith Based Initiative
Opposition Research365 DaysKing CornThe Wake Up CallFreedoniaDrought ConditionsA Good DayLa PalabraNinety Miles AwayIn God We TrustThings Fall Apart2162 Votes
VII The TicketThe Mommy ProblemMessage of the WeekMr. FrostHere Today
The Al Smith DinnerThe DebateUndecidedsThe WeddingRunning Mates
Internal DisplacementDuck and CoverThe ColdTwo Weeks OutWelcome to Wherever You Are
Election Day (Part I)Election Day (Part II)RequiemTransitionThe Last Hurrah
Institutional MemoryTomorrow