Elizabeth Brotherton

Flashback: Jason Chaffetz Eats a Burger

Amid “burgeoning” burger options on Capitol Hill in early 2010, HOH set off to investigate how a new vending machine burger compared to all the rest.

“To test it out, we enlisted Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, a self-proclaimed burger aficionado, for a blind taste test,” reporters Emily Heil and Elizabeth Brotherton wrote in the original story. “Chaffetz has serious beefy bona fides: He’s made a study of the town’s best burgers, proclaiming his favorite to be from Five Guys, and often tweets about his burger runs.”

Heard on the Hill: Stay Classy, Capitol Hill

As Boyz II Men once crooned, it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

Today’s HOH column is my last, wrapping up a two-and-three-fourths-year stint of dishing Congressional gossip. There are so many fond memories: Members dressed in ridiculous outfits, angry outbursts in Congressional hallways, celebrities pretending to be politically informed, Members uttering embarrassing double entendres and all those friendly sports championship bets between Members. Oh, so many bets.

Heard on the Hill: Nothing but a Good Time

While the jury’s still out on whether the new Bullfeathers is as good as the old one, HOH hears that a handful of lawmakers don’t seem to mind the change at the House-side restaurant.

A tipster tells us that Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) were seen “eating and carousing” at a table in the dining room.

Heard on the Hill: A Sign of the Times

Members of Congress often pledge to cut spending of federal tax dollars before they get to Washington.

But once they’re here, it can be tough, what with the constant stream of visitors to their offices seeking money for X project or cash for Y program.

Heard on the Hill: Holt Hobbles Around the Hill

It’s time to add another Congressman to the disabled list.

HOH spotted Rep. Rush Holt on Thursday hobbling around the East Front on crutches, with his right foot in a brace.

Heard on the Hill: Take Five!

Every Tuesday, HOH gets to know a Member of Congress better through a series of five fun questions. This week, we chat with freshman Rep. Steve Womack. The Arkansas Republican tells us about his admiration for Winston Churchill.

Q: What team do you think will win the Stanley Cup?

HOH's One-Minute Recess: Paying Tribute

Rep. Patrick McHenry took to Twitter on Friday morning to honor the legacy of the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Sr., who died 10 years ago Friday after a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500.

The North Carolina Republican changed his Twitter icon to Earnhardt’s famous No. 3 and posted a message simply reading, “RIP Dale” and “#3.” He also linked to a special web page on NASCAR’s website honoring the Hall of Fame driver.

HOH's One-Minute Recess: For a Good Cause

While the 2010 elections and holiday season may have slowed them down, celebrities are once again streaming into town in support of various causes.

Actor Mark Ruffalo and director Josh Fox were on Capitol Hill on Thursday morning to raise awareness about hydraulic fracturing, a form of natural gas extraction that sometimes contaminates drinking water.

Heard on the Hill: Paging Don Draper

Speaker John Boehner rented downtown restaurant P.J. Clarke’s for a fundraiser Tuesday night, allowing the Ohio Republican and his guests to have their “Mad Men” moment.

A love of P.J. Clarke’s — a popular watering hole for staffers, both on Capitol Hill and for Mad Men’s fictitious advertising agency — isn’t the only thing Boehner and Don Draper have in common. Both men wear swanky suits and enjoy relaxing with a cigarette and a drink after a hard day at the office.

Heard on the Hill: Lorded Over

It goes unspoken on Capitol Hill that the Senate is more exclusive than the House. There are fewer Senators, after all, and the chamber enjoys swankier digs.

But Members of Congress rarely point that out. It just wouldn’t be polite.

Heard on the Hill: Flying Through the Chamber

That Superman, always willing to support a good cause.

Actor Brandon Routh came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday on behalf of the group Voices for National Service. HOH hears Routh, star of the 2006 flick “Superman Returns,” appeared alongside Rep. Doris Matsui at a lunch sponsored by the Congressional Service Caucus, of which the California Democrat is a co-chairwoman. The lunch featured author Shirley Sagawa, who discussed her service-themed book, “The American Way to Change.”  

Heard on the Hill: Birthday Wishes

On Tuesday, Twitter guru and former Capitol Hill staffer Adam Sharp got a special birthday shout-out on the social messaging site from Rep. Darrell Issa.

Sharp is a manager of government and political partnerships at Twitter, a job that often entails teaching lawmakers how to tweet. That’s no small task considering many Members were born long before computers were commonplace, let alone the Internet. This challenge is not lost on Issa.

Heard on the Hill: Hot Spot-teds

And now for a couple of strange sights HOH tipsters have witnessed on Capitol Hill over the past two days that we couldn’t resist sharing.

On Tuesday night, during the heated House floor debate over the continuing resolution, an HOH spy glanced up at the visitors’ gallery. There, the tipster saw two teenagers who were “full-on making out.”

HOH's One-Minute Recess: Start Your Engines

Rep. Betty McCollum is taking on NASCAR and the military.

The Minnesota Democrat proposed an amendment to the continuing resolution that would ban the military from spending money to sponsor NASCAR race cars, according to Yahoo Sports. The article calls the move a “curious” one, saying NASCAR and the military go together like “peanut butter and jelly” or “screaming and beer.”

Heard on the Hill: Oh, Right. It’s Valentine’s Day!

Perhaps he forgot to send his valentine a card?

Rep. Steve King briefly appeared flustered Monday evening — Valentine’s Day, we note — as he waited to testify before the House Rules Committee. The Iowa Republican waited behind Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and ranking member Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), who were answering questions about the continuing resolution.

Heard on the Hill: Throwing Names Around

Austria, meet Austria.

Rep. Steve Austria sat down with Austrian Ambassador Christian Prosl on Tuesday. And Prosl made the Congressman an offer that he couldn’t refuse, asking the Ohio Republican whether he would be interested in a Congressional caucus based on their shared name.

Heard on the Hill: Norton’s Hometown Pride

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton wants everyone on Capitol Hill to know that they work in a really awesome city.

“They need to know this is more than a government town — a lot more,” the Democrat says.

Heard on the Hill: Special Delivery

Abortion and other reproductive issues are hot-button topics on Capitol Hill once again. But not every activist effort has been heated.

On Monday, five staffers from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice visited the Hill to deliver homemade Valentine’s Day cards to 40 Members of Congress. As part of the coalition’s “We HEART Our Pro-Choice Superstars” campaign, the effort thanked Members for their support.

Heard on the Hill: Overheard on the Hill

“They’re going to need an Auctioneer to keep up with all the amendments on the CR over the next few days!!!”

HOH's One-Minute Recess: Political House

One of the stars of the television show “House” is entering the political arena by appearing in a new MoveOn.org ad criticizing recent Republican efforts to limit abortion.

Actress Lisa Edelstein stars in the 30-second spot, which is scheduled to air for a week on national cable networks, including Oxygen. In the ad, Edelstein is pictured from behind, dressed in 1950s-era clothing, as she walks down a hallway toward a closet door. As she opens a door, a single wire hanger is seen. “Why is the GOP trying to send women back to the back alley?” Edelstein says.