Heard on the Hill

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
‘Hamilton,’ Moulton and wife expecting their first, and Schwarzenegger is back

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Illustrations Help Tell the Story of Early Capitol Hill in New Book
Pamela Scott started working on ‘Creating Capitol Hill: Place, Proprietors, and People’ a decade ago

The book is available on the U.S. Capitol Historical Society's website. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

Pamela Scott, an author of “Creating Capitol Hill: Place, Proprietors and People,” is worried the book may not be seen as a serious historical project. 

She uses a number of photographs in the book — maybe too many — and is concerned that some historians will “think it’s a coffee table book,” she said.

Bad Dad Jokes for Father’s Day
Ryan and McHenry face off with lame puns

(YouTube Screenshot)

Now we know what goes on in the Ryan and McHenry households for Father’s Day.

To mark the day, Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Rep. Patrick T. McHenry faced off across a table and traded some pretty lame dad jokes, trying to make the other laugh.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Andres and Alexander bond over tomatoes, Bennet's father dies, and Stanley Cup payoff

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Summer Isn’t So Easy for Staffers Who Are Parents
And cuts to August recess have complicated family vacation plans

A basket weaver from the Amazon Wachiperi community of Peru shows children how to roll tree bark into thread at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington in July 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When school’s out for summer, the lives of congressional staffers who are parents get a bit more complicated.

They have to juggle summer camps, vacations, and monitoring their children at home — all while trying to work through their busy Hill schedules and their bosses’ needs.

Pete Olson on Respect in Congress: ‘We’ve Lost That’
Texas Republican shares what he learned as a staffer

Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, was Sen. John Cornyn’s first chief of staff. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Pete Olson tries to make sure his staffers get home at a reasonable hour because he remembers long nights on the Senate floor, endless debates and the chaos of 9/11.

Before he ran for Congress in 2008, the Texas Republican worked for Sen. Phil Gramm and his successor John Cornyn, now the majority whip.

Softball, the Hill’s Social Lubricant
House and Senate softball league players share what they get out of the games

A member of the House softball league runs to second base during the Tax Dodgers versus Immaculate Innings game next to the Washington Monument on Tuesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

June in D.C. for congressional staffers means creeping humidity and long working hours. For some it also means reliving their Little League days.

The Senate and House softball leagues are staples of summer on Capitol Hill. Members and staffers say they play for the fun of it, to meet new people, and to foster relationships both within and outside their offices.

Flashback Friday: Recess Cancellations
Other times when Senate recesses were either scrapped or interrupted

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate is working most of August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate has taken an August recess since the so-called Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 provided for it.

The legislation, which aimed to “improve the operation of the legislative branch of the Federal Government,” overhauled internal procedures for both the House and the Senate.  

Floor Charts for the Floor Show
Our favorite visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland went #ALLCAPS after the Washington Capitals won their first Stanley Cup. (Screenshot/C-SPAN)

Lots of members of Congress bring along floor charts to help make a point. Here and there, some stand out.@FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call rounds up the best of the best.

On June 8, the morning after the Washington Capitals won their first  Stanley Cup, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, sporting a Capitals jersey, brought a copy of The Washington Post to the House floor.

Staffers Playing Softball Together Is a Decades-Old Tradition
The leagues have always been all-inclusive

Alysson Vogt of Rep. David Scott’s office bats during softball team practice on the National Mall in 2009. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate and House softball leagues are beloved traditions that have held strong despite partisan battles in the halls of Congress, field disputes and triple-digit summer heat.

The Senate league was founded first, and while the date of the first official game is unknown, the league’s trophy lists winners dating back to 1980. 

Cedric Richmond Isn’t Sure How Much Is Left in the Tank
Democrats’ star hoping another pitcher gets elected in midterms

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., is cooled by Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., after running out a triple, then scoring on an error Thursday night at the Congressional Baseball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Much of the Democrat’s 16-run win Thursday night at the 57th annual Congressional Baseball Game can be attributed to pitcher Cedric L. Richmond. But the game’s most dominant player for the last several years isn’t sure how much longer he can dominate.

When asked if he can keep up his streak year after year, the Louisiana Democrat said, “Absolutely not.”

Special Guests Expected at the Congressional Baseball Game
More than 17,000 tickets already sold

Republican fans watch the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than 17,000 tickets have been sold for Thursday’s Congressional Baseball Game as of this morning. And some notable guests may attend.

While President Donald Trump is not expected to be at the game, according to the organizers, the administration will be represented. Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is expected to be the Republican’s first base coach.

Senate Appropriations Approves $5M to Pay Interns
New funding approved in the fiscal 2019 Legislative Branch markup

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., has been tackling the issue of paying interns in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved $5 million Thursday to compensate the chamber’s interns.

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen teamed up with fellow Democrats Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, and Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Game Day for congressional baseball, more baseball around D.C., and Mullin leads member group workout

(Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

It’s Not Personal, It’s Baseball
Republicans and Democrats take the field Thursday for the annual Congressional Baseball Game

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, left, leads the Republican and Democratic teams in a moment of prayer before the start of last year’s Congressional Baseball Game. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s time to play ball.

The 57th annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, pitting Republican lawmakers against the Democrats, starts at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Nationals Park.