Anna Giaritelli

Michael Higdon Takes Kentucky Ties to Cornerstone | Hill Climbers

After 14 years in various staff roles, most recently as the chief of staff to for House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., Michael R. Higdon will now use his Kentucky ties as a vice president at Cornerstone Government Affairs.

“Cornerstone and I are motivated to expand their footprint in the Bluegrass, so I’ll be leading that initiative,” Higdon said, adding that he awaits the opportunity to build value for Kentucky enterprises.

Capitol Visitor Center Marks 5 Years

This December, the Capitol has seen a trifecta of anniversaries including 150 years since Thomas Crawford’s “Statue of Freedom” was placed atop the Dome and 222 years since the first purchase toward the building of America’s temple of democracy.

And hidden from the Washington skyline, at the center of the city’s quadrants, equidistant between the Senate and House wings, is the campus’s most recent landmark. On Dec. 2, the 580,000-square-foot Capitol Visitor Center celebrated five years of open doors. In that time, the visitor center has given about 200,000 tours, welcomed 11 million callers and hosted 4,000 special events and meetings.

'Tis the Season for Heckling at Capitol Tree Lighting?

From the minute Speaker John A. Boehner began his address at the Capitol Christmas tree lighting on Tuesday evening, his words were washed out by the chants of dozens of immigration advocates.

"All I want for Christmas is reform,” the demonstrators yelled. Ironically, news broke earlier in the day of Boehner's hiring of Becky Tallent to be his new immigration policy director, a move widely regarded as showing the speaker's willingness to pursue immigration legislation.

Baucus Adds Fellow Marathoner Park to Trade Team | Hill Climber

As the race to pass his trade agenda heats up, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has signed fellow marathon runner and expert tax lawyer Jason Park to his team as international trade counsel.

“There’s big things to do on the trade agenda. We have to draft these free-trade bills and agreements. Baucus is dedicated to passing them, and they will actually have a marked effect and improvement on our economy when we get them done,” said Park, whose switch from the Senate Budget Committee was announced last month.

Franken Challenger Says Minnesota GOP 'Starting to Unify' (Video)

The candidate:

Republican state Sen. Julianne Ortman The member: First-term Sen. Al Franken

Jim Cooper Muses About App Replacing the Newspapers It Depends on

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., believes government shortcomings and a concerned print news industry will soon be transformed into something more efficient.

“Our newspapers are dying. Dead tree products like this are having a hard time economically. The business model is not working and it needs to be replaced with something like iCitizen so that people can get the news they need,” said Cooper at  launch party for the new iCitizen app.

Where to Get Your Holiday Shopping Done on Your Lunch Break

Thanksgiving falling so late this year means there’s a little less time than usual for holiday shopping. Fortunately for lawmakers and staffers, the Capitol Hill area is home to many local businesses and stores with unique gifts.

Whether you’re searching for the perfect way to thank an unpaid intern or kiss up to the chief of staff, it’s all here. (A note: Many of these businesses are closed on Mondays, but have extended weekend hours.)

Italian Envoy Drops by CVC for Lunch

Italian-American members of Congress broke bread with Claudio Bisogniero, Italy's ambassador to the United States, on Thursday at a Capitol Visitor Center lunch.

“For those of you who haven’t met him, he speaks incredibly good English, better than many of my constituents and certainly better than Pascrell’s constituents,” said Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, ribbing himself and Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J.

Baby Announcement by Steve King Gets Political

There are few things cuter than a proud grandfather, even if Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, used the newborn's photo op to talk politics.

The six-term member took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to share that his sixth grandchild, Wallace Henry King, had arrived at 5:21 a.m.

Lobbyists, Congress Partner for Local Food Drive

It’s not every day congressmen and lobbyists rally together for a common cause.

But the Hoops for Youth Foundation partnered last month with the American League of Lobbyists to launch its first Thanksgiving food drive, which concludes Wednesday with a public event from 9 a.m. to noon on Capitol Hill.

'Deep Bench' Lets Blumenauer Promote 5 Staffers From Within | Hill Climbers

The recent departure of deputy chief of staff and counsel Janine Benner helped set off a number of promotions in Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s D.C. office. And they’ve got the bicycle lapel pins made famous by their boss at the ready.

New Deputy Chief of Staff David Skillman stepped into the position from his previous legislative director role. Skillman first joined the Oregon Democrat’s staff in 2007 as a legislative assistant and has focused heavily on tax issues.

Take Five: Rep. Tony Cardenas

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

Q. While on the Los Angeles City Council, you were a major animal rights activist. What motivated you to get involved with that cause? A. My staff was given some info about Billy the Elephant suffering in our zoo. To be honest, I told my staff I don't want to look at it, it’s not what I came here for, but it was so horrific, when I sat down and read it, I had to do something about it. I got involved in that issue and immediately got involved in domestic animal issues.

Wounded Warriors Experience Aims to Increase PTSD Awareness

Since the Vietnam War, the diagnosis and awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury in veterans has substantially increased.

About 2.3 million American veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — roughly 20 percent of servicemembers — have been diagnosed with PTSD since coming back to the states, yet half of those diagnosed will not seek treatment.

Nevada Democrat Seeks Clinton, Obama Endorsements (Video)

The candidate:

Democratic National Committeewoman Erin Bilbray The member: Two-term Rep. Joe Heck, a Republican, who won re-election by a 7-point margin last year.

Illinois Democrat Estimates $2.5 Million Race for Top Competitive Seat (Video)

The candidate:

Former chief judge Ann Callis, a Democrat The member: Freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican

Illinois Democrat Estimates $2.5 Million Race for Top Competitive Seat (Video)

The candidate: Former chief judge Ann Callis, a Democrat
The member: Freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican
The district: Mitt Romney narrowly won this district with 49 percent of the vote.
The candidate’s team: Marshall Cohen (manager), Travis Lowe and Clare Gannon of Three Point Media (media), Jason McGrath and Mike Bocian of GBA Strategies (polling), Emily Parcell and Beth Hernandez of The Pivot Group (mail)

Take Five: Rep. Steve Daines

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to his or her legislative work.

Q. You have been married for 25 years to your wife, Cindy. Tell me about your wedding or how it all came to be. A. Before we got married, I proposed to Cindy on top of a Montana mountain peak. We got engaged on Hyalite Peak, which is a 10,000-foot peak. It was a round-trip, 15-mile hike from the car and back. I surprised her with a diamond on the top.

Lieberman's Independent Streak Carries On | Life After Congress

Former Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., became a household name during his four terms in the Senate but he has remained largely out of the political spotlight since his retirement in January. Since then, the tenured lawmaker has been making quiet, yet purposeful strides in the private sector.

In March, Lieberman joined the American Enterprise Institute as a visiting fellow and as co-chairman of the American Internationalism Project, along with his good friend, former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. The two Senate veterans have used their backgrounds in foreign and defense policy to try to build a bipartisan consensus about American leadership as it relates to security, prosperity, freedom and human rights.

Ohio Democrat: Obama Endorsement Would Not Be Helpful

The candidate:

Democrat Jennifer Garrison, former state lawmaker. The member: Two-term Rep. Bill Johnson, a Republican from Ohio.

Ohio Democrat: Obama Endorsement Would Not Be Helpful

The candidate: Democrat Jennifer Garrison, former state lawmaker.
The member: Two-term Rep. Bill Johnson, a Republican from Ohio.
The state:
In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney carried the district with 55 percent.
The candidate’s team
: Charlie Hale (campaign manager), Mark Riddle (senior adviser), The Campaign Group (media consultant), Benenson Strategy Group (pollster), New Partners (research), New Blue Interactive (digital strategist)