Heard on the Hill

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Esty’s breakfast advice, Ohio members bask in Browns win, and new socks for Black

(Tom Williams/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.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Bridge building, a year since Maria, girl power, and dogs on the march

(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.

Congress’ Hurricane Caucus Keeps On Growing
Sheila Jackson Lee: ‘You’re answering phones. You’re answering questions. You’re giving hugs’

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s district weathered Hurricane Harvey last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the days after a hurricane, a member of Congress is “an information post, a local comforter, a problem solver,” Sheila Jackson Lee said.

The Texas Democrat knows what her colleagues hit by Hurricane Florence are going through. Her district weathered Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Dingell update, In Search of Erik Paulsen, and a pricey GOP fundraiser

(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.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Hartzler feels for allergy sufferers, it’s the Air Force’s birthday and birds-eye view of Florence flooding

(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.

Exchange Programs Aren’t Just for High Schoolers. Congressmen Do It Too
Nebraska and California congressmen trade views of their districts

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., left, visited Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., in his district in August. (Courtesy office of Rep. Salud Carbajal)

Say “exchange program,” and most people think of traveling teens.

That was true for Rep. Don Bacon, whose family hosted a German exchange student when he was 16. Mostly, the pair geeked out over American cars.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Himes’ coffee, Sullivan gets a promotion and it’s Constitution Day

(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.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
McCaul hosts childhood cancer survivors; get a taste of the West

(Sarah Silbiger/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.

Senators Help Raise Money for Harris Staffer’s Cancer Battle
Former colleague from Clinton campaign running Chicago marathon to fundraise

Tyrone Gayle, right, talks with Hillary Clinton at her campaign HQ in New York. (Barb Kinney/Clinton campaign file photo)

One former Hillary Clinton campaign press aide is running the Chicago Marathon money to help another’s battle against cancer.

And the effort is getting a little help from some prominent senators.

The Investigation Will Be Televised
Ken Buck was 27 years old when he staffed the Iran-Contra investigation. Now he could ‘never be a tyrant’

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., left, worked for then-Rep. Dick Cheney, R-Wyo., right, as a counsel on the Iran-Contra Investigation. (Courtesy Ken Buck)

As his father watched him from a hospital bed, 27-year-old Ken Buck sat behind Dick Cheney while history was being made.

The Colorado Republican was the assistant minority counsel on the Iran-Contra investigation, working for Cheney, then a Wyoming congressman.

Politicians Worry About Millennials, but They’re Already Running the Hill
What happens when the chief of staff is mistaken for the intern

Joe Hack became chief of staff to Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., at 27. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Joe Hack sat in a weekly lunch for Republican chiefs of staff and listened to a speech on what to do about millennials.

At the time, he was 27 and running Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer’s office. “I’m at a table with a bunch of graybeards, [and] they’re moaning at the trials and tribulations of this next generation. I’m kind of sitting there. All of a sudden it dawns on them that I’m one of them,” he said.

Who’s Behind Congress’ Messaging? That Would Be a 24-Year-Old
Young communications directors go to bat for Mississippi’s Harper, Thompson

Colby Jordan, left, works for Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., and Guy King works for Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. (Courtesy Colby Jordan and Guy King)

The situation at the Mexican border this spring divided delegations in Congress.

Democrat Bennie Thompson decried the “discriminatory policy enacted by Trump designed to separate” migrant kids from their families.

Floor Charts for the Floor Show — September So Far
Our favorite garish visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

(Courtesy of @FloorCharts, screenshot of C-SPAN)

When it’s all Kavanaugh, all the time, watching the House and Senate floors can be a thankless task. But the floor charts make it all worthwhile and a lot of them over the last month have been about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Lawmakers like these oversized and sometimes garish visual aids because they help them get their point across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call now provides a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Amid #MeToo Fallout in Congress, Mentorship Is Up
Women’s group provides ‘a place for women to confide in other women’

With so many women wanting a mentor at the end of 2017, the Women’s Congressional Staff Association had to get creative. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As revelations of sexual misconduct rocked Capitol Hill, one staffer group saw a spike in requests from its members, the majority of whom are in their 20s.

What did they want? Mentorship.

Flashback Friday: Staff a “Critical Burden”?
Sen. Alan Simpson said so in 1988

Former Sen. Alan K. Simpson, R-Wyo., came from a political family. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

In 1988, Sen. Alan K. Simpson didn’t hold back when revealing his opinion about congressional staffers.

“The point is we are elected senators, and we should try to do our business, occasionally, with ourselves and among ourselves and between ourselves. Even though the staff is critically important, it is also a critical burden upon us in many situations,” the Wyoming Republican said on the Senate floor.