Heard on the Hill

Murphy Walks Across Connecticut to Packed Town Halls
Health care, not Charlottesville, was the dominant topic, senator says

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy greets a crowd at the finish line in Danbury, Ct. (Courtesy Murphy's Twitter page)

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy completed his 110-mile August recess walk across his home state Thursday. It’s the same summer trek the Democratic lawmaker did last year though some of the topics he discussed this time around with constituents along the way were different. 

“When I was talking to apolitical people, which represent the majority of Connecticut, they were talking about kitchen-table issues,” Murphy said.

Word on the Hill: Peters’ Motorcycle Ride
Recess activities for Cárdenas, Ferguson and Hudson

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters toured the Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital in Ontonagon, Mich., on his bike ride. (Courtesy Peters via Twitter)

Motorcycle enthusiast Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., took his annual recess motorcycle tour of the Wolverine State this week.

The senator visited a rural airport to talk about President Donald Trump’s budget cuts to Essential Air Service, a government program enacted to guarantee that small communities maintain commercial airline service. 

HOH’s Guide for Watching the Eclipse in D.C.
You can either avoid or embrace the crowds

Watch here on Monday for photographs of the eclipse and the Washington Monument on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The peak time to view the solar eclipse on Monday in Washington, D.C., is 2:42 p.m. The moon will block part of the sun from our area’s vantage point from about  1:17 p.m. and end around 4:01 p.m.

Only a partial solar eclipse is expected in the nation’s capital, but there are plenty of open places from which to view it. City rooftops and the National Mall will be packed with people wearing the special viewing glasses.

Word on the Hill: Capitol Hill Could Save You Money
Ryan in New Hampshire, Williams at nonprofit, Murphy’s march continues

Save some money, move to Capitol Hill. Above, Tennessee’s David Kustoff arrives at the Capitol Hill Hotel for new member orientation on Nov. 14, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s some good news for congressional staffers: Capitol Hill was ranked the fourth best place in D.C. to save money if you’re living off an annual salary of $50,000.

The financial planning app Rize released a list of the 14 best and worst places to live in D.C. on a $50,000 salary. Petworth, NoMa and Southwest Waterfront ranked first, second and third, respectively. Georgetown was ranked last.

Word on the Hill: Volunteers for Tiniest Opioid Victims
Smucker on Israel, and Murphy’s still walking

Ohio Rep. Michael R. Turner, center, is flanked by volunteers at a local hospital. (Courtesy Turner via Premier Health)

Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio, recently visited volunteers who cuddle with infants going through opiate withdrawal in Dayton. 

The volunteer Infant Cuddle Program at Miami Valley Hospital was launched recently and Turner got to thank the cuddlers last week.

D.C. Books Bring D.C. Women Together
Staffer Krista Harvey kicked off women’s book club this year

Krista Harvey, center, organized the first women's book club in April. (Courtesy Tess Glancey)

When one group of Washington women found out the new White House chief of staff read the C.S. Forester novel “The General” every time he was promoted during his career, they put the book next on their reading list.

Their book club is a non-political, unstructured, low-pressure space for book lovers and networking women founded by a Capitol Hill staffer looking for just that.

Word on the Hill: Murphy Walks Again
Updates from the OOC, LOC and Historical Society

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy is taking questions as he walks across the Nutmeg State. (Courtesy Murphy via Snapchat)

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., is making his way across the Nutmeg State on foot … again.

Today is Day Three of the walk. On Monday, he walked from Willimantic to Portland, where he held an evening town hall.

Francis Rooney: Python Hunter
Freshman Republican congressman killed five of the invasive species in the Everglades

Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., posted photographs and video  on Twitter with the hashtag #TheHunt. (Rep. Francis Rooney via Twitter)

What did you do during the August recess? Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., went python hunting in the Everglades and helped catch and kill five of the invasive snakes.

Rooney hunted in the Everglades on Thursday night with other hunters hired by the South Florida Water Management District to remove the snakes, which are decimating the population of native mammals, the Naples Daily News reported.

The Long, Accident-Prone History of Getting the Library of Congress Out of the Capitol
Summer lecture outlines what led to the construction of one of Washington’s grand buildings

The Court of Neptune, the fountain at the front of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, gets a cleaning in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Library of Congress is one of the most ornate buildings in Washington, but its story isn’t nearly as magnificent as the structure — it was once extensive, complex, accident-prone, and outgrew its original home in the Capitol.

The United States Capitol Historical Society is focusing its summer lecture series this month on that story. To kick it off last week, Janice McKelvey, an LOC visitor services coordinator, traced the history of the library’s spaces in the Capitol, and discussed architectural and artistic similarities between those and its present home in the Thomas Jefferson Building.

Word on the Hill: Weekend Plans?
WOTH will be back mid-August

It's finally the weekend so get out of the Capitol — and the capital. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the weekend in Washington and the Senate recess has finally arrived, so pick up a book from our summer reading list, or if you're feeling active, try to beat the number of steps that Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., takes in a day.

HOH went for a walk with the congressman recently and ran some errands around the complex with him.

Word on the Hill: Get Cultured in Rayburn
Yappy hour, and honoring the Mooch

A preview of the artwork from Asian-American artists on display in Rayburn today. (Courtesy Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation)

There are three different opportunities today to check out Asian-American artists and history in the Rayburn House Office Building.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is hosting an art exhibit “War and Refuge: Reflections on the Vietnamese Refugee Experience and Its Applicability to the Global Migration Crisis” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the building’s foyer. The foundation works to educate people about the ideology, history, and legacy of communism in order to create “a world free from the false hope of communism.”

HOH’s Summer Reading List
There’s something for everyone in these six books

Clockwise from top left, books by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, the Library of Congress, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, reporter Joshua Green and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse make HOH’s summer reading list. (Courtesy Penguin Random House (Lee, Flake and Green), Hachette Book Group (Franken), Library of Congress, and Macmillan Publishers (Sasse))

Recess is one of the few times when Washingtonians can really settle into a good book.

Whether you’re taking time off or just have a quiet office this month, here is HOH’s list of new books for the D.C. congressional nerd to check out this summer.

Woman Arrested in House Office Building After Handgun Found in Suitcase
Suspect was trying to enter Cannon on Friday afternoon

Capitol Police say Kimberly Barber, 34, of Washington was arrested after she tried to pass through security at the Cannon House Office Building with a handgun in one of her suitcases. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Washington, D.C., woman was arrested Friday while trying to bring a loaded handgun into the Cannon House Office Building as members were getting ready to leave for their August recess.

At 12:21 p.m., Capitol Police found the handgun at the bottom of a suitcase that was carried through security by Kimberly D. Barber, according to a Capitol Police weekly arrest summary released Wednesday.

Word on the Hill: From Little League World Series to Congress
Solar talk and Stevie Wonder tickets

Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis bats during a Little League baseball game in 1991. (Courtesy DeSantis’ office)

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., passed along some veteran advice for a Florida Little League baseball team, which is competing for a regional title this weekend and a chance to play in the Little League World Series.

The Palm Beach Post asked DeSantis, who played in the Little League World Series in 1991, for his thoughts. 

Word on the Hill: Bike Your District
Hiking town hall and BaconFest

West Virginia Rep. Alex X. Mooney tweeted a photo from his bike ride across his district. (Courtesy Mooney’s Twitter page)

Lawmakers often find interesting ways to travel across their states or districts each recess.

Last August, Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., walked across the Nutmeg State, and Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., did a motorcycle tour across the Wolverine State.